Earlier today I wrote a post (on my other blog) about the daily struggle in my household over homework. One of my sons is in 4th grade and the expectations for his age are fairly high. Most afternoons he has to read for 20 minutes, practice his spelling words and math facts, and complete worksheets or textbook assignments.
After a long day of holding it together at school, homework is almost like pouring salt in an already raw wound. For both of us. It’s clear to me that a lot of parents struggle with this aspect of their day. I don’t stand over my son while he works, nor do I do his homework for him. But I am responsible for signing the agenda every day telling the teacher I saw the assignments and checked that they were completed.
Disorganized by nature, my son has a hard time staying on task. And he’s easily distracted (was that a deer in the backyard?). Trying to keep some sense of peace in the house I decided to seek some outside help. Once a week he goes to tutoring, where the focus is not on academics, but rather on study skills and test-taking strategies, two areas I wish I knew more about as a young student.
For example, have you ever heard of the SQ3R method? Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review.
This method is supposed to be helpful for reading comprehension. First, survey: look at all the captions and pictures, scan the titles and first sentences of each paragraph. Then read the entire last paragraph of any assignment.
Next, if there are questions at the end of a chapter or passage, read those before you start reading the full assignment. Finally, read the assignment keeping the questions in mind. Recite aloud the answers to the questions when you find them in the text. Use this method to review a chapter before a test.
I’m told it can increase your memory by as much as 80%.
Skeptical, I did a little more research on the subject. That’s when I found what could possibly be the most amazing website filled with study guides and strategies. Maintained as a public service by Joseph Landsberger, you will find a wide range of tools and tips on test prep, memorizing, group projects, writing essays and much more.
Best of all, it’s FREE!