These Techniques Could Change The Way Your Kids Study & Learn

Post-pandemic the concentration levels and lack of focus and interest have escalated. I tried yelling out of frustration, I tried the ‘do what you want to’ approach and I tried the ‘I’m taking away all your screen time and other privileges too. All were epic failures. Then I discovered these techniques. Read on to know more.
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Yelling, “study more!” is not gonna help. I think today all kids have so much on their plate – from long school days to extracurriculars and a lot more in between. I know my kids spend the week running from one thing to another – trying to maximise their time. During the week, there’s little time left for anything else. 

My son would sit down to study and then on some pretext or another get up within 10 minutes. I need water, I need to go pee, I’m hungry, my head is hurting – the list goes on. I am sure anyone who has kids in school would have dealt with similar things. It takes them so much time to come back into focus mode again. Right?

What has also happened is that post-pandemic the concentration levels have plummeted and the lack of focus and interest has escalated. I tried yelling out of frustration, I tried the ‘do what you want to’ approach and I tried the ‘I’m taking away all your screen time and other privileges too. All were epic failures.

Every child needs a different approach and in my quest to find a way to maximize my kids’ study time I found there were so many different techniques that can help them do well and keep them motivated

So what can you do to make things easier for the kids?

There are things to help you steer your child towards more productive study habits and find study strategies that work for them. There are several different study techniques that students can use to improve their learning and retention of information. Depending on the age of your child – you will need to sit and work with younger kids or each technique can be worked on independently by kids who study on their own.

Let me tell you about them.

The Pomodoro Technique

This is a time management method and kids who study using this method have found it to be very effective and a great help when they study or practise a hobby. The technique involves breaking tasks into short, timed intervals with breaks in between.

How Does It Work:

Choose a task: Let your child decide what they want to work on for that task. It could be homework, studying, or practising an instrument.

Set a timer: Set a timer for a specific amount of time, such as 25 minutes. During this time, your child should focus solely on the task at hand without any distractions.

Take a break: After the timer goes off, your child should take a short break, such as 5 minutes. This break time is essential to recharge and refresh their mind.

Repeat the task: After the break, set the timer for another 25 minutes and repeat the process until the task is completed. So let’s take the example of homework.

Set the timer for 25 minutes and knock it out…. Takes longer than that? No worries. Do a series of two, take a long break, and come back to it. Or start back up tomorrow if it’s an ongoing project.

What this effectively does is teach kids how to manage their time, break larger tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks, and improve their focus and productivity. It can also help them avoid their attention span wandering.

The Pareto Principle:

The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, states that 80% of results come from 20% of efforts. This principle can be applied to studying by focusing on the most important topics or information that will yield the greatest results.

How Does It Work:

Ask your child to identify the most important topics they need to know for their exam or assignment. This can include key concepts, formulas, or vocabulary.

Once that is done, let them focus on studying those first. This is because the majority of the results (80%) will come from a small portion of the effort (20%). By studying the most important topics first, your child can maximize their results in a shorter amount of time.

That doesn’t mean they ignore the rest. Once they have learnt the most important topics, they can review the remaining information. This can include additional concepts or details that are still important but not as critical for their exam or assignment.

By using the Pareto Principle, kids can learn to prioritize their studying efforts and focus on the information that will yield the greatest results.

Active Recall

Active recall is a study technique that involves actively retrieving information from memory rather than just reading or reviewing notes. This can be done through flashcards, quizzes, or practice problems.

How Does It Work:

Get your child to create flashcards with key concepts, formulas, or vocabulary words on one side and the corresponding definitions or explanations on the other side.

Once that is done, they should learn the information and then quiz themselves on the information. They can do this by shuffling the flashcards and testing their knowledge on each one. For each flashcard, they should try to recall the information before flipping it over to check their answer.

Repeating the process a few times until they feel confident in their ability to recall the information.

This technique can help them identify areas where they need more practice and reduce the amount of time spent on passive studying techniques like simply re-reading notes or textbooks.

Mind Mapping: Mind mapping involves creating visual diagrams to organize and connect information. This can be useful for brainstorming, summarizing, and reviewing information.

The Feynman Technique

The Feynman Technique involves explaining a concept in simple language as if teaching it to someone else. This can help students identify gaps in their understanding and improve their comprehension of a topic.

How Does It Work:

Choose a topic that they need to study or a concept that they’re having difficulty understanding.

Explain the topic in simple language to your child and then ask them to explain the topic or concept in their own words, as if they were teaching it to someone else. They should use simple language and try to break down the information into smaller, more manageable parts.

When you do this you identify gaps in understanding and they will know where they need to pay attention when they redo the concepts.

After identifying areas of weakness, encourage your child to review the material again and simplify their explanation even further. This can help them gain a deeper understanding of the topic and identify any remaining gaps in their understanding.

By using the Feynman Technique, kids can improve their comprehension & memory retention of a topic by breaking it down into smaller parts and simplifying their explanations. This technique can help them identify gaps in their understanding and clarify areas where they may be struggling.

Mind Mapping

If your child is a visual learner, try mind mapping, a technique that allows you to visually organize information in a diagram.

Choose a topic to study – this could be a subject they’re learning in school, a book they’re reading, or any other topic they’re interested in.

Write the topic in the centre of a piece of paper and draw a circle around it.

Encourage your child to brainstorm all the ideas they have about the topic and write them down in branches that radiate out from the centre circle. These can be keywords, phrases, or images.

Use different colours and shapes for different ideas, to make the map more visually appealing and engaging.

As your child adds more ideas to the map, they can start to see connections and relationships between different concepts.

You can also use mind mapping to help your child break down larger topics into smaller, more manageable subtopics, making it easier to study and remember.

Overall, mind mapping is a fun and creative study technique that can help kids organize their thoughts, make connections between different concepts and remember information more effectively.

There are many more study techniques out there, and it’s important for students to find the ones that work best for their individual learning style and needs.

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