As the seasons change, it’s often a time to take stock of how we are doing, make changes where needed, and clean up - think a good old fashioned “spring clean”! Recently, you probably packed away the sandals and sunscreen and got out the hats, mitts, and boots. The snow tires are going on the cars, and, God forbid, the snow shovels are ready for action! These seasonal changes and cleanses happen because we’re being proactive and organized. It’s also a habit adults have learned to keep themselves on top of things. It feels very grown up.
It’s the same at school. Or at least it should be--the more organized and proactive students, and teachers, are, the better. But unfortunately it’s not always the case with students. As we look ahead to Senior School exams it’s time to get in front of the molehill so we can make sure it doesn’t become a mountain.
What do I mean by that? It’s important for students to start thinking about those exams now. The exam schedule was shared with students last week. And while preparing for exams does mean reading, studying, and reviewing the concepts and teachings from class, it also means going a little deeper into the very foundation of preparation. While formal reviews of a subject may not happen until the week or two prior to an exam, many of our students can start to develop good study habits if they spend some time NOW making sure their notebooks are organized by what has already been covered, ensuring they know what textbooks and materials they need as support tools, and devoting time to review materials on an on-going basis. Now is the time to find any notes or materials that they may have missed, or have misplaced. This will help hone study skills while also making sure that as exams get closer, they are organized, prepared, and already on top of their material. If you think of it using the spring cleaning analogy, it’s akin to having your cleaning supplies on hand, knowing where your seasonal clothes are to unpack, and having room on your shelves to store away what you don’t need now.
And a few other tips for helping your kids be successful come exam time: make sure they get lots of sleep; ensure they study in a quiet, well-lit area; and ask them what they know and what they don’t know as they get ready; spending more time working on what they don’t know sounds obvious, but it helps provide focus and clarity, both of which are crucial for doing well.
As parents, we should be supporting our students to develop good organizational and study habits now. We all want our students to do well in school and in life. Helping your son or daughter take time to develop these skills will pay off not only when they write exams, but hopefully when they’re adults as well. Not only will they learn how to study well and prepare for major events, but their houses will be much tidier and more organized as a result!