From the teachers at South Carolina Calvert Academy.
South Carolina Calvert Academy is a K-8, tuition-free public virtual charter school available to families statewide in South Carolina. To learn more about our program and view our schedule of upcoming events, click here.
Testing season is upon us and the teachers at South Carolina Calvert Academy are sharing some of their favorite study tips, most of which can be adapted children of any age.
1. Find the best location and time
Some families have a designated class/study area. Other families study around the kitchen table while Mom or Dad is making dinner. There is no one right or perfect place, just a location that works best for your family. The same holds true for the time of day. As long as your children are not overly tired or overly stimulated, they are ready to learn. Once you determine the best place and time to study, try to make it part of your routine. Children thrive with consistency and when they know it is study time, they are less likely to distract you from the task. “But Mom, I want a snack.” “But Dad, it’s really nice outside, can’t I play ball first?” Once study time becomes part of the schedule, it is less likely to be delayed or forgotten.
If your child will be asked to recall information in order to answer discussion or comprehension questions, allow him to read the questions prior to beginning the lesson. Provide him with sticky notes or flags, so that as he reads, he can mark the page he found the information. When working online, many learning management systems and PDF documents, have note-making or comment tools which can be used in a similar fashion. Have your child write a comment about which question or topic is being addressed, for instance “#4” or “Revolutionary War” so that he or she can sort through multiple notes quickly. The same technique is useful for vocabulary words. Have the list at hand, and your child can flag the words in the text while reading.
When children reform questions or information in their own words, it is easier for them to grasp the concepts studied. Younger children can dictate their interpretations to you. By printing them in large letters, you are modeling handwriting skills as well. Children will enjoy seeing their thoughts put into writing. It makes them feel important to have their words written. They can even draw pictures to accompany what you write.
4. Big and bold, italic and underlined
Alert your child to headings and captions. Important information is often found there. Show your student how to use subject headings and captions within the text to locate information. Also review the different parts of a textbook. Point out that the Table of Contents shows broader topics. The Index locates specific references. The Glossary will help define vocabulary terms and usually points readers to the page where the word was introduced and used context.
5. Make it a game
Who says learning can’t be fun? Older children can help make flash cards and game parts. Create vocabulary flash cards, math fact flash cards, spelling words, and/or write questions about information you are studying to play games. You can use these same cards to create a game modeled after the television show Jeopardy. Use envelopes, cut in half, and glued to a poster board for your own Jeopardy game board. “I’ll have Verbs for two Teddy Grahams Mom.” Older children can help create game parts and are retaining new information in the process.
Make studying an active pursuit by creating a scavenger hunt. Students receive clues to the location of a special treat or prize by correctly answering questions about the subject they are studying. This is particularly fun when other children, family members, and friends join the game. The game can even be played inside on bad weather days to keep kids moving and occupied.
6. Every house has its techy
If your student is technologically savvy, invite her to create a PowerPoint presentation on the material she is assigned to learn. She will learn the information in the process of creating the presentation and further review the concept by presenting the information to an audience.
Like these ideas?
Follow South Carolina Calvert Academy on Pinterest and check out their tips from the SCCAL Teachers board for more fun ways to help your child learn.
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