Methods Learned In Minutes Will Serve You A Lifetime
My book, Speed Learning for Kids, teaches learning strategies that can boost anyone’s performance, enabling students of any age to accomplish more in less time and with less effort.
Why do some students learn more easily than others? Do they have a superior mind? Were they born with an aptitude that others lack? Generally speaking, better students use better learning methods.
For instance, high achieving students do their revision from their notes, rather than from their textbooks. They will analyse what they learn, summarise maybe three or four chapters of their textbook into one or two pages of notes, and review their summary. This forces them to analyse and summarise the information, with the result they understand what they are learning better than those who simply read and re-read their textbooks. Revising their notes is more efficient than trying to revise the information directly from their textbook.
They will also employ some kind of mnemonic to enable them to recall what they have learned. High achievers look for some connection with the information they are learning, and what they already know. They will think laterally to make a mnemonic connection. They might connect numbers they need to remember to a number they already know, like their telephone number, street number, birth date and so on. A very high achiever will utilise a mental filing system which I teach in my book.
High achievers won’t learn rules and facts by rote, but will try and make sense of the rules, so they do less learning by rote. They want to understand the information. They look for rules, and will even make their own rules if no rule is taught.
An average student will often recite or read information over and over until it sticks in the mind. This is a very inefficient method of study. Most of us do this with information that has to be learned word perfect. This method is not only unpleasant and inefficient but, with each repetition, the level of concentration decreases. Unfortunately, most people know no other method.
High achievers use their imagination as a tool to accomplish more and to force a high level of concentration. If you can daydream you are capable of high levels of concentration.
I have developed materials to enable students, even young children, to develop these strategies easily and naturally. The learning strategies force students to analyse the information they are studying, summarise it and, by use of their imagination, enable them to recall the information, even under pressure. The methods develop lateral thinking skills that will enable them to make good use of the information. The methods are also fun to use.
And, in an examination, it is like having an invisible friend sitting alongside of you to feed you hints when you need them to answer the questions. The methods are a great cure for examination nerves.
The methods teach students to analyse information as they read or hear it, summarise it, understand it, and recall the information when they need it. They take much of the drudgery out of study. The methods can actually enable a student to enjoy studying a subject he or she hates.
Bill Handley is an internationally recognised authority on study methods and mathematics, based in Melbourne. He is the author of many best-selling titles, including Teach Your Children Tables and Speed Maths for Kids.