I personally do not prefer listening to audiobooks as I feel that I can go through the book faster by reading than listening to it. However, during one mindless browsing on Hoopla, I stumbled upon the audiobook Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner. It was a great stumble, for I latched on to it with increasing interest. So fascinating was the concept of Spaced Repetition System, and his organic ideas of learning a foreign language, that I went ahead and got hold of the physical book from the library. Yes, I did listen to the audiobook version, but I had to read the physical version too. Because…just because.
What grabbed my attention was the SRS, the Spaced Repetition System he employed for learning vocabulary. I am teaching Arabic grammar in our local homeschool co-op, and I found myself trying to apply ideas and learning and teaching strategies I had come across in my summer reading (you can tell I don’t read a lot of fiction). I find this concept of Spaced Repetition fascinating to say the least. It is, for one, based on science, neuroscience at that, a field I have somewhat of an obsession in. It also jives with the Quran revision method my older son had suggested to me.
To learn about the Spaced Repetition System, it’s better than you watch this video below than read my attempt at explaining it.
From this concept, the Leitner Method was born. Watch this video here to learn about it.
I usually gloss over methods like these, but Wyner’s book had reeled me in, so I expended energy and time trying to understand the method. On the reflection side of it, it occurred to me that this method is also about equity vs. equality. Studying all your vocabulary words repeatedly over and over is equality. However, studying those words using the Spaced Repetition System is equity, because you are giving more study time to words you are weak in and just enough time to words that are more solidly established in your memory. Doesn’t that make more sense? That’s how your study becomes more effective and efficient!
So, naturally, I decided to employ this method for our Arabic vocabulary study at home, but not before deciding that I want to recommend my co-op students use this technique for their Arabic vocabulary revision too. I have never made a video like this before, but for my students, I made one. One in which I showed how my son is using the Leitner method for the Arabic vocabulary I assign to my Arabic students at the co-op.
The beauty of this method is that it can be used across the board! Use it for studying history, science, English vocabulary, and the list goes on! I love reading books on neuroscience. This is why. I treat my reading habit as my continuing education in being a homeschooling parent. This is why.
Juli Herman is a homeschooling mother of four children, two of which are now in college. While pursuing her BSc. in Computer Science, she had her first two children. By the time she completed her final year, she was 100% certain of two things; stay home with her children, and rekindle her love of learning. As a bibliophile, Juli naturally instilled the love of reading to her children from a young age. Homeschooling became an obvious choice of education for her children as she read more about it. Through living a homeschooling lifestyle where love of learning is placed on a pedestal, she witnessed her children blossom into their respective areas of strength. Now that she has been homeschooling for over 19 years, she is glad she documented the journey on her homeschooling blog, which went through its own growth. Blogging has served as a great reminder of both the blessings and challenges of homeschooling to keep her going with the youngest child. Through it all, homeschooling has taught her a lot about the true meaning of tawakkul.