Exam time is upon us! We are in full study/exam lock-down mode around here. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt it’s that teaching your child how to study will make a huge difference in helping them do well in the exams.
Exams are a stressful time for both the parents and children. I can’t say I’ve ever given birth to a child is self-motivated to study but with a bit of experimentation, I found some study methods that are helping them to study better!
Learning how to study
Of course it’s our children and not us that are writing the exams and need study but the parents have to help. Children can do well in the exams when they get the support they need.
Learning how to study is a skill not often taught in class by time-bound teachers. Even for those of us who are working parents who have very little time to assist with schoolwork, with the right framework in place for studying, your kids can study well. By helping them to learn how to study, you can help your child to utilize their time effectively when they are studying on their own.
We learn in different ways
When I was preparing for a school exam my parents were really strict! Unlike some of the smarter kids I knew, I had to study very hard to score the good marks I got. My parents made me draw up a study time-table for all to see with set study sessions. I studied all the weeks leading up to exams. After every session I was expected to produce my study notes and quizzed. You couldn’t pay me enough money to revisit that part of my childhood!
My parents knew that for me the best approach to studying was structure. I thought the same formula would work for my kids but then I became a parent! I had to learn that all kids are different!
Kids learn in different ways
It shames me to think back on how ineffective my study “help” was when I tried to enforce the same study methods that helped me. There was a lot of frustration for all of us! Yet the end result was always a good report because they inevitably do what what works for them.
These days, I give Josh (the older one writing proper exams) a lot more slack and much more gently guidance. As long as he knows the work when I quiz him it’s fine to use his own style of studying.
I thank God that I’m never too stubborn as a parent to believe I have all the answers! He has infinite patience with me and I learn a lot about how to parent from Him!
I see now that my kids study and learn differently from how I did. I had to work hard to get the good grades. Retaining knowledge comes more naturally my children than it did to me. It’s obviously my good genes that laid the foundation for their high acumen. Although the case can be made that Ashley’s intellectual “contribution” might have helped a little bit too.
The best study method for my kids
The truth is, where I was a reluctant learner our kids are enthusiastic learners. Where I needed to fill whole books of study notes to commit them to memory they like more creative visual aids like:
- Retelling it as a story
- Making diagrams on the big white board
- Using simple acronyms eg. LAW (land, air, water for transport)
Have a positive attitude
With exams starting for our schools today, I just want to say that apart from help withstudying, it’s important to keep a positive attitude too. Our kids are stressed and so are we during the exams. Helping them stay positive and being encouraging will help them have a good attitude towards their studies.
Believe the best of your child and they will believe it of themselves!
Over to you
How do your kids prefer to study? Do you use any of the above study methods? Please comment below with your best study tip and let’s help each other get through the stressful exam times!
All the best to your family if you’re also currently putting kids through exams!