Music at its highest treble, bowls of chips and other knick-knacks adorning the floor, books piled up on the study table and heaps of paper, ideally notes, accompanying the broken bits of edibles on the floor. Amidst the heap is my studious daughter wrecking her brains on a complex Mathematical formula; confused, perplexed, lost but supremely serious. My eyes were yet to adjust to the room’s scenic conditions while my brain was trying to decipher whether the formula deserved all the mess around.
Come February and the exam monster comes knocking on the door, having parents break their head and senses on subjects they never thought would make a re-appearance. Irrespective of the innumerable study habits we inculcate in them, exams come like an atom bomb, disrupting our lives and of course our little ones. Additionally, there are always subjects that make their way out on the study table only a few days ahead of the terminals. While we can’t eliminate these, considering their contribution towards our child’s future, we can surely plan to deal with it better.
While I don’t have any magic wand to turn your child into a supernatural geek overnight, I surely do have some tips that can help you mould the little minds to deal with the stressful days in a more smart and organised fashion. Listed below are some tricks I found to be really useful:
- Sort it Out before the Shout!
Most often the reason for poor grades is the fault of the faculty that placed questions beyond the syllabus. However, a little fidgeting with the book alongside the syllabus narrates a different story. Last minute preparations are inevitable and in the mad rush, your child misses the most important lessons while revising the ones covered incessantly. A way out is to help him organize his study notes and books as per subjects. Have him sort the lessons, prioritizing the tough ones. An important lesson learnt in due course is time management.
- Read to Understand, Write to Remember!
It is said that writing out is the memory equivalent of reading the same thing seven times. If memorizing tongue-twisting names, dates or long spellings is difficult, an effective way is to have him/her write down the text once and then follow it up with another round. If it’s Mathematics that’s troubling him, make him practice similar problems. This will clear out the concept, helping him understand the calculations. Worksheets are also an interesting and effective way to learn tricky subjects.
- When in Doubt, Draw it Out!
It is a proven fact that visual learning is more effective than textual layouts. Visuals communicate with the brain quickly, helping it retain information for a longer period. Use diagrams, charts or flashcards to help your child understand confusing concepts and elaborate chapters. Pictorial depictions stay fresh in the mind and help the child remember the lessons learnt both during the exams and for future.
- Lead by Example!
Live examples are the best way of learning. Relate their lessons to everyday situations, objects and things they are familiar with. This clears any doubts they might have had otherwise besides sealing the concepts in their little brain. For instance, if he’s learning about plants, take a stroll in the garden and walk him through various species. Subjects may be difficult but when related to things they see around, it gives them a live reference, helping them learn it all in no time.
- Few Books & Little Fun, That’s How You Learn!
Make up mnemonics to help kids memorize elaborate formulae, planets, animals, and more. Form an acronym, making a new word with the first letter of the keywords.
For example, “My Very Enthusiastic Mother Just Served Us Noodles!”. The line not only sounds peppy but stores the names of all planets in the solar system along with their order. Your child remembers the line and the initial letters of all the words help in getting the solar system at the tip of his tongue.
While these are just a few means to save you a nervous attack during your child’s examinations, there are several other approaches one can adapt to maximize his/her learning capabilities. Educational games and programs are an interesting way to keep your child off the digital world while developing his thinking and analytical skills. Encourage them to read through diverse topics. This not only broadens their knowledge but also enhances their vocabulary. You can also look for practice tests online to further boost their confidence in facing the exam fever.
Let me know if these help and if you have a few more in your kitty, do share it in the comments below!!