Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Study Habits

We've hit that point in time with our 4th grader where she needs to study in order to do well on tests.  It creeped up on us and we were ill prepared.

She always had good grades.  Her memory was excellent.  She never needed to study to get an A on test.

Until this year. 

The first semester of 4th grade she had almost all A's or VG's (equivalent to an A). Then in 2nd semester 8 of her 12 categories decreased.  She went down from an A to an A- or a B+ to a B.  What is going on here I asked?  She didn't know.  I looked at my husband. He didn't know.  We hadn't changed anything.  THAT was the problem. 

She needs to study for tests.  

Once I figured out this fact I thought we had an easy fix.  Turns out it wasn't an easy fix.  Why?  Because she doesn't know HOW to study.  How is it you don't know how to study?  This baffled me.  Don't they teach you how to study in school?  No.  

Last week, after she had some frustrating tears, I sat her down and helped her study for her science test.  Turns out she had an entire page of notes written up from when the teacher explained to the kids all the pertinent facts. Her words as she points to the 3 pages of notes "I don't know what to do with those".   Again, baffled over here.

I explained to her calmly, you read and memorize those notes. You read and memorize the bold print in the text book also.  How do you learn all the words to a Selena Gomez song?  You memorize by repetition.  We spent an hour on those notes and she had the answers down pat. 

She only missed 2 on the test the next day.  Yay!  I felt like such a good mom!  I also foolishly thought she understood how to move forward.  I was wrong. 

Now comes yesterday.  She's typing up a summary or partial book report for a book.  The book, however, wasn't totally read. She needed to complete 8 or more pages of text.  This is problematic when your typing up a summary of those pages and according to her the teacher will KNOW if you didn't read those pages. Then she starts saying how I need to write a note to her teacher because she didn't complete her Religion Lent workbook due the next day. 
Why didn't you complete it? 
Because I didn't think it was being graded so I didn't do the pages. 
I'm not writing you a note. 

I stayed up with her until 10pm even though I took a Benadryl upon arriving home (before I knew about all this undone work) and could not keep my eyes open.  She finished the religion booklet.  BUT, she didn't study for her science quiz that was also the next day.  Doh! 

Todd and I really need to learn how to help her.  We will learn because clearly we've hit a point where she needs us to aid in her organization and maintain structure.  Unfortunately to maintain organization and structure there comes a cost. The cost being weekday TV.  She is heartbroken since to her TV at night is HUGE.  It's how we all unwind at our house.  I do feel her pain.

I will need to monitor her homework assigned on Monday's via the school's class website, paying very close attention to quiz and test dates. I'm going to really need to be more present and available when it comes to helping her study for tests.  I'm going to need to be willing to study with her and quiz her.  I'll need to help her also be more aware of quiz and test dates where she can see ahead that next week is a test so we should study on Sunday to get ahead of the game. 

This new direction was inevitable, but I still feel like it came out of nowhere. It didn't.  I just didn't have my eyes wide open.  Now I do.  If I'm honest, I'm not looking forward to the time suck her homework takes from my personal "down time" but she's worth it. 

1 comment:

Laura said...

We havent got there yet, but i know when Jack HAS to study it's going to be a rough change.