“There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent”, says Gandhi. Yet, what do the experiences of mums and dads working and homeschooling at the same time during lockdown tell us?
Do parents or carers completely agree with Gandhi? What about you?
The percentage of families who are now homeschooling has increased unprecedentedly over the last year because of Covid-19. Some parents are lucky, as they have the opportunity to pay premium to enroll their children in various learning programs or to hire a private tutor. Some of them are also lucky because they have good educational background to guide their children.
But what about the others that have neither of these opportunities?
I have recently come across with an attention-grabbing video of a frustrated homeschooling mother from Israel. “I have four kids. Imagine how many WhatsApp (messages), how many subjects per child. I only have two computers in the house, all morning they are fighting over the computers…How am I supposed to know all those things? Now our children will know how dumb we are. It is not right”, says she. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7_wvQHMGOI ) And I think, she is right.
Yet, the case is not that hopeless for parents like her. By teaching their children “learning how to learn”, parents or careers can lift some of the weights of homeschooling from their shoulders. Here are top 7 learning tips that will help your children be better learners.
1. The Pomodoro Technique
It is a time management system developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. With this technique, people learn to work with the time they have. Using this method, you work or study for 25 minutes, and then take a five-minute break. This period is called a pomodoro. You can have up to four “pomodoro” study sessions (100 minutes of study time with 15 minutes of short breaks), and have a longer break later on. This technique will be helpful in keeping your child’s mind fresh and focused.
2. The Spaced Repetition Technique
Human brain learns more effectively when we space out our learning over time than massing of repetitions at a single time. Repetition strengthens memories of things it comes across frequently and repeatedly. For instance, if your children have a test coming up in a week, they should do their first repetition today, and then do the next repetition the day after tomorrow. They should also do a final repetition the day before the test. This technique will maximize your children’s learning capacity.
3. The Recall Technique
Recall is the mental process of remembering information from the past. In other words, it is an effective way of transferring information from short-term to long-term memory. This technique is more useful than reading the text many times. After reading the material, simply look away and see what you can recall from the material you have read. You will be amazed with the results.
4. The Memory Palace Technique
The memory palace is one of the oldest memorization methods that has been found effective throughout centuries. This technique is about changing the memories into images located in a familiar mental place. The idea is that you can mentally walk through your palace looking at your memories to recall them. For example, call into your mind a familiar place like your own house and use it as a visual notebook.
5. The Interleaving Technique
Interleaving is a learning technique in which you mix different topics or subjects together to facilitate learning. It helps people keep existing information and acquire new skills in a variety of subjects, such as math, literature, and science. By practicing jumping back and forth between subjects that require different strategies, you will start to see the links, similarities and differences between ideas more easily.
6. The Concept Mapping Technique
Concept mapping is another useful technique, which supports the learning process. It literally saves you from reading hundreds of pages of information by providing with you manageable chunks. These chunks help you understand new concepts through transfer effectively and relatively more quickly.
7. The Deliberate Practice Technique
When most student practice, they focus on the subjects or questions that they already know how to do or solve. Deliberate practice is a bit different from this. It entails significant, specific, and continuous efforts to do something you cannot do well. To be able to become the expert you want to become, you need to focus on the more difficult material, as well.
It is a good idea to teach these techniques to your child if you want them to learn effectively. However, learning is not just about techniques, either. Being in a creative environment, asking questions without fear, learning by looking at other people’s experiences, and learning by doing are the other useful tips about learning.
Remember that people do not have to be smart to be successful. As long as they are patient and persistent in whatever they are doing, they will achieve the biggest success!