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January 16, 2012

Ways to Help Your Kids Retain What You Are Teaching


I want to make sure that I am being intentional with our time homeschooling.  I am not under the impression that everything that I teach will be quickly absorbed by my cute little pupils! :)  (Wouldn't we all LOVE that!)  I am wanting to do all that I can to have as much information retained and remembered as possible.
I had posted a question on The Well Trained Mind forum asking about the best way to help your kids retain what you are teaching and thought I would share what I found out.
  1. They will retain when...you use a curriculum that you will use intentionally - I would like to add - one you use consistently!
  2. They will retain when...you make it fun,  and/or interesting.
  3. They will retain if...you check what your kids know. You need to take the time to find out if they are understanding what you are teaching.
  4. They will retain when...you make the curriculum YOUR OWN - curriculum is your slave not your master!!! (extra emphasis mine)
  5. They will retain when...you revisit the material.
  6. They will retain if...I am interested in the material.  Monkey see monkey do.
  7. They will retain if...they care to know.
  8. They will retain when...you review, review, review.
  9. They will retain when...you interact with the material, outlining, narrating, etc.
  10. They will retain if...you use repetition, especially in the younger years - also see #5 and #8.
  11. They will retain when...the information is presented in story form.
  12. They will retain when...they work with the information hands-on, especially science.
  13. They will retain when...you complete a project related to the material.
  14. They will retain when...you use living books - also see #11.
  15. They will retain when...you layer the material, read a book, then watch a video, then go on a field trip, etc.
  16. They will retain if...you have them memorize the information.
  17. They will retain when...you use a timeline.
I thought this was a great list of possible ways to help my kids retain what I teach them.  All of the ideas won't necessarily work with each of my children (or for each family) but I now have a large list of ideas to draw from.
What are some ways that you have tried to help your children retain what you are teaching?  What would you add to the list above?

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