There are a lot of ways that children learn—from hearing lectures to demonstrating to practicing the concepts they learn. Each brings with it different retention as shown in Edgar Dale’s Learning Pyramid above.
Thinking about this: parents often ask what skills they can build upon with their children to improve retention and make studying “stick” with them. Here are 5 ways to keep studying intact:
1. Keep Old Tests
When your child comes home with a graded test, don’t throw it away. Instead, use it as a source of review and an easy way to go over information for later exams.
2. Use Mnemonic Devices
These are a great way to improve memory—perfect for children AND adults! Use the ones that exist (PEMDAS for example) or make up new ones with your child when you can.
3. Color Code
Multi-sensory learning is another smart way to build retention. Use different color highlighters to indicate various types of information. Use one color for facts and another color for concepts, etc. Pro Tip: Use a flash card to write up a color code chart so you never forget which color means what.
4. Use A Note Taking System
The basic act of taking notes—even for kids who think they have a perfect memory—creates neural pathways and makes it more likely that they will actually remember later. The act of writing something down increases retention by 50 percent!
5. Mix Up Study Time
Introduce variety in the study process instead of working on long blocks that focus on one subject. This aids in long-term retention and can make time spent on homework more bearable for kids.