All lessons at once vs some each day....Thoughts?

Anyone experiment with doing lessons in big batches(and then stopping for a while) vs a few lessons every day?

I don’t mean doing all lessons when they appear and living that warp speed wanikani life.

Currently I cannot handle more than about 50 max apprentice. To maintain this it’s like 6-9 lessons a day. I wonder if anyone has any thoughts on doing them in massive batches with long breaks while maintaining about the same speed. My current speed nets about 3week levels. Maybe this would help with the feeling of endless lessons? I wonder if it would help with retention.

When I wasn’t doing lessons for a while (though it was because I’d gotten too far behind on my reviews and needed to play catch-up), it was actually harder for me to do reviews because it was always just the same ones. When I started doing 5 lessons every now and then to break up the monotony, that actually made it easier even though having more reviews when I was already struggling to get myself to do them should have made it worse. (It also helped though that I was using Tsurukame and could set it to review in ascending SRS level, so I could at least knock out all my Apprentice items even if I didn’t make much of a dent in the rest.)

I’ve discovered that, for me personally, it’s less lesson monotony and more “big wall of vocab” monotony. Since I started reordering and doing a few radicals and kanji and a small handful of vocab whenever I do lessons, that’s made it easier. Of course, I still have quite a few vocab left at the end of the level before I level up and get more radicals and kanji again, but it’s not nearly as much

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I would very much advice against big lessons, as it’s more likely you’ll remember better the items if you discover them little by little rather than at big chunks. I suppose it’s the same as studying for 12 hours every Sunday vs 2 hours Monday to Saturday and taking a day off. The second approach will definitely lead to better retention (and less fatigue and burn out).

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I have been using reorder omega, and some other key scripts, to do warp speed. I tried some levels where I cheated the lessons / srs stages to get them into reviews and would learn the items / mnemonics on my own outside the srs as fast as possible. This resulted in 60 - 80 lessons in a batch and trying to work on all of them a bit instead of just doing smaller batches and actually learning them in chunks. The huge batches were when my accuracy and retention was at its worst. It’s just too many things all in one shot to try and learn while still doing stuff in life.

What I think I’m settling on is to force a new level’s lessons, and first srs stages, in a batch then to break up the batch into what I find to be a good daily lesson amount to study outside srs. This still ignores the early srs stages while working through the total batch, but by the later apprentice stages I’m through the entire batch and actually using srs the way it is supposed to be used again.

This sounds similar to what you’re thinking of trying. This ends up still feeling like the same amount of work as just doing the lessons properly, though. The only thing that changes is that you become responsible for doing the srs timing and learning manually rather than using the system - again, because that many in a batch is just too much a once and you’ll likely end up having to break it up anyway.

So, retention would probably be worse trying to force huge batches, and in the long run you’ll probably still feel like endless lessons as you have to work through the batch on your own anyway. The easiest way for me was to work out a schedule and get it to be a habit. I hover around 110 - 150 apprentice items currently and it’s about an hour of reviews a day. I do two main review times with some days using lunch time as a third review time. For the lessons, when I’m doing them properly, it is around 15 - 25 lessons a day usually and I tend to do similar timing, but I will also fit 5 lessons in randomly when I have a bit of time. I found making walls of lessons to be worse for moral than keeping them to something like 10 at a time max.

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I used to do all lessons within a day but it was feeling like too much of a chore. Recently, I’ve been having a better time doing all radicals + kanji when I hit a new level, and then spreading out the vocab lessons over the coming days.

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I do two batches, one around noon after lunch break and a last one around 10pm and that’s it.

Usually I have 170 items per day.

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I’m strongly in the camp of doing a few lessons every day instead of binging them. You’ll be more equipped to properly give those items the attention they need when initially learning them, and your accuracy on those items will be higher, which will mean fewer overall reviews. Plus, they won’t come back in huge batches later down the line.

If you’re not feeling satisfied with your current setup, I’m seconding the recommendations to try reordering your lessons to mix things up a little bit. I used the lesson filter script (it’s working again after the new update!) to spread out the kanji lessons throughout a level so that I didn’t have huge clumps of only vocab for days. If you do 2 kanji + 6 vocab (for a total of 8 lessons a day), keeping a ratio of about 1 kanji for every 3 vocab, you should be golden.

As far as this goes:

Why is feeling like you have endless lessons a problem? For me at least, I actually deliberately cultivated a lesson pile so that I always had work to do every day, haha. I got nervous when the pile got too low because I didn’t want to have a day where I couldn’t do my daily lessons.

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The problem with bingeing lessons is that your energy level today may not be the same in one week, or in two/four/eight/sixteen weeks. It’s a real bummer to have, say, ~90 or so outstanding reviews for several days in a row and then one day wake up to 300 because you blasted through a bunch of lessons once or twice in the past.

Lessons add to your total working set. It’s best to add them gradually, because it effectively “smooths out” the scheduling of reviews in the future.

The ideal smoothing (and fastest speed) is with a constant lesson pace, but, fwiw, I would slow down in the early part of a level when it was all new kanji (0 or 5 lessons/day), and speed up when it was all vocabulary (10, 15, or 20 lessons/day). Reordering lessons (mixing kanji and vocab instead of doing them in bunches) makes it easier to maintain a constant pace of lessons as @fallynleaf said.

