Co-Curricular Physical Activity And Sport Programs For Middle School Students Preparing Children For Their Exams

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Preparing Children For Their Exams

Examination time can be a stressful time for both children and parents. Children must prepare the syllabus and pass at exam time, and parents must ensure that they help their children as much as possible in exam preparation. In fact, parents can play a major role in preparing their children for academic success. The following highlights the role of parents in preparing their children for exams for different age groups of children.

Age from 7 to 11 years

Children in the age group of 7 to 11 years are basically primary education students. Children in this age group are just learning the basics of each subject at this stage. The immediate goal of children in this age group is to pass the SAT exams with a good score and to prepare a good foundation for other important exams in the future. As a parent, your task is to guide your child at such a tender age that he/she will pass his/her exams with flying colours. Here are some useful tips to help prepare your child for exams.

1. Preparation is the best antidote to stress during exams. Make sure that your child follows this golden rule and that no part of the curriculum is left unprepared.

2. The period until the exam is a golden time. The key is to organize the schedule in such a way that it fully covers all subjects.

3. Children at this stage are quite impressionable. Therefore, it is much easier to instill positivity in their minds so that your child can develop coping mechanisms to learn to deal with exam pressure. This allows them to relieve stress and not panic at exam time. Exam panic is one of the main reasons why children underperform. Teach them simple routines to deal with exam stress at their age and these methods will stick with them for the rest of their lives. This topic is covered in a little more detail at the end of the article.

4. If your child has difficulty concentrating on a certain topic, try innovative techniques from everyday life to make the subject interesting. Try Windows brain training software or one of the leading packages on the Nintendo DS console. This topic is covered in a little more detail at the end of the article.

5. If the child generally has a hard time concentrating on learning, it is better to give him a break. It is preferable to persuade the child to indulge in the activities he likes the most. E.g. Sports, TV, games, etc. This should recharge the batteries and improve the child’s concentration level.

6. Make sure your child gets adequate physical activity, a healthy diet and regular sleep during the examination period.

7. Don’t leave it until the last minute. If you have instilled in your child the habit of being organized and meeting all deadlines throughout the year, half the work of preparing your child for exams is already done.

8. Children must be aware of the importance of planning for the future. If the child knows what is expected of him during the exam, it will save him the element of surprise and additional pressure. In this sense, preparing a monthly schedule for the child and encouraging him to stick to it, could be a good way to introduce discipline into the child’s routine.

9. Finally, don’t overburden your child with high expectations. Just leave them alone and you are much more likely to give good grades. Your child has probably been exposed to enough pressure without you adding to it.

From 11 to 16 years

The pre-teen and adolescent years are the formative stages of a child’s academic career. Preparing for high school exams and GCSEs can seem like a daunting task due to several distractions at this stage of their lives. As a parent, you must handle children of this age group with extreme care. Here are some helpful tips to help prepare your pre-teens and teens for exams.

1. Encouraging and informing your child about the importance of GCSEs is your primary role as a parent.

2. Rely on hard work throughout the year rather than any last minute revisions.

3. The importance of organization and scheduling can never be overemphasized for any age group. Help your child prepare the schedule. Make room for their normal daily activities. Never let them cut back on activities they enjoy to make room for more revision time. This will only lead to a build up of stress which could lead to poor performance in all their exams.

4. Practicing and revising throughout the year without leaving out any section is the key to success and your child should be encouraged to clear any difficulties or doubts rather than skipping a difficult section altogether.

5. It is extremely important to allow and encourage your children to get adequate rest so that they are refreshed each time they study. They should also be encouraged to indulge in various activities and not just concentrate on studies.

6. Make the environment perfect for learning. Ask your family members not to disturb your child while he is studying and avoid any source of distraction, such as the TV. Keep in mind that some children benefit from listening to some type of music while learning.

7. Make sure your child sleeps well and adequately.

8. Always praise them for their efforts and reward them with small gifts.

9. Insert positive thoughts by explaining to your child that there is no point in thinking about a bad performance in one exam.

10. Ask your child if he/she needs help. This moral support is enough to keep your child honest in preparing for exams.

11. Promise a big family celebration after the exam is over and keep the promise!

You can only do so much, but the final exam results are entirely your child’s effort. Always remind your children of the golden rule of life.

Games improve memory and exam performance

With the introduction of brain training software for Nintendo game consoles, educational software is getting super cool. Children who are reluctant to learn using conventional methods are now taught using educational software in the classroom. In one example, we created software that has different targets that move around the smart board and the pupil to target the right answer using a remote control. This is a great fun method for teaching mental math and spelling to younger age groups.

A study of educational computer games such as brain training software for Windows and Nintendo game consoles found that children who used the software for 20 minutes at the start of the day easily outperformed children using conventional methods.

Children who used the software calmed down and concentrated faster with a much higher level of concentration. The same results were achieved by adults using the same software. Also, long-term and short-term memory has been found to improve if the software is used on a regular basis.

To improve your child’s performance in exams, try to find the right balance between conventional methods, using past exam papers, revision guides and computer based methods, online learning (SAM’s Learning etc.), computer software, brain training software etc.

Methods for stress control

In the months before the exam period, take up sports or try to get some exercise by going for a bike ride or a long walk. Physical activity is an excellent method for reducing stress and anxiety.

At the beginning of the exam, carefully read the instructions for the exam papers without thinking about anything else. This will prevent you from making mistakes by answering questions you shouldn’t attempt because you have attempted other questions; but it will also focus your mind on eliminating the thoughts that lead to anxiety. Find a perfume or deodorant that has a calming effect on you.

If you feel very anxious, hold your nose and exhale or breathe into your hands. This increases carbon dioxide in the blood which causes a calming effect. Find your stress points, massage your temples or just over your nose in gentle circular motions. If you’re suffering from really serious nerves or anxiety, you’re not alone, see a doctor.

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