For the past couple of months, your child has been gearing up for the year-end examinations. How can you help your child manage the pressure and stress he or she must be feeling during this critical period?
Here are 6 ways you can help your child in his or her preparations for the exams.
1. Make time for relaxing and fun activities during the day
While it is good for your child to have a revision schedule to ensure he or she is on track with preparations for the SA2s, it’s important to include a good mix of other activities that will engage your child in a non-academic field.
Maintaining a good balance of work and downtime will help your child manage stress and also reduces anxiety. This can be achieved in short 15 minute power naps or a quick stroll outdoors. Letting your child choose their own fun activity during the study break or take an extra 10 minutes to complete his or her favourite game is really not going to drastically affect his or her grades.
Of course, you wouldn’t want your child to completely lose his or her train of thought and take another 30 minutes to settle back into work, so make sure these “rest” activities are relatively short and do not expend too much of your child’s energy.
2. Keep plans flexible and try not to overschedule
With the previous point in mind, refrain from jam-packing your child’s schedule or having them keep to timetables to a tee. Doing so will result in your child feeling jaded from the constant studying and will leave them less productive.
Overscheduling can adversely affect your child’s development in the long run. Children who have strictly organised schedules have a lower ability to initiative and may also be less creative.
It’s important to have some flexibility in the day for your child to take short breathers, relax, and find his or her own rhythm and pace for revision.
3. Make sleeping a priority
A good night’s sleep has more benefits than just resting the body.
Sleep plays a key role in the consolidation of memory. In other words, your child will be able to better recall what is learnt or revised after a restful sleep.
If you’ve noticed that your child has been having difficulties sleeping well, it’s important to get to the root of the problem as soon as you can. Sleep deprivation can lead to a decrease in attention span and ability to focus, making it difficult to absorb and retain new information.
In the weeks leading up to the SA2s, a high level of stress can negatively affect your child’s ability to have a sound sleep. Stress-induced insomnia can elevate the amounts of stress your child is feeling when they’re awake and not well-rested. To counter this problem, have your child try out some breathing exercises that will help calm the body and mind.
4. Keep your child active
We all know that stress can take a huge toll on physical health, and it is especially crucial that your child is in the pink of health during these last few weeks before the exams.
Regular exercise will not only help your child keep healthy, but also increase his or her ability to handle both physical and emotional stress. Children who participate in physical exercise also tend to sleep better.
While exercising to adults might mean hitting the gym or going for a quick jog after work, exercising for a child simply refers to any physical activity through the day. This could range from playing a game of catch with their friends during recess or team games like Captain’s ball played during Physical Education lessons at school.
You can also plan for family activities like a trip to East Coast Park where your family members can enjoy an afternoon of cycling or rollerblading, or even play a short game of badminton in your neighbourhood park.
5. Getting proper nutrition and eating well
In tandem with the previous point, making sure your child eats healthily can make a big difference in their health and even mental productivity. Several foods have just the right vitamins and nutrients to enhance mental activity and give your child that brain boost.
Studying can also make your child feel peckish, so it’s good to have some healthy snacks, such as almonds and raisins, prepared for these scenarios!
Most parents also tend to overlook what their child is drinking. Try to cut down the number of carbonated or artificially-flavoured drinks your child is consuming as these drinks are sometimes caffeinated and can have undesirable effects on your child’s behaviour. Replace these drinks with water, milk or natural fruit juice if your child is insistent on having something sweet with his or her meal.
6. Be there, and be patient With your child
We understand that as a parent, it is difficult to watch your child undergo stress or feel down for prolonged periods of time. However, it is essential you remember that you cannot step in to manage every aspect of your child’s life. Rather than trying to provide the solutions to all of his or her problems, it would be better for you to guide them to becoming good problem-solvers and develop the ability to handle stress effectively. This will be especially beneficial for your child when he or she faces the next round of major exams.
Of course, you should provide your child with guidance when needed, and not leave him or her to crumble under pressure. Be sure to actively let your child know that you are always rooting for him or her, and be there to provide extra moral support on days you feel he or she is particularly stressed.
How can The Learning Lab help your child with exam preparations?
With Term 4 just beginning, it's still not too late for us to help your child with his or her revision.
Largely focused on exam techniques and revision of key concepts, our curriculum in Term 4 will reinforce your child's understanding of each topic they are tested on. Lesson materials that are covered during this period of time include revision notes, topical quizzes, and exam answering techniques.
Further to exam revision, teachers will also highlight mistakes students often make in exams, and illustrate how your child can avoid these common pitfalls.
Find out more about how we can help your child work towards his or her desired grades during the SA2s:
Interested in finding out more about our programmes? SCHEDULE A MEETING with us today!