Revision isn’t just a chance for children to get ready for exams – it’s a chance for them to learn how to cope with pressure, and to develop their emotional resilience. So how can you help them best?
Here are six quick do’s and don’ts to help you make sure your children get the structure, and the space, they need.
1 – They do need to be consistent
Several hours revision in one day, followed by days without any, is no recipe for success. Much better an hour every day than one day and night long revision session a week.
2 – They do need to be structured
Study should be in 20-30 minute blocks, and each one separated by 5 minutes. These are guidelines developed from extensive research – it might seem like a 40 minute block or 10 minute break couldn’t have any negative effect but it will.
3 – They do need to be free from distraction
Where they study should be free from distraction. That means no music and no social media. No matter what children may claim they aren’t actually helped by background music. Nor are they helped by having their phone in their eyeline, or even audible. It takes over 20 minutes to regain the concentration lost after a message interrupts them, and it’s highly likely to happen much more than every 20 minutes.
4 – They don’t need to revise subjects in huge blocks
To get the most use out of the 20-30 minute blocks it’s best to move to a new subject every time it’s a new block. If the exam timetable means that they need to revise the same subject then at least make sure that they change topics within the subject every time.
5 – They don’t need to be on their own
It’s no music and no social media but that doesn’t mean it has to be monastic. They can get together in groups for revision, as long as every one respects the rules about time, topics, and distractions. It’s not just a chance for some peer support, but also for them to teach and test each other – two of the most effective ways to revise.
6 – They don’t need to exclude everything else
That timetable shouldn’t just be for revision. It should also make sure that there’s enough time for friends, interests, and pastimes. That’s what will give them the perspective and emotional resilience that is the vital skill in coping with study and exam pressure.
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