As the year is about to end, the school terms too is drawing to a close. Most schools have commenced their First Term Examination. Those schools which haven’t done so would probably start today Monday December 3, How well are your children prepared?
Examinations are important milestones in your children’s school life. The guidance that you provide in the early stages will enable your children to study with discipline and dedication later on, on their own. If your children are still in kindergarten or primary classes, you will need to invest much more time.
However, with older children, you may face problems of a different kind—disobedience and rebellion, which require greater tact. Although, younger children need much more assistance than older children in preparing for exams. How cam you ensure that your child is well prepared in the forthcoming examination?
Here are a few things you can do to help them prepare
-Never let your children postpone studying until a day before the exams. This will only increase their anxiety and stress levels. Preparation is the key to success. Don’t listen to any excuses and don’t be swayed by assurances. The best course is to have your children study for some time everyday, even if it’s for two hours. If this isn’t possible, ensure that they begin preparing for the exams at least two to three weeks in advance. It is better than crash reading a day or two before the examination begins.
-Do not impose yourself on your children. Some children require more support while others are happier studying on their own. This depends on your children’s nature. However, let them know that you’re always there to help them. Do not compare a child’s reading ability to another. Let them read at their own pace.
-Read and revise with them. Reading by themselves isn’t enough. Helping them to revise can speed up their assimilating ability. Hold question and answer sessions where you ask them random questions on the subject once they have finished studying. If they studied well, they should be able to recalling in the examination hall won’t be difficult.
-Prepare a timetable for each child. You can cover subjects in the order of the examination schedule or you can tackle difficult subjects first. For younger children, two to three hours of study a day should suffice. Children in the secondary and higher secondary classes should study for four or five hours a day when the exams are due. Alternate languages and practical subjects like mathematics to minimise boredom. Supervise your younger children more than you supervise the older ones.
-For older children in secondary schools, access to question papers from previous years is a must. These may be available in the school library, with teachers or you can secure them from the senior students. Have them solve at least one or two papers in each subject, within the given time limit. This is like a rehearsal and helps in mitigating exam nerves. It will also give your child an idea of how much time to allot for each question. Let your child solve the questions like it’s is a normal examination that is going on. Your kid shouldn’t talk or take a break in between. Do not even send them on errands during this time.
-Let your kids get adequate amount of sleep, at least for eight hours. These days, children suffer from as much stress as adults.m so never allow your children to stay up or wake up too early. Make sure that they get at least eight hours of sleep. Inadequate sleep affects the brain’s functioning and will reduce your children’s retention ability. Discourage use of caffeine or other stimulants to remain awake.
-Create a study-ritual for your children. Encourage them to use the same place to study everyday, preferably somewhere quiet and pleasant. The outdoors is a great option as well. Let them be silent and make a resolve to study well before beginning the session. End every session with a revision of what has been covered. If they are studying for long durations, schedule breaks every one or two hours.
-Older children may benefit from group study, especially for subjects that they find difficult. It is preferable if your child can go to his friends’ houses rather than having them over. This way, he can leave if the session is proving to be a waste of time. Try and talk to your kids not to play games, gist or eve sleep when they are supposed to be studying.
On the day, wake your children up well in time and serve them a light breakfast. Set aside time for a disciplined revision. Ensure that all their writing materials like pens, erasers, sharpeners, pencils, maths set and other necessary items before leaving the house. Those way, they wouldn’t have to borrow when they get to the examination hall. Say a short prayer wish them luck and hope for the best!
Parents should note that “bribing” children to do well in exams with cash or gifts to achieve good grades isn’t a good idea. It only implies that the only worthwhile reward for hard work is money and that you don’t trust your child to work hard. Negative messages like these will affect your child’s sense of self-worth. Encourage your child to do well for his or her own sake rather than for money or to please you. Explain that exams aren’t an end in themselves but a gateway to the next stage of life. Good results are themselves the best reward for hard work and will make your child proud of his or her achievements.
Although bribery isn’t advisable, it’s fine to provide small treats by way of encouragement. For example, giving them ice cream, chocolates etc after a chunk of revision has been completed. The end of exams can be celebrated with a treat that everyone can look forward to, such as a meal out or a trip to the cinema.
Examinations are a menace only for the unprepared. Be strict with your children, they’ll appreciate you for it when they come out with flying colours.
All the best !