1) Be Positive and Provide Positive Feedback
It is important to replace external and monetary rewards with positive encouraging verbal responses. Do not get into the habit of rewarding your child for good grades. That is merely a short term gain and does not encourage your child to study in the long run. Moreover, there is plenty of scientific research to show that reward systems are ineffective in the long run. When you stop rewarding your child with monetary rewards (ie: toys, gadgets, candies etc), your child will lose the extrinsic motivation to study and may even not want to study anymore.
As such, the motivation to study should always be intrinsic. Give positive verbal feedback that focus on the behavior which you want to promote or encourage. Some positive comments include:
"You have followed your revision timetable closely and have completed your revision for today. I’m proud of you for being such a diligent and responsible child.”
"Your handwriting is neat and tidy. All your letters are right between the lines and they’re big enough for your teacher to read. I’m happy that you have put in effort to write well.”
“It’s great that you have completed your homework all by yourself! I know some questions were not easy to solve, but I noticed that you tried your best to solve them. You are a hardworking and determined child. Most importantly, you stayed focused and did not give up.”
Therefore, it is important to get into the habit of encouraging your child with kind positive words.
2) Establish A Study Routine
Your child needs to plan a study timetable and once the study timetable has been set, stick to it. It may take a few days, or even weeks, for your child to get used to it and your child may even protest, but as a parent, you will need to be firm and encourage your child to stick to it. A study schedule is useless if it is not carried out; a study routine is crucial. In order for your child to excel well in his/her studies, a regular study or revision routine is necessary.
As the saying goes, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” (Our article on how to plan an effective study schedule can be viewed here.)
3) Provide A Study Environment
If your house lacks a study area, you have to plan on what you can do to make your house study-friendly. You must create a study space that is away from the noise of other family members such as younger siblings, and the television. You can also set a rule that everyone have to do their homework or revision at the same time to minimize the noise level of your house. If you or a family member engages in fun or noisy activities during study time, your child will be distracted and it is unfair for your child to study in an environment that is not quiet or conducive at all. Use your child’s study time to do some quiet household chores, such as folding the laundry, sweeping or mopping of floors etc. You may even do some of your office work during your child’s study time too.
As a parent, you can’t study for your child, but you can assist him/her in doing so. For example, you can give a five minute warning that the revision time is approaching, thus easing your child into his/her revision, instead of abruptly ending your child’s current activity. You can then help to clear the study table, place your child’s assessment books and stationery onto the table neatly, and even offer some drinks or snacks for him/her.
We hope that these 3 tips will help your child to stay motivated, focused and well-prepared for the upcoming school examinations. Most importantly, parents need to be encouraging and not critical. Create a "can do" study attitude and your child will be motivated to study!
Is your child taking his/her PSLE exams this year? If so, feel free to call us @ 6457-0881 or email us @ firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about our PSLE Intensive Revision Courses today. Alternatively, you may call or email us to find out more about our weekly K1-S4 English, Maths, Science and Chinese tutorial classes.