"Providing you with tips and expert advice on helping your child get ready for Big School"
As parents, it is our responsibility to prepare and guide our children to perform to the best of their abilities. Therefore, we do everything in our power to make sure our child excels; every religious ceremony and blessing is done and received.
When we look after a plant, we make sure that for it to flourish and bear fruit, the correct elements of water and sunshine are provided. Therefore in the same sense, if our children’s brains are not healthy and nourished, the outcome is poor.
Studies have shown that 90% of a child’s brain develops during the first five years of his life. It is during that time that the stage is set for his intelligence, emotional stability and personality.
Here are 5 ways you can be better prepared to handle your kid's exams effectively.
1. Early bird gets the worm
We all know that end of the year exams are looming, so start revision early. Even if it is a month in advance get your child to revise maybe even for an hour a day. Last minute studying is more stressful than helpful and especially not advisable for younger children. If you start the studying process early, you can approach it in a more positive manner than at the last minute when you are both stressed when tempers and timeouts could fly high.
2. An apple a day keeps the doctor away
A healthy body creates a healthy brain. We want our kids to eat healthy all the time but during exam time, please make a concerted effort to make sure that they have an increased amount of fish, eggs, nuts, fruits and vegetables. These foods all provide Omega 3 and 6, fatty acids and antioxidants which are necessary for the healthy maintenance of kids’ brains. It is also important to cut down on sugar during this time. Limiting sweets and sugary drinks prevents sugar rushes and low-blood sugar crashes that can cause kids to become distracted and behave erratically.
3. Devise a study schedule and display it in a prominent place
This way the whole family is aware of what needs to be done and when. Distractions such as having the T.V on or inviting friends over, especially when we know members of the family are studying, can be then avoided. At times like these, it has to be a family effort and we should all rally around.
4. Beauty sleep
Common sense dictates that children who don’t get a good night's sleep can be grumpy and moody. Usually, when children are fast asleep their brains are hard at work digesting and cementing work they have learnt to memory. Children who get no sleep, children who have late nights or are frequently disturbed during their sleep have difficulty retaining information.
I know lots of working parents who push their children’s bedtimes so they can spend some time with their children; this is not always a good thing, since ultimately your child is not receiving the adequate amount of sleep required for a healthy brain. Children at that age need good 8 to 12 hours of sleep.
5. Turn off the tech
The T.V, computer games and mobiles are all powerful modes of distraction and they should be either taken away or their use should be limited. Children nowadays are quite tech savvy and spend most of their hours on these devices; taking them away will free up ample time to study.
Mrs. Malathi Kahandaliyanage, Consultant Education and Behaviour Therapist advises to carefully explain to children the ins and outs of studying instead of telling them to “study”, since they are of understanding age and are in Big School.
Explain how studying makes them better individuals, how it gives them power with the knowledge acquired. In this way learning becomes an adventure rather than a task; the child is keen to read to learn new words, solve the intricate maths puzzle to overcome the challenges presented. We can motivate them mentally.
Expert advice provided by
Written by Mayuri Jayasinghe based on an interview with Malathi Kahandaliyanage, Consultation Education and Behaviour Therapist