We all want our kids to employ the best studying habits that they can. Good study habits lead to good grades and success in school, after all, right? There are, however, some studying myths that your kids might be incorporating into their regimen. By embracing these myths, your child may be diminishing their ultimate success in school. Take a look at these five myths about good studying habits for children and then engage or observe your child to see if they are putting them into practice.
Surprising Myths About Studying
Myth #1: Studying in the same place is always better.
Did you know that continually studying in one place all the time can be counterproductive? Sometimes the brain needs a change of environment to help with motivation and to establish the right mood for studying. A number of studies have also found that varying the location for studying helps with memory retention. According to one of the study authors, “What we think is happening here is that, when the outside context is varied, the information is enriched, and this slows down forgetting.”
Myth #2: Reading course material more than once is a waste of time.
This simply isn’t true. Reading over the material and going through it more than once is an effective way to help further remember the important points that may be on a test. Oftentimes, repetition is the key to successful retention and comprehension of information.
Myth #3: No need to take notes when the work is summarized in the textbook.
Note taking is a great habit to incorporate into any studying regimen. The process of recording the key takeaways from complex coursework helps with comprehension and understanding. Putting the main points into one’s own words provides a framework to help aid in the retention of the information beyond just memorization.
Tackling Myth #3 is really only part of the solution regarding note taking. A study from Princeton University* revealed that “longhand note takers engage in more processing than laptop note takers, thus selecting more important information to include in their notes, ultimately them to study the content more efficiently”.
Myth #5: Silent studying is the best way to recall information.
Well, not exactly. Reading out loud can help jump start and improve memory, but only when used sparingly. A study by the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada**, had people read half a list of words silently and the other half out loud. They recalled the spoken words 12% – 20% better than those read silently. It seems that reading out loud gives the brain a boost but only when it’s a distinctive event, not if done all the time. This technique is good for important pieces of information such as formulas, key terms, and main ideas.
What to do Next
So, be wary of these studying myths. Help your son or daughter try some different studying methods and “dial-in” the perfect studying process for them. Our awesome staff can help establish good study habits for children. Contact us today for a free consultation about your child’s unique needs.
*Mueller, Pam A. (2014, January 16). The Pen is Mightier than the Keyboard. Retrieved from http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/04/22/0956797614524581.abstract **MacLeod, Colin M. (2010). The Production Effect: Delineation of a Phenomenon. Retrieved from http://affinity.uwaterloo.ca/~cmacleod/Research/Articles/jep10.pdf