So the exams are around the corner (which also means holidays are coming soon!), and your studious little ones are hitting the books and feeling the heat. On the other hand, if your child is the carefree type, it may seem to be a losing battle – you are more anxious about it than them!
We met up with a local primary school teacher to share her thoughts in the coming exam fever. Here are her personal tips that works on her students (for parents) to help you manage their stress and excel that test!
PUSH AND PULL FACTORS
Promised your child that computer game after exams? Or a new Ipad? While it is alright to give your child a treat once in a while as perks (the “pull”), you risk having your child lose interest in studies when he/she is older. Sit with your child sometime and ask your child what they want to be in the future. Slowly get them to understand that by studying, they are actually learning useful things for the future. It takes time – note that their preference can change many times, so be someone that they can turn to for advice. Soon they will “push” themselves.
A CONDUCIVE ENVIRONMENT
Ensure that your child has a quiet environment with good lighting to study. If it is possible, make it his/her personal desk that he/she always use to do homework. The usually things that will distract your child – that Ipad, that TV or that annoying sibling (you know what we mean) – should be away of sight, out of mind.
DRAW UP A TIMETABLE
It might surprise you, the amount of things that your child has to learn nowadays. Plan a study timetable WITH your child (not FOR them – they won’t follow it otherwise) Discuss with them what to study and how to study, e.g. 2pm to 2.30pm – English, 2.30pm to 3pm Math whole numbers. Let them decide what time is their rest time (e.g. that precious 1 hour for they favourite cartoon) and also factor in some outdoor time. The walk will do them good, relaxing their body and stimulating their brains.
MANAGE THEIR EMOTIONS
Be mindful of their feelings during this period of time. Every child reacts differently to the need to study, so be there to support them. Sometimes pouring a cup of water for them, or giving them a light snack will show him/her that you care. If they start throwing tantrums, aim to understand, not punish or spoil them.
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE
Most of the time the main reason why children over stress themselves is when they do last minute revisions. Instead of waiting for the exam time to study, make them develop the habit of revising on a daily basis. Start with as short as 15 minutes a day, then progress to longer periods of time once they are ready. If you allow your child to play computer games 24/7, it’s hard for them to suddenly stop studying for studies. It’s like going from paradise to hell. As much as you hate changes in your life, your child hates it too.
I hope these tips will be helpful, but remember, every child is special, and you know your child best. Be honest and open about your expectations to your child, and you will be their role model for life. And when the exams are over, let the vacation starts!