This year has been tough.Trying to keep your child motivated enough to get up at 8am, get dressed, and be alert enough to spend the day sitting at the kitchen table staring at a laptop screen and actually learn something is a woe shared by parents across the country.
Now that exam season is upon us, it’s no surprise that our children are less motivated than ever. After a year of home learning, children have missed out on so much social interaction that being forced to knuckle down and prepare for exams can be pretty stressful. Especially when there’s friends to meet up with, TikToks to watch, and group chats to stay on top of.
Luckily, we’ve put together some tips to help you make it through exam season.
If you’ve worked from home at all this year, you’ll completely understand how your child feels. Working from home can feel extremely lonely, and without regular team meetings to keep morale boosted, it can be hard to feel productive.
This is exactly how learning from home can feel. Sometimes all you need is a little company to snap you out of a lull and get those cogs in your brain moving, so make sure you get involved (if your child wants you to!).
Remember the days where the kitchen table was just for eating at?!
Help them colour coordinate their notes, ask them questions and test them on topics they struggle with, or if you have some knowledge of the subject, help them understand it.
Don’t worry if you don’t know the first thing about the anatomy of a flower or equations of perpendicular lines (I didn’t make that up, it’s a real maths...thing!) - that’s what we’re here for. Even just an hour with one of the many expert tutors here at Tutorful can help your child get their head around that tricky topic.
There’s nothing worse than being sat down by your parents and told you’re not allowed to get up and do your own thing until you finish your work. We’ve all heard the “no TV until you finish your homework!” line as children, and probably promised ourselves that we wouldn’t allow ourselves to turn into such strict dictators when we became parents.
Unfortunately, with the last year being completely out of the norm, a more rigorous revision structure could be just what is needed. Not only are kids absolutely fed up with learning at home, many are undoubtedly behind where they should be academically after such a long stint of fractured education.
It’s more important than ever that children revise this year if they want to get the grades they deserve, so as the parent you may have to play the bad cop. Set out a structure in an evening that incorporates revision time, chill time, and, if possible, eating together as a family.
With the majority of learning requiring a laptop these days, it may even be wise to check in on your child every so often, so that you can ensure that they’re actually doing revision and not just browsing Facebook. I never said playing the bad cop was easy!
If you’re finding that they just don’t have the drive to concentrate on revision and are desperate for reasons to procrastinate (“just taking a break to clean my room, mum!”) then maybe a tutor could get them into the right mindset. Having someone other than yourself to hold them accountable can work wonders for staying on track, and if your child feels like they have a chance to actually learn new things and have someone help them understand the topics they’re struggling with, they might just have the resolve to power through.
Unfortunately, whilst the above “sit down and revise for an hour and then you can play on your computer” tactic is probably needed this year, do your best to mix it up. Children have drifted apart from their friends and missed out on valuable social development, so a bit of leniency when it comes to revision is important. Alternate sessions of intense solo revision with some more casual light-hearted revision. Allow them to have a friend over to revise and turn it into a fun picnic in the garden where they can share notes and munch on sandwiches.
Two heads are always better than one!
If your child prefers to work alone, make sure they have some (healthy-ish) brain-food, and let them have some music on in the background for a while. If every revision session consists of sitting at the table in silence, your child is going to soon start dreading it, so it’s important to make time for some more casual learning.
You’re not alone. We want nothing more than our kids to succeed in school, but after so much disruption to education this past year, it’s absolutely normal to worry about how your child is coping, and how it will reflect in their grades.
We really do have tutors to suit a variety of budgets and learning styles, so if you want to give your child a last-minute boost, have a browse through our site. Someone with expert knowledge in their subject, who can help explain complicated topics that you don’t have the faintest recollection of from your days as a student, will help give your child the confidence they need to smash their exams.