Learning in bursts

Learning and bursts seems to work best for my boys. If I try to cram too many lessons into one day it doesn’t register well with their brain. If we some work, then play, then work again then the work that they have done stays in their brain much better. This is the technique used in Finnish schools. Their students work for 45 minutes and have 15 minute recess then 45 minutes of work and more recess. Their scores are some of the top in the world. I am working on similar methods with my boys.

Even when we go on field trips, which we do often, we work and then break. For example at the air and space museum we arrived in time for the 11 tour. The boys or very involved and focused for the beginning of the tour. They asked appropriate questions and made appropriate comments. When the tour guide asked a question that they didn’t know he was surprised.

But eventually their attention started to wane. I could see their attention waiver and helped rethan to focus for a little longer by rubbing his shoulders, but eventually he reached his limit. I could tell Shane was getting close to his limit as well as he sat on the floor to take a break while the tour guide was talking.

Shaynen decided to stick it out until they came to the goblin, the airplane he had researched, and then he would take a break.  I took rethan to the play area so he could play while we waited for Shane.

My plan is on a future day we will connect with the tour around the same point that we left the tour today. So over a few days they will get the full tour, but during short Snippets of time when their minds are engaged and listening. This will be much more effective at having them remember the information then if I force them to stay and listen.

I have also noticed that it was helpful that they had researched some of the airplanes before the tour. This helped them to be more interested in what was being talked about. Since not all of the information was knew they were able to focus on the new Snippets of information so they stay in their memory better.

They also became curious about more information about the other airplanes. Since they had done some research in the past they knew they could Now find more information on these airplanes in the same way.

The way that I have chosen to teach them may not be the fastest way for them to learn everything, but in today’s day and age learning everything is not the key. With all of the knowledge available in the world today learning how to learn and how to discern what knowledge is valid or not is more important. There’s also a priority to have a love for Learning and to realize why it is important to learn. I think I am being successful on that part.

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