You helped your child discover his or her learning style a few weeks ago. Go back and see how he or she scored in terms of intrapersonal or interpersonal learning. As a review, interpersonal learners like to study with others while intrapersonal learners prefer to study alone. Regardless of where your child scored, remember that humans are social creatures. Even if your child is overwhelmingly an intrapersonal learner, he or she can still benefit from studying in a group.
Study groups offer many benefits to learners. First, the question/answer format of study groups plays right to the verbal, auditory, and visual learning styles. Second, the group setting often creates a sense of engagement that studying alone doesn’t provide. The cooperative interaction helps students stay on task and focus on the information being reviewed. Finally, study groups can help students get an idea of how others think. Perhaps one member of the study group has a particularly good mnemonic device that may aid everybody. Another might be able to explain a vague concept more effectively than the teacher could. When students share their goals and knowledge they can help one another learn.
When teachers hold in-class review sessions for tests, the groups are often too large to be effective. Interpersonal learners typically do well in study groups of any size as long as everyone is engaged and distractions are kept to a minimum. Intrapersonal learners should limit the group size to four people so they don’t feel overwhelmed. The best news is that study groups are relatively portable. Let your child invite friends over, meet in the park or at the library, or encourage studying during carpool time. There is power in numbers!
Study groups meet the needs of several learning styles and can let students hear information presented in different ways. Help your child arrange a study group before his or her next test.