This post created in collaboration with Michele Wright.

Tips for Teaching

Taking tests is an important part of any educational experience.  Tests are often provided as a means for measuring your child’s ability to grasp concepts they’ve learned.  In order to successfully pass tests, students must learn study habits that will help them to comprehend and retain information. Since studying is not a natural skill, it’s necessary for parents to emphasize its importance as well as guide their children through the process. By teaching your child basic study habits, they will become better test takers.

Establish Study Habits

It may be easy for your child to comprehend an assignment the same day they learned it in school; however, by the end of the week will they be prepared for a quiz? Retaining information requires an ability to study, extract key points, and memorize the information for later use. Parents can help their children establish good studying habits by:

·  Consulting with the teacher (for homeschoolers, this will be easy! ; )

·  Getting your child organized

·  Determining which study methods work best

·  Practicing on a regular basis

Consult with Your Child’s Teacher (Or Yourself, If You Homeschool)

Your child’s teacher is your biggest ally when it comes your child’s education.  The first thing you want to do is talk to him or her and find out what areas of concern they may have, what type of learner your child is, and what tips or advice (tailored to your child’s needs) the teacher might have for you to practice at home. This ensures that you and the teacher are on the same page so that your child does not become confused.

If you are your child’s teacher, you most likely know what type of learner your child is by now.  Your next step will be to take the time to write down what your child needs to work on and how you can achieve those goals, then get your child involved by discussing it with them and setting goals together.

Get Your Child Organized

Being organized is a crucial part of the studying process. If your child is mismanaging their homework and documents provided by the teacher, it makes it very hard to study. Try purchasing colored folders and labels so that your child can place all of their assignments in the designated folders and clearly label them. This way their paperwork doesn’t get misplaced or overlooked.

Various Methods of Studying

Now of course there is more than one way to study. Based on your child’s age and their learning style, you can determine which method will work best for them:

Visual Learning – Some children are visual learners, they grasp concepts better when they can “see” what needs to be done. For example, a child learning their multiplication facts might remember the concept better through the use of counters or flash cards. For older children this might mean helping them learn to highlight main ideas and concepts and creating notes on index cards.

Learn through Play – Younger children might have a better time understanding if they can learn through play. Come up with ways to make learning fun. Maybe sing a song that would help them remember the alphabet, or play with building blocks while you talk about shapes. Learning through play is not just for early childhood education. Older children can also learn through play. For example, if your child is learning fractions in school, you could give them a cooking lesson that involves measurements.

Auditory Learning – These children benefit from reciting facts aloud, listening to someone read to them, and learning by singing the facts they need to memorize.

Practice Makes Perfect

The more you study with your child, the better they become at developing solid studying habits and passing tests. Another way of practicing is testing your child at home. Just as high school students benefit from taking SAT online prep courses, grade school children can benefit from taking practice tests at home. For example, if your child has a spelling test on Friday, creating a practice test for them on Thursday night would help them immensely. It allows you both to find last minute areas of concern and also builds your child’s confidence in taking the test.

Helping your child get the best from their education means providing consistent support with their studies. While teachers educate your child on various concepts, it’s up to you as a parent to reinforce those lessons in ways that help your child to fully comprehend and retain necessary information. Try the above-mentioned tips!  You should begin to see significant change in your child’s test-taking abilities.


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