Schooling has changed dramatically over the last decade, with parents recognising the importance of education and grading to ensure their child has the best opportunity to qualify for their chosen career path.
With the mid-term Easter holidays in full swing, teacher and YourTutor.com.au Education Expert, Ciaran Smyth explains why slacking off on study while on vacation is one of the biggest mistakes students make.
“Mid-term breaks are a time when high school students can clear their head, relax a little and stretch their mind-muscles in different ways. However, letting a study routine slip means your teen is missing out on a huge opportunity to get ahead,” says Ciaran.
During the school holidays, students don’t have the constant onslaught of new content coming in from their teachers every day, which makes it the perfect time to organise the notes from the previous ten weeks of learning. Teens should use this break to write up summaries for each subject and create study books.
Study books, with copies of worksheets or equation lists, not only allow students to organise their thoughts, they also provide a quick and highly effective source of distilled information. So when exam time creeps up, there are no excuses for cramming information the night before.
“I recommend students get a head start over the holidays which will reduce stress and improve their marks down the track,” says Ciaran.
2. You’re on holiday – your brain isn’t.
When students are on a break, they are no longer working their brain at full capacity all day, every day. The brain acts just like a muscle, and needs regular exercise to keep working at its best. Just as when you stop working out at the gym for a few weeks and you drop back your fitness levels, it takes time to get back to the level you were once at. Doing low level study throughout the break allows your teenager to keep their brain active and helps stay accustomed to working on problems, meaning when they return to school, they’ll be the first in their class to pick up where they left off.
3. Routine, not willpower.
The first time a student sits down to study, it takes a lot of willpower. They need to convince them-self that the time and effort they spend will have a payoff, and the first few times are always the hardest. The more they engage in study and establish habits and a routine, however, it becomes not only easier to maintain long-term, and it helps give them the willpower to keep going, because they see real results.
4. Get prepared, get ahead
For most high school year levels, each student will have a good idea of what is coming up next term across their subjects. For subjects like History, encourage your teen to use this lull as a chance to start collecting topic resources now, at a leisurely pace, so that there isn’t a frantic rush to the library just before an assignment is due. This will reduce stress levels and make study, and assignments, a much easier task next term.
5. Social study
Your teen is on holidays. So are their mates. Why not encourage them to combine both by hosting a study group day with their friends? It may sound boring, but it doesn’t need to be! Group study can be more effective than studying alone, helping students learn in a different style to solo study. Plus, they can make a day of it – a nice study session, followed by a movie or two and some pizza and ice-cream.
6. Study is fun!
What your teen studies in class is often a very linear, focused exploration of an important concept, and there will always be moments when they were intrigued by a concept and wanted to learn more. Now is their chance to extend their knowledge in the subjects they’re truly interested in. Students educating themselves outside of the core subjects they learn at school is a fantastic way to train them about new and bigger contexts.
So for the rest of the Easter Holidays it’s important to ensure the hard work they’ve put in isn’t lost because of major disruptions to their study routines and with online tutoring programs there really are no excuses!
Holidays are often the time when students get ahead of their peers and can make a huge difference to their report card come December.
Is your child studying over the holidays? SHARE with us in the comments below.