A. It is an important new tool to help you understand how to help your child become a more effective expert learner. We wanted to give you a way to know if your child is using the best study strategies and the latest learning techniques. This is something . . .
you need to know. And it is a very convenient way to get this information.
Completing it is simple, much like taking a fun online quiz, but for the serious purpose of learning how to improve. You will click on a series of questions about your child’s study habits and practices. It’s quick and takes only about 10-15 minutes to complete. When you finish, you will receive an email with an attached profile report that you can save and print out. For your convenience, there are two versions of this assessment – a long and a short form. Choose either to help your child become a lifelong learner. It is confidential – and free.
A. It is difficult to improve something if you don’t really know where you stand. It’s a useful map to help you reach a learning destination. Without an expert assessment . . .
you can’t really know if the learning strategies your child is using are the right ones. This assessment tool has been designed to help you understand how the application of the new science of learning can greatly benefit your child. The information you gain can be used for many purposes to guide you on how to improve the effectiveness of your child’s independent study habits and practices. If you want your child to become an expert learner, this powerful tool will help guide you. You can share and use the report to having deeper conversations with your child about learning. It’s easy to get – and you can do it for each of your children.
Q3. Why are there two versions of the Learning Strategies Assessment? How will I decide which version is best for me?
A. We want to provide you with two good choices to help you understanding your child’s use of expert learning strategies. One is quicker and shorter, and one is more detailed. The advantage . . .
of the short form is you have fewer questions and it is easier to complete. The long form has more questions, which will give you greater detail. Both are great ways to start. One easy way to help you decide is this suggestion – use the long form with older children (age 10 and up) who spend more time on independent study, and the short form with younger children who spend less time on homework. However, choosing one version does not preclude you from trying the other in the future. Because you can take the assessment as many times as you want.
A. Both the long and short reports are loaded with useful information including ratings, recommended actions, and commentary. Your report will provide you with these 7 important benefits . . .
- It breaks down your child’s study practices into understandable evidence-based learning strategies.
- It makes it easy to know what study practices are working well, and the ones where you need to improve.
- It organizes accelerated learning techniques into easy-to-understand dimensions.
- Learn where your child is on the Learning Maturity Model (LMM).
- You can use it to have positive and insightful conversations with your child on learning.
- You get comparisons to norms of other students. This can be positively motivating for you and your child.
- It provides suggestions of the next steps to take and where to get started.
A. Yes, of course you can. Some parents prefer this approach. However . . .
We recommend that you can benefit more by first filling it out by yourself as the parent. Why? This will help you gain knowledge and deeper insights into learning strategies, which can make you a more informed coach for your child. We believe, since you have chosen to be actively involved in your child’s education, that informing yourself first is usually better. After you have read the report, and gained useful insights into your child’s study strategies, you can take it again with your child with greater confidence that it is right for you. Since you are not limited in the number of times you can take this assessment, try experiencing the assessment first by yourself.
A. No, there are significant differences, and you should know why they are different as a homeschooling parent because . . .
This will help you be a more effective coach of their learning abilities. While habits and skills are important to learning strategies, and are part of most, evidence-based learning strategies often include other components. These can include positive mindsets, methods, routines, useful tools, and techniques. Effective learning strategies benefit from understanding how memory, retention, and recall work, so learners can adopt the right strategy for the situation. We provide this knowledge to you.
A. That won’t happen – there are no “good” or “bad” scores and no evaluation is made of your child’s capabilities. Your LSA report in a non-threatening way to . . .
assesses the use of learning strategies, which can easily be developed through practice and effort.
Your child should not be discouraged by any of the information in your report, when you explain what this report evaluates, and what it does not. Inefficient or poor study habits are not fixed. In the case that you child hasn’t been using many evidence-based learning strategies, this can be good news to know, not bad, because you now know the path to getting much better.
Your child will feel excited that he or she knows the way to learning faster and better. We think students can get discouraged when they sense they could be better, but don’t know how.
