Whether your child is in elementary school, college, or pursuing further education, testing time can be stressful at any level. Balancing a full workload, especially in an online environment, can be difficult for students. As children take on finals season in a full house, many traditional study spots, such as libraries or coffee shops, are unavailable.
While it can be tempting to do everything you can to help your child succeed, constantly monitoring their study habits and performance may add additional pressure and anxiety to their plate. Although managing their time and applying what they’ve learned is ultimately up to your child, there are a few ways you can help foster a comfortable and encouraging atmosphere while still giving your child the space they need to succeed on their own.
Create a Distraction-Free Study Zone
Most students will be taking their final exams online this year from the comfort of their homes. While this has its benefits, it also means the added distraction of parents, siblings, and pets. Giving your child a distraction-free study space where they can take time away from the hectic daily activities of their household will allow them to focus. As the weather warms up, there will be more opportunities to take your other children or pets for a full-day or afternoon outing. Try going to the park for a few hours to give your stressed student space to focus on their own.
Provide Them with the Fuel They Need at Mealtimes
Intense study schedules and finals preparation can sometimes mean working through mealtimes. Many students will turn to a quick snack or fast food, but foods high in carbohydrates and sugars can leave students feeling tired and unable to concentrate. Providing your child with nourishing and nutritious meals gives them the fuel to power through long study hours. While mealtimes can be a great study break for students, keep in mind that hectic schedules make it difficult for them to step away. Giving your child space to refuel during mealtimes is a great way to indirectly improve their ability to retain information and perform well.
Communicate That You Care – but Not Too Much
Pre-Covid, you may have checked on your student once or twice throughout the day during finals season, and they may or may not have picked up the phone. If they’re now studying in your home, it can be tempting to check in frequently to make sure they’re doing okay. But constantly monitoring your child’s schedule may only stress them out more. Giving your kids space during this time may be the most helpful thing you can do. On hectic study days or test days, try to only check in on your student as much as you would if they were still away at school. Give them space to prepare alone before a big test, and only check-in afterward.
While students still learn to adjust to the world of online education, parents are also learning how to navigate finals season. There are many factors impacting your child’s study environment, and finding ways to foster a healthy environment while giving them space can be difficult. Ultimately, you know your kid best and have had years learning how to help them succeed.