Once you are certain that your child has planned ahead sufficiently and is aware of
all the deadlines, commitments and requirements over the next school term, you can begin to look at HOW they are studying.
- There are some obvious no-no’s like studying with the TV on or studying in a
crowded and busy place. Despite the teenagers’ insistence that the TV/iPod etc.
makes them concentrate better, it DOES NOT.
- Research has shown that they need to be in a quiet, well-ventilated, uncluttered
space – preferably at a desk with a white or blank wall in front of them.
- It is important to divide subjects up into specific time frames so that they do not get
bored or overloaded with one subject. Depending on the age, children should study
for 30 – 55 minutes followed by a 5-minute break. During the break, they should
leave the room, stretch, have a drink and get some fresh air before going back to the
- Once the subject for studying has been chosen, have a look at how it can be made
more story-like. Think of the movies that they watch and how much of the information
they retain when stories are told with colour and variation.
- Subjects like history & geography are perfect examples. The child should have a
blank paper and coloured pens and create a brief timeline story out of the subject.
Get the general story right first and then later, add specifics like dates and numbers.
- Certain subjects like maths require PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Doing
calculations over and over until it becomes 2nd nature is the only way to ensure that
the information is retained. Remember it is not only about these exams but about
having sufficient retention to be able to move up a year and carry on with more
- Studying languages is somewhere in the middle. There are instances where stories
can be created and in other cases, there is just plain old fashioned Rote learning
If your child understands these different study options and arranges the study
timetable in advance, the studying will be varied and in small, regular doses and will
seem much more manageable.