The Times West Virginian

March 11, 2013

Help children study, prepare more for tests


Times West Virginian

— Here’s something many parents might not realize: Teachers often don’t coach kids on how to study for tests.

“I may show my students how to make flash cards or use visual tricks to remember facts, but I have to focus my time on teaching the actual subject matter,” says 2008 National Teacher of the Year Michael Geisen, a science teacher in Prineville, Ore.

But parents shouldn’t worry: They don’t have to become their child’s constant study buddy. But they can keep their own cheat sheet of study techniques to share with their children.

Try out a few of these tips before the next exam:

• Talk it out.

Have the child review the major math concepts he’s studying and either say them aloud or write on index cards the general gist of each topic.

• Picture this.

On the front of an index card, have your child draw a simple picture of each spelling word next to the first letter of the word as a clue. She should write the correct spelling on the back of the card. Then have your child check the picture, then spell the word aloud or write it on paper. If she spells the word wrong, have her write it twice on scratch paper or a dry-erase board and spell it aloud twice.

• Read and circle.

Improve comprehension by previewing questions before reading a story. Have the child circle important words in the questions, like “Make a list” or “Who is the main character?” Then, when he reads the passage, he should circle the answers to the questions.

For more information, visit http://www.parenting.com/article/how-to-help-your-kid-study-for-a-test.