Saturday, January 24, 2015

Learning Hack of the Day: Keep A Journal

Writing is an indispensable skill. No matter what career you decide to enter, you will need to write well. Your journal will be a great help. Write everyday. Your journal can have one purpose; some people keep journals of kids or pets' activities; a journal of a vacation or even an illness. Journal about your married or dating life. A learner's journal is great; Write about your new learning and learning plans. Use journaling as writing practice to become a better writer. Most likely you will want to write about many different things. Use different colored pens for different topics. One for pets' activities; one for new learning; one for affirmations; one for writing exercises. Experiment in your journal. If you intended your journal to be only a learning journal or winter journal, try writing a poem, or describing your best friend or vent about your neighbor or a politician. We learn from our writing.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Learning hack of the Day; Study in Cafes.

Why do people enjoy working on school work, novels and book club selections in cafes? Studies have shown that we are more productive there. Chances are your school has a cafeteria. Try studying there. Or when studying at home, go to It is a free website, where we can listen to the sounds of a coffee shop. They have the research to back them up. People become more productive while listening to cafe sounds.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Learning Hack of the Day: Study Every Day

Get in the habit of studying every day Type class notes as soon as you can after class Then everyday review your notes to date. After a class or a textbook reading session, go over your notes and underlinings.When test time comes, you will already have memorized the earlier material, and you will have fewer new facts to learn. You are using Repetition here, but don't forget to also use Chaining and Pegging.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Learning Hack of the Day: Initiate Your Own Learning Plan

Our public and private school systems are not set up to recognize genius. Thomas Edison was sent home from school because the teachers said he could not learn. Most budding Edisons in our educational system are just flunked. Too often these children accept the false diagnoses that they could not learn. Unless you have a medically diagnosed learning disorder, you can learn. Know that the failure is often the school system. Stern unfriendly teachers, boring textbooks and regimented activities do not promote learning. If the school system is not working for you, explore homeschooling and unschooling. Find alternatives. Find the system that works for you. Abraham Lincoln had little formal schooling. He was self taught. The best learning for you is the learning you initiate.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Learning Hack of the Day: Draw a Picture

A friend of mine is an artist. When she goes on vacation, she brings a sketch pad along. While she does take some pictures, she also does lots of sketching. She remembers more about the places and the people that she sketches than she remembers about the photographs. What pictures can you draw as you study. If you are studying a foreign language instead of just writing the words and their translations, draw a picture. If you are studying history, draw the boundaries of the Roman empire or the the Civil War battle lines as a general would have drawn them. Pencil drawings are fine, but color ed pencil will hep you even more as they add noticeable detail.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Learning Hack of the Day: Free Write

We have started our journal. Remember that a journal is a personal thing. How you use it is up to you. Most geniuses in history kept journals. It is the one thing Mark Twain, Walt Disney, Leonardo DaVinci, Vince Lombardy and hundreds of other recognized geniuses had in common. Feel free to draw pictures in your journal or write about the days events or to list your new learning experiences. The important thing is to keep a journal. But what should you write in your journal? Free writing is a great technique used by many journal keepers. Free writing is writing whatever comes to mind. It does not matter how silly or redundant. Just write for a specific amount of time. Many writers begin their day with a free-write. They claim it is a way of getting the garbage out of the mind, before starting serious writing. Julia Cameron in her book “The Artist's Way” assigns free writes of three pages long to her students. Many artists swear this makes them more creative. In my own free writing, I often discover that even if I feel I don't have much to write and I think that todays free write will be a waste of time, when I get to the third page, the ideas start to flow and I know what I have to write. I have found it does not work for me every day, but if I do it once a month, or at the beginning of each season or the beginning of each new project, it works. Sometimes when I am working on multiple projects, I will free write between working on one and switching to the next. Try a timed free write or do morning pages one day this week.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


You are allowed to change. Know that if you were not a good student in the past, this does not mean you cannot be a great student now. Perhaps, like me, there were times in your life when you lacked the motivation, didn't put in the effort or surrendered to boredom. That doesn't mean you cannot learn and enjoy subjects you once found challenging. After flunking algebra in high school, I came to enjoy it in college. I just approached it with a different attitude and, yes, I spent hours working on the algebra. By starting with the simplest problems, and paying close attention from the beginning of the class, I found it much easier. Actor David Krumholtz flunked algebra in high school, but later when he played a mathematician on television, he had to learn the same math he had once flunked. He just needed a better reason to learn the material. We all have the ability to learn. Sometimes we just need the desire.