Many years ago when I was studying at varsity, I started to realize that organization was probably not one of my strong points especially when it came to actually study. My solution? A ring-bound book of blank pages to keep my notes together. Simple enough. And effective too.
No more spending hours trying to find my last notes. And no more having to start again because of having lost said notes. Win-win!
Fast forward 20 years and I find myself staring into the face of a bewildered 9 year old (aka my oldest son) saying ‘Mom, I’ve got exams and I don’t know how to study!’
Flashback! Ring-bound notes. Who would have thought that idea would pay off long after I used it?
Well truth be told, it was more for my sanity than his. This cute little 9 year old was spending his afternoons at aftercare and I needed to make sure that he had some sense of order and control (and a method for me to check up on him).
As each term and its impending cycle tests and exams came whizzing by, my desire to help my boys with their studies increased. I started researching study methods (it had been a while you know), finding out the latest ‘trends’, discovering the latest research and modifying this control book (I mean notebook) as I went along. I spoke to moms and dads, and there was an overwhelming need to help our kiddies find order and structure, and a sense of control in this otherwise stress inflicting, panic-inducing life reality.
And so the birth of MASN came about. A labour of love you might say (yes, pun intended!)
It went from a mere bound notebook to having dividers for subjects, then to having lines added, and blank pages.
As this humble little notebook changed form, so my levels of inspiration changed. I began to study methods of study, tried to figure out what was lacking, and where this simple concept could help my boys with their studies.
Thinking back to me as a student at high school, I realized one of my biggest downfalls (apart from the previously mentioned lack of organization) was that I simply didn’t take responsibility for my studies, nor did I realize the impact this would make on my future career choices. So I added the pledge into the newly modified book.
I continued to consider my studying career and thought about what was still lacking in the notebook. My time management was never really good. My study method could have been best described as ‘leave it to the last minute’. And so the calendar sections were added.
Further pondering made me realized that the only goal I had was not to fail. So I never aimed very high, I never aimed to improve. My dad always said that as long as I did my best, he was happy. I tried to convince myself that I always tried my best. But even now, as I look back, I know that I didn’t do my best. I did just enough. And I most certainly don’t want my boys to learn that self-defeating habit. Enter the goals page.
Feeling quite chuffed with myself, I thought the book now had it all. But I was wrong. I realized that studying can be like building a jigsaw puzzle as we put pieces of information together to create a whole. And we all know that jigsaw puzzles work best if you have the picture. So I added the overview pages which have proven to be particularly helpful in giving my boys a sense of direction when they study, as well as a checkpoint reference for work mastered, and work that still needed work.
Another addition was the new terms and definitions section. Such a handy reference tool! The one-stop-shop for all terms words and unknown. No more searching and hunting in the textbook for that unknown term. Now it’s easily found in one place.
And then finally, the pages that started this whole journey: the summary pages. Though there was not much to alter, one or two adjustments were made resulting in writing pages and drawing pages. These two different types of pages allow different study techniques to be used in the book.
This refining process took a year or two, but finally, baby MASN was born, and here it is today.
I am so chuffed to be able to share with you that this ‘little’ book is now taking on the much sought after solution for students, right from primary school, to high school, varsity and beyond (even the corporate environment). And the results definitely speak for themselves.
Want to find out more about how My Amazing Study Notes can help both you and your child? Click here to find out more.