5 Ways To Help Your Child With Final Exam Stress
Does your kid practise the bad habit of burning the midnight oil?? Well, he or she is definitely not alone. The prevalence of procrastination and cramming for exams has definitely increased with the current generation of students, as they have a higher number of distractions today with the numerous smart devices at home - it’s no longer just the television. Along with more distractions, their attention span is also severely diminished after frequent exposure and use of smartphones and social media. To make things worse, there are plenty of video guides on YouTube that teach students how to efficiently study for their exams in one day.
The Pitfalls of Studying Last-minute
Your Kids Aren’t Really Learning
Research has shown that repetition is key for learning and retaining information in the brain. This means that in order to fully understand and learn a concept and successfully retain it in the long-term memory bank, your child will have to be exposed to it multiple times or practice it regularly in a period of time (rehearsal).
Last-minute studying is definitely detrimental to the process of learning as your child will only be practising the concepts for a short while before the exams. While the short exposure to said concepts will allow your child to recognise it during the test and maybe even remember how to apply it, but it does more harm than good for his or her education in the long run as the information will not be converted into long-term memory in their brains.
They Might Still Underperform
Studying in the nick of time usually involves sacrificing sleep and rest, since time is tight and content to go through is aplenty. Sleep and rest are essential for our brain to work at its optimum and to retain information. Needless to say, sleep deprivation will negatively impact your kids’ ability to remember the information that they have just crammed in the night before, resulting in poorer results. It can also increase anxiety levels and cause your child to underperform, as anxiety can cause irritability and forgetfulness in children.
If it is absolutely dire, last-minute mugging can probably get your kids through one test or one exam, but it is crucial that we help them understand that this habit is detrimental in the long run.
Help Your Child Become A Better Learner
There are many ways you can guide your kids for exam revision that will help ease the load when the exam jitters set in days before the paper. Here are some tips that we at Kidchamp think works best.
1. If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail
Time is of the essence when it comes to exam-prep, and so is time management. Cultivating the habit of using schedules and carefully marked out planners will definitely help your children throughout their years in school or even work in future. Make some time to sit down with your kids to do up their daily timetable with them (not for them). Use their favourite glitter pens and stickers while creating the timetable and let them decide how long they are going to commit to each subject every day to develop a sense of ownership over their own academics. Making time to plan and split revision into smaller blocks of time can also help divert stress and anxiety for your child over time.
2. Know Your Child’s Learning Style
Is your child a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner? Find out how your child retains information the best and craft his or her study schedule accordingly. If your child is a visual learner, making mind maps for drawing diagrams can help them understand each chapter or concept better. This is also the same for auditory learners who learn better with audiobooks and kinesthetic learners with tangible models, dice or even by solving puzzles.
3. Use Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is, in short, a reward system. What is crucial in a positive reinforcement method to encourage better studying habits is a mutual agreement between parent and child. Most parents would think that positive reinforcement should be done subtly, to condition your child but the most effective way to execute positive reinforcement is actually with their knowledge and agreement. You can draw up a “contract” with your kid and promise to reward them with snacks, playtime, computer time or television time when they have completed a certain amount of revision. This will teach your child the importance of discipline and commitment and the importance of keeping to their words. Have them draw up the terms and conditions of the contract and sign it, so they will understand that the “deal” is official.
4. Have A Children’s Desk or Designated Study Station
The first step to setting up a designated study station is to find a conducive area away from distractions in the house for studying. This area should be away from the bed or near the kitchen, as you would like there to be as little foot traffic as possible.
Once you have a designated study space set up for your kid with a children’s study desk and chair set, ensure that your child always uses that spot when he or she is studying. This will help their brains to associate the area with doing work and thinking, and thus increasing their productivity over time.
5. Try Using Ergonomic Kids Desk and Chairs
Ergonomic work solutions are commonly used by adults as it has shown to increase productivity and improve spinal health as ergonomic chairs relieve the pressure off our spines during long sedentary hours. If you have not gotten around to setting up your child’s study space at home, you should definitely consider furnishing it with ergonomic products.
With improved posture, your child will be able to focus better and for longer periods of time without feeling a strain in his or her neck and back. Furthermore, children’s study tables and chairs available at Kidchamp are also designed to grow with your child until the age of 18, since they are highly adjustable.
If All Else Fails, Be Patient
Cultivating good study habits is a long game and sometimes all our children need is a little bit of time and a lot of patience from parents. At the end of the day, academics are not everything and as parents, don’t we all just want the best for our children regardless of their results?
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