Lorenzo’s final exams are coming up, and making sure that he is ready to take his exams is one of my responsibilities as a parent, even a working one. My son at his age is not an easy child to study with, there are times he gets distracted or stops at the middle of our study time and decides he is already finished studying and would like to do another activity. Lucky for me I had the foresight to allocate a quite corner for our study time and they were told at school to study their lessons before going to sleep at night.
Strategies I have to help Lorenzo study:
Have a routine – we have our study time after dinner every night even on weekends. Giving him a set activity where he can study his lessons or learn new things helps him form good study habits.
Make studying fun – Lorenzo does poorly in writing, as this is his weakness I make up stories or sound effects while teaching him/practicing to write to make the activity fun and interesting for him.
Have supplementary activity books available – I regularly buy books related to the topics he have at class, I do this so that he can practice writing and at the same time review his lessons he had in schools. His schools books are not allowed to be answered at home unless it is an assignment and having another book related to the topic he wants to color or write on makes him enjoy studying better.
Teach him to love books – I love to read books and every time we go out and see a bookstore I usually go and browse inside. We made it a habit whenever we go out and see Goodwill bookstore to go inside and let our son look at books he wants and let him buy one book every visit, or more if he’s really been good. Now he refers to his bookshelf as his library and we read one or two books before we sleep.
Invest in flash cards – One of the most treasured materials we have is his flash cards. I remember my husband buying it a week after Lorenzo was born it is an eight-pack collection of cards alphabets, Numbers 1-10, colors, shapes and others. He bought it for 300 pesos and I am very thankful he did, even if we waited for 3 years before we can use it. I use them as supplements for the lessons like what is the first letter each picture have? I usually make it as a card game where we split the cards between us and we take turns putting a card in the table and give the starting letter for each card and who ever puts all his cards in the table first wins. I usually let him win for every time we play the card game I win too, he learned more through this game and we had fun doing it.
Supplement with Online Materials – there are many websites for children that helps kids with their lessons and at the same time they have fun learning them. My son regularly visits websites where he can play games with his favorite cartoon characters. Just be sure you review the sites yourselves first so you know what your child is absorbing online. I usually guide him to the topics I feel he needs to study before I allow him choose other topics or part of the website he wants to go. You also have to supervise him. My son knows how to navigate aand go to his favorite websites(we have them bookmarked) but still you must also be on hand if he has questions or if he goes to a site not appropriate for his age.
Don’t cram! - Oh that saying is true whether you’re in nursery or in your masters course or at work. It would be difficult to cram studying with a four year old for they have short attention spans and both of you will feel the pressure. I usually start reviewing Lorenzo for major exams two weeks before, just insert a topic during every study time until he knows it. By the time the actual exam days arrive you are both relaxed and eager to start study time.
Lastly, TRUST you child that he knows what he is doing. When he says “I know that already Mom”, stop and move on to the next topic.