Here’s how you can create the perfect study environment for your children during their mid-year exams.
Mid-year exams are officially underway, and it’s easy for parents to become even more stressed out about results than their kids!
Unfortunately, you can’t do their studying for them or help them out during the exam.
What you can do to help them perform to the best of their ability is create an environment which is conducive to good study habits.
Here are some top tips on how to make your home into a studying haven!
Make sure there’s a quiet area for them
It’s hard to study in the family area when there are so many distractions. Let’s face it, studying is not top of most kids’ lists of favourite things to do, so if they’re studying in an area where other siblings, pets, and guests are around, the TV is on, dinner is being cooked, and people are making conversation with them, your child is unlikely to get too much work done. Instead, designate a room or area of the house for studying and ensure that everyone is respectful of that place. It needs to be free of distractions and preferably reasonably quiet. Background music can actually be helpful for studying, so don’t insist on complete silence if your child would prefer something quiet in the background – instead, think about limiting distractions.
Provide healthy food
It’s hard to study properly when you’re tired or when your body is lacking the nutrients it needs. Your kids might be tempted to reach for sugary drinks and unhealthy snacks like chips and chocolates, but these will only cause blood sugar spikes and lead to tiredness, irritability, and poor concentration. Make sure that you prepare balanced meals with plenty of veg or salad, protein, and healthy carbohydrates (like wholegrain pasta, brown rice or wholegrain bread). Having snacks on hand can make studying seem a little bit more bearable, so why not prepare some popcorn, fruit pieces, mixed nuts or other healthy snacks for your kids while they study?
Give them a break
Both literally and metaphorically, we mean! You might be tempted to make every minute of the day about studying, but kids struggle to concentrate for long periods at a time (yep, even your matric children!). Let them have a short break every half an hour or so, and also make sure that they take longer breaks for meals and some exercise or to take part in their favourite hobbies.
On top of that, if you’re only ever talking about studying, their exams, results, and how far they are with their history, the pressure can start to have negative effects on your kids. It’s much like you with work – you wouldn’t want every waking minute to be focused only on your job or you’d start to suffer burnout. If you feel yourself starting to pile the expectations up too high, try to bite your tongue and encourage your child to do their best and make themselves proud, not you!
It’s also important to make sure that your kids and teenagers are getting enough sleep over exam time. A good idea is to cease all studying a couple of hours before bedtime so that they have time to relax and unwind before getting a good night’s sleep. Nobody can have a productive study session when they’re exhausted!