So, the reality that exams are just around the corner has sunk in. As parents, we can feel detached, almost helpless. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here are three stress busters or anxiety antidotes and three more memory-recall techniques that parents can use to boost students revision.
Stress busters or anxiety antidotes
Anxiety can motivate students to revise, however it can also play a negative role.
Students pick up stress from the adults around them (teachers and parents).
- We encourage parents to make the revising teenager feel part of the family: just bringing an occasional drink upstairs or putting an encouraging hand on a shoulder when you pass on the stairs can make a difference.
- Provide an opportunity for those revising to explain what they have spent their time revising.
- It’s sometimes good to talk one-to-one. Particularly stressed students could benefit from a supportive, one-to-one conversations. If you are concerned, do let us know. Often, all it takes to dissipate anxiety is to talk about it to someone else.
Revision 1st aiders
Revision has a lot to do with recall. Many of the most successful memory recall techniques are those that get students actively grappling with the material to be learned and, crucially, connecting it to their prior knowledge. One strategy that’s robustly supported by research evidence is the simple act of getting pupils to ask “why”.
1. Asking why is a parents go to query. Patch it in with a “really, that is interesting. Why is that?”
Prompting students to give an explanation for things helps them to create a web of knowledge that better aids their memory of it in future.
2. ‘Forgetting fortnight’
Most students are able to learn difficult topics in the short term but their memory wanes in the long term. Make a note to follow up the previous weeks revision with a crafty prompt a week or two later.
3. Re-present the learning
Akin to “forgetting fortnight”, you can ask students to represent the revision with an image or a flow diagram or a mind-map. It is the act of reconstructing meaning and getting students to think hard about the main concept that proves memorable.