Learning Skills

Strengthen Learning Skills before you Study

Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and intelligence.
 — Abigail Adams

This woman shows strong muscles in her arm.We all understand that building physical muscles requires a great deal of time and hard work, and that it is best to learn from a skilled trainer.

Why then, do we expect to develop Powerful Learning Skills with so little time or energy?  Why do we complain that the work is too hard?

Before the woman in the picture began to develop her muscles, she had to get into shape physically, eating healthy food, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, and getting regular exercise.

Should it be a surprise then, that in order to develop powerful learning skills we need to be both physically and mentally fit.

Then, we must strengthen our basic study skills before we are prepared to learn more advanced skills in learning.

A Very Important Story: It’s about you.

Stephen R. Covey, in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, includes one my favorite stories. He isn’t just speaking to college students but to people in business. You would think the story was told just for you.

Suppose you were to come upon someone in the woods working feverishly to saw down a tree.
“What are you doing?” you ask.”
“Can’t you see?” comes the impatient reply. “I’m sawing down a tree.”
“You look exhausted,” you exclaim. “How long have you been at it?”
“Over five hours,” he returns, “and I’m beat! This is hard work.”
” Well, why don’t you take a break for a few minutes and sharpen your saw?” you inquire. “I’m sure it would go a lot faster.”
“I don’t have time to sharpen the saw,” the man says emphatically. I’m too busy sawing.”       — p. 287

There is no better way to describe what this website is about. Don’t tell me you don’t have time to sharpen your saw. Don’t tell me you don’t have time to sharpen and strengthen your learning skills.

Sharpening Your Learning Skills

The only questions are:

1. Which skills are your weakest and need the greatest improvement?
2. Which skills are you going to need immediately?

You might want to create a schedule for a time when you can sharpen additional skills.

How are the skills organized?

Basic Learning Skills

.    INPUT SKILLS                 Reading             Listening             Taking Notes

.   OUTPUT SKILLS              Writing                Speaking            Test-taking

Learning with Computers

You might realize that computers were not on the original list. But they are certainly important. We use computers for both Input and Output. Many students come to college will excellent computer skills, but others need to improve their skills in this area:

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