I Don’t Have Any Homework – I Just Have To Study

cf49ef6f-3f5b-4eac-843c-1ccc298de91eHave you ever hear these words from your child?  What exactly does this mean?  For many students, without a specific plan, item to do, and accountability for the process, procrastination sets in and learning opportunities become diminished.

What is the solution?

Help students work backwards from the Test date and have specific Tasks planned out to complete each day leading up to the test.

How to study for the Test

Given a particular subject and required knowledge to master, there are many different ways to learn and master the material.  Have your child learn about different ways to insure that what they are learning is clearly understood and enters into his/her long-term memory.  Help him/her generate a list of possible study methods.  Here are a few to help get you started:

  • Re-read the original source (Once the basic learning has been achieved, re-reading the material allows for deeper understanding and learning.)
  • Re-write notes and study guides (During this process anything that was perhaps unclear or incomplete can be filled in)
  • Make a sample test for a friend and have him/her make one for you (This will involve having to understand the material to be able to form the questions and knowing the answers to “grade” the friends test.)
  • Say the information out-loud
  • Create a Mnemonics device (poem, acronym, memorable phrase) to remember important facts
  • Flashcards (create them and duplicate the set to play the game Concentration)
  • Draw the information into pictures, categories, or webs. Studies have shown that learning increases by having to “do something” active with the information

Using a multisensory approach to studying (reading, writing, listening, saying) allows the material to enter into memory more deeply.  The repetition of the review allows more connections between the neurons in the brain and more transfer of information into long-term memory.  And, as neuroscientists have taught us “The neurons that Fire together Wire together”, meaning that the more times we repeat an action the stronger our memories become.

They should have their personal best “go to” list of methods to study when given the opportunity to choose.

Putting the Plan into Action

As soon as the test date is announced, choose the activities from their list of study tasks and write those Tasks into the agenda book as if they are Homework for each day leading up to the test date.  Below is a sample chart.  You will notice that I included Time estimates and Actual time on this chart.  This is to help your child Plan, which requires the skill of Anticipation, as well as an opportunity to Evaluate their accuracy in time measurement so they can make appropriate adjustments for the future.

Study Plan for Social Studies Chapter Quiz              Date of Quiz/Test Monday Jan 25th

Day Study Task How long will this take me?

 

Actual Start Time Actual End Time
Monday Choose my study tasks 10 minutes 7 pm 7:05 pm
Tuesday Re-read chapter 6 and take notes 20 minutes
Wednesday Make Flashcards 15 minutes
Thursday Make practice quiz for Linda 30 minutes
Saturday Take Linda’s practice quiz 30 minutes
Sunday Review my notes and Flash cards 35 minutes