Surprising Facts About Study Habits

Summer is over and it’s time for our children to get back to the job of learning. Wanting our children to succeed, parents take great pains to provide a quiet, consistent corner for their little scholar to absorb all that information thrown at them by the bookload. We help our children in whatever ways we can to succeed in school, but if parents don’t know what study habits and learning strategies work, how can they be expected to pass on useful information to their children?

For instance, the idea of having a single, isolated study location may be misguided. Studies have consistently shown that varying the location of studying actually improves retention of the information. It has been shown time and again that alternating study environments improves grades, and not the opposite.

Other surprising, or maybe not so surprising strategies students of all ages can use to improve learning, retention and grades are studying mixed content, spacing study sessions, and self-testing. Some excellent students have discovered some or all of these methods on their own to great success, while other, less successful students keep trying the same old methods that have been shown not to work; but with no idea what else to try, keep on studying with the old, failing ways.

Try some new strategies this coming school year, and see if you can get some better results.

Monsoon Rains Create Crisis in Pakistan

Trying to avert a disaster, The World Food Program has appealed to the international community to make good on their pledges of aid totaling 460 million dollars which the Program asked for last week to provide relief to the people of Pakistan who are facing unprecedented flooding as a result of monsoon rains. So far the nations of the world have contributed about 35% of the aid requested, which is only about half of what the World Bank has said it would provide to fund the relief, about $900 million.

The people of Pakistan are experiencing washed out roads, and bridges, making food deliveries difficult, and some areas can only be reached by helicopter. According to the United Nations only a small fraction of those in need have actually received any help so far. Due to the monsoon rains already 1,600 people have died from the floods, and an additional 20 million have been adversely affected by the much worse than normal rains. According to the World Bank, they are planning on using a percentage of the funds to strengthen infrastructure along the River Indus which will hopefully in the future help to prevent such devastating floods.

Homeless Children Learn to Dream at Science Camp

Summers can be quite a challenge for homeless families. When school is out and there is no home to welcome you, and there is no money, what choices do families have for activities to do with their children during the long summer vacation? Helping these unfortunate families is the primary goal of an innovative and unique program sponsored and organized by California State University in Long Beach.  For two weeks during the summer homeless kids or kids in crisis have a haven from their difficult lives at science camp. During  camp these kids  explore the world around them and learn about animals, rockets, aerodynamics, and lots of other wonders which make up their world.

Not only are the kids learning about science, they have, at least for a short while, found a safe place and a secure environment; a great help for their emotional lives in addition to the great boost they are getting in their intellectual lives. With exposure to the concepts and ideas of scientific inquiry the children, with otherwise difficult and in some cases hopeless lives, can dream their own dreams about growing up to become scientists. Instead of fearing their world, in science camp they learn to engage their world and develop a respect and love for their world which would otherwise be quite a difficult task, given their special, challenging circumstances.