Imagine That! Studying DOES Work!

Imagine That! Studying DOES Work!

The last report card I received for Reece indicated he was doing poorly, extremely poorly in Spanish. I wonder why? Could it be that I never actually saw him study for Spanish?

This is Reece’s first year in Middle School…and it is a HUGE change from Elementary School, but I guess with everything else that is going on in my life, I kind of just assumed Reece would know when and HOW to study. That was a major FAIL on my part.

After speaking with his Spanish teacher, I found out he was going to have a test on:

The Capitals of 17 Spanish Speaking Countries


The Flags of 15 of those countries.

UGHhave you ever tried to learn flags? Those are hard, especially because a lot of the Spanish speaking countries use the same colors so I had to think of a way to help him study, but also retain that information. I was a pretty good student in school, so I decided to use my study “tricks” on Reece.

Some of the countries had easy capitals.

What is the capital of Panama?

Panama. SCORE! Easy!

But then, there were others that were just plan HARD.

What is the capital of Honduras? Hmmmm??

Tegucigalpa – Seriously? I can hardly pronounce that!!!

I decided to use flash cards – Country on one side, the Capital on the other.

The first day we took 7 of them and just kept repeating them. Once he had one down, we moved on to the next and then kept adding countries so that he was getting them burned in his brain. One that he kept tripping over was the mixing up the capitals of  Puerto Rico (San Juan) and Costa Rica (San Jose).

So, I gave Reece the tip “PUerto Rico – You can remember it is San Juan because the 2nd letter in Puerto Rico is “u” which is also the second letter of the 2nd word in the capital. COsta Rica – You can remember it is San Jose because the 2nd letter in Costa Rica is “o” which is also the second letter of the 2nd word in the capital.”

When I would call out “Costa Rica” you could see him thinking, his brain working and after giving him that tip, he never confused the two again!

As for the flags. Well, holy moly. How the heck were we going to learn these? I had a hard time thinking of things to relate to the flags. But these are some that I came up with.

Honduras. You know that crazy capital name it had? “Tegucigalpa”.

I looked at the flag and just told Reece “It is the only flag that has those crazy stars in the middle.” So he remembered “crazy” from the capital and applied it to the flag.

The flags of Cuba and Puerto Rico are almost identical except the colors are reversed.

I told Reece, “The flag for Puerto Rico has the RED “rrrr” Rico stripes.”

The flag for Cuba “bbbbb” has the blue stripes.”

That totally worked for him.

But my favorite, was the flag for Argentina.

I told Reece “Look at the sun and remember “Don’t cry for me Argentina (singing it in my lovely (ahem) voice to boot) and remember Argentina is a “happy” “sunshiney” place.”

After we studied, and studied, and studied Reece took his test. When he came home, he told me “I did good on that test Mom.” I knew he would.

But the kicker? I got an email from the teacher today. And this is what it said:

I just wanted you to know that Reece REALLY did a great job on this last test.  It’s rather touching.  I graded his test
and I said….Reece you really studied for this didn’t you and he said “yes”.
I am very proud of him.
I will admit, I got a tear in my eye I was so proud of Reece for studying so hard.
So, if you are ever concerned about your kids grades, just see if they are actually studying, because – Imagine that! Studying actual does work!

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