Studying at Christmas: getting ready for January

studying at Christmas: snowman outside in snow, holding a cookie

Studying at Christmas can be very challenging for children; wrapped up in the excitement of the season, it’s easy to forget that school exists. So how can you make sure your children are getting the rest they need and enjoying the festive period while still preparing themselves for school in the New Year. That’s where we can help.

Reduce stress

Create a study plan. As a result, your child will not get overwhelmed by the amount of work and will be confident that they can complete all their tasks. Having an agreed day for a task will help you enforce study time. It’s also good to include planned festive treats in the study plan so your children have something to look forward. This could be putting up the Christmas tree, meeting the Grandparents or, going ice skating!

To create a study plan, block work into modules and estimate the time it will take your child to complete the module. Then assign a certain number of study hours per day. Try and stick to the time limits. This will help your children differentiate between when it is time to work and when it’s time to relax, meaning they’ll be more productive.

Remember that breaks are important too, over-worked brains lead to lower productivity. If your child is 15 years older of above, most students study every day apart from the period between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. However, every family is different and your children may need to take more time off for family commitments. Take a look at this article which was written by a parent with a 17-year-old child, they discuss the difficulties of helping their child balance a social life with studying. Many parents struggle, remember you are not alone. Talk to your child’s school if you need more help and advice.

If your child is between 11 and 15 years old, not as much study time will be needed but maybe plan days to complete homework and class projects.

Studying efficiently

At secondary school, it is essential for your children to perfect the art of studying efficiently. So that more work can be done in a smaller period of time. Thus, they’ll be able to spend more time with family and friends celebrating Christmas. Here’s how you can help improve their productivity:

  1. Book your children a one-hour tutoring session – a tutor is a great way to complete a very focused study session in an hour. The tutor will be able to control what topics are studied and the pace of work. They’ll also ensure that the child understands what they are being taught. Remember that our tutors are mostly students, just like your children, they can pass on their own tried and tested methods for revision and help your children do their best.
  2. Create a work and reward programme with timed study period and breaks – no matter how productive your children are, they can’t concentrate forever. A new study has found that the average person’s concentration span is around 14 minutes. Suggesting that our brains are not suited to marathon revision sessions! Time your child’s study periods. For example, they can work for 25 minutes then get a 5-minute break. Repeat this three times, then they can have a 20-minute break. Maybe, at the end of every 25 minutes, they could even get an edible Christmas treat.
  3. No multi-tasking – Daniel Levitin in his book The Organised Mind argues that what we think of as multi-tasking is usually just a process of switching rapidly from one task to another. The result is that no single task gets the attention it needs to be completed. Take away all distractions from your child’s study space so that they must focus on their work.
  4. Get out of the house – revising at home during Christmas can be painful, especially when the family is visiting. If your child is old enough, why not let them go to the local library or coffee shop. A change of environment can boost productivity and reduce distractions.

Make studying more creative

If your child is below the age of 11, try to encourage learning in a more active and creative way.

  1. Reading widely – find some books that are related to the subjects your children are studying at school, or to areas which you believe they should know. Encouraging reading is so important for your child’s development and future school life.
  2. Baking – this is a great way to teach children a new skill and develop their ability to work as a team.
  3. Days out – take your children to local museums and parks. They can learn new things that they wouldn’t necessarily be taught at school. Encourage them to partake in activities they enjoy, maybe they’ll even find a new talent. These are all great ways to de-stress and enjoy being a kid.
  4. Online learning games – there are lots of things your children can do online if you fancy a quiet night in. They can learn to touch type, memorise all the countries of the world, or even, learn how to code.

Despite all the work, your children should enjoy Christmas because, above all, It’s a time to relax and spend time with friends and family.

From us all at MyTutor, we wish you a Merry Christmas!

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