As parents, a common sight is watching your children seated at the dining table, scribbling away at their homework. Delightful, isn’t it? And hey! In most cases, they even nail it. But should we really consider learning a topic at school and then racing home to complete practice tests on the same topic as a marker of successful learning? We think not!
Parents, let’s introduce you to the concept of spaced practice that allows your child to truly learn and truly retain their subject matter. As the name suggests, spaced practices entail spreading or dividing the amount spent studying a particular topic over a period of time. In the simplest sense, spaced practice is the antithesis of cramming. So, if your child were to spend eight hours on a Monday studying about constellations, they could dedicate two hours to it on that day and then revisit the topic on a Thursday or Friday for a few more hours.
In distributing your child’s learning sessions, a certain amount of forgetting takes place which is actually encouraged. On Friday, your child may not remember everything that they have studied previously and that is completely natural. This is because to effectively remember something, you have to forget it. Let’s bring to mind the forgetting curve. The forgetting curve represents the amount of knowledge that is lost or forgotten over time because it is not visited often. This proves that when you learn something once, you tend to forget it as days or weeks go by, thus making it crucial to review the information again.
When this happens, your child is forced to delve deep into his memory and retrieve what he or she has previously learnt. The bottom line is that it makes your child’s brain work harder. Through this mini workout, their minds form connections between the learnt concepts. It is these connections that help your child understand a topic better.