Looking at the tests kids are taking these days and the homework that they are bringing home, it is obvious that even school has become cutthroat. Take, for instance, international schools like the One World International School and their Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). At the end of secondary school, students are required to take a series of tests that will test their knowledge, the scores of which will determine if they qualify to advance to pre-university studies.
So we ask ourselves how we can make things easier for them, how we can get involved to ensure that while they are working hard to study, they are doing so without the risk of overstress. Well, the answer is helping them create a good study habit.
Set a specific time for studying every school day:
Some students’ mistake is thinking they should start studying only when exam schedules are announced. This is why they stress over memorising facts and cramming all their lessons in only a couple of days. But the best way to study is reading notes and textbooks every day. It helps with retaining what was discussed in class and readies them for the next lesson.
You can set a specific time after school when kids should focus on doing their homework and studying their lessons. For instance, as soon as they come home from school allow them time to wash up and eat snacks, relax for a bit. But one or two hours before dinner, they have to start doing schoolwork. An alternative would be scheduling study time right after dinner, but limit it to only two hours so that they can still get a good night’s sleep.
Consistency is key, so make sure that even dinner time starts at a standard time so that it does not affect study time. Additionally, designate a place where they can study and not be disturbed.
Allow them to take breaks:
Because you are encouraging them to study every day, there is a chance that some kids may dislike it. The best way to deal with this problem is to allow them breaks in between the study time hours, or give them a reward whenever they finish homework for each subject or after reading a chapter of their book.
Help them organise exam schedules and deadlines:
Just so your kids are on top of things, ask them about upcoming school projects and exams. Plot this on a large calendar which they can view before and after going to school. To make it fun, make a DIY calendar with a large whiteboard, a black tape for the segments, and colourful markers they can use. Ask them every day if they need to plot a schedule or if they can remove one.
Look for signs of frustration:
No matter how comfortable study time can be, our kids can still get frustrated if they cannot understand a lesson or if they are having a hard time with answering their homework. While it is best to leave them to their own devices, you will need to step in every now and then, especially when you see that they are getting impatient with themselves. Simply ask them how you can help, but always be wary of how you approach them. Help should be gladly offered, if you are not in the mood too, it is better not to offer your help. Do not forget to give positive feedback on the work they have done so far to boost their confidence.
Keep doing these until such time that it has become a routine. Pretty sure you will not worry about them taking countless exams and excelling in school once these habits have become a part of their day.