Seven Super Study Tips for Midterms


What makes a midterm so different from a test or quiz? It is the amount of information of course. A high school midterm covers about five months of content whereas; a college midterm may only cover two months. In both cases, a midterm is heavily weighted and can have a big impact on your term grade – positively or negatively.  But don’t panic, here are seven tips to help you work your way through the review and you can find more help on our Facebook page.

1. Get your confidence up by reviewing the most recent information first. If you have any tests, quizzes or other assignments that you can use, it is important to review them too.

2. Chunk down the information into manageable pieces and create an outline or a mind map (web) with key concepts. The brain remembers color, shapes, placement, words and numbers in that order so anytime you can use those things to add to your mind map or notes you are helping your brain remember. Review by covering up a section and repeating. For you auditory learners, you can use a digital recorder or create an mp3 of your notes and play it back.

3. Study in one hour blocks and take a 10-15 minute break to allow your brain to process the new information.

4. Studying is not about rereading…interact somehow with the information. Ask yourself questions, group facts together, draw a timeline, etc.

5. Don’t cram, it doesn’t work. Space out your studying over the week and do a short review of the topics covered the day before and then continue on.

6. Keep good health habits of eating, sleeping and drinking plenty of water (the brain loves it) and also get some exercise – it stirs up the dopamine in your brain which helps it to think.

7. Lastly, relax and breathe. If you get stressed your body sends out cortisol, the stress hormone, and that can interfere with your ability to think clearly. Stay calm….and you WILL get through it. Good luck.

If you found these tips helpful and would like to learn other study skills and homework strategies, then check out our daily email program to end homework hassle.

Easy Steps to Going Green

Making simple changes/choices towards a more “greener” lifestyle is good for your health, your family, your environment and the planet. Today’s article talks about three areas to help you navigate along the green path. First up is food. There is a lot of press about organic vs. conventionally grown produce and the amount of pesticides and other chemicals in our foods. Knowing where your food comes from can tell you about how it has been grown. With Farmer’s Markets beginning, you have the opportunity to ask the farmer how it has been grown. Buying local also cuts down on energy used and pollution created from shipping from the other side of the globe. The closer it is, the fresher it is too.

Going 100% organic can be expensive however, and so a consumer health group called the Environmental Working Group, has created a list of the “dirty dozen” – those 12 fruits and veggies that have been shown to have the highest amounts of pesticide residue. They recommend buying organic for these. They also created a “clean 15” list, which lists the 15 cleanest fruits and veggies that you can feel safe buying conventionally. For processed products check the ingredient lists – the shorter the list, the more likely you can pronounce the ingredients. That could mean fewer chemicals and preservatives in the food and in your body. Keep BPAs (giant name I won’t even try to spell, that has been shown to affect hormones) out of your food by not microwaving anything in plastic. Use glass for storage whenever possible too.

You can also reduce your exposure to chemicals by opting for the more “natural” choice when possible. I’m no expert but I have tried to switch from popular brands of cleaning products to those made by Method and 7th Generation or I just use vinegar and water. I have been happy with the results and feel that they are no more expensive than the other brands (I get them at Target). I’ve also found that my husband’s allergies seem to bother him less. So, I’ll continue to watch for new products and to replace what I can with a more earth friendly and “Laine” friendly product.

Some other simple actions you can take along the way: Reuse or repurpose things rather than buying new. Recycle as much as possible. Many towns now have single stream recycling which makes it so easy. Everything plastic (numbers 1-7); paper, metal and glass can all go in the same container. Use the reusable “shopping” bags at the grocery store and also other stores. Use less plastic and more glass containers. Open the windows when possible to change the air inside your home. Put lights on timers, heat and AC on timers and of course buy local and buy organic when you can. Baby steps down the road to “green” may improve your health and the health of your family too. I’m sure you can think of other ideas, let’s share on Facebook.

Coming in August – Back to School Bootcamp August 13-16. In cooperation with Skills for Living we will be offering a Back to School Organization workshop for students in Grades 4-9 (two separate sessions), and a Parent Game Plan for Back to School a 90 minute workshop to help parents help their children succeed in school. Skills for Living will offer several different social skills workshops based on age groups – Middle School Survival and Jumping into High School and more. Watch our Laine’s Logic Facebook page for more info.

2012 Resolutions be Gone!

2012 motivation without resolutions
2012 motivation without resolutions

Happy New Year! I wish you a year that is all you want it to be. Have you thought about what you would like 2012 to be like? If you reflect back on 2011 as you think about this you may see some things that you want less of. For instance, less stress, less overtime, less excess weight, etc. But instead focus on the positives of what your life would look like and the kind of person you would need to become to have that.

2012 is a brand new year and the opportunity is there for each of us to make it our best year ever. How do you do that? By the choices (ie decisions) you make every moment. You may not even realize you are making a choice because it happens so often throughout the day. But as you start to pay attention, you’ll notice the opportunity to make a wise choice/decision rather than not thinking about it at all. That’s like automatically accepting the “default” setting on your life.

For example, to have less weight, maybe you would need to protect/guard/improve your health. It’s not a resolution I will lose 10 pounds this year, but more of a promise to yourself to protect your health by the choices you make. You would be surprised at the number of opportunities you have throughout the day to “protect your health.” Should I work out, should I take the elevator or the stairs, should I bring my lunch or buy it? Choices you make each and every day that either help or hinder your health.

So, no more resolutions! Instead pick several areas of your life that are important to you and see if you can put them into short phrases that are easy to remember. Then this month focus on the positives, the “wiser” choices you make, and keep track of how you do. I have used Darren Hardy’s Weekly Rhythm Register in the past because you can adapt it to fit your needs. However, this year I am using Joe’s goals so I can keep track on my phone and/or computer. Here are just three of the things I am tracking this year. I will protect my health, respect my boundaries and complete my top five priorities each day. The overriding theme for this year for me is “choices, not excuses!” By tracking those things (and a few more) I feel it will make a difference in my life and also in the kind of person I am. Besides, focusing on what I am doing feels so much better than focusing on what I am not doing.

So, what’s it going to be for you this year? Let me know in the comment box below and let’s get this discussion going.

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