One is justified by the surprising form of the test? Or maybe “overlearning” as the main culprit of weakening motivation and low results? This may be the result of incorrect selection of learning strategies and lack of knowledge about how to learn effectively. It is worth knowing what to suggest to a child who is less willing to look at books.

School is focused on learning and acquiring skills. Often, however, students do not know what instruments to use while studying. They use very ineffective methods that can lead to reduced motivation or learned helplessness. In less extreme cases, they simply extend learning time and take away the chance of pursuing a hobby or meeting peers. Fortunately, a parent who knows the basics of the learning process can be a great consultant on effective learning.

An individual approach maximizes profits

This time it is not about the individual approach to the child, but about … the material to be absorbed. It is worth teaching the child the habit of assessing the content they intend to learn. Are they difficult? Extensive? Can science be exhausting? Depending on the specific material, the optimal method should be chosen. The fact that a lot of time should be reserved for long and difficult material should not come as a surprise. However, a longer working time does not mean longer breaks, on the contrary – the more difficult the content to master, the shorter breaks should be made.

How to remember better?

The fact that a child has problems remembering can mean using an ineffective strategy. Repetition itself can prove itself at the beginning of a career in elementary school, then the complexity of the material requires more sophisticated techniques. When looking for a good strategy, it is worth knowing what improves the process of remembering. First of all, it is independence – doing the task yourself significantly increases the memory achievements compared to the situation of watching the task performed by someone else. Instead of presenting how to solve a math problem, support the child in an independent performance – you can praise him for involvement, ask questions to help organize work or indicate the sources in which he can find help.

Good answers – to recognize and produce

For many students, information about the form of checking knowledge is very important – especially the elders know that you can learn differently to the test with open questions, and differently to the one with answers to choose from. What is the difference? Even if the child only reads his notes, during a closed test, he will probably recognize among the unmasking answers the ones he saw in the texts he read. On the other hand, it may have difficulties in extracting unfixed content from memory and failing on tasks requiring reproduction – that is, giving a creative answer in an open question. Reproduction is a multistage, effort-intensive process that takes place on the basis of traces other than recognition. It is worth realizing to a young adept of science that reading (i.e. relying on image marks) is not equivalent to learning (creating verbal traces).

Jagodzińska, M. (2013). Psychologia pamięci: badania, teorie, zastosowania. Gliwice: Wydawnictwo Helion.