What time is it?
Summer Finals time! So close to summer, yet so far. The only thing keeping your kids from hours of sunshine and beach days are end of the year tests. It can be a stressful time, but we have some study tips for your children and advice for you to keep their spirits up until that final bell rings on the last day of school.
Your children are staring at a notebook full of notes and wondering, where do I begin? By re-writing those notes, that’s where! The task can seem daunting, but, in the process, your children will re-read the class material and recall the lesson. During class, notes are scribbled as fast as hands can write, sometimes messily and with little structure. Re-writing them with multi-colored pens by subject and topic can help organize all of the information and gives your student another chance of understanding the material.
Ah, more writing! Now, your child should take all of those re-written notes and create flashcards by summarizing the key points. It’s hard to judge what your child knows or needs help with by looking at judging from pages of notes, but flashcards make it easy to know what topics your child knows, what they need to brush up on, and what they still need to learn. If you don’t have any index cards or other paper, students can also make flashcards online with sites like Quizlet. Most flashcard building sites will also have a downloadable mobile app so your student can study their online flashcards on the go. It’s always better to write them out on index cards, as online cards also provide more distractions for your student (Facebook, Instagram, the newest mobile game app), but if needed, are a great substitute.
Schedule Study Time & Limit Distractions
It’s important that students begin studying well before a test and not at the last minute. This keeps their stress levels down and helps them retain more information than cramming the night before. Encourage your kids to begin blocking out times to study during after school hours and on weekends a few weeks before their tests. If your children like to listen to music during these study times, classical or instrumental genres are ideal to limit distractions. Noise-cancelling headphones can also help keep them focused.
When studying, remind your children to take breaks. It’s important they give their minds a rest. Have them take a ten-minute social media break or take a short walk together as a family before they get back to work studying. Be sure they’re eating healthy, as well, and not skipping any meals to cram before a test. Encourage them to treat themselves with rewards for particularly long study sessions with a break to watch a TV show or an hour of video games. They need those breaks to recharge and be ready to go for their next test and another day of school.
Get Some Rest!
Make sure your children don’t fall into the trap of studying all night before a test and failing to get any sleep. Sleep is essential in the process of learning new information. A Harvard University study found that the last two hours of sleep in an eight-hour sleep cycle consist of the brain committing new skills into memory. If your child consistently misses those last two hours of sleep, they’re not giving their brain a chance to fully retain the knowledge they’ve gained that day. That’s not to say they won’t learn or remember the information they’ve been studying, but they won’t improve or commit it to memory as quickly as they could with a full eight hours of sleep.
Testing can be stressful for kids, but with the right encouragement, they can begin utilizing these study habits and preparing for tests ahead of time. For more study tips, follow us on Pinterest!