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The Three Little Pigs of Retention

You may have heard this story before. Three little pigs venture out on their own, build houses of weak materials and get eaten by a big bad wolf. Overall a great story, but what does it have to do with retention in learning? Well, hold on to your seats, I’m about to tell you more.

"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...." there lived three little pigs who left for school.

The first little pig, let’s call him Curly, went to class and his teacher gave him a wheel barrel filled with textbooks. Now Curly didn’t like to read as it was very hard, and the textbooks were so long and such a bore. But the teacher didn’t have time for the first little pigs, so he did the best he could with nothing to say. He flipped through the books, but the words didn’t click. No matter how long he read, the information failed to stick.

One day, there came a knock on his door. From the other side came a loud call, “Little pig, little pig, let’s go play. Studying is a waste, let’s enjoy the day.”

Curly knew the voice of his friend WolfCraft. Now WolfCraft told everyone he was their friend, but he tempted them to do things they knew they shouldn’t. He took the students away from their studies and distracted their minds.

But Curly tried to be good. He said, “Not by the peach fuzz of my chinny, chin, chin.”

WolfCraft replied, “Come on man, let’s go have some fun. Do I have to knock all your books down and pull you out here to play? ” Curly had to admit the books were no fun. So he relented and left his work behind him.

Now Curly’s middle brother Larry did not fare much better. His teacher loved sticking her students in front of a screen or plugging them into an audiobook. While screen time was fun and lectures could be cool, Larry’s mind often wandered and he struggled to focus on school.

One day there came a knock on his door and he heard the words “Little pig, little pig, let’s go play.” Larry knew the voice of his friend WolfNite.

Now WolfNite was the middle brother of WolfCraft and he too told everyone that he was their friend, then tempted them to do things they knew they shouldn’t. He whisked students away from their studies and filled their heads with distractions.

But Larry tried to be good. He said, “Not by the peach fuzz of my chinny, chin, chin.”

And just like WolfCraft, WolfNite replied, “Come on man, let’s go have some fun. Do I have to turn off your audiobooks and DVD’s and pull you out here to play?” Larry had to admit that the audiobooks were getting boring. So he relented and left his work too.

Now the third Little Pig, the oldest and wisest pig, Stewart decided that he was going to take his education into his own hands. He began to look up the best educational practices and began to build his own way of studying.

First, he read about the topic, but not too much because he didn’t want to lose interest. Then he added in some audio and video into his lesson plans. Knowing that these would give him good information and fun ways to look at the subject. Finally, he added engaging activities that challenged him, a list of YouTube influencers who could introduce him to new ways of thinking, and extra books (even educational fiction on each subject). But he found the most reliable material available for his education to his own imagination. His imagination was filled with activities, stories, ways of teaching others, and a love of epic educational games.

No longer would he allow a teacher, lesson plan, or state standard to dictate his future in the world. He took full control. His educational “house” was solid. He was ready for the storm.

One day that storm came. It was the biggest and most persistent brother of WolfCraft and WolfNite…WolfTube. The biggest and loudest distraction of the entire school. He yelled at the very top of his lungs: “Little pig, little pig, let’s go play.”

Stewart knew how to handle him as he replied, “Not by the smoothness of my chinny, chin, chin.” For Stewart had just shaved that morning.

Now, WolfTube couldn’t stand the fact that one of his friends actually enjoying learning, so he cried out: “Come on man, let’s go have some fun. Do I have to knock all your learning tools over and pull you out here to play?”

Stewart had a better plan. He opened the door wide and said, “Why don’t you come in and get me? I dare you…”

Now, WolfTube couldn’t resist a dare so he came charging in! And Stewart sat him down and began teaching him. He even showed the wolf how he could enjoy learning through games, activities, and even educational videos.

So, what did we learn about the three little pigs?

Pig #1: He was given the dreaded pile of textbooks. They’re often are poorly written because they are word heavy and don’t speak at the child’s level. When there are too many texts to read, kids can get lost and decide to pursue more “important” and interesting topics. Any subject can be fun, but it depends on how you present it. Do we really want to present school subjects in ways that kids dread, especially those that don’t truly love reading? The retention of information that comes from textbooks is only 20%!

Pig #2: Audiobooks, videos, and lectures – This little pig was more tools than the first, but from K-8 kids are still developing their preferred way of studying. Some may enjoy audio, some visual, and some physical, but did you know that there are five types of learning: visual, logical, aural, verbal, and physical? Most kids don’t develop their learning style until middle school. Having a well-rounded curriculum is essential.

Pig #3: With children being so young in their development, they are continuing to grow and learn what they want. All of the above resources are good, but don’t stop there. They still only help retain up to 30% of the information.

In the following months, we will dive more into the types of processes that work best for students, this is a very long topic to cover and I want to give everyone the best information possible.

If you have Facebook on your phone, please type in the search Homeschooling Parents and the Three Little Pigs. We just started a new group where parents can share their advice, experiences, and knowledge on how their kids learn the best and ideas they used to increase retention of information.

This is the science of why Historical Conquest and epic educational games are so important to the learning of youth. Get your free copy of the game and see how it helps you learn who Historical figures are and what they did:

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