By: Krystle Crossman
Pretesting is something that is done in schools to help kids focus on what they need to learn through the year. They are given a test that has information on it that will be on their finals for the year. It is not an exact replica of the finals, but is enough so that when they fail the pretest their brain will be listening in for the information that they will need throughout the rest of the year. This is great for schools but at home you don’t have the same access to the final tests. Here are some things you can do at home to help your child focus on what they need to learn in school:
1. Give them a reward for starting early on big projects that are due. When a big project is started and then interrupted the brain begins to scan for more information to help with the project. They will begin to find connections with their everyday lives and the things that they do as it relates to their project. This helps them to present more information and make a better project.
2. When they are stuck on a problem, make sure they take a break. The brain needs to come up for some air every now and then and needs to refresh itself so that new ideas can come in.
3. Let your child teach you something new. When you put them in the teacher’s position they will be able to retain the information and maybe even find new ways to translate that information through their homework and projects.
4. The brain retains information better when there are changes in environment throughout the day. A child is going to be restless, it is a fact of nature. Use this to their advantage. Study in one spot, say on the couch, and then after taking a break change to a different spot like outdoors. If you don’t want to change spots, put some background music on and then change the type of music every now and then.
5. Break up the work. If they have a large project due, help them to break it up into smaller chunks so that it doesn’t seem so daunting. They are more likely to get the work done if they can complete smaller tasks at one time instead of doing it all at once.
6. Use exhaustion as a cue. If exhaustion sets in it means that it’s time to stop. Your brain still functions while sleeping and retains the information that it has learned through the day. Everything is organized while you are asleep. If your child appears tired, let them take a nap or have them go to bed so that their brain can get organized.