School hacks for all ages to use right now

By now everyone is back in class and more or less settled into a routine. I saw these suggestions on Facebook — and many of you may have as well — and thought now was a good time to share them. Some of these are new ideas and some of them I have actually tried, so they aren’t exactly new!

After writing a paper, copy and paste it onto Google translate and listen to it to find mistakes. (In my day we just read it out loud to ourselves or found a willing ear from Mom.)

Download the app Photomatch. It lets you take pictures of math problems and teaches you the correct steps to solve the problem. (Boy could I have used this for high school geometry. It would have saved me many trips down the street to our most math-knowledgeable neighbor!)

You’re more likely to remember something that you write in blue ink than in black ink. (Does that mean pencil is out?)

Peppermint stimulates the brain and helps with concentration. (We did this in school before state testing for years. Who doesn’t need an excuse to eat candy?)

While studying for a certain subject, pretend that you will have to teach the material. It helps you pay more attention. (Or better yet, teach it to a friend. It really works.)

Use wordhippo.com to find words that you can’t think of but can describe.

White text with black outline can be read with any color background.

Studying hard for 30 to 50 minutes at a time with 10 minute breaks in between is the most effective way to study.

Eating chocolate while studying will help the brain retain information easily. (Yet another reason to eat chocolate!)

Writing something out is equivalent to reading it seven times. (I always took notes twice — once in class, then I rewrote them legibly into another notebook. It really did help.)

In reading the comments accompanying these hints, everyone had a ‘thumbs up’ comment for all of them — and there were a lot of comments. Give them a try, no matter how young or old a student you may be. Every little bit helps.



Now that you’ve practiced all the study skills, it’s time for some fun. Did you realize if you rearranged the letters in these words or phrases you’d get related words or phrases? Give these a look…

Dormitory — Dirty Room; Presbyterian — Best in Prayer; Astronomer — Moon Starer; Desperation — A Rope Ends It; The Eyes — They See; George Bush — He Bugs Gore; The Morse Code — Here Come Dots; Slot Machines — Cash Lost in Me; Animosity — Is No Amity; Election Results — Lies Let’s Recount; Mother-in Law — Woman Hitler; Snooze Alarms — Alas No More Z’s; A Decimal Point — I’m a Dot in Place; The Earthquakes — That Queer Shake; Eleven Plus Two — Twelve Plus One


Sue Sampson is a longtime columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.


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