You've dedicated a space, made it quiet and done everything else you could think of to help your kid study. Only a recent New York Times article reveals that it might be time to relearn everything you thought you knew.
Cognitive scientists, in fact, have found many effective ways to help kids develop good study habits, but until this article, few parents were privy to this info because much of it directly contradicts common lore about good study habits.
For example, they say that instead of having a dedicated study space, alternating study locations improves information retention. Also, studying "distinct but related skills" in one sitting is better than focusing on a single subject. Changing things up in these ways forces the brain to "make multiple associations with the same material," which gives the information "more neural scaffolding." In other words, it sticks better.
Also, many studies have found that, instead of cramming for tests, students should study slowly and gradually -- an hour here and there -- because it improves their ability to recall that information at another time. It's thought that the act of "relearning" the information is "self-reinforcing."
No one knows for sure why. It may be that the brain, when it revisits material at a later time, has to relearn some of what it has absorbed before adding new stuff -- and that that process is itself self-reinforcing.
Have you guys found any unorthodox techniques that have improved your kids' study habits?