Flashcards are one of the best ways to study for a test. They’re easy, convenient and definitely effective. However, even with flashcards, trying to remember all that information you need to know for your A+ can still be an enormous hassle. If you find yourself struggling with flashcards, perhaps all you need is simply a better method of studying. Here are some ways to get the most out of your study time with flashcards.
Write Them Yourself
The first tip for studying more effectively with flashcards is to make the flashcards yourself. Writing is closely linked to memory, and by writing them down you’re actually doing your first study session. Try to make them as simple as possible by sticking to the essential facts instead of less relevant details.
Focus on One Subject at a Time
If you have flashcards for both a science test and a history test, it may be tempting to mix them together and study both subjects at the same time. However, our brains are not wired to move back and forth between subjects on such short notice. If you try to study for two tests at once, you may end up struggling with both of them.
Get Ahead of Schedule
The best way to memorize information is to read it again and again over the course of weeks. Repetition is your best friend. Try to begin studying with flashcards at least one week before your upcoming test. Do this and you’ll be able to ace your test in a heartbeat.
Study in Short Bursts
Studying for hours on end can quickly clog up your mind, making it difficult to concentrate. One way to avoid this is by studying in short bursts throughout the day. It’s also a good idea to keep your flashcards with you wherever you go, so you can read them whenever you have a couple minutes to spare.
Read Them With Friends
Everything is more fun with friends, and studying is no exception. If you can get a study group together with some classmates, you can all take turns quizzing each other. Saying the information out loud helps you retain it better, and being around other people who are studying for the same test can give you some confidence as you realize you’re not alone in this struggle. You can even make a game out of it and suggest that whoever has the most right answers gets their lunch covered, or something of that sort.
Finally, keep in mind that studying doesn’t have to be torturous. Try to find fun ways to incorporate flashcards into your daily life. For example, if you’re on the train, maybe read ten flashcards per stop. Even better, you could play frisbee with a friend and everytime you or they miss, read ten flashcards. It may not be as exciting as a day in an amusement park, but anything you can think of to make studying a little more interesting is definitely for the best.
It’s okay if studying isn’t the first thing you want to do when you wake up in the morning. Studying takes effort and deliberation. However, by adding a few tips and tricks into your studying routine, you’ll soon begin to find it easier, more rewarding and maybe even a little amusing.
When your child is old enough to go to elementary school, it can be tough to decide on the right education path. These days, homeschooling is becoming more and more popular for a variety of reasons. However, having access to so many options can be overwhelming to many parents.
So, to help you understand the potential benefits and downsides, we want to go over the different homeschooling options for elementary school students. This decision will affect your child for years to come, so you must take the time to decide.
Technically speaking, there are seven different options for homeschooling, but we’re going to break them down into three sections: conventional, online, and individual learning. Here is what you can expect from each.
Conventional Homeschooling: Classical Method, Charlotte Mason, School-at-Home
With this method, you develop a structured curriculum for your child to follow. Typically, subjects are similar to what you might find in a classroom, but you can tailor the material to fit your child’s needs.
The Classical method focuses heavily on ancient works and texts and looks at how ideas and learning have evolved over time. There is a strong historical element to the curriculum.
Charlotte Mason schooling is based on segmenting the day into blocks of learning and interaction with nature. This method is also heavily Christian-based, so most of the material has a biblical lean to it.
Finally, school-at-home is designed to mimic the classroom as much as possible. Rather than learning from a teacher at school, your child follows the material with you.
Online Homeschooling: Unit Studies, School-at-Home
As the name suggests, your child does most of his or her learning online. You can find a wide array of courses and curriculum based on different subjects, such as math, science, and reading.
To ensure that your little one doesn’t spend all day in front of a screen, most of these courses have downloadable material you can use to teach as well. Also, they will suggest tactile learning like field trips, playtime, and other real-world elements. Make the Grade is a perfect example of merging online curricula with homeschooling techniques.
Unit studies are when different topics are grouped into a related unit. For example, when studying ancient history, you may talk about the geography of the Roman Empire, the science behind aqueducts, and present reading material from the time. This method is much easier to do online since you have instant access to information.
Individual Learning: Montessori, Unschooling, Eclectic Education
Finally, rather than developing a curriculum for your child to follow, you can let your little one dictate how he or she learns. Individual homeschooling can focus on topics that interest your child, and it has a more freeform feel to it.
Montessori schooling focuses on tactile learning, such as playing and interacting with objects, rather than reading books.
Unschooling is popular because it lets the child learn at his or her own pace and focused on activities and learn-as-you methodologies.
Eclectic Education is the loosest option available, as it has no rigid schedule or curriculum. You basically make it up as you go based on the needs and passions of your child. For example, if he or she is interested in biology, your lessons will mostly be related to that.
Bottom Line: Homeschooling is Adaptable
Overall, you want to focus on the why behind homeschooling before looking at the how. Will your child go to school at some point? A structured lesson plan will help prepare him or her for that. Do you want to avoid the assembly-line nature of modern education? Then Unschooling or Montessori may be a better option.
If you want to be a good learner, then you need to be good at retaining information. No matter how excellent you are at memorization, the only way to retain details is by taking notes. Unfortunately, there is no universal way of doing this, which means that it can be a struggle for many students.
So, with that in mind, we want to share some quick tips for note-taking. Whether you’re going to high school, college, or graduate school, it’s never too late to improve your methods. Got your materials handy? Let’s dive in.
Step One: Mindset is Everything
First and foremost, if you hate taking notes, then no strategy will work for you. Instead, you’ll have to change your attitude so that these tactics will take hold. It’s all too easy to be negative and pessimistic. Unfortunately, that mindset will lead to failure.
Step Two: Do Some Research
If you’re taking a class about ancient history, then you know that some of the topics will be empires like Egypt and Rome. If you’re taking economics, then you should know a little bit about the concept of supply and demand.
Overall, you don’t want to walk into a class unprepared. Look over the syllabus, do any required reading, or do a cursory online search. Studies show that students who read the material before class retained the information better than those who didn’t.
Step Three: Find the Path That Works For You
Not all note-taking strategies will work for everyone. We highly recommend experimenting with these options until you find one that sticks. Also, keep in mind that one method may work better for some classes, but not others. Once you find a strategy you like, don’t assume that you have to stick with it forever.
Here are the most common note-taking methods.
In this case, you create a structured outline of the course material. There are headings, subheadings, and then detailed information below them. This article can serve as an example of an outlined page. Outlining is best for classes with linear details and structure.
This strategy is similar to outlining, but there are also sections for “cues” and a summary at the bottom. Cues are reminders to yourself of what information to remember. It can be a snippet of a larger section. The summary is an overview of the topic, covering all of the primary details.
When a topic is broad or abstract, outlining won’t work as well. Instead, you might want to try mapping. In this case, you start with the primary topic in the center and then draw lines to subtopics. Subtopics can be related to each other, or they can split off into separate branches. Typically, mapping enables you to see the bigger picture while also spotting more intricate details.
Finally, if you have to take notes that will be memorized, it helps to create a chart. The chart will have rows and columns like a spreadsheet. Each row will be a new topic, and the columns should be organized to present details linearly. Feel free to add and subtract sections as you see fit.
Once you master note-taking, learning will be much easier and more accessible. Again, be sure to experiment to find the process that works best for you, and see how well it helps your education.