Supporting Your Child During Exam Period

Exams are a lot for a young person to deal with. There’s a lot of pressure for them to perform well so that they can secure a place in the college/sixth form/university of their choice. That combined with the normal challenges of being a teenager (hormones, relationships, etc.) can be quite overwhelming, but unfortunately, exams are an inevitable milestone in a child’s academic journey. With this in mind, it’s important for parents to lend a supportive hand and perhaps even a shoulder to cry on during exam period, so that their child feels less alone. Here’s some advice from a private college in London.

Be Patient with Your Child

If you’re child is anxious or stressed, they might not be their usual charming self at all times. Instead, they might be grumpy and there will be times when you’ll want to tell them to snap out of it. However, it’s important to try and be patient with them so that you don’t make them feel even more tense. Give them advice where necessary and let them vent to you if there’s something they want to get off their chest.

Try and display a positive and optimistic attitude around your child to help uplift them. If you see them studying hard, tell them that you’re proud of them for how much effort they’re putting in. It’s important to focus on the effort rather than the end result so that your child doesn’t feel as anxious about their grades. 

Encourage Organisation

It’s a good idea for your child to prepare some sort of revision timetable in the run up to their exams so that they have dedicated enough time to the areas of their education that need the most work. There’s no point in spending equal amounts of time studying two different topics if your child is really struggling with one and acing the other. Instead, they can give the topic they find easy a quick once over and commit more time to the areas they find more challenging. 

It’s also a good idea for your child to factor in some leisure time into their schedule, as it is important that they continue to relax, socialise, and find ways to blow off some steam. Without adequate leisure time, your child will just burn themselves out. 

They will also need to ensure they have all of the necessary study supplies so that they don’t turn up to their exam without all of the necessary tools they need. Organisation is crucial at a time like this!

Make Smart Lifestyle Choices

Encourage your child to get plenty of rest and exercise during exam period, and ensure they are eating a healthy, balanced diet. Making smart lifestyle choices will help your child with their concentration, mood, and ability to fight off illness. Sugary snacks and fizzy drinks give us a temporary energy high, but this is soon followed by a crash, which isn’t something your child wants to experience in the middle of an exam or during a revision session. 

Consider Hiring a Tutor

In classrooms with twenty or thirty students, it’s difficult for teachers to focus on the individual needs of all of them. They certainly try their best, but some students might need a little bit of extra attention, especially during exam period. It might be worth considering hiring a private tutor to help your child with any problem areas and help them feel more confident. If hiring a tutor isn’t an option, get in touch with the school and find out if there are any revision clubs during lunch breaks or after school. 

Helping Your Child Learn a New Language

It’s important for parents to try and aid their child’s development across all school subjects, not just English, maths and science. All subjects provide children with various benefits that provide them with the necessary schools to succeed in the future, so it’s worth trying to find ways to help them with the curriculum as a whole. Learning a second language, for instance, can help youngsters with their cultural awareness and open up a range of travel and social opportunities when they get older. 

I have teamed up with an independent school in London to share some advice on how you can help your child learn a second language. It’s not without its challenges, but as with most things, practise makes perfect.

Practise Together

If you are already fluent in the language your child is trying to learn, you’re in a great position to help them. However, you don’t necessarily have to be able to speak a certain language in order to help your child learn it. Sometimes just having someone near to practise with can help your child feel more motivated and ‘in the zone’. Alternatively, if they can hear the rest of the family having fun in the next room, they won’t be able to get into the right frame of mind. 

Help your child write lots of labels that you can stick all over the house, like on their mirror or on the fridge door. Constant exposure to these words will help your child with their vocabulary and eventually they will be able to include these words in sentences and conversations. Encourage them to read the word aloud when they see it, to help them remember it.

You could also hold up flash cards for them, so that they can see the foreign word and you can see the English translation on the back. Ask them to read the word aloud and then tell you what they think it means in English. Once they have mastered all of the words, you can prepare some more. If you are not available to help your child with these types of activities, encourage them to invite a study buddy round so that they can practise together. This will make the experience more enjoyable, and your child will be more motivated to learn.

Use the Media

Most parents are trying to find ways to get their children to take a break for their digital devices, but sometimes technology can be used in a positive way. There are lots of games and apps they can download onto their phones or tablets that allow them to practise their language in an entertaining manner. 

You could also watch some foreign movies together, with English subtitles, to help your child become more familiar with the language being spoken in everyday language. Eventually, they will be able to understand the movies without subtitles, which will be a strong indicator that they are progressing well. 

They could also listen to foreign music and write down any words they hear in the song that they don’t understand so that they can look it up later. If you have a long car journey coming up, you could download a playlist of foreign songs. 

Have a Positive Approach

When it comes to your child’s learning, no matter what subject they’re studying, it’s important that they approach it with a positive outlook. You can help by adopting an optimistic attitude yourself. Praise your child when you see them working hard and let them know how proud you are. This positive reinforcement will go a long way in encouraging them to continue trying their best.

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