Sometimes there are some things you need to remember – you know the boring facts that you simply aren’t interested in but are essential for your study. So how can you remember them? Here are some methods you can consider using.
Mnemonics or Acronyms - One method is to use prepared ‘memory jogs’ and these can be in the form of mnemonic devices and acronyms. Get your child if possible to make up their own, for example when I was studying German we used to recite FUDGEBOW, each letter standing for the 8 main prepositions. A common acronym used in biology is MRS GREN for the 7 characteristics of life (Movement, Respiration, Sensitivity, Growth, Reproduction, Excretion, Nutrition).
You do not need to be restricted by length – they can become entire sentences too. If you create a sentence then relate it to an image. By creating an image that your child can relate to and remember will increase recall and help make studying at least a little more fun. Maybe you can make this into a bit of a game to come up with the best mnemonic or acronym.
Rhymes or Songs – Another method is to use rhythm, repetition, melody or rhyme. For example did you learn the letters of the alphabet to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”? This method can be particularly good for those who can learn poems or songs easily.
Chunking - Another method is “chunking”. A common rule is that a person can remember 7 (plus or minus 2) "items" in short-term memory. When learning a telephone number you will find it easier if you break it into chunks, eg 76689322 is easier to remember if you break it up say as 76 68 93 22. Create less items in larger formats.
Repetition – Quite simply repeating something over and over again is a great aid to memorising. Break a list down into your chunks as above and then repeat. Perhaps run this like the gam “We’re going on a bear hunt ..” in this you add an item each time and repeat the previous items. Start with say 5 items in your list, when you can repeat these without prompting add another one to the list and so on.
Good luck with those exams!
Do you have any good mnemonics, acronyms, rhymes or ideas you can share with others now panicking about the exams?
So it's back to school for the last term of the year and yes it's dreaded end of year exam time! If you haven't been diligent up to now then it’s time to knuckle down and get that study done or you simply won’t pass those exams, but you are procrastinating. Where do you start? How do you get all that information into your head and keep it there? Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Good studiers know what they need to know – Set aside the time to work out exactly what it is you need to study and what is likely to come up in your exams. It doesn’t matter where you are in the school year (but the earlier the better of course) but get to know the curriculum. Study past papers, focus on major topics and listen to your teachers. They know! Make a study map for each subject.
2. Good studiers are organised - Once you know what you need to know get started. Work on a study plan. Put aside appropriate amounts of time to study and make sure you have all the materials you require before you start. Have an organised desk space and set yourself a structure.
3. Good studiers have a plan - They create both long term and short term plans. Know how long you need to study, sort your timing. Know what your plan is for the next 3 months and over the next week. Know when assignments are due. Write things down. Keep a good diary. Once you have a plan you will find this clears your head space for the actual study. Start to formulate a plan for the future. You don’t need to set your career goals but have some ideas perhaps on what you’d like to look at studying at university, or if you want to go directly on a career path have an idea of how you would like to go about it.
4. Good studiers do the same thing over and over again - Once you’ve got your system that works for you stick to it. Doesn’t matter what it is. When you have a formula that works every time (and works well) you’d be stupid to do any differently. Studying is no different. Students who do consistently well at school have a study formula that has been tied and tested to produce results.
5. Good studiers understand what they are studying - If you read something or sit in a class and come out wondering what you have just “learned”, stop, take stock and get an understanding. You’ll be amazed once you understand something how suddenly it all becomes clear and, of course, then so much easier to retain and use!
Do you have some good study tips to share with fellow exam worriers?
Everyone is aware there are benefits both healthwise and mentally in learning a musical instrument. It has been said the piano is a gateway to all music, so what are some of the benefits in learning to play the piano?
Reduces stress – Something that plagues not just adults nowadays! Playing the piano allows you to get away from daily stress where you can focus on the music. Some of the most beautiful musical pieces have been written for the piano and it is believed piano lessons can help decrease depression, and subsequently induce positive mind states.
Calm the mind – Hand in hand with the previous benefit, reducing stress calms the mind, this subsequently improves mental health. Research has shown people who create and play music experience less depression, anxiety and loneliness and also experience improved self-esteem.
Piano playing promotes better performance at school - Research has also shown students who studied piano for 3 years or longer scored higher in general and spatial cognitive tests and children who studied the piano for a few years could remember twenty percent more vocabulary words than other students. Piano lessons have also been shown to improve a child’s ability to listen, focus, and learn and can help children finish projects quicker and more efficiently.
Develops hand/eye coordination – With having to both read the music and play at the same time this trains your eyes and hands to work effectively together. Also in playing each hand performs different movements and needs to learn to work independently but together thus stimulating multiple parts of the brain.
Aids in language development – As mentioned above learning the piano can increase the vocabulary range of a child which in turn aids language development and also in learning foreign languages. Also the brain activity acquired when young through music will continue to benefit into adulthood.
It is easy to play - When a student starts to learn an instrument like the guitar or trumpet, there’s a huge learning curve in the early stages which are not present when learning the piano. When learning a wind or brass instrument the use of facial muscles and shaping of the lips can take time to master, or learning how to build calluses on fingers for playing guitar takes time. Piano is also intuitive to learn.
Inspires creativity - Playing the piano requires you to be creative and thus use both sides of your brain. By having to use both hand and eye helps in the development of creative thinking. This will also aid in being able to think outside the box and have clearer problem solving skills.
Playing the Piano Brings Joy - The piano can be hauntingly beautiful. Whether you are playing it yourself or just listening piano music can bring great joy.
They come around four times a year and next thing you know holidays are here again! We keep you up to date on great holiday activities, school holiday programmes, different ways to keep the whole family entertained, also term time topics, and educational advice and support!