From the Director of Curriculum, Elizabeth Watson
The second semester often heralds blocks of examinations or assessments for our students. Some students cope well with the pressure and stress while others find it overwhelming. Of course, the more prepared students are, the less stress they are likely to experience.
Managing time, working towards deadlines and preparing for set tasks all require a different mindset than those times when the boys are building their foundation knowledge.
Research shows that children are more likely to succeed if parents are involved in their learning. Hendersen and Mapp (2002) found that ‘the more families support their children’s learning and educational progress, the more their children tend to do well in school and continue their education.’
How can parents help?
- Lifestyle makes a big difference to results: healthy eating, lots of water, lots of sleep, exercise and time for relaxation are essential. Make sure your son is eating as healthily as possible. Provide healthy snacks and drinks and healthy meals. It is important that students look after their health during this period as stress can take a huge toll on the body. A nutritious diet and a bit of exercise not only help students think more effectively, but will help them deal with stress as well. Some students will try and sacrifice sleep during this time, remind them that the last stage of memory takes place while students are sleeping.
- Ask your son what he needs from you and what you can do. Offer to help with revision, to go and buy any books or stationery needed. Be his support person and help with exam timetables, preparation, lunches etc. Many students find it helpful if their parent tests them on the material they need to memorise.
- Focus on a positive outlook and personal best: encourage your son to be proud of his successes and what he achieves and constantly assure him that all you want is for him to do the best he can and walk away feeling proud of his efforts this year. Praise the effort he puts into his study. Avoid criticism and negativity. Remember there are always multiple paths in life for students to get to where they want to go.
- Keep communication lines open. Listen. If your son is stressed or worried, first let him vent, then talk together ways he could approach the issue. Try schedule a regular catch up time with him to give him a chance to talk through where he is with each subject, what is going on and if he is having any difficulties. Remember that you are the convenient target for anger (that isn’t really directed at you) but you also might be a good shoulder to cry on. Contact your son’s Head of House or Wellbeing Mentor if you feel your son is not coping and needs some additional support or counsel.
You and your son can learn more about how to study effectively at www.studyskillshandbook.com.au by logging in with the details below and working through some of the units.