End of term breaks are a time when high school students clear their heads, relax a little and stretch their brains in different ways. However, letting a study routine slip means your teen is missing out on a huge opportunity to get ahead especially given that this is their last break before exams.
Forgive me if I come off as a thorn in the neck here but reality has it that those who fail to prepare in time are soon swept off by the wave of exam fever. Of course it is important for students to experience freedom beyond the confines of the classroom, but it has been argued that continual study is absolutely essential for a high level of academic achievement. Besides, there will be plenty of time after exams.
Obviously, it takes a lot of willpower for any student to study over the holidays. They need to convince themselves that the time and effort they spend will have a payoff, and the first few times are always the hardest. Nevertheless, the more they engage in study and establish habits and a routine, the easier it gets, plus it helps give them the willpower to keep going, because they see real results.
Help your child to prepare adequately. During the school holidays, students don’t have the constant onslaught of new content coming in from their teachers every day, which makes it the perfect time to organize the notes from the previous 10 weeks of learning. It is also a perfect time to independently go through past exam papers to gauge their levels. Teens should use this break to write up summaries for each subject and create study books so when exam time creeps up; there are no excuses for cramming information the night before.
Better yet, make holiday revision more social. Your teen is on holidays; so are their mates. Why not encourage them to combine efforts by hosting a study group day with their friends? It may sound boring, but it doesn’t need to be! Group study can be more effective than studying alone, helping students learn in a different style to solo study. Plus, they can make a day of it - a nice study session, followed by a movie or two and whatever else they like doing.
It is also important to mention that studying throughout the break allows your teenager to keep their brain active and helps stay accustomed to working on problems, meaning when they return to school, they’ll be the first in their class to pick up where they left off. When students are on a break, they are no longer working their brain at full capacity all day, every day. The brain acts just like a muscle, and needs regular exercise to keep working at its best. Just as when you stop working out at the gym for a few weeks and you drop back your fitness levels, it takes time to get back to the level you were once at.
So during the school holidays, it’s essential to encourage your teen to enjoy time outdoors or socializing with friends, and it’s just as important to ensure the hard work they’ve put in over the first half of the school year isn’t lost because of major disruptions to their study routines. Holidays are often the time when students get ahead of their peers and can make a huge difference to their report card come December or January when results are back.
The writer is a Language Consultant