Monday, May 12, 2008

Powerful Learning Trick - the continuing saga

Three months ago I came across Lisa's blog, Home School Evangelist where she shares a tip on how to have a Powerful Learning Trick. The core of the trick is for the learner to consciously think about what they have learned and then record it. A two sentence summary can lock in a half hour lesson.

This seems like is a great technique. I pondered for awhile on how to get my daughters to incorporate it in their daily learning. I decided to start off by bribing them. We went to Office Max and each girl picked out a bound notebook. During our morning planning session I asked them to add writing in their learning journal as one of the things they would do that day.

In the evening, after dinner I reminded the girls about their learning journal. If they had remembered on their own they would get six points. If they hadn't, but would then go write down some of what they learned that day, they would get three points. I want them to develop the habit of recording the key points of a lesson, on their own. I want them to take ownership. Each point was worth a little candy, for example one chocolate kiss or two Skittles.

My thirteen and eleven year old girls have done pretty well. Over two thirds of the time they would remember to write something in their learning journal. My seven year old really struggled. She has a harder time. She is still learning how to spell words, and how to be responsible.

Today the youngest was so proud, she remembered and wrote down several sentences on her own!!! I am very pleased.

My plan is over the long run to reduce the frequency of the treats. Maybe I'll start doing it three times a day, then two times a day, and then once a week. I'll randomly pick a day, and if they happened to record something that day, then they'll get the six months.

Try out something like a learning journal for a couple weeks and let me know if it works.

Technorati tags: homeschooling, homeschool, home school, home education, parenting, children


ChristineMM said...

Hi Henry,

I just wanted to share that one reason I write book reviews is that thinking about the book as a summary plus my opinions when I'm done reading it, then writing that down, helps me cement the info in my memory.

Sometimes when I don't do a book review on a book I later forget details enough to not be able to write the review later in time.

I like that you are doing this with your children.

Auditory learners would benefit from doing an oral narration such as telling you at the dinner table what they learned. Visual learners would react better to the writing down of the info.

Anonymous said...

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Henry Cate said...

Christine, your approach is based on exactly the same idea! By forcing ourselves to think a little more about what we learn, at a higher level, we lock in the knowledge to a deeper level.