How to help you child prepare for their GCSE’s
There is no doubt that the GCSE period is a stressful one for all involved. If you have a child who is doing their GCSE’s or coming up to their exams you may be wondering how you can help them. Here are a few tips that we suggest:
Talk honestly and openly with your child about what grades they expect to attain. One way of doing this is to get them to imagine when they receive their exam results, build this up with an air or excitement and positivity. Their reaction will tell you a lot about how they are feeling towards the GCSE’s so far. If it is a mixed or negative response, ask them why they fear this and what can be done to amend the outcome.
Although the GCSE’s are a mile stone in any child’s education it is important to contextualise their importance to your child. Remind them that the exams will be a challenge but really it is just eight weeks out of their whole life. After this, there will be an immense feeling of relief and life will go back to normal.
The involvement in you teenagers life may have differed over the past few years. A balance is key to your child’s progression through study. Try not to over-advise or smother them with ideas; don’t be too controlling over their study plans. Supervise their revision timetable and make them aware it is very important to you as well as them.
Your role as a parent is stretched when your child is studying for their GCSE’s. The foundation of parenting is not exception to this. Be aware of their diet at this time. Prepare healthy meals that will sustain them through long periods of study, try not to let them binge on sugary snacks as this will result in short attention spans and energy drops. Allow them to have some sugar of course but try to monitor it and use it as a type of reward. Try to encourage them to drink lots of water and do exercise regularly; a healthy body does denote a healthy mind. Good sleep is extremely important when studying and going to school. Allow your child to wind down after revision for an hour or so before bed but make sure they are getting at least 8 hours a night.
Most of your child’s revision will be done at home, please ensure:
• A suitable study space is available
• Other family members respect their space
• You are available to discuss topics and help research/test them
• Revision and Exam Timetables are visible around the house
6. The Exams:
When the exams do finally descend the pressure will be apparent. Even if your child has revised for months there will still be signs of stress. Although your child is growing in independence and does need to take on some of the responsibility it will be an incredible help if you are supportive and aware of their schedule. A day before the exams:
• Make sure they do exercise and have a healthy meal
• Allow them to look over notes but dissuade cramming
• Give mini-tests and talk through any difficult topics
• Allow them an hour or so relaxation before bed
• Prepare a healthy breakfast that will sustain concentration
• Be aware of when, where and which exam they are taking
• Make sure they have all the necessary equipment
• Wish them good luck and say you are proud of their hard work