With TCAP, ACTs, SATs, and college entrance exams just around the corner, the next few months may be a time when you consider closing the shutters, barring all the doors, and taking the phone off the hook. No distractions, just study time.
As parents or teachers, we sometimes slowly fall into the belief that the best kind of study is that of sitting down at a desk and tackling it all. One subject at a time. For hours. We wrongly assume that hours and hours of deep reading and reviewing is sticking in our students’ brains, perhaps because that is how we did it when we were in school. But for children with dyslexia, an intense dive into heavy textbooks is certainly not the most conducive way for them to achieve the scores they want. Instead, in this upcoming exam season, try a few of these tips and introduce some movement and creativity into study time.
Have a few designated “study spaces”. When you sit down at one of these study spaces (around the house, at the library, etc.), it will help you get right into study mode! (Some research states that studying in the same place every day increases memory and association, but others suggest that actually it is changing spaces and moving around that help you better make connections and reinforce the information. So we’ve combined the theories!)
Use color in everything! Highlight the most important parts of the outlines or textbooks you are reading, print key information on colored paper, or do math problems with colored pencils. Our brains recall color, and on a test, you might remember that Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address in 1863.
Take little breaks. Finish a chunk of studying—read a chapter, write a paragraph, or finish a quiz—and then take a walk or have a snack. Research shows that taking breaks and giving yourself little rewards increases productivity and your ability to focus! It also helps overcome procrastination if you are looking forward to a snack or five minutes of Facebook!
Break up your assignments. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the subjects you have to study, so try using a calendar to mark not only due dates, but small goals to achieve on the way to finishing an assignment—for example, choose a date to write your introduction to an essay, and then the next day plan to write the first body paragraph, and so on. Also, if a reading assignment is quite long, consider breaking it up into smaller parts and taking breaks in between them—for instance, a 30-page chapter split into three chunks of 10 pages. This ensures you always come back to the reading with a fresh mind.
Get ahead! It is tempting to relax and do nothing on a night off, but instead, look ahead and see what you could get started on. This is a very good habit to get into, and not just for students with dyslexia!
Still looking for more tips? Try here and here for more ideas.
Tennessee Dyslexia Centers is here for you and can help your struggling reader. We are equipped to work with all ages and have the ability to increase your child's reading skills drastically. Contact our office for a free consultation today! 615-236-6483 | firstname.lastname@example.org