At school your child will have tests, or exams as they approach the end of their time at school. They are a way of telling how far they’ve come and how much progress there is yet to be made. They can be a stressful time in a child’s life as there’s a lot of work they must do in preparation and pressure to do well. To help them through this period there are a number of things that parents can do. Below is some advice that was shared with us by a private girls school in Hertfordshire.
Doing the Work
Unfortunately, there’s no way of getting around the work that needs to be done. To make exams as easy as possible, children must cover all bases and revise well in advance. This will help relieve some of the pressure as by starting sooner rather than later, they are able to take their time and fully grasp concepts they are taught. If you know your child and they struggle to do work outside of school, create a balanced routine where they have time to have fun and revise. If you need help motivating them, you could also create a reward system to incentivise their hard work.
Identify Their Learning Style
Another tip is to research your child’s learning style. Children are different and have their own preferred way of learning. For some children that involves reading and writing, whereas others require hands-on learning opportunities. This can be done by taking note of how your child gets on with different tasks they are set or completing what is known as a VARK assessment.
Talk to Them About How They’re Doing
Exams can induce stress and anxiety which are difficult emotions for children to navigate. This can interfere with concentration and their ability to retain information so is therefore important to work through. Parents can do this by simply talking to their child and helping them work through their problems as they aren’t often as big as they seem. Mindfulness is another solution worth considering. It uses the five senses to reduce anxiety and help bring attention back to the present moment.
In addition to the above, you must make sure that your child has structure and a good routine in place. Lifestyle factors such as poor diet and sleep can be detrimental to a child’s ability to learn and their performance which are often neglected when we are stressed. Over the coming months keep an eye on your child and these factors, ensuring that they are eating and sleeping as they should.
Refrain from Setting High Expectations
The last piece of advice we have for parents is to hold back from adding unnecessary pressure and setting high expectations. It is only counterproductive and can lead to a vicious cycle which will only lead to burnout.
Throughout the process it’s important that you are there for your child to provide help, guidance, and reassurance. Make yourself available and have conversations about how they are getting on at school.