I’m a big proponent of using technology to help with anything. I don’t mind having my kids use a tablet or computer to help with their studies unless it becomes a big distraction for them.
With YouTube easily accessible from any browser it really is difficult to monitor your child’s usage on the internet. Yes you can trust your child to do the right thing but can you as an adult be good about not getting distracted online? With chat and email notifications popping up, as well as checking all your social media accounts?
Unfortunately my oldest daughter wasn’t doing well in two of her classes. I thought she must have been doing fine since I always saw her on the computer studying her words. She uses Quizlet to help her study her Spanish words. It’s basically an online flash card system.
OLD SCHOOL STUDYING TECHNIQUES:
I later found out that that she wasn’t reading her book. What used to work for her last year wasn’t working for her this year. Anyway I’ve had her change the way she studies for her Spanish tests by using techniques that worked for me decades ago. If it worked for me back then, I’m sure it’ll work for her as well.
- Index cards
My daughter now writes out all her words on an index card and studies her new spanish vocabulary from them. What’s the difference from using Quizlet than index cards? I believe writing out the words by hand helps my daughter to process the vocabulary even more.
Before she would log into her Quizlet account and load the vocabulary words that are already inputted by the teacher. She then uses Quizlet on the computer or tablet to study. To me, that’s passive learning. If you can get your child to use all their senses when learning, I think it will help them retain what they are studying.
My daughter used to also type her vocabulary words into Quizlet but that also didn’t seem to help since she types so fast that the information goes right out her fingertips and never gets retained in her memory.
I know that every person is different, but I’ve finally learned that my daughter needs to use a lot of her senses to learn. I also learned that giving her access to a computer is too distracting for her. She needs to learn to have self-control. For now, she only uses a computer to type up a report. When she can show to my husband and I that she is more responsible on a computer and can focus on her tasks, she will have more access to a computer.
My daughter also uses:
- Colored page flags
To call out important things in her planner and separate chapters in her book so it’s easy to locate the chapter she is working on.
KNOW YOUR CHILD
This technique won’t work for everyone. I found out recently that my husband was very distracted as a child and am now seeing that in both my children. So what worked for me growing up won’t work on my kids. I’ve had to ask my husband what worked for him, and he basically told me to keep their study space clear of distractions.
Both my kids now work on a table with nothing on it except for supplies (index cards, highlighters, pens, pencils, papers, etc). They only use a tablet or computer if it is necessary for their homework. They also now study in my office so I can see if they get distracted and immediately correct them.
My daughter has been able to raise her grades in her weak subjects but that is with a combination of:
- Better planning with her organizer
- Reading ahead of what will be covered in class
- Using index cards, highlighters, etc to help study
- Less time on the computer (which means less distractions with YouTube, chatting, etc)
She still has to do better in math but I’ve seen a big improvement so far.
In the end, I’m hoping my children will learn good study skills that they can take with them throughout their life.