Friday, November 16, 2012


Having a hard time trying to make your kid memorize text for school Quiz? Well, my method is super simple. Firstly, have Clear Expectations about your kid's potential. Although of course never give up trying to improve your kid's capabilities, do not expect him/her to be way over his/her own level. Secondly, here is the method that has so far worked wonders for my kid, and I hope it does to yours too. Before that, let me clarify that my kid is a First Grader. In his school, they have three different levels for First Graders: 1- Regular Level (Self Explanatory). 2- Better Level: they call it in his school by TEAM Classes and 3- Gifted (Self Explanatory). My kid is on 2, Better Level.
Also, before I get started, I ask him on a very friendly way: "Please focus on this exercise". "Please remember: if you keep scoring good on your texts, you always will be in a cool class, more teacher attention, more "cool" stuff to do. Also, the faster we finish this exercise, the faster you and I can have fun !!! Go out biking, walk around the condominium, go to the playground, play Lego or games, etc. Focus is a most though: I keep repeating on a very nice way, for him not to loose focus and concentrate each time his little mind starts going away.
So , here is my method: I take the text subject to the quiz that he needs to know, and ask him to read it aloud twice, on the same afternoon/beginning of night he received that sheet. Why aloud? Because if he can not even read what is written, chances are high that he will have a hard time to remember it. Plus, I want to make sure that, he does not only Memorize, but UNDERSTAND the concept of the text.
After he finishes this reading, I Quiz him. My method is: I COVER the definition of the concept. I only show him the TITLE of that particular concept. I ask him to : 1- read the title himself, and 2, tell me what the definition is. Let me give you a practical example: During the recent elections, there was a Quiz about just that, Elections. There were the following TITLES, each one with its definitions: 1- President; 2- Vice- President; 3- Elections; 4- Polling Booth; 5- Vote; 6- Majority. So, let us say, I cover EVERYTHING else and ask him to read the First one: PRESIDENT. Then I ask him to give me the definition he just read twice: "A leader. The first person in command of the United States of America". Now, as I am listening, I am gauging him. NO DIRECT help for him to remember the text, which can creat a "habit" and a need for help all the time. I might let go a positive nod or two in between, or a thumbs up for encouragement. A perfect answer will give him a thumbs up or a high five, with the words "awesome", our "you rock" or something real positive, encouraging and rewarding. An incomplete answer: if he missed only a word in the mix, I just tell him the word, and ask him to repeat the answer using that missed word. More than a word, I say nothing, and just jump to the following definition. I go from definitions 1 through 6, using the same method. At the end, I see: if he is good, end of the exercise. If not, he reads the text aloud twice again , and I repeat the above procedure.
Whatever the result is, on the first day, unless there is a preming test/quiz next morning, I STOP right there, and start doing other homework with him, or going out playing, whatever is the case/ need. There is another quiz, on the same above format, the following day, in the morning, before he goes to school.
Personally, my kid will have all answers perfect, by the time we are doing run number 4 or 5 of the above method. For my parameters, it is all I need. He is either ready next day for the Quiz, in the case I need for those last minute notices by the teachers, or, for sure on the second day after receiving his Quiz sheet. It works wonders for me, and for my kid, and I hope that works for you.
Now, do not take me wrong: I know a couple of kids on the 20 or so Gifted class, that will memorize the whole Quiz Sheet on the DAY they are presented in class !!!!! Wow........ It is not my kid, but hey, it is fabulous !!! I also know about 150 or so other kids who will take longer than my kid does.... and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that either, Is all about each kid capability, and try to help him improve it at the most.

Finally: this is MY METHOD. Might be that you have ANOTHER method that might be even much better than mine. I am open to hear your comments, and try to learn something constructive too !!! Best of luck, and Happy Thanksgivings Day 2012 !!!