Avoid the Exam Hysteria – 6 ways to support your child and stay sane

Perhaps a bit late seeing as exams have started, but it’s never to late to ensure your child makes it through the exam season in one piece.

GCSE’s are upon us, and KS2 SATs have just gone. Re-takes occur in January, early entry in November – there’s always a school exam running somewhere in this country – indeed I’ve never been anywhere so keen on exams and therefore susceptible to the on-going joys of exam stress. Find herein some useful and practical advice to steer your child through the abyss and avoid insanity along the way.

Success in key exams comes from a year (and the rest) of steady work and support from home along with good stuff from school. Hopefully your child has kept up to date, completed all assessments, has all the books and access to the requisite web-sites, is getting a meaningful revision program from school and actually knows something.

What can a caring parent do?

Ensure everyone knows when the exams are and that your child has a study timetable/plan of what to study in what order and when. Some subjects are more important than others. We know English and Maths take precedence for GCSE, but your child should ensure that the subjects they intend to take for A levels are prioritised so they ensure the grade they need to keep their place in 6th form. Pin the exam schedule in a prominent place!

Keep your eye on what they are doing. Ensure that study is occurring – check them in their room – are they just sleeping or playing? Check their computer time, is it subject related or Face-book and other assorted time wasting activities? Don’t be misguided by music – it helps a lot of kiddies concentrate. Apparently heavy metal is favoured by many G&T and high achievers.

Make sure your child has some free time. Your child can’t spend all day at school and study all the rest of the hours God (or Richard Dawkins) sent them. They need time off – to relax, veg out, watch TV, be with their mates, sleep. All things in balance so they don’t burn out too soon in the exam season.

Make sure they are eating and sleeping properly. No-one can concentrate on the back of a carrot and three hours sleep. Make sure your child is in bed at a reasonable time – the same time every night is best in terms of ensuring a good night’s sleep. Make sure they have three good meals a day and that fruit and protein are included. Protein is very good for the brain. Fish especially. Our baby girl thrives on salmon – indeed for her previous Maths exams we had a week of salmon for dinner. It worked – she was 2 marks off an A!!

Offer rewards and incentives – money, food, trips, whatever it is that floats your child’s boat. Our study board has a list of grades and their monetary equivalent. It works for us! Plus chocolate and a few hours of unfettered computer time between exams.

Be there for them. This simply means being aware of what exams are on and asking them if they need any help from you (you know more than you think) and always asking how they went afterwards, offering sympathy if they think they went badly. They need to know you care and are interested – it boosts them no end.

Your support and care is what matters most now – all the teaching that matters is done. Now you and your child must ensure that the year’s work is not in vain and your child gets the results they deserve so they can go onto bigger and better things. (Images courtesy Google Images)

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One Response to “Avoid the Exam Hysteria – 6 ways to support your child and stay sane”

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