When it comes to education, there are many opportunities and challenges. People apply for scholarships and try to win free tuition, while others pursue online courses. The school exam season can be a stressful time for children, and it's important that parents are there to support them. In this article, we'll provide you with some useful tips on how to help your child during this difficult time.
Get Some Test Papers
Practice exam papers are a great way to cover key topics and identify any areas where your child needs extra help/revision. They additionally allow your child to time themselves under exam conditions. They can also give you an opportunity to see how well your child's doing and to offer praise and encouragement.
You can often get practice exam papers from your child's school or college, or online from websites such as Amazon. Some resources such as 11 Plus Exam Papers to study can cover every school, board, topic and exam type. Whether they're about poetry comprehension or mathematics, they cover a broad range of topics.
Create A Home Study Area
This should be a quiet space where your child can focus on their work without distractions (e.g. television, games consoles and other electronic devices). If you don't have enough room in your child's bedroom, find an alternative area within the house. It should be well-lit, comfortable and provide sufficient space. Make sure that your child has all the supplies they need, such as textbooks, pencils, and paper.
By providing a dedicated workspace for your child, it can make studying more enjoyable. Additionally, it can give them a sense of ownership over their learning process and help them to take pride in their accomplishments.
Be Involved In The Process
Teachers are a great resource of information and can provide parents with an insight into their child’s strengths and weaknesses. In addition, being aware of when exams are taking place will help parents manage their child's time and stress levels. Here are some ways you can help your child revise:
- Go through old exam papers together
- Use revision cards
- Explain things in different ways
- Be a sounding board for their ideas
- Check their understanding periodically
- Help them stay positive
By being involved in the process, you can help your child feel supported and ensure that they're making the most of their revision time.
Help Them Create A Study Schedule And Adhere To It
This will ensure that your child is devoting enough time to revision. Sit down together and enter the exam dates on a calendar. Then write a schedule of study days and times in the weeks leading up to them.
There are a few benefits to this approach:
- Your child will feel more in control and less stressed if they have a plan for how they're going to use their study time.
- They can avoid last-minute cramming, which is often ineffective and can lead to further stress.
- A study schedule can help them break down a big task into manageable chunks, making it feel less daunting.
- If you check in with them regularly to see how they're progressing, you can offer moral support and help them troubleshoot any problems along the way.
Encourage Breaks And A Healthy Sleep Pattern
It's important for children to take breaks during the revision season, both to relieve stress and to allow them time to process the information they've learned. Breaks should be taken every 20-30 minutes and should last for at least five minutes. During these breaks, children should do something that relaxes them, such as listening to music or reading a favorite book. Using a smartphone could be counter-productive because they'll still be staring at screens.
Sleep is crucial for memory retention and focus, two things that are essential for doing well in exams. Children should aim to get at least eight hours of sleep each night during the week leading up to their exams. If this isn't possible, encourage them to take a nap during the day. Here are some practical suggestions:
- Make sure their bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool
- Establish a relaxing bedtime routine
- Remove all screens from the bedroom at least 30 minutes before sleep
- Avoid caffeine and heavy meals in the evening
- Encourage them to be active during the day, so they're physically tired at bedtime
Provide A Healthy Balanced Diet
This is important for concentration, focus and energy levels. Ensure that your child eats breakfast on exam mornings, as well as regular meals and snacks throughout the day. A good balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats will help to maintain blood sugar levels and provide sustained energy.
Avoid sugary foods and drinks, which can cause an initial 'sugar high' followed by a slump in energy levels. Encourage your child to eat healthy snacks and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Offer Encouragement, Praise And Incentives
This is important because it shows your children that you're interested in their studies and care about their academic success. It also provides them with motivation to do well in their exams.
Some practical ways to achieve this includes:
- Complimenting your child on their efforts when they revise or complete a practice exam.
- Helping them set goals for each study session and congratulating them when they're achieved.
- Giving them rewards for getting good grades in their exams, such as allowing extra screen time or buying them a treat. If they do really well, why not have a family day out at a theme park or do something else that they'll love? Then your child will associate good things with exam season rather than anxiety and worry.
As you can see, there are many ways that you can support your child during the exam season. Thanks to your time, effort and patience, your child will reap the benefits. They'll do well in the exams and will be grateful for all the help you've provided. In turn, their academic success will set them up for an exciting and prosperous future.