What should I learn by myself

Learning to learn: how do you learn correctly?

While toddlers discover new things day after day without any effort, for some students it seems that Desire to learn often somehow falling by the wayside. Suddenly learning is no longer fun but work. But if you know what happens in the brain during learning and how to learn correctly, the fun of learning will soon return. Learning to learn is the keyword here!

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Why is it often difficult for students to learn?

Problem # 1: The Two Hemispheres Dilemma

To learn to learn, it helps to know how our head works. Here are two halves of the brain that work together in an ingenious way: the left side takes care of the linguistic, the right side processes the visual. If we hear or read a word, the left hemisphere recognizes it and requests a suitable picture from the right hemisphere. And vice versa.

We learn really well when both hemispheres activated when we save a pictorial idea directly for a term. It is therefore particularly important in school that complex terms and topics are presented visually. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is often rare in class.

Problem # 2: Motivation to learn

Two activated halves of the brain are a great prerequisite for learning properly. But that doesn't help if the kids suffer from procrastination, the archenemy of learning success. If the right hemisphere paints a great picture of how boring learning is and if there is a lack of motivation to learn, it is particularly difficult to sit down and study with concentration.

Learning to learn therefore also includes knowing how to motivate yourself, how to change your own ideas and how to switch on the "learning mode" in your head. The following tips will help:

Learn to learn - do's & don'ts at a glance



  • Create a feel-good atmosphere
  • Reward with television or computer games
  • Learning too much at once
  • Get enough sleep and eat healthily
  • Use creative learning methods

Learn to learn - this is how it works

How do you learn properly? Ten tips for a good basis, successful preparation and effective learning.

1. Peace and comfort

Do you know that "Flow" feeling? A state that arises when you are completely focused, not aware of anything around you and are more productive than ever. A great feeling. You can have that while studying too! Above all, students need a place to study where they feel comfortable and where nothing distracts. That means: cell phone, television and radio off, only open the necessary programs on the PC, at most let soft music play in the background without singing.

Routines make a lot of things easier: Fixed learning timesthat the child can have a say, and nice rituals, such as a cup of cocoa, help counteract the lack of motivation to learn. The brain switches to learning mode more quickly.

2. Change the world through words

Don't think about an elephant! You're thinking of an elephant now, right? The reason: we cannot think nothing. Sentences like "I can't do that anyway" or "I just don't like the subject" are therefore quickly memorized in the subconscious and remain seated.

Try exchanging negative sentences with your child for "This is difficult, but I am up to the challenge" or "I will find a solution to the problem". Try together Seeing difficulties as opportunities. Tip: Parents are the most important role model for their children. When they approach things positively, children do the same.

Unfortunately, it doesn't help to shower the child with compliments any more than to criticize harshly in the case of failure. Above all, praise your child if they have made an effort, tackled a problem independently (even if they make mistakes) or acted particularly socially. In addition, constructive criticism can motivate - if it does not hurt, but encourages.

3. Our brain needs sleep

We do not learn well at all when we are under great stress. who enough time to study plan on one sound sleep respects and is generally good to his body (exercise, diet), learns much better. This applies to young and old.

4. Determine the type of learner

Max is great at learning with graphics, Ida remembers things particularly well when she hears them - everyone learns best with different senses. Anyone who finds out which learner type they belong to can apply the appropriate strategies.

Learn motivated and self-determined with scoyo:

5. We need a plan!

Our brain needs time and structure to cope with the subject matter. Allowing five days for a class test is a good guideline. In the beginning there is Focus on preparation, only then comes the learning phase, then the repetition phase and at the end the verification phase.

We have developed a learning plan that you can fill out to prepare your child for the next class test. → Download here for free: 5-day learning plan for school.

6. Good preparation is half the battle

Already something of Pareto principle belongs? It says that 80 percent of the total result is achieved with 20 percent of the total effort. Applied to learning, this means that what we actually spend the least time learning with makes up the largest part of learning success. And that is the preparation.

This is how you can prepare well for learning:

  • Read through documents with concentration.

  • Present content in your own words - out loud, in writing or sketching. (Let's draw learning notes, tinker with index cards and design mind maps, we stimulate both halves of the brain properly and lay a strong foundation for the next learning steps.

  • Invent your own examples for the topic to be learned.

  • Explain the topic to friends or family members.

7. Exercise

When preparing the learning material, beaten paths are formed in the brain which, if they are not used, overgrow. The learning material should therefore be in repeated at regular intervals become. This is how real highways are formed in the brain.

8. Don't learn similar things one after the other

Was that "Ombrelle" in Spanish or French? If students learn similar content one after the other, they can easily get mixed up. It is better to learn math after German and then maybe biology. With the right mix, you learn really well!

9. Get creative

Sure, there are things that just have to be memorized. But: In most cases, the learning material can be worked on creatively. There are innumerable creative methodsthat are fun and thus ensure that more sticks.

10. Successfully memorize

Sometimes students cannot avoid memorizing, for example with vocabulary or poetry. But the kids can also make this easier for themselves:

  1. It helps a lot Words with pictures to link (we remember the two halves of the brain). With vocabulary you should always have the corresponding picture and, with poems, a suitable scene in mind.

  2. Learn in a structured way: Children should learn poems by heart paragraph by paragraph. It is best to sort vocabulary into small thematic blocks of no more than 7 words and then memorize them block by block.

  3. After each paragraph or block your child should take short breaks and move a little. That solidifies! Then it's the turn of the next section.

  4. While learning use all your senses: Depending on the type of learner, your child can move around according to what they have learned, paint something or pronounce the words out loud and emphasize them differently.

  5. Think about the beaten track! Repeat what you have learned regularly over the next few weeks.

Learning to learn - that's not how it works

Unfortunately, there are so many myths about learning. We like to fall into these five traps:

1. Reward with television

If we sat on our buttocks, we deserve a reward - that's right! But exciting movies right after you study can ruin your success. Because: Dramatic and emotional stimuli flood the brain and suppress what has been learned. Important information such as vocabulary and co. Are overwritten and cannot wander into long-term memory. Against this are play, relaxation and Movement after learning precisely.

2. Learn a lot at once

Anyone who suffers from procrastination usually has a lot to learn shortly before class work - too much for the brain to be able to store everything sustainably. The amount of information our brain can take in at one time is limited. Students should take a 5 to 15 minute break every 30 to 45 minutes. It is also best to divide what you are learning over several days.

3. One-sided learning

This is where our two halves of the brain come into play again. If students only read a text or just look at a graphic, they do not learn as much as when they use all their senses. In mathematics, children learn the subject of "sizes and areas" more easily if they measure something themselves. Foreign languages ​​stick better when kids do Use vocabulary too, for example going from room to room and naming objects (tip: use colored sticky notes).

4. Learning at the wrong time

Homework is done right after school - this wisdom is anchored in most people's minds. Has each his own time to which he learns best. For some it is right after school, others need a break first. Find out together when your child learns best.

5. Copy everything off

What you have written down, you keep in mind - another piece of wisdom that unfortunately is not true for everyone. Blunt Copying them usually doesn't help at all. Better: summarize texts by hand and in your own words. Depending on the type of learner, it is even more helpful to draw a graphic or to reproduce the content out loud or orally.

Book tips

► This is how you learn to learn: the path to success by Sebastian Leitner

► Learning with joy: for a lifetimeby Gerald Hüther

► Successful learning: Efficient learning and work strategiesby Eberhardt Hofmann