It’s that time of year again.
We are coming up to the start of exam season.
Is your household in “Don’t-Panic Mode” ?
Young people are revising, scheduling & planning. Some are keeping on top of it all – and others are struggling a bit.
Whether your household is confronting end of year exams, GCSEs, AS / A Levels or even University examinations & Dissertations, the pressures are the same whatever the age of your offspring.
As the student, it’s oftentimes hard to see the wood from the trees. Throughout their academic year they are required to adhere to a regular timetable. Once they start the revision period however, once lessons are suspended, it can be challenge for them to control their own time management.
How do we support our kids then ?
The Younger Student : A Revision Contract.
Yup! Does just what it says on the tin. It holds the child and the parent accountable. The contract provides a set of guidelines that you can refer to when emotions get heated. Here’s what to do :
1. Set up the ground rules together ( Whatever works for you )
( make sure you are both feeling calm ) : These might include :
* the number of hours to study each day / week ( a revision timetable )
* take a break after X minutes
* reward once X hours completed
* removal of privileges if X hours not completed
* can / can’t listen to music
* where to revise
* phone left with parent whilst revising
2. Once these ground rules have been discussed and agreed, write them down and print them out – twice ( a copy for each of you )
3. Sign the contract ( this seems to make it more ‘official’ )
I have found that the contract gives your child a sense of being in control. All too often they moan that they are being ‘nagged’ into having to revise. This allows them to manage their own boundaries, with a bit of assistance.
The Older Student : The Pomodoro Technique.
This is a well known time management technique. “Pomodoro” : so called because the Italian bloke who invented it, used a timer which was shaped as a tomato!
1. Break your work / revision tasks into chunks.
Each chunk ( called a Pomodoro ) is to last 25 minutes, followed by a 5 minute break.
2. I am a list person – so I find that it helps to write them down and print them out.
let the fun begin …
3. At the end of each Pomodoro put an ‘X’ next to it or score it out.
( be aware of how many times you were tempted do something else during this 25 minute period! )
4. After 4 Pomodoros ( i.e. : 100 minutes of work and 15 minutes break ) take a longer, 15-20 minute break.
I’d advise walking away – stretching – getting something to eat or drink ( Whatever works for you )
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for as long as necessary. It’s often suitable to change topics / subjects at this stage.
The benefits of this method are that for many, it stops the brain stagnating. Our brains need time to relax and cannot function for hours on end without a break. This approach helps maintain focus and keeps your mind fresh. Also, you start to see the results quite quickly.
Please note that whilst this technique has raving fans – it does not suit everyone. But if your young person is struggling – it might be worth a try. Right?
As parents, just because we aren’t sitting the exams ourselves, the struggles are equally frustrating.
Please click this link, which will take you to blog post I wrote about : How to help your kids deal with exam pressures.
There is also a free download included; giving your a child a technique which will help them to remain positive throughout the exam period ( and in fact during other stressful times. ) In NLP we call it Anchoring.
In the meantime, remember that this stage is brief – and in no time at all, they will be getting under your feet during the summer holidays!
Much Love 💕