Exam period is a challenging time for young people, as they are under a lot of pressure to perform well and make their parents and teachers proud. This is true regardless of their age and what the next stages of their education will entail. But how do you help your child prepare for school exams?
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Exams require a lot of hard work and commitment, which can be gruelling for youngsters who just want to play, relax, and socialise. With this in mind, parents should try and support their children even more than usual during exam period to help them feel prepared and less overwhelmed. Here’s some advice from a secondary school in Somerset.
Prepare a revision timetable to help your child prepare for school exams
In the run up to school exams, it might be worth encouraging your child to prepare a revision timetable so that they feel organised and know what they should be working on at any given time. Ask them to think about the subjects and topics that might need a little extra time. As there’s no point in revising a subject they’re already acing for the same amount of time as a subject they’re failing. You should also make sure that your child starts their revision early, to give them plenty of time to tackle the problem areas. Encourage them to factor in rest and leisure time into their revision timetable, as this is important for their mental health.
Encourage open communication
Make sure your child knows that you are there for them as someone to talk to or a shoulder to cry on whenever they need you. Open communication is crucial during stressful situations. It’s also important that you remain up to date on their schoolwork so that you can keep track of what’s going on and ensure you’re in a good position to offer your support.
You should also have an open dialogue with your child’s teachers so that they can provide you with any relevant information you might need. For instance, there might be a revision club at lunch times for a certain subject that they can inform you about, so that you can encourage your child to attend. These are great ways to help your child prepare for school exams.
Provide a study area
In the run up to exams, your child will need somewhere quiet at home where they can revise. Try and help make this happen by ensuring they have a desk, equipped with all of the necessary stationery and schoolbooks, in a quieter corner of the house. This shouldn’t be in the same room as the TV or their games consoles, as they won’t be able to fully concentrate on their revision.
Revising together can help your child prepare for school exams
Different people learn in different ways, so your child might benefit from having someone they can talk to about the study material. Perhaps you could hold up cue cards for them or ask them questions from their textbooks. Try and figure out your child’s learning style so that you can help them in the best way possible and bear in mind that you don’t have to be an expert at a particular subject in order to help them, sometimes just being there can go a long way.
Alternatively, you could consider hiring a private tutor if you have the financial means available. If you were able to employ an English tutor, for example, they would be able to give your child one to one support that their normal teachers cannot.
Encourage positive lifestyle choices
If your child doesn’t eat a healthy, balanced diet or get enough sleep or exercise, they may end up getting sick. During exam period in particular, try and encourage them to take regular walks, go to bed at a reasonable time and avoid fizzy drinks and junk food.
Ease the pressure
Don’t be too hard on your child if things don’t go to plan. They need to know that you will love them and are proud of them no matter what they outcome of the exams, so be sure to let them know. If you put too much pressure on them to perform well, they will only feel more anxious, which won’t help with their performance.
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