By Lillie Therieau
Most young students are busy! Whether it’s sports, drama, a musical instrument, or some other kind of extracurricular activity, your child most likely has a full life outside of school. Add in family time, chores, and a healthy night’s sleep, and they can seem positively booked. It can be hard to imagine fitting in something like math practice or coaching.
However, it doesn’t have to be a burden at all! If your child practices their math skills and concepts for an easy 10 minutes a day, you’ll see steady growth and progress.
Repetition and habit-building are key for getting new information down and achieving a strong grasp of the concepts. When you build in even a small 10-minute window to practice math skills, your child will reap the benefits of consistent practice and incremental progress.
Math practice doesn’t have to be a scary idea or one that takes up an unreasonable chunk of your child’s day. It can fit into any schedule, no matter how busy or chaotic. This is also a great way to counter the argument that your child just “doesn’t have time for math”. Everyone does!
By simply building in a regular 10-minute chunk of time for math practice daily, your child can get ahead and maintain their busy schedule without feeling overwhelmed.
If you are someone who goes to the gym or does yoga, you might already be aware of the science surrounding consistent short intervals of practice time. Most of us only hit the gym for 20-30 minutes. Most yoga routines run about the same! Even 10 minutes of daily exercise drastically increases physical and mental health. It’s the cumulative effect that works its magic, as these small periods add up.
It’s not a stretch to apply this logic elsewhere. Our bodies and brains love repetition, habits, and cumulative learning. It’s a sure-fire way to accelerate growth. It’s why, when studying for a big test, it’s recommended to study a little bit every day, rather than a ton one day and not at all for the following few. We only have a small-ish window of optimal learning time. When we try too hard for too long to study, we end up feeling like our brains have turned to mush.
Our concentration starts to waver and we might find ourselves drifting off-task. All of us know the feeling!
Why keep pushing at something when it’s not productive? Most people have a skewed understanding of their productivity. They think that they can just soldier on and get it done, no matter how tough it is or how long it takes. However, tasks get done quicker and to a better quality when we don’t push the boundaries of our productivity and concentration.
When we break up large tasks into smaller sections, we’re more efficient and retain more information. We also end up feeling better mentally as well as feeling more capable of returning to the task the next day, instead of getting burnt out.
Studying and practicing for 10 minutes a day allows students to hack into their optimal period of learning, set up great habits and repetition, and achieve cumulative growth. They won’t get overstimulated or overwhelmed, as they may if they study for one large chunk of time a week. Instead, they’ll feel capable, familiar with the material, and empowered to keep going.
If it’s hard to get your student to commit to consistent daily habits, try to align the 10 minutes of math practice with some other part of the day. It will be easier for you to remind them when you create a time around a habit that already exists. For example, you could use brushing your teeth in the morning as a “hook”!
Your family and your child already brush their teeth each morning when you wake up. It is already built into your morning routine. Simply slot the 10 minutes of math practice in before or after your child brushes their teeth each morning. That way, the thought of brushing their teeth will trigger the reminder that they need to work on their math.
We recommend keeping the 10 minutes a day of math practice at around the same time each day of the week. It helps students remember to complete their math practice and works even better to commit ideas to memory through consistent repetition. It also allows students to get into the math mood or mindset. Doing something every day at the same time makes it easier and more effective!
A big part of why students may fall off of the 10 minutes a day practice schedule is that they end up forgetting. Building in a linked reminder, or “hook”, is a great way to counteract this challenge. It could also be useful to tape a reminder on the fridge, the bathroom mirror, or your child’s work area, at least until they get more firmly into the habit.
Your child’s already got tons of built-in habits throughout the day that you can use as a hook. It simply comes down to what works best for them.
We believe in the 10 minutes a day model so fully that we built it into our guarantee. Using Elephant Learning for just 10 minutes a day, three times a week, for 3 months will see your child growing at least a year in their grasp of mathematics. If they don’t, you get a full refund or three free further months of coaching to get your child up to speed.
This promise is based on studies we’ve done assessing the growth of most users on Elephant Learning. We noticed that repetition helped our users thrive and get ahead. It amplified their growth, and over time, it added up. It’s why we encourage our users to interact with our platform daily or every few days for a small period of time. It adds up and consistency is key.
Try Elephant Learning alongside your child for 10 minutes a day and see the rapid results and growth!
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