I substituted my coffee with Red Bull and drank even more caffeine. After studying this hard, there was no way I would fail, right? Maybe I was just destined never to reach the same heights that they could. Maybe I should learn to be happy with where I was and just accept that. One night a classmate—one of the top students in the class—and I were hanging out and we casually discussed the exams.
What she knew going into the exam was that I could study as hard as I could until hell froze over, but if I was not studying in a way that let my brain absorb the information effectively, then I might as well have not studied at all. I had no clearly defined study plan and, as the saying goes, my failing to plan was planning to fail. Instead, I simply studied haphazardly until right before the exam, at which point I realized that I was in trouble and tried to cram several chapters into my head in the span of a single night.
By staying up all night, I was just spinning my wheels rather than actually absorbing the material. Ultimately, I turned my class performance around by learning how to study smarter, not harder.
I created a study plan that allowed me to gain more out of the class lectures and helped me focus on my weak areas before I walked into the exam.
The next exam rolled around. When I started taking it, I immediately felt the difference. No longer was I desperately looking for questions that I knew the answers to. Instead, I was able to answer most questions confidently and make an educated guess on everything that I did not know.
The best students are not necessarily gifted or luckier than the rest of us. They simply know how to study smarter rather than harder. Even though I had studied harder and routinely stayed up much later than my friend going over the material, her study habits allowed her to both master the course material more effectively and in less time than mine did.
Success in your toughest accounting courses does not have to be reserved for the naturally gifted students.
Before each class, go through the assigned reading and focus on understanding the material conceptually. Then, make an honest but modest attempt at doing the homework problems. When working on homework problems, you should be able to honestly say to yourself that, yes, you attempted to solve it.
If you can completely solve all of the assigned homework problems based on the reading, great! Even if they do, you made an honest attempt and your homework grade will not make-or-break your class grade. Your exam grades will. Back when I was a little less wise, I never read anything before class. In my freshman year of college, I never looked at any of the assigned readings.
I mean, the professor would just tell you everything that you were supposed to have understood anyway, right? If I skipped doing the readings, I would come to class and have no idea what the professor what talking about.
Then I would have to spend even more time going back doing the reading I was supposed to have already done just to catch up with the rest of the class. This is a fairly straightforward concept, but it can be a game changer. When I started doing this, no longer did I sit in lecture wondering what the professor was talking about. Instead, I was able to follow along with the class discussion and actually benefit from coming to class. In addition, pay attention to any concepts that you did not fully understand from your reading or anything the professor discussed that was not included in the notes.
Many professors will either explicitly tell you or at least allude to what types of questions you can expect on your exam. Make sure you ask questions in class or during office hours on areas that you still feel confused.
By definition, you can only review what you already know how to do. When you can look at the homework solutions and follow them from beginning to end, you are on the right track. Periodically review your class notes and revisit the homework problems that you did not answer correctly. If he loves numbers and research, he should welcome what some teachers and families have known for years: Exasperated parents cajole and nag. But, surprise, the opposite is more likely to be true. Homework given too young increases negative attitudes toward school.
Children rebel against homework because they have other things they need to do. Go to bed early. Play, following their own ideas. Children have been told what to do all day long at school—which is mostly sitting still and focusing on the academic side. Academic learning is only one side of a child. When school is out, kids need time for other things. Some schools are already realizing this. Individual schools and teachers from Maryland to Michigan have done the same, either eliminating homework in the elementary years or making it optional.
Believers in homework say it teaches soft skills like responsibility and good study habits. Young kids can rarely cope with complex time management skills or the strong emotions that accompany assignments, so the responsibility falls on parents.
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Whichever steps are taken to get a defiant "Aspie" to do homework, there are some things all moms and dads must keep in mind when managing these difficult homework situations. Please join the PTO in their annual Charleston Wrap Fundraiser. This is a fun and easy way to kick off the momentum for the school year and there are FUN incentives!!
Or, at least, not for hours every night. Believers in homework say it teaches soft skills like responsibility and good study habits. A major cause of agony for Aspergers (high functioning autistic) students, their parents and educators is the unsatisfactory completion of homework.