10 simple ways to help your child revise for PSLEs
Examinations times can be pretty stressful, especially if you are unprepared. Having a plan for revision, and sticking to it is an absolute must. Here are 10 simple ways you can help your kid with his PSLE 2015 revision.
As the PSLEs loom ahead, there is no longer any room for complacency. PSLE revision needs to be planned.
You have to remember that parents play an important role in making sure that their children are on the right track towards preparing adequately for these exams.
“Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practise makes perfect,” insists Vince Lombardi, an American football coach. So, to be on track to help your children revise the PSLE syllabus, you need to plan perfectly.
Also remember there is no one-size-fits-all system. Revision is an individual and personal process and planning has to be done keeping in mind the needs and abilities of the particular child.
However, there are some basic pointers that all parents can apply.
1. Have a plan of action
You know exactly when the prelims, orals and final PSLE exams are. Create a plan that leads up to the various stages of the exam. Factor in the dates by when you need to finish the first round of revision, leaving enough time to focus on areas that need more attention.
2. Create a realistic schedule
Discuss with your child to create a timetable of recision that is organised by subject. Most schools limit CCA time for P6 students to free up time for learning. There will be days when school gets over early and days when there are extra classes. Assign a reasonable division of time for all subjects, providing a little more for the ones that the child struggles with. Once you have a schedule it is hard to avoid it. Also your work seems well organised and available to you at a glance.
3. Fill in the details
Some topics may need more attention than others. So you need to further subdivide your child's timetable and list down all the topics that need to be covered and then assign time slots for them.
There is a tendency to disregard topics that the child feel confident about. But overconfidence can be counterproductive. On the other hand children tend to avoid their not-so-favourite topics, making an already bad situation, worse. Parents can help the child ensure a healthy balance by being encouraging and supportive.
4. Follow the time table
Once the study plan is in place it’s time to get down to the most important part - revision. Making a schedule is easy; however it is also important to follow it. A timetable is your strongest tool towards planning your revision. Use it wisely. Be aware of the aims of each session and work towards it.
5. Be flexible
Don’t hesitate to revise the timetable or make amends as you go long. It may need to be tweaked according to the need of the hour. Monitor how things are going and change the action plan along the way.
This could be in terms of study hours or revision techniques. If you feel Maths needs more time and attention, make changes to enable that. On the other hand if your progress in English has been better than expected, you can afford to use the time assigned to it for other purposes.
6. Negotiate an electronic free time
It is impractical to expect your child to do away with the phone, computer, television etc. Sit down and have an honest conversation. Agree to have no distractions during revision time to ensure focused study and allow free access to electronic media at other times.
Kids require adequate breaks to unwind between lessons. This will refresh the minds and make it easier for them to study. Time management is an important commodity during revision. Factor in time for relaxing breaks, moderate exercise and sleep.
7. Set Targets
Set a realistic achievable target and work towards attaining it. Put a tick against the topic that is done so that at a glance you know where you stand. Put a gold star against the topic your child is confident about, a silver against the one he is more or less ready with and a red one against the one that you know needs revisiting. This helps children to stay motivated and gives them a sense of achievement.
8. Where to study
Create a conducive study environment at home. Make sure the child is not distracted by noise or electronic media. Some children study well in groups and others do better when they are alone. Schools also organise extra classes and allow children to use the school facilities for revision. There are study centres in Housing Estates in Singapore which provide a quiet, air conditioned environment for studying. It’s very motivating to see so many other kids hard at work at such centres. On the other hand if your child is the type that gets easily distracted you may want him to be by himself. Do what works best for your child.
9. Have all material ready
Have all the books, worksheets, assessment books and notes in one place. Keep them well-organised and filed. Hunting for study material at the last minute is an exercise in futility. It’s not important to do every assessment book in the market. Choose quality over quantity. Do a few but do them thoroughly and well.
10. Be on call
Try your best to ensure that at least one parent is always there to support, encourage and motivate the child. There will be many occasions when the child will look towards you for help and support not just to study but also when he is bogged down by nervousness and fatigue. If you are really not able to make time, tap your extended family and friends or approach the school and ask them to help out with extra support.
As children embark on a journey to ace their first major public exam, it is important for parents to guide, support and nudge their kids on the correct manner for preparing for it. This can help foster positive study habits in a child that will continue through the years. A well-organised revision schedule also prevents last minute panic and frayed nerves.
Do you have any revision tips that worked for your child. Do share them in our comment box below.