As we reach this time of the year, our kids are getting closer and closer to doing their GCSE exams, something they have been preparing for years! Whilst it’s important they are attending school, concentrating in class and revising, there are a few things you can do at home that can help boost their motivation and confidence for the upcoming exams…
1. Increase their study time
As harsh as you don’t want to come across, it is very important you encourage your kids to spend more time studying, than going out. Despite this, it’s also very important you allow them to have breaks - let them get some fresh air and reboot their system ready for their next revision session. Believe it or not, but over-revising causes more students to forget mainly because of the pressure! Therefore, set your child a routine where they revise for specific days of the week. As bossy as you might sound, it’s for a very reasonable cause and it’s also only temporary.
2. Create a quiet working environment
At school, the chances of your kids revising on their own in a quiet environment are very slim, just because they are surrounded by their friends and other students. At home, you can create a quiet working area just for them - all you need to do is clear the room of all distracting items (TV’s game consoles, tablets etc.), set up a desk and a chair with all necessary equipment, and you’re sorted! That way, you have provided your child somewhere safe and efficient to concentrate and work, this idea can really benefit their grade!
3. Consider food
In order to keep them fully motivated and concentrated, think food! It’s important they stay healthy during the GCSE period, as it can significantly affect their grades being poorly or overall unhealthy. Therefore, there are a few things you can do keep their bellies full and bodies happy. For instance, making them some snacks during revision, cooking healthy dinners (and the occasional takeaway to keep them feeling happy) and also investing in some breakfast bars they can take on the go!
4. Buy them all of the necessary equipment
Folders, notebook, pens, pencils, calculators, math kits, revision books, all of the things they NEED in their GCSEs can be brought in store and online. If they don’t have this equipment, it can cause them a big struggle. Show your support by taking them to your local store and purchasing them anything they need.
5. Offer them any help
Whether it’s help with math, an art piece, a practice exam or with the basic revision memory game, try and offer all of your support and help when at home. Help them revise if they ask, or simply just answer one of their questions. Whilst independent revision is successful, having extra support is some students preferred method.
6. Reduce the number of assigned jobs
Sure, the housework has got to be done, the dogs have got to be walked, the washing up needs to be done after dinner, but for the next 2 months or so, cut your kids some slack. Assign them maybe one job a day instead of three, or maybe even three or four jobs a week, depending on their confidence levels. If you have other kids that aren’t currently taking their GCSEs, maybe assign the job onto them for now, to get them out of the reviser’s hair for a short time.
7. Encourage them
This is so important. Whilst the other points are also encouragement techniques, it’s vital we cover this. If you don’t encourage your kids during their exams, you will not understand how confident they are, whether they are ready or even if they have actually revised or not. Being the parent who makes the rules, adjust the rules and offer rewards that will encourage them to try their hardest to achieve the best results.
8. Create a schedule
In correspondence to point 7 and 1, it might be a good idea to create a schedule for the next 2 months or so. This schedule can contain exam dates, home jobs they are assigned, revision periods, any after-school clubs or events they are attending etc. Just like an organised calendar. This will help keep the household on the same page, and committing to it will keep everything organised.
9. Give them love
Finally, give them your love! Wish them good luck, be there for when times get tough, buy them cute things - anything that will keep a smile on their face. GCSEs are probably one of the most stressful time for a teenager, and for some students, a parent’s love and support is all they need!
Thanks for reading, best of luck!