Plan & Reward
Before you get started with revision, formulate a weekly and daily plan with your child and pin it somewhere visible. A tick list with topics to cover will help children understand that they are making progress and give them a sense of achievement. Acknowledging every tick with a small treat will keep children motivated.
Children are most alert in the morning and are generally able to take in and retain information better first thing. After a healthy breakfast, talk through what you are going to achieve on that day so that you and your child are focussed. Many families find that having a holiday routine which includes a set time for revision in the morning with an afternoon treat to look forward to helps to keep children motivated.
Take regular short breaks. Remember, the brain is a muscle that needs down time to recharge and it will absorb information better if it is given a break every now and then!
We all know that exercise is good for us. Get those endorphins flowing and you will be amazed at how much more energy your child has to give to their studies (and how much more patience you have to deal with any frustrations!). Playing outside, a bike ride or even a walk to the shop is better than nothing and will really make the difference in terms of attitude and concentration.
Try to ensure the entire revision process is positive. Praise, praise and praise again when your child is doing well and involve them in the process of improvement. Asking them how they could improve on something is much more constructive than telling them that they have got something wrong. Having a positive attitude towards forthcoming exams is hugely important and can make all the difference on the day. Stress and anxiety go hand in hand so try not to put too much pressure on your child to pass an exam and ensure that they know that you will be proud of them regardless of the outcome.
Keep On Testing
Get your child to do as many mock exams as possible so that they get used to the structure and time management as well as question style etc. If you can simulate exam conditions or better still have your child attend formal mock exams then they will be much better prepared for the real thing. (Check out S6 Summer Courses for more information on Mock Exam Courses)
Try Different Revision Styles
There are lots of different ways to revise and it is always a good idea to try different methods to find out what works best for your child. Some children respond well to diagrams, charts and pictures and others love coming up with Mnemonics to remember lists of things (We all remember that Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain!). Simple post it notes with key points to remember can be a useful way to remember important facts.
It seems such an obvious point to make, but children need to sleep to function well. Ensure that you are not burning the midnight oil on the revision front. A good nights sleep will be much more effective than a late night cramming session.