talkative thursday

Writer’s Workshop: Post Reflections-Making it Stick

A back alley in Chinatown

A back alley in Chinatown

Learning how the brain absorbs information and put it to use has always fascinated me.  How the neurons  connect with each other and link up the various bits of information so that one can understand is really intriguing.

It’s really amazing how one processes bits of information and make sense out of it. Absorption, analyzing and applying it are the steps that we go through when we learn something.

Sometimes understanding comes to us like a snap of  finger.  It feels great when that occurs as we are able to maximize the knowledge that we just gained. On other occasions, we can try as hard as we can it is still impossible to fathom what is being read.

Most of the time the problem we have is not the understanding part but making it stick. Being unable to recall, forgetting the important parts and having gaps in our learning can make one rather exasperated.

Make it Stick

Make it Stick

Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter. C Brown, Henry L. Roediger III & Mark A. McDaniel is the latest book that I’ve read.

It’s really interesting as it examines the different learning style and strategies that people have been using throughout the years to learn.

Depending on your learning style there are quite a few tricks that I’ve learned from reading the book.

In general the following techniques should work for most people.

1) Self Quizzing. 
This is done after you have finished reading the book to help yourself remember the important parts of the book.

2) Setting a focus prior to reading. 

I have found that if you set a focus and have questions on hand before reading the text it will make it easier for you to find the answers that you are seeking.  To read blindly without any focus results in you wasting time and you may not be able to grasp the meaning of what you have just read.

3) Use different methods to retrieve the information you have gathered.

If you are an auditory learning it would help that you read aloud to yourself your summary of the passage that you just read.  This will help you internalize the information better and retain it longer in your memory bank.

You can also rely on flashcards to do your reflection if you are a visual learner. By shuffling the flashcards before you read them you are forcing yourself to recall what you have learned and not just the sequence which the cards were displayed.

Spacing out your reflection will also help you retain information better.  One  way would be to review the information 24 hours later, then the same information a week later, 2 months later and then 6 months later to reinforce what you have learned.

Cramming and do not work well as you are trying to stuff too much information into yourself in a short period of time. Re-reading without a purpose also will garner the same result as it doesn’t mean that reading it again you would be able to understand it since you didn’t understand it the first time around.

I’ve personally tried both these methods and they have been ineffective for me and would not recommend them.

What have you learned last month?


Jenny Matlock Mama’s Losin’ It's Talkative Thursdays
Disclaimer: I bought the book from Book depository . This post has a compensation level of 3. Please visit Dominique’s Disclosure page for more information.

Being Sane this Summer

A red bloom

A red bloom

Today is the start of the school holidays for the kids. They are on a month long vacation and really happy that school is out.

The kids will be with me 24/7 as they are not going to any summer camp or special classes during this holiday.  Here is a list of 10 things which will help you remain sane while you tackle both your kids and the hot summer sun.

  1. Have a back up plan.
    Have a list of activities which  you are able to carry out with the kids on a daily basis irregardless of the weather conditions.  I have two books which I refer to for activities for the kids. One is based on simple crafts while the other is on fun music games.
  2. Stay Hydrated.
    It is really easy to get dehydrated in the heat. Always remember to load up on water and other fluids all throughout the day.
  3. Take time out to rest.
    Kids move around non-stop and have boundless energy. Take time out throughout the day  to recharge yourself. Even though the kids do have high energy levels they too need downtime when transitioning from one activity to another to make sure that there is no hassle in the switch.
  4. Do not pack too many activities into a week.
    It can be very exhausting going out everyday with the kids. To prevent a burnout or collapsing from exhaustion I schedule the maximum of 2 play dates a week so we do have a mixture of activities inside and outside the house.
  5. Eat healthily.
    It is very easy to load up on junk  and/or fried food during Summer. Eat a balanced meal with lots of fruits and vegetable to help ensure that you stay in the pink of health.
  6.  Get the kids to help out.
    It can be overwhelming having to do everything by yourself from the preparation to the execution of the different activities that you have planned. Every little helping hand does help a lot especially if one is very busy.  Working together also makes time past faster.
  7. Don’t be too hard on yourself. 

    It is okay if you didn’t get all that you intended to do with the kids done. Even though only 1 out of 6 activities were completed it is the effort that counts. I’m sure that the kids had a great time and will not blame you for not carrying out the other 5 activities.

  8. Stock up on medications. 

    It  may be more difficult for you to head to the stores with all the kids in tow. If you are travelling do remember to pack along medications as you never know when the kids may fall sick and need aid.

  9. Stay connected. 

    Even though you may be more busy during the Summer vacation but it does pay to keep in contact with your friends and relatives. You never know when a good opportunity/idea may be presented to you via your various social channels that you subscribe to.

  10.  Have fun 

    Summer is a time to let your hair down.  There is no mugging for the school  and you and the kids have the leisure to do activities at your own pace.

Do you have any tips?

How are you going to survive this Summer Vacation?