Deliberate Practice for Student Learning

How to Correct Your Child Without Discouraging them (3)We have all heard the saying “Practice makes perfect,” but not all forms of practice are effective.

According to K. Anders Ericsson, a psychologist and scientific researcher from Florida State University, people become experts in a subject by deliberate practice not natural “born” talent.

When practicing a skill, it’s easy to go into autopilot and glide through information without retaining it. This is why deliberate practice is so important– but how do you know if your child is practicing deliberately?

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise, a book that Ericsson co-authored, gives us a checklist for deciding if a student’s intervention program is providing science-backed practice:

  • Dil_Se_Education_-_Child_Teaching_at_SchoolHave effective training techniques been clearly described by sound, scientific investigations?
  • When your child is using the practice techniques, do you feel like they are stretching out of their comfort zone most the time?
  • Does the practice require their full attention?
  • In practice sessions, are they often working on one small aspect of the skill at a time?
  • Are the goals of each practice task specific and clear? (Not just “get better”.) Do they involve clear mental representations?
  • Does using the practice techniques include a way of getting the kind of feedback that helps them improve?  

When this kind of deliberate practice is provided, students improve rapidly!  Students who work with Lexercise make at least a year of reading gains in the first 8 weeks, guaranteed. Part of why Lexercise is so successful is the incorporation of daily deliberate practice. Use the checklist above to make sure your child is reinforcing their learning efficiently and effectively. All forms of practice don’t always make perfect!


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Taylor Quinn

Blog & PR Intern

Taylor is a senior studying communication at NC State University. As the Blog and PR intern for lexercise she utilizes her passion for writing to help inform parents of struggling readers, writers and spellers. She feels a connection to Lexercise through her love for children and their well-being.