Years ago I taught my very young child how to memorize something for school. I said:
Repetition is key. Write it down over and over again until you feel comfortable.
After some resistance and push back, she tried it out. Little girls, it seemed, were attracted to doodling with colorful markers.
She started doing this in preparation for spelling tests back in the early grades.
Later, when she switched to French Immersion (aka Extended French as of grade 4) this method continued to work well for her with the new, foreign vocabulary.
Conjugation became an exercise in color selection.
To make things less boring, she would use different colors for each term, phrase, or conjugated tense.
My baby is now in 6th grade. And lo, she is still copying.
She asked me to read her the name of the countries (in French) at which point she had to write the French name of the capital city.
Five or six of her list of 30 she couldn’t remember. When I was done reading, she took her white board and started copying each one down several times.
As a somewhat anxious child who has very high academic expectations of herself, seeing her apply a tried and true method all on her own makes me both proud and relieved.
Middle school has enough anxiety inducing activities these days, right? Adding more stress to her day when studying, especially memory work, isn’t really very healthy, for her or for her family unit.
It’s not perfect, our little study habits. She gets fed up and frustrated, mostly at the volume of work rather than the type of work. But seeing how she returns to her initial study method makes me hopeful she will continue to reach for these tools to help herself cope.
Not everyone learns best by copying or writing. What works or has worked for you or your child(ren)?
I wrote a lot about homework over the last few years. Here are a few posts that incorporate anxiety and problem solving: