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Should My Child Take Notes From the DVD Lectures and the Textbook?

Question from Lisa:

What is the best way to go about studying for mathematics? Should my child take notes from the DVD lectures and the textbook? He says taking notes distracts him from concentrating on the lectures. When I was in school, we were always encouraged to take notes. Does it help in mathematics? If so, how should he take notes from the lectures and textbooks?

Answer from Cassidy Cash:

When I read your email I couldn’t help but smile 🙂 While all children learn in their own unique way, I feel it is safe to say that taking notes is not a bad idea for anyone. That said, it may very well be that taking notes is not the best learning method for your son.

I would say the first step is to evaluate the reason for your son’s objection. Notes might truly be a hindrance to him, or it may be that he just does not want to apply himself and do that extra work. You are the best person to make that evaluation. The dvd is designed to be watched while following along in the textbook. We are hoping that students are sitting there with their book and notebook paper following along actively, not just watching the dvd as they would a tv show. While we took steps to try and make the dvd enjoyable and interesting, it is not pure entertainment, so some amount of participation on the student’s part is to be expected.

However, the best way to learn anything is by doing it. So I would suggest approaching mathematics with some outside doing instead of just number crunching. A good place to start with the Algebra course specifically, is with the activities listed in the back of the Teachers Guide. You might make math class one day (or perhaps more than one day) about applying the subject with activities and real world examples. Something my students thought was fun was to come up with their own lesson activities. Make sure that your student understands the math concepts and that he can work math problems, but there is nothing wrong with reaching outside of the textbook for learning aids.

Math exists all around us, and by stepping outside the textbook in this way, you are not only encouraging the student to see math in their world, but you make learning a little more fun than rote memorization and number crunching—or note taking. 🙂

I hope this helps! God Bless, Cassidy Cash