Sometimes there is information that a student simply has to memorize: dates in history, math facts, spelling words, etc. Several methods were tried before the best solution was found. In our situation the topic was spelling words.
We made index cards: traditional but boring.
We had the parent quiz the student: time-consuming and not independent for the student, therefore frustrating.
Then we grabbed the dry-erase markers and went to the bathroom mirror.
I took the giant list of spelling words and only wrote the ones on the mirror that were the most difficult for my child to remember. Every few days I would erase some words that he had mastered and replace them with new words. This gave him the chance for repetition without my oversight (and micromanaging). He had ownership of the process to control the frequency and duration of the study process.
We have used this technique to help reinforce math lessons. Sometimes a math concept does not “click” and you need to stare at it over and over again. But the kids don’t always want to study with teachers, parents, and grown-ups. The kids want to be independent. The grown-ups have the knowledge. So we can write the key math information on the bathroom mirror for the kids to see, read, and think about as much as needed. Here’s an example.
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