THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WAY TO DO HOMEWORK – PART 3
This blog is the third part of my four-part series about how to apply the way people learn to helping your child study. The four ways are Visual (Part 1), Auditory (Part 2), Reader/Writer (this blog) and Kinesthetic (Part 4 to come).
Aside from taking the quiz, you can pretty easily determine if your child learns best by reading and writing the text and notes.
Does your child:
- enjoy reading
- prefer to read by themselves or read to others
- take lots of notes in class
- work best in quiet areas
- prefer to study by themselves to avoid distraction
If the answer to these questions is yes, then you have a Reader/Writer learner! This is the traditional student who excels at reading textbooks and studying. You will need to be the least creative with this type of learner as compared to the others (but I do have a creative suggestion at the end.)
Reading/writing is the traditional method of study. Probably the least disruptive to the household routine, also.
As long as you can provide a quiet place for the reader/writer, you have most of the support process handled, but there are other suggestions you may want to consider.
This type of learner will retain the information best if they re-write the material on flash cards or notes. Have them write the material in their own words, not just copy them from the text.
By going through this process, they will retain the material better and longer.
Don’t buy pre-made flash cards. The trick here is that the student actually write the material themselves. By writing it, they are memorizing at the same time.
Encourage your child to take good notes at school. Then, as part of their study process, have them re-write the notes at home. This will reinforce their understanding of the subject material as they re-write the notes in a new way.
It is critical that they re-write the notes in their own words rather than the teachers words. This is how the reader/writer learns best!
Even if your child feels they have already written down the notes during class, have them re-write the notes at home and watch their grades improve. Their comprehension and retention will improve dramatically.
Make sure this student gets all the handouts the teacher offers and not to lose them. They learn well from handouts.
USE BULLET POINTS
Reader/Writer Learners learn well when they condense information into small, easily understood bits. Bullet point lists are the easiest way to put down a lot of information in one easy-to-read format.
The good news is pretty much every subject lends itself to bullet points.
TURN DIAGRAMS AND CHARTS INTO BULLET POINTS.
Completely opposite from Visual Learners, some Reader/Writer Learners don’t learn very well using diagrams and charts. They either don’t know how to interpret them, they wouldn’t know how to re-create them, or they simply don’t process information in that way.
A Read & Write Learner should write as many subheadings and notes to every diagram or chart that they need to understand.
This helps Reader/Writer Learners in several ways. First, it puts the information into words (which they, themselves have written down). Secondly, they will be more likely to remember their own definitions and explanations of what the diagram contained then what the textbook had written. And finally, during an exam they will be able to explain a chart or recall the important parts of a diagram that they would otherwise struggle to remember.
If this type of learner is struggling with a particular subject, sometimes it may be due to a fear they have of the subject. They may be afraid that they will never learn it or that they will fail…or both.
A trick you may try is to distract them from the actual material. This trick could be applied to all types of learners, actually.
The trick is to combine studying with a fun activity or funny way of writing down the material.
For example, let’s say your child is challenged by math the most. Instead of writing out problems as usual, have them write the problem as big as they can on a white board. Then write it as tiny as they can. Or have them use pick-up sticks to work out a simple math problem.
Whatever might distract them from their fear – make it fun and creative. They may end up learning the material and get over their fear just by making it fun. Use colored paper, special scissors – anything that’s fun and they may enjoy.
i know we traditionally think of studying and homework as a serious time, but what’s the harm in making it fun if they are actually learning?
I wish my Mom and Dad had thought of that!