It’s normal for students to feel unmotivated at times. For students dealing with family, work and school responsibilities, staying motivated to complete schoolwork can be a tough challenge when faced with so many demands for their attention. But don’t let them get discouraged! Here are a few Jump Start techniques to help your student stay motivated, even on their toughest days.
- Pick the most productive time
Studies have found that the two hours after we wake up are the most productive. If possible, let your child set aside their morning time to start on their schoolwork. If they happen to be more of a night owl, let them plan on completing around an hour of schoolwork every night; either right when they get home or right before everyone goes to bed.
- Set up study sessions for success
When your child begins their studying, do not let them log into their personal email or social media sites. If they are serious about studying, then they should be serious about the time that they are dedicating to it. Encourage your child to create blocks of time where they turn smartphones or tablets off. Closely monitor this time for your child to complete schoolwork and they will notice how much more they can accomplish.
- Set goals with milestones
When your child starts to create their weekly to-do list, be sure they are asking themselves: “What one task should I complete to make me feel like this week was a success?” These milestones act as important markers on their way to reaching their goals. If their goal is to write a term paper by a certain date, let them set the milestones for an outline, first draft and onward. Your child will feel a sense of accomplishment upon completing each milestone, and motivated to reach the next milestone on their plan to reaching that ultimate goal.
- Find a type of inspiration that works
Pictures, poems and quotes all provide a much needed push when our motivation is lagging. What inspires your child? Perhaps it’s a card from you congratulating them on taking a step forward. Inspiration can be found in many ways. Find what works for your child and keep it close by.
- Celebrate accomplishments
Have your child take a moment at the end of every week and look at everything that they have accomplished. Even if there are more things left for them to do, let them take the time to acknowledge and celebrate what has been completed. The sense of accomplishment and pride that your child will feel can help them stay motivated for the weeks to come.
- Practice self-care
Make sure your child is eating right, getting enough sleep, and doing some form of physical activity every day. When they take care of their body and spirit, it will make them feel more energized to tackle each day. Being a student is hard at any age. There will be days when your child will feel that something is impossible, and they might feel like they aren’t sure they can keep up. Making sure your child continues to envision their goals and their passions will motivate them to get back to their schoolwork.
Another topic many students struggle with is test anxiety and trying to figure out ways to stay focused and motivated under pressure. With so much depending on test results, it is no wonder that students often become anxious about taking tests. Your child can master test anxiety and improve their performance on tests by following these three simple techniques:
- Develop good study habits
- Use effective techniques to memorize content
- Take steps to reduce test anxiety
Effective Study Habits
Creating a quiet and neat study area is key. Distractions and clutter can interfere with studying. Your child should choose a quiet spot where they are unlikely to be interrupted and organize it so that they can study more efficiently. If space is cramped at home, they can always use a corner of the local library. Studying from good notes is another important factor. Your child’s study sessions will be productive only if they are studying from a legible and complete set of notes. If their notes are incomplete, be sure to have your child ask if their friends or teacher has a copy of the class notes that they can review to receive the missing information.
People often don’t realize how much time they spend on activities such as watching television, internet exposure, talking with friends on the phone, etc. If your child is not careful, they may discover that their leisure activities will drain time that could have been better used for studying. Have your child create a general study schedule, with enough time set aside for fun activities.
Avoiding cram sessions is another way for your child to avoid test anxiety and improve studying efficiency. Pulling an ‘all-nighter’ study session will only tire your child and leave them exhausted on the day of the exam. Rather than cramming their review into one or two marathon sessions, they should break their studying into short periods and study more frequently. Also, encouraging your child to start studying early in the course, well before the first test, will give themselves a head start while learning the material.
Tips to Memorize Content
The best way for your child to remember information from their notes or reading, is to set aside enough time for them to study it well. Creating flashcards can help your child memorize information better. To memorize vocabulary, your child can highlight a keyword or term on one side of an index card and the definition on the other side. To review, they can read the word and recite the definition from memory before flipping the card over and checking their answer. Afterwards, they can review the cards again, this time reading the definitions and recalling the keyword or term from memory. To memorize other information, your child can copy a fact or concept on one side of the card and a test question matching the concept on the card’s other side. To review, they can read off each question and attempt to recall the answer before flipping the card over to check their work.
Tips to Reduce Anxiety About Tests
Your child should make sure they are eating healthy foods and that they are getting enough sleep before a test. Remind them that they need to take care of themselves first in order for them to perform well on tests. They may also want to take part in some physical activity or exercise prior to taking the test to reduce body tension. If your child gets a full night’s sleep, gets enough exercise and eats a balanced breakfast prior to the test; they will improve their chances of doing their best on a test.
Establishing positive self-talk is another tip to reduce overall test anxiety. Replacing unreasonable negative thinking with positive self-talk is the beginning. When your child studies hard for a test, for example, their confidence will be shaken if they think negative thoughts such as, “I don’t have a chance of passing this exam!” Instead, they should maintain a cheerful but realistic attitude such as, “I prepared thoroughly for this test. If I do my best, I will have a good chance of passing.” Additionally, If your child’s friends are also nervous about the test, your child should avoid talking with them about it. You don’t want their friend’s anxiety to transfer to them.
Jump Start is committed to finding trending topics and offering you free and effective educational resources. Resources are always a great tool for supplementation and for enhancing your child’s learning strategy.
However, tests and exams can be the most stressful events in a student’s educational career. They often play a large role in determining their grades, and subsequently affecting student’s placement in more advanced classes. In addition, tests like the SAT or ACT which determine college entrance and scholarship awardings can create added stress as the stakes are high and staying focused for three hours can be a challenging task.
Jump Start tutors can help your child get ready for your upcoming test and exams. We can also help you prepare for the FSA, SAT, PSAT, SSAT, AP & IB.
At Jump Start, we understand that student’s stress levels have increased. Tutoring offers students the opportunity to combat anxiety, recall information faster, and conquer tests with more confidence! That is why we evaluate our students using one-on-one assessment testing to pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses.
Our tutors will also help students navigate their courses and tests with a hands-on learning experience in-home or online; as they learn about reading, writing, math, science, history, test prep, study skills and much more! Choosing our online tutoring services includes interactive whiteboards, screen sharing, document sharing and video tools to make online test prep more personalized and fun.
Give your child the benefits of in-home and online tutoring today! Check out our newly designed website to learn more about our private tutoring programs. Call Jump Start for a FREE consultation: (954) 440-5787
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