Finals are approaching fast, and sometimes parents find themselves more nervous than their kids. This is especially true if your kids have been academically challenged this year and you know that their final grades are essential to whether they pass or fail a subject.
Watching your kids’ grades slip is extremely frustrating, because often, even when they put in the effort, their grades don’t reflect the work or their potential. It’ll make you and your kids feel helpless, and that’s no good—you need a study skills program. A successful program is one that both fosters a student’s positive attitude towards studying and lights the path to noticeable improvement on tests and finals.
If you take the time to implement these three skill boosters, you’ll be amazed by the results. Once you get going, try and make them a part of frequent study sessions so that homework time in your household is streamlined and your children get used to a predictable schedule.
Create a positive environment.
It may sound simple enough but it can be very hard to maintain a positive studying environment for your kids. Feeling like a failure doesn’t do anyone’s self-esteem any favors, least of all a young person’s. If your kids seem resentful, or have a bad attitude about studying, you can probably safely assume that they might be dealing with some insecurities about failure.
• make your kids’ favorite snack
• play soft music in the background that you both agree on
• try to invent games or come up with rhymes out of the study materials whenever you can
• always use constructive criticism and praise—don’t lose your temper or become impatient
• prioritize work ethic and improvement over final grades
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Whether it’s for a new skillset, a possible pop quiz, or final exams, repetition is all-important when it comes to studying well. The more a child hears, writes, and verbalizes information, the more likely he or she is to remember it in class and during tests. Many students suffer from test anxiety so the more frequently and variedly they’ve absorbed the information, the more likely it is to surface when needed.
• make flash cards
• create games and rhymes, or look some up on the internet
• invent acronyms, particularly those that mean something to you and your kids, so they’re fun and easy to remember
• color code writing or math steps, so you know where everything is at a glance
Visual aids are always a good bet to help kids study. Create image-based materials for anything they’re working on. Together, you can visualize test outcomes and final report cards. Even visualizing potentially negative outcomes can be helpful, because you can sort out in advance how you’re going to deal with them.
We live in an era when parents and their children are more and more burdened by the constantly increasing pressures of academic expectation. Creating a positive study skills program and a calming, happy environment to study in will improve your kids’ grades and help you develop a better relationship with them too.
All our blogging is done with the student in mind, but parents have a lot to benefit from here too! Check out our weekly updates for tips your kids can use to stay inspired and feel good about their academic performance.