Acing exams isn’t just a matter of good study habits - parental support plays a major role in ensuring kids succeed as well.
A 2010 University of Leicester and University of Leeds study concluded that parents' efforts towards their child's educational achievement is crucial - playing a more significant role than that of the school or even the child.
With final exams coming up, parents can offer some much-needed help to their often stressed out kids - especially older ones. Here are some ways how.
1. Lessen distractions and time wasters
Everyone has their own optimal way of studying. For some, noise is a distraction. For others, it’s a necessity. Discuss with your student what would work best for them, and develop an ideal study scenario. This can mean:
- Driving them to the library for a set period of time daily, away from the noise and distraction of squabbling siblings or other family matters
- Setting aside a part of the house where they can study in peace
- Establishing a no-phone studying time (two to three hours) so they can focus better
- Limiting television and/or canceling Netflix or Amazon Prime accounts until after exams
2. Establish one set study area
By this time of the year, kids have one place where they feel most comfortable doing homework in at home. But if they don’t, help them find and set up a study spot. All you need is a place where their books and supplies can stay in one place. It also doesn’t need a desk and chair. It can simply be a few cushions and a table tray to set a tablet or laptop on. Add a motivational poster and you’ve got your space.
3. Remind them not to forget Islamic obligations
As important as finals are, make sure to remind your student to stay on top of their five daily prayers, and once Ramadan starts, their fasts if they are old enough to keep them. As much as possible, pray with them. This will offer a nice break and moral support.
4. Make Dua for them in front of them
After praying together, raise your hands in Dua and out loud, ask Allah to bless them with success in their exams, and for the whole academic year. This will not only encourage them to do the same privately, but it will show that you care and that you are turning to the Ultimate Source of success for help.
5. Minimize, but don’t cut out, regular chores
Numerous studies note the importance of children doing chores. They teach responsibility, teamwork, and gratitude, among other things. While making time to study for exams is important, dropping chores altogether may not be a great idea. Minimizing chore time is better. This way, a child can feel not only part of the family team, but also learn to better manage time so that obligations like throwing out the trash or feeding a pet are balanced with studying.
6. Stock the fridge, feed the brain
Hungry children have lower math scores. They are also are more likely to repeat a grade, come to school late, or miss it entirely. Food plays a crucial role in brain development and academic performance. Apart from preparing or ordering meals that offer a boost to the brain, stock the fridge with healthy snacks that offer the same benefits.
7. Have them teach it
“To teach is to learn twice.” This saying is backed up by research that has found that peer teaching in specific, and teaching others in general, improves academic achievement. Ask your student to pretend s/he is the teacher teaching you what they have just learned. It will allow them to review more effectively.
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