Make study time effective with Pomodoro technique
Created by Swapna Nair Updated on Feb 05, 2020
Recently a video went viral of a mother teaching her child. The child is crying and pleading the mother to be kind. On seeing the video some laughed recollecting their school days, some cried, some cried foul. But somewhere it hit everyone.
Yes we are in a system. Education is non -negotiable. Schooling, home-schooling, unschooling or alternative schooling- education comes in all kinds of packages. The end result has to be ‘learning’.
So How Do We Make Studies Effective?
Ask any student to study and their reaction is same as is their answer, ‘boring, sleepy, ugghhh’. So how can we bring about quality to their learning?
- The most important factor to be incorporated is routine
- Routine creates good habits. Routine can be set by using Pomodoro technique
What Is Pomodoro Technique?
Pomodoro technique is an interesting and simple time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. These intervals are named pomodoros, the plural in English of the Italian word pomodoro (tomato), after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used as a university student.
How To Follow The Pomodoro Technique?
Allot time slots for all the activities from the time your child returns till his/her bedtime. For an instance -- Set rules, rewards and consequences before sharing the schedule to children. Keep a copy of this pasted on his/her desk/wardrobe.
Incentives And Rewards
You can create an incentive chart and put it up also visibly. As a parent, you decide on the number of stars to be achieved. Once they score that, treat them to an extra hour of play/entertainment.
How Pomodoro Technique Works?
Now take one time slot. Use the Pomodoro method. One Pomodoro is equal to 25 minutes. A Pomodoro set will be Work in 25 min intervals +5min breaks. Here it will be--
Plan:Go through the homework and portion to revise. Plan and prioritise. Make an estimate of how many Pomodoro sessions would be needed. Help your child to choose and keep ready the material to study/write. Make such a list on paper or in a notebook. This notebook can be an attractive notebook or diary which the child will feel like using.
- Math Solve 10 sums- compound interest Pythagoras theorem
- Science Learn the first 10 elements of Periodic table adaptation of plants
- Hist Map study decline of Mughal empire
- Eng Grammar exercise- Adverbs para writing
- Set your timer: Choose a suitable timer. It can be a kitchen timer or an alarm clock. If you are using the cell phone timer then ensure that you do not leave the cell phone near your child
- Focus: Make it like a game-25 minutes of total focus. Keep away phones/ turn off computers/TV. When the timer goes, the child steps away from the desk. The first Pomodoro is over
- Take a break: During this 5 min break, let the child stretch, walk around the house, play soft ball or listen to music (depending on the age). The child can also have one of the snack bowls you have prepared
- Repeat Work for 3 such Pomodoro sets: Then take a 20 min break. Continue the Pomodoro if needed. (Older kids). An older child can take 4 Pomodoro sets
Note: Keep one Pomodoro slot for revision or recap. Here also plan how they are going to revise.
Different Methods To Use Pomodoro Technique
Remember: If you or your child organises a study group, please supervise to ensure no time is wasted.
What Are The Advantages of Pomodoro Technique?
Did you like the post on pomodoro technique? Please do share your views and feedback with us in the comments section below
- Graphic Organiser: One method could be using a graphic organiser to revise. Till students are in Grade 5 it is advisable for parents to be beside or around them as they require the guidance and support. Spider diagram, flow chart and the mind map are samples of graphic organiser
- Flash Cards: Another method could be using flash cards- Create flash cards on the topic. You can teach alphabet to rocket science using this method. Distribute the flash cards in different places in the room (for smaller ones you can hide them). Use the 25 min to pick out the cards and arrange sequentially. After arranging, read aloud
Quiz: this is a delightful method of testing the topic especially for smaller kids. The older ones can do this when they have a study group
- Time management
- Improved output- quality and quantity
- Exercising will power and self-control
- Strengthening focus and motivation- eliminating multi-tasking
- Eliminate tiredness/burnout
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Inculcates good study habits by improving reading and writing, helps to track homework, helps to break large components into smaller
- This is very good for ADHD and hyperactive children
- Use this technique in other areas of life as well like picking up their toys.When they complete in 25 minutes, use the 5 minutes to tell a short story, to play or have a cupcake
| Sep 21, 2017
it's is an interesting technique. it would also take care of boredom which sets in after continuously studying one subject and would help in keeping the child active after a rejuvenating 5 minutes break. thanks Swapna Nair Ma'am for sharing this useful technique ..
| Sep 24, 2017
So here your child can still take the break for five minutes and come back refreshed. It eases the stress actually. It will also give you a clue how to prioritise the work. The. Hold come sback and sits for another 25 minutes. Use this slot to revise with focus.
| Nov 18, 2017
Hi Swapna, I have been thinking about this technique since the time I read your blog. Because that's the first time I heard the term pomodoro. I would like to share my point of view. I completely agree that this technique helps in bringing in discipline in managing work and studies. This is effective for someone who is already interested in doing that work but who may have failed to manage their work due to various reasons like procrastination or poor personal management. So I have my doubts on how it works for children. I have been wondering how this technique can increase the interest (in this case interest to learn) esp in children. Because one's interest is something to do with his emotional connection, belief and perception. If one doesn't like to study, probably his perception about study is different - he may think that it is going to be too hard or vague or it's not of great importance to him. In my opinion, unless one changes his perception through something that fascinates him, interest cannot be developed. For example if a child likes to play all the time and doesn't take interest in studies, one could use games to make him learn. Forcing oneself to do a task (that is how i see setting time limits to study) that doesn't interest him may turn to be counter productive. Sorry.. this is my perception which you may not agree with. Probably you have a different perception on this technique that you believe that it helps in increasing the interest. I am willing to hear.
| Nov 19, 2017
Dear Carol, thank you for voicing out. I am open to comments, debate and discussion. Pomodoro technique is making effective use of time. You can use it even to set a routine. It is to create good study habits. Of course studying is different from Learning. First the child has to learn. One can use various methods to teach or coach a child. The next step is to set a routine. Routine may sound boring but it is step to crest good habits. When there is a schedule to wake up , eat, school, play and sleep it brings a structure. Plans may go wrong , the day may go wrong,the schedule may go wrong. But largely a routine works. One can use pomodoro even for play routine. We can use it to even clean up. If your child has played with toys and they are strewn around, set a timer and race to complete. It will be fun and interesting. The time limit is a reminder and helps to compete with oneself in finishing a task. It would also help children so are highly energetic to have a structure. Of course as parent you can vary the time limit. For older children it helps in exam preparation and practising exam papers. It depends on you , how you wish to use it as an exciting tool and your child. It is just one of the many techniques available.
| Nov 20, 2017
Hi Swapna, Thank you for the response. Definitely I am on the same page as you, as far as the routine and study habits are concerned. My skepticism was on how to "create interest" using this technique. as you said, probably one has to add fun and exciting elements to this technique to make it effective for little ones.
| Nov 20, 2017
Most children do not enjoy studying; your son is more the rule than the exception. 10th is a board year and is an important one in our education system. Usually there will not be much ‘fun’ in studying in a board year because the pressure is so much on marks. One thing that helps is to have a study schedule – a regular time for study. If you and your son can agree on this and make a study calendar that is made each week, you could sit with him once a week and find out what he is doing. At the start of the year, focus more on subjects that are more application oriented like Maths and Science.