My final summary from The Calm, Connected Tweens and Teens Summit is from Karen Tui Boyes about learning to learn, not just for school years but for life! My summary follows;  

Fixed school curricula and standardised testing restrict teachers from actually teaching kids HOW to learn. Its’ a lifelong skill not a school skill! 

Keys to learning to learn are playful learning and being willing to make mistakes… classrooms too often make mistakes not ok.  You learn faster when you make mistakes!

Remember to celebrate the wins no matter how tiny – something we forget as we get older.

Key strategies for learning to learn;

  1. Repetition – the mother of skill that reprograms the brain.  Neurologically, exams are memory tests, not skill tests.  Think about when toddlers are learning to walk - same goes for teenagers – give them multiple touch points for the networks in their brains to grow. Teach kids how to summarise to then repeat to remember 
  2. Set time limits – whatever works for your child… it could be 20 minutes to work on a concept, 3 minutes to summarise and then a 5 minute break. They can use a device like the iStudy alarm which is free and programmed for study assistance.  It works because the brain is good at remembering first and last things… the opening and the ending. 
  3. Only learn the things you DON’T know.  Studying what they already know is revising, and it feels good because they already know it. It aids their self esteem. Push out of their comfort zones to understand things they don’t know.   The negative voices of self talk need to be quietened to allow yourself to learn!
  4. Kids need a reason for learning.  School is the only place they are forced to learn certain subjects rather than choosing.  Help kids find their WHY to know why it’s important to learn. 

 A quest for learning is a lifelong skill and we need to encourage this in our kids across all ages.