A. Yes! The LSA instrument was created for the purpose of encouraging constructive conversations about learning between parent and child. A low score . . .
does not reflect negatively on the individual student because it assesses many practices and behaviors that are relatively easy to change. Since it does not evaluate intellect or student potential, it is non-threatening to the self-esteem and personal confidence of the child. We believe, when it comes to learning, that transparency is a good thing. The more you talk about learning strategies with your child, the more you can both jointly work to improve them. If there are many strategies available to learn faster and better, why not know these exist and are available to you?
A. No – this is not what this instrument assesses. The LSA does not evaluate student ability – it evaluates habits, methods, and use of learning strategies. Many good students are using inefficient strategies . . .
it just means they are wasting time studying harder than they need to. Of course, the use of better strategies can greatly help the child be a better student. The LSA focuses on better learning strategies you both can willingly apply with planning, effort, and practice. The LSA assesses learnable skills, practices, and habits. Cal Newport, learning expert, author, and college professor says he continually is amazed by the many good students he observes who waste so much of their time using poor learning strategies. We agree. This is a problem we want to help you solve. See Q7.
A. It does not assess “talent” in your child. A higher score means your child is using many sound study strategies correctly. A lower score means . . .
you have room to improve along with the knowledge of how to get better. The two instruments help you look mostly at methods and techniques, which are things that anyone can learn. It also examines mindsets, which can be changed with the help of coaching from you. Your assessment also examines the use of selected learning tools, all of which can easily be created at home. In the end, becoming a better learner will help your child become more talented. We believe talent is created through effort and thoughtful approaches.
A. You can begin right away – it depends on how quickly you want to start having deeper conversations, and how often you encourage the smart use of better strategies. The payoff from better strategies . . .
will become evident quickly through practice. The LSA provides you with an understanding of what to work on. Both the long and short versions will identify many evidence-based learning strategies that your child can and should be using. With some planning, and intentional effort to implement better strategies, you should be able to start noticing improvements in learning, retention and recall within a few weeks. How much you child improves, depends on you, where you are now, the effort applied to trying new things, along with the coaching support you provide. Great results in a short period of time are possible.
Q12. You refer to the “science of learning” – does a parent have to be proficient at science to use the LSA?
A. You don’t have to be a scientist. The Learning Strategies Assessment was built for parents like you who have chosen to be more actively involved in their child’s education. It uses everyday terms . . .
to help homeschooling parents get started coaching your child to study smarter. Your report will provide you with clear explanations on the different strategies and ideas on what you can do to get better.
We also offer a mini-course that provides you with more information on evidence-based learning as well as other convenient online courses with more ideas and resources. We know we can provide you with all you need to know to coach the science of learning to your child. We’ll also make you a more effectively coach.
A. The LSA questionnaire uses a proven science-based design, which assesses the use of important evidence-based learning strategies. Many parents have found it helpful to . . .
provide a quick, and easy, way to identify and understand the learning strategies your child is using.
However, the accuracy of any assessment always depends on you – the rater and how well you know what your child does when he or she learns independently. If you have frequent observations, and many conversations with your child on how he or she studies, you should have an accurate assessment. If you are uncertain or concerned that you may not understand your child’s use of evidence-based learning strategies, take the instrument anyway and find out how easy or hard it is for you to answer the questions. If you find there are many things you cannot assess, use this as a learning experience to help you shape your future questions, so you can better understand what your child does when studying independently. In the end, it is the conversations and support that you provide to help your child study smarter that really matters.
A. We are here to support you and we have other tools that you can use to help your child learn better and faster.
We recommend that you read the “Learning Strategies Assessment Workbook for Parents” in the “parent resources” section of the website. This link will take you there – http://www.centerforhomeschooling.com/parent_resources.php.
We also recommend that you take the free one hour online mini-course which will help you read and understand your report and prepare you for your first discussions. To sign up, go to http://www.centerforhomeschooling.com/courses.php?course=PA10_free_mini_course.php