5 Tips for Success this Holiday Season
The holiday season is a great time for students to relax and take a break from school. The pressures of homework, tests and school sports no longer dominate everyday life. Instead, there is plenty of time to relax with family, friends and to catch-up on sleep.
For many of our students the extra time also allows them an opportunity to start studying for their final exams, review or preview material, strengthen academic skills and rewrite assignments. When relaxed and rested the time spent studying is far more productive. Furthermore, it encourages them to be proactive and helps build momentum. This way they enter the classroom in January at a running start.
1. Final Exam Preparation
For many of our students the final exams are only two or three weeks after the December break. Truthfully, the timing is horrible. During the two week break students often forget some of the material, which is especially the case for math and science. The momentum is often lost and students end up spending the first couple of weeks of January refreshing their memory and cramming for their finals. It can be extremely stressful and frustrating.
The two week break from school is a great opportunity to review the course material for the final exams. Without all the other pressures from school the time devoted to studying is a lot more focused and productive. Even just an hour a day can go a long way. Getting into the habit of being proactive and balanced between work and play is a great skill to master.
2. Review Material
What if there are no final exams in January? This is a great opportunity to review material that may have been more difficult. This is especially important if it is for math or science; or if the final exam is in June. The teacher may be able to provide worksheets or practice tests that can help with this process. The concepts in math and science build upon each other. Consequently, reviewing the material helps the student better understand future topics.
3. Preview Material
If the teacher has provided a course outline then your son or daughter will know what material will be covered in January. Having an opportunity to preview the material prior to it being taught in the classroom can be highly beneficial. It will not only boost the student’s confidence but it will help them better grasp the concepts.
4. Strengthen Academic Skills
The two week break can be a great time for your son or daughter to strengthen their reading, writing and math skills. The holiday season can be intense and a very social time of the year. Taking a break is important. Curling up with an exciting book is a wonderful way to escape, relax and learn new things. For a list of excellent books please go to the Reading List for Teenagers, Reading List for Ages 9 – 12 and Reading List for Ages 6 – 8. Similarly, encouraging your child to keep a journal or write Christmas stories can help them reflect on their memories and expand their imagination. Additionally, there are plenty of math games and activities to help your child master math fundamentals. As simple as using flashcards or math games on a phone or ipad can be a fun way to reinforce addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions and division.
5. Rewrite Assignments
Some teachers offer the opportunity for a student to rewrite assignments or tests to boost up their mark. Even if the teacher does not mention this as an option it is certainly worth asking if its possible. It can really make a difference and could potentially push a mark up a few percent. It also shows the teacher that the student really wants to excel and willing to go the extra mile to make this happen.