October is the time when the pressure starts to build. Entrance exams are looming closer, in some cases only a month away. It is understandable that stress can start to grab hold.
However, the impact of this pressure cannot be underestimated and can have a very real effect on learning. Even if you feel that you are hiding your stress from your child, they are very likely to be picking up on it.
What can make the difference to both you and your child when the pressure starts to build?
✔️ Feeling supported rather than pressured by those around them. For you, talk to others going through the same process. Share ideas and concerns. For your child, make sure they feel that you are on their side.
✔️ A sense of control over their learning. Give your child choices. While there is no escaping the need to get the preparation done, they might be able to choose which activity they want to do that day.
✔️A positive outlook – help your child to have fun and laugh as well as learn.
✔️ Feeling prepared. If you follow a step by step approach and keep track of progress, you will feel more prepared for each part of the process. Letting your child know what is coming each day will also help them feel more prepared.
What can you do to specifically help your child?
✔️ Listen to and acknowledge your child’s feelings. Help them understand that it is OK to feel worried about the exams and not want to do extra work.
✔️ Show them how far they have come and emphasise the positive. Highlight their strengths. It is a great idea to keep examples of work from the beginning of the journey (such as a story they wrote) and remind them how they have improved.
✔️ Don’t overload them with extra work and ensure they get plenty of breaks at weekends. Small amounts of regular work is much more manageable than trying to fit in long and arduous sessions all in one go at the weekend.