How can I get my child to study?

2018-11-09 06:00
End-of-year exams are here and while many pupils are hard at work putting in the necessary study time, not all pupils feel motivated or willing to put in the effort that is needed at this time.

End-of-year exams are here and while many pupils are hard at work putting in the necessary study time, not all pupils feel motivated or willing to put in the effort that is needed at this time.

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THE long-anticipated year-end exams are upon us and so are the challenges and pressures that, so often, go hand-in-hand with the experience.

Cindy Glass, director and co-founder of Step Up Education Centres, said: “It is crunch time now and Grade 4 to Grade 12 pupils are busy working on the preparation necessary to achieve the best results possible.

But, alas, not all pupils feel motivated or willing to put in the effort that is needed at this time.

Some pupils may, in fact, show little or no interest in studying for exams, leaving parents and teachers feeling worried about what can be done about it.”

Is your child unwilling or unmotivated to study for the exams? Glass gives the following tips to help you and your child through this stressful time.

• Remember that most negative behaviours are rooted in fear.

Have a conversation with your children to try to establish what he or she may be afraid of. Fear can make a child feel completely overwhelmed and it may just seem easier to look the other way when it comes to exam preparation or, worse, give up altogether.

Help your child put his or her fears into perspective — help them to understand that all they can do is their best.

• Break the seemingly overwhelming task into bite-sized manageable pieces. Help or encourage your child to concentrate on working through past exam papers.

Structure study times so that a goal is set to achieve a certain amount of work in the given time.

This will give your child a wonderful sense of achievement when each task is completed.

• Remind your child that, in life, there are some unpleasant things that need to be done to get where you want to go.

It means that, despite perhaps not enjoying the studying, it needs to be done.

• Explain to your child that the first 10 minutes of any challenging activity is the worst. Once you get past that 10-minute mark, you seem to “roll” more easily.

Just get to it and see how it works.

• Help your children understand that exams are their responsibility.

You are there to encourage and support them, but ultimately, the responsibility of whether to honour themselves by putting in the effort that is needed, is up to them.

• Make sure that your home environment is conducive to effective studying. Keep noise levels down, speak positively, encourage and praise any progress.

• Try to have something to look forward to once the exams have been completed. A movie evening, a day at the beach, or the promise of enjoying a favoured meal. This needs to be a reward for the hard work that was put into the exam process.

Glass said: “Exams can feel overwhelming and fear can cause children to shut down.

All children want to achieve, whether they admit it or not. Don’t give up, the rewards will be worth it.”

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