Exams can be a stressful time for parents as well as their kids - the worry of what results they'll get and whether they're revising enough can be enough to turn your hair grey - or greyer! Learn how to support your child through their exams...
Here are some great tips to help the revision and exam period go as smoothly as possible.
1. Make a revision timetable
Help your child draw up a weekly revision plan in conjunction with their exam timetable. Keep it somewhere visible so everyone can see it.
2. Be Realistic
Short study periods of 30-45 mins are best, followed by 5-10 min break. Allow them to do things they enjoy such as watching TV, see friends, play some sport. This will help to maintain the work / life balance.
3. Create a study space
Make sure there is a comfortable place for your child to work. If they can't concentrate, they can't be expected to learn very well. Some children need a completely quiet room, others study better listening to music. If they share a bedroom or have to work in the family space, give them 'red time' where siblings (and you) can't bother them!
4. Provide a calm environment
Try and make home life as calm and pleasant as possible. Don't get drawn into arguments and negativity. Remind others in the home that your child may be under pressure, and they should make allowances.
5. Motivation – Keep them on track
Every child is unique and some may need more motivation than others. Schedule small and frequent rewards for the effort they are putting in. The end of the exams can be a celebrated with a treat everyone can look forward to.
6. Give them a break!
Be lenient and understand lost tempers and moodiness. The ChildLine National Exam Stress Survey said that 96% of 1300 students surveyed felt anxious about exams and revision.
7. Be Available
Being available, supportive and reassuring will go a long way to help build your child's confidence and contribute towards alleviating any worries, concerns or anxieties they may have. Tell them they can do it! Remind them that it is never too late to study, revise or ask for help.
Watch to see how your son / daughter is coping with and managing their stress. If they seem very stressed, ask how you can help. Sometimes it's just enough for your child to talk things through. Actively listening can be a great support to them. We have lots of support in school and on our website for students to access to support their wellbeing during the exam periods.
9. Fresh Air
Encourage them to go out for a walk, run or do some other exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, which are the feel good hormone - just what they need to help them with exam stress.
Ensure they have plenty of sleep. Research has shown how a good night's sleep improves learning and memory.
Keep praising and encouraging their efforts!
12. Feed their brain
Try to ensure that your child eats and drinks nutritious food. Fresh fruit, veggies, cereals, grains, nuts and proteins are all good for the brain and blood sugar levels. Keep the fridge full of healthy snacks, and make sure they have breakfast on exam days!
13. Keep them hydrated
Provide alternatives to caffeine drinks - have decaff options. Encourage lots of water - hydration really helps the brain.
14. Wish them luck
Leave them a note or card wishing them good luck. Call, text, email to find out how they are getting on.