5 steps to make your child’s studying more effective

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“My child studies and still gets low grades!”

If this is happening to you on a regular basis then you have a cause for concern. If your child studies and is still getting low grades, chances are he or she is getting demoralized (and perhaps you are, too.) It’s time to change this and make your child’s studying effective.

Often times a child studies based on what is termed “rote learning”—in other words, memorization by repetition. In fact, school materials often encourage this study method!

But for lots of material, especially language and reading comprehension, learning by rote is ineffective. You can’t blindly memorize the answers to question such as “who was the main character …?”, “give three examples of …”, “what is the meaning of ….”

For these kinds of questions

Here are 5 steps to make your child’s studying more effective

1. Preface the question with a statement that sets up a fuller, clearer context.

For example, in asking about the main character you might say, “This story was about someone being very brave. That was certainly true of the main character. Who was the main character?”

2. Restate the question in a different form.

For example, in restating the main character, you might say, “one of the persons was the most important? Who was it?”

3. Ensure that your child answers in full sentences.

Often, it’s possible to answer correctly with a word or phrase. But more attention and focus are required if you have to answer in a full sentence. Commonly, when faced with having to produce full sentences, a child will use the words of the question. (e.g., “Ben was the main character in the story.”) That’s fine—but when that happens, it can be productive for you to move on to the next step.

4. Take the sentence your child has used and reformulate it so that the idea has some different words and a different organization.

For the Ben example, you might construct the sentence, “The story focused on Ben.” Then you offer only the beginning part of the sentence you have come up with (e.g., “The story focused on..”) and wait for your child to complete it. Once the fill in has been provided, you then say, “Now tell me the whole thing.” At this point, your child is repeating the new, full sentence that you constructed.

5. Practice!

Visit our reading comprehension activities page to download free worksheets.

And, sign up for our online reading program and game which teaches all six skills needed for reading & writing success! These skills, along with our elementary reading programs will enhance your child’s studying ability.

You can sign up for a 30 day free trial and the program will test your child and let you know exactly what he or she needs to do in order to achieve full reading comprehension.