6 ways to help your child revise over Christmas
Children across the country are breaking up from school this week with the prospect of mock exams after christmas. The excitement of Christmas is mixed with apprehension about having to revise. How do you as a parent set your child up to both enjoy their christmas holiday and be well prepared for mock exams?
1. Set up a study area
Clear desk space for your child - this can be anything from a small desk in their room to giving them your home office over Christmas if you have one and are taking time off. If possible, make sure they have a computer handy for online work and so they can search for things they don't know. A computer is better than having a phone handy as many of the concepts will take longer to understand on a phone. The last bit of advice about a study area is the environment it is in. Make sure it is both quiet and tidy. It will help your child have a clear head and be as productive as possible.
2. Start early
Advise your child not to wait until after Christmas to get started. Plan a timetable on the first day off and with that timetable, follow principles 3, 4 and 5.
3. Mornings are for work, afternoons & evenings for play
Good revision is most productive if only a few hours per day. I would recommend 2 hours for GCSE, 3 hours for A Level. Any more than that and your child will become bored, tired and less productive. The best time to revise is the morning. Make it easy for your child to get up and do those hours before lunch and they will feel like they can enjoy the rest of the day and therefore enjoy the whole holiday.
4. Help them set goals
With goal completion comes satisfaction. Goals can be anything from completing a subject per week to improving specific test scores. Encourage them to have goals throughout the holiday period as otherwise revision will be hard to measure and again motivation will fall off quite quickly. Be careful that the activity of creating goals and a revision timetable does not take more than one revision session - they should avoid procrastination!
5. Allow for full days off
Family days should be taken completely off. Plan. Agree at the beginning of the holiday period which days they should have off and things you will do on those days to make the most of the time; this will give them full days to look forward to. Your child should ideally have at least one day free of revision per week, no more than two. Align. If you have more than one child doing revision, attempt to align their free days. Protect mornings. You can help by planning all other activities in the afternoons so they don't feel like they have to give anything up to revise. Christmas Day should be revision-free!
6. Give them MarkIt for Christmas
The last thing I would suggest with all sincerity is to give your child the gift of MarkIt for Christmas if they are studying A Level Maths or Physics. It provides all the exam practice they will ever need with interactive feedback just like to having a tutor in the room with them. £50 will give your child access to AS/A Level material for the full academic year - the price of just over an hour of A Level tutoring.
Good luck and happy holidays!