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And replace it with the feeling of endless reviews?

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This. Doing lessons is assigning work to your future self.

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That’s a really concise way of putting it. Stealing that.

Maybe with one addition:

Doing lessons is assigning work to your future self. Most of that work will be scheduled on precise dates some number of days in the future.

The advantage of doing a small number of lessons daily is that it schedules work daily, too.

Doing lessons in big batches increases the risk of review batches landing on top of one another in the future (master items from one lesson batch showing up on the same day as enlightened from another, all months in the future).

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I only see the interest of doing big batches of lessons if you are in the first levels of WK and are eager to learn N5 and maybe N4 kanjis, and are not using much time on other resources.
Or of course there can be a financial reason to want to be “done” with WK as fast as possible.
As you are level 22 OP, you are past what I consider the first levels of WK (I would say that’s until level 16-18), so then small batches of lessons seems perfect to me. You learn something new everyday, but don’t overload yourself. Leaves time and energy for other things, grammar, listening, immersion…
I do myself 10 lessons per day since level 18 (was doing all lessons in one batch before that) and that’s a leveling up speed of 14 days per level.

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Doing all lessons at once has been done before for sure. In fact, I’ve made it to lv 60 on that sort of WK diet. And while I’m tweaking that recipe a bit, I’m still binging lessons in big batches this round as well.

A pro of quickly getting through your lessons in maybe 3 big sessions upon level-up is that you now have a good sense of the entirety of the items taught on the level. It helps you pick up on the links between different kanji and the vocab, as each level will have kanji-pairings used in the same vocab item taught.

You’ll also get lots of downtime naturally this way, days when you simply do not have any lessons to do. I like this a lot.

I think it’s fair to say that having done batches of 60 lessons or so, that you’ll be relying more on the SRS to handling learning, than if you restrict lessons to a few per day, allowing you to put more effort into the lesson-stage. In the end, I don’t see a problem with spending less time on lessons, but it’s not for everyone.

Overall, it can be done, but this way of getting through WK is not for everyone.

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Thank you everyone for the replies. I think I will probably not do too big of batches, but may try to increase them some to fit in those no lesson days. This may break it up a bit while catering to those days I’m feeling it more. I’m trying to refine everything for the long haul. There were some good ideas here, too many to individually name, cause I have reviews to do, you know, but thank you!

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I’ve never done more than 10 items at once, and 5 is far more likely and even that is not everyday. This is probably reflected in my progress, but my recall is terrible and if I get hit with batches of 70+ reviews I’m inclined to ignore them until it’s 120++

I do tend to find that upon finishing a level I get dumped on with 150 vocab unlocks or whatever and then spend the next month and a half slowly whittling them down until I get back to new kanji.

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I never do the lessons all at once. Usually i do reviews all at once, but I didn’t like what WaniKani did so I took a break for a little bit. Just started getting back into it today and slowly going through the reviews that have built up.

But yeah for lessons I do in patch of 5 or 10. Not really in a big hurry. Cause the most important thing isn’t leveling in of itself. I practice reading comprehension all the time so in general the combo of SRS and just looking at native material like Japanese twitter, clips from a Japanese otome game, practicing reading through manga help with retention.

I honestly do wish instead of getting rid of summary pages they applied summary pages to the Extra Study section in addition and then add another section called Recent Burn Mistakes. I feel little simple features like that are a no brainer and would only aid in increasing retention/making sure more stays in your long term memory.

I’m only on Level 8 (about to move on in a day or two) so my answer could be very naive, but I find it really depends on the lessons themselves.

For example, the last couple dozen of vocabulary lessons were all extremely easy and straightforward to me (everything with 電) because I somehow remember recognizing that kanji from years ago and it stuck with me all these years. And everything related to it being extremely straightforward.

So I just went ahead and finished 40+ lessons at once skyrocketing my Apprentice items to way over 100 (my target).

But on lessons where I can feel my brain struggling, I take it slow and try to do no more than 10 lessons a day, split between 5 in the morning/afternoon and another 5 in the evening.

So far this has worked for me very well. I don’t feel burned out at all even if a 100+ review pile suddenly pops up.

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The problem is that once you get into Enlightened+ reviews, you can have multiple 100+ review piles hitting at once.

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I see. I haven’t hit that point yet, but probably soon.

Might revise my opinion then. But tbh I actually hit a slump at Level 6 due to work getting hectic.

I believe I amassed a pile of ~200 reviews.

Instead of forcing myself to do all of them at once, I decided to take it easy and just tackle 20 reviews per day. I took longer than I wanted to but eventually got through them.

Again, I’m sure burn out can happen but even with big reviews one can take their time. Idk how that affects SRS and recall but so far so good. And what is considered manageable is totally individual.

For now, if I don’t do reviews in the mornings or during my commute, I gather about 100 reviews by the evening. That personally has been totally fine (anything near 200 would be too much) and just takes me 15 mins if I can recall well, and maybe 25+ mins if I take my time.

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If it was me I would keep it in small patches.