Teach 'em How to Study


Studying (Photo credit: scui3asteveo)

It’s back to school time for children across the country. My own children will be starting second grade and kindergarten next Wednesday. I ran across an interesting article/quiz in Scientific American about study skills. I believe that like learning, optimal study habits differ by individual. However, there are some basic principles of learning that can be applied to any student.

As our children head back to class, start instilling in them good study habits. Sometimes we get so caught up in them learning the material, we don’t help our children learn how to study the material. My son, who is entering the second grade, learned last year what it meant to study. He had quizzes on whatever book he had just read, and I had to remind him that yes, he read the chapters of the book, but he now needed to study them, so that he could be tested on specific events in the book. It helped for me to give him a practical example. Immediately after reading the material once, I “quizzed” him. Of course, he answered everything correctly; however when I asked him the same questions a few hours later, he found himself having to look back in the book for the answers. Though I sympathized with his struggle, I also looked at this as an opportunity to begin instilling in him the value of studying.

I am thankful for Mrs. Krutoy – my jet black-haired, hipster jeans and go-go boots-wearing 7th grade Social Studies teacher (mind you, this was in 1982!). We had biweekly exams and she gave us very specific study instructions. We were to give ourselves three nights before the exam to start studying. There were always three major sections of notes for every exam, so each night we could focus on a different section, each night adding the previous section for review. I aced most of her exams! I maintained this same three-day study rule throughout college and even in graduate school. I even remained diligent in dividing the readings and/or notes into three sections for easier studying.

When teaching the Three R’s, don’t forget to add an ‘S’ – for Studying!

How did you study for exams?

(31WriteNow Challenge Day 30)


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