“Christmas is a holiday of peace, don't test our class on Greece. If you gave us Fail, your fish would stink like kail.” These are typical words and wishes that many people remember in connection with the upcoming holidays. Pupils do not want to learn and would rather take all kinds of trips, take part in events, but rather not even think about school.
But it is not always possible to fulfil these wishes. Or are we wrong? And speaking of which, what would you answer to the question: “Do learning and Christmas go together? And can a student learn not to know?” The article will answer all these questions and many more.
Adults, children, students, everyone imagines Christmas differently …
Peace, well-being, and time spent with the family – this is how most adults imagine Christmas. On the contrary, Santa Claus, a Christmas tree and often not very popular carp, represents Christmas from the children’s point of view. Textbook, learning, and little leisure and rest – this is what most students might say.
How to learn during the Christmas period…
Eva, who diligently studies during every Christmas break to pass the January exams at the first attempt, also knows about it. Although studying takes up most of her free time, she also finds time for her family. And to make the learning easy for her, she uses a number of techniques, which we will share with you today. And keep in mind that we can learn better and faster.
Read and repeat – Probably the most common and well-known method. It consists of reading part of the text and then trying to repeat it as accurately as possible.
Read and write – Another way to memorize information is to read, memorize, and write it. In some cases, success comes immediately. Other times, you have to rewrite it several times.
Rewrite - someone also likes rewriting the studied material, but who has the time for it? You can rewrite one page but rewrite ten of them… most students wouldn’t be much into it and rewrite the whole textbook… don’t even count with it. And we're not even surprised. Because who would want to rewrite a textbook of tens to hundreds of pages?
Own textbook – Probably the best combination of the above methods is to have an own textbook. Haven't you tried yet? Mistake! Quickly take a piece of paper and a pencil and let's do it.
Your own textbook pays off! …
The name “own textbook” doesn’t sound very attractive, but this method of learning can really help in learning, not only to high school or university students. It combines text, images, and colours, but most importantly, its creation helps the brain remember new information.
The procedure is actually quite simple, and the creation of such a teaching aid certainly does not take more time than the constant repetition of the studied material. So, if you want to learn effectively, start with its creation.
You will need paper, pens, pencils, and if you find any, also crayons or markers. Students also like highlighters, and they also do great service. Materials from which you want to draw information, books, textbooks, your own notes, or presentations that teachers publish are also essential. Spread them all around you and start with the first topic.
Write the name and key points you need to remember. You can also use images that you stick on paper. Don't write continuous text across lines. Try bullet points, and like on a computer, nicely around pictures.
Once the images and text have found their places, it's time for colours – highlight and underline. If you want to remember a graph, highlight each of its boxes with a different colour. And think about the context. The more “silly” and “weird," the better the human brain remembers it. Therefore, the tips of Jakub Poka and his School of Memory are very useful. In the videos, he explains how to remember what we need with the help of very unusual images.
Use imagination when learning…
Don't be afraid of fantasy, and even though you can't draw much, draw. If you scribble, write anyway. Some even say that singing helps, so feel free to sing. Whatever your chosen method, it will be yours, and it will certainly be a good cornerstone for success.
However, do not unnecessarily dwell on your own textbook full of information. Include just the essentials in it. Curls and wavy lines, all sorts of decorations, keep them for another time. Content is the most important here.
You will learn much better from your own book, and it will be easier for you to remember the information. When writing it, you can connect reading, repeating aloud, writing, and highlighting. So you involve at least three senses – sight, touch, and hearing. In the case of repetition, it is only sight and hearing. In the case of rewriting, only sight and touch. And if you're just reading a book, and still quietly, you'll just engage your sight. And that's not enough, don't you think?
The self-created materials are also used by pupils who are educated by some alternative education methods or are educated at home. They create their own portfolio and have a really close relationship with their notebooks or textbooks. For example, pupils of Waldorf pedagogy learn to read from a reading book created by their parents, so they value it. You can also value your work because you devote time to it. And it has one big advantage, and you will enjoy it.
Books, videos, textbooks …
Videos are other learning aids for Eva. They can be easily found on the Internet. What also helps Eva is to read the same material but in a different version. Every teacher teaches differently, writes differently, explains differently. You can reach for textbooks from different schools, which you can also find on the Internet. You just need to search for it. To understand a given problem, sometimes it is enough to change the style in which we look at it.
I'm learning without knowing it …
There is not only Eva but also Adam, who attends primary school and prefers to throw his schoolbag in a corner and sit down at the computer. The school doesn't interest him at all. And when it comes to learning, it's usually a disaster. Nevertheless, even such pupils can be oversmarted without them or us even realizing it. Christmas is an ideal way to start teaching children to write and count, to teach them about traditions, and to remind ourselves why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.
Probably most of us decorate a Christmas tree, and even if some decorate a rubber tree, let the children decorate it themselves. Just telling them, “Hang three blue balls in front and put five stars there,” will make them count. Involve children in the production of paper decorations. It is not so difficult. You can find a lot of patterns on the Internet.
And you can even turn a simple candy treat into a mathematical operation. What about giving children the task of putting this number of pieces of this, this number of that, and this number of that cookies on a plate. Or bring a certain number of teaspoons for coffee or tea. Take advantage of everything a child likes to do and try to involve math. You can use the language, for example, when writing a letter to Santa Claus, who clearly hates spelling mistakes.
And Christmas fairy tales? These can also be used, especially for memory and attention. Watch them together and let the child retell what the fairy tale was about, who had a negative and positive character, or what the main character was called. And don't forget to ask for their own opinion.
When the expected D-day comes, and the child eagerly runs to the tree, you can have him give gifts by name, thus practicing reading. He can also test his patience because he will unwrap his presents as the last.
Do learning and Christmas go together?
So now, let's try to answer that basic question: “Do learning and Christmas go together?” The previous lines show that it works. Only we must present it cleverly. Try to relax and not think about how many pages of text or textbook you still have to learn. Instead of the sentence: “I still have ninety-two pages to go,” use the sentence: “I have only ninety-two pages left.” You will see that changing one word can work wonders. Well… miracles probably not, but you will definitely benefit from looking at it from a different perspective.
In conclusion, we want to wish you a peaceful holiday without accidents and with a smile on your face. But don't forget to learn, and if your child is going to high school or a multi-year grammar school, don't underestimate the preparation. Before you know it, January is here, and admission tests are getting closer and closer.