Recently, the Research and Study Centre and the school psychologist did a presentation to parents of Year 11 students giving some practical tips for supporting their child in Senior School. The aim was to inform, empower, encourage and support parents in this journey utilizing well researched and current information.
As parents, how can you help your child to achieve their full potential while maintaining a healthy balance? Here is what we recommend:
- Have a study area
A well lit, minimal distractions, enough space.
- Keep distractions to a minimum
No music is best, encourage brothers and sisters to be supportive, use apps like SelfControl (Apple) or Focal Filter (Windows) or Forest, to block social media, etc. for a time set by your child.
- Know the best study strategies
a) Self-testing – use the Cornell note-taking method, flashcards, practice exams
b) Distributed practice (also known as spaced practice) – spreading study over time – revise that day, in a week and then in a month
c) Repetition – flashcards and mind maps
d) Use a timer – set your purpose, then set the timer
d) Teach someone the main concepts – that will probably mean you being the student.
- Support balance
Eat well, exercise, relax and watch how much time is spent in a part-time job, technology, chores. We recommend less when exams are coming up. Family time is important too! Have a planner on the fridge with study and family times blocked in.
- Encourage quality sleep
All the research shows that a good night’s sleep improves memory, mood and learning as well as increasing immunity. Quality sleep is nine hours a night for teenagers, and we recommend that stop using devices one hour before going to bed.
- Give praise that works
Praise their effort, persistence, creativity and learning from mistakes. Make sure your praise is linked to task effort, not the person, and encourage problem-solving strategies.
- Be involved but…
What students want you to know is; “Don’t ask me how my day was” Don’t ask too many questions. Realise that they know how to study. One student said, "Offer yummy food when I am studying and allow me to relax." Be supportive, but allow them to take responsibility for themselves.
- Know where to find further help
Individual study and organisational skills is available in the Research and Study Centre. We have subject tutoring available and the Heads of Year and Counselors/Psychologist is always present at the College. REACHOUT.com is also a great website with lots of resources.
- Encourage anxious children
Relax and encourage anxious children to use the Smiling Minds App or their website.
It is a tough couple of years, but with balance, negotiating and love, you and they will get there. All the best!
Mrs Virginia Yurisich
Head of Research and Study