School is so close to being over with, my kids can taste it. They’re craving the long lazy days of summer, while trying to balance the demands the end of the school year can bring: tests, quizzes, final exams. They need to stay focused. They need support. They need me to help them survive final exams.
It’s no fun for them to have to study for final exams, and it’s no fun for me, as a parent, to watch. It’s painful for all of us. I keep reminding them to hang on, with both hands, stay focused, and not give into their summer dreams.
“I’m so done with school,” Zoe, my tenth grader said last Friday when she came home from school and was exhausted. We counted, and she took six tests/quizzes and had a huge paper due last week. It’s being piled on right now, since school is almost over for the year.
Then there are final exams.
“Make it end,” she said to me.”
I wish I could.
“Just hang on,” I tried to encourage her, “The year is almost over with and then you can enjoy the summer.”
I listen to what I’m telling her and I try to take my own advice. Truthfully, I need a break also. I’m tired of packing lunch, the early morning chaos, and going to extra curricular activities. I want summer to be here as much as they do. I’m ready to put the school year behind me and quietly ride into the sunset.
If you feel this way also, welcome to the club.
At the same time, I can’t help but feel a twinge of sadness. Next year my oldest will be a Junior in high school, and after that comes her Senior year. Just two years left until she goes off to college. Two years until I don’t get to see her everyday. My heart almost hurts just thinking about it. If you have kids, I know you understand.
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And so, I balance the desire to move on with the school year with my desire to enjoy the present moment: to take each day as it comes and not rush my life. I try to enjoy where we are, exams and all.
There are things we can do, as parents, to help our kids get through this challenging time.
Here are 5 ways you can help your kids survive final exams:
Manage Your Attitude
Don’t let your personal experiences derail your kids. If you didn’t do well on your exams, keep it to yourself. Encourage your kids, talk positively, and cheer them on. Help them come up with a study schedule, find a place for them to study where they can concentrate, and be upbeat about it. Talking about something in a negative manner isn’t going to have a positive impact. I promise you.
I don’t know what a hot baked chocolate chip cookie can’t fix. Seriously. Don’t you remember studying in school and eating your way through exams? I remember having a bag of jellybeans, and every time I did a calculus problem and got it right, I would reward myself with a few jellybeans. I don’t like them anymore. I guess I associate jellybeans with calculus, something I’ve tried to block out of my memory. But, the fact remains, study snacks are a good way to help your kids get through the long nights and study sessions they’re sure to have.
If your kids have chores you usually require them to do, you might want to lighten up a bit during exam time. They have enough on them and don’t need any added stress and pressure. My daughter usually trashes her room during exam time, but I don’t say anything. She doesn’t need me nagging her or giving her added pressure. Let your kids get through exams and then they can clean up the mess.
Studying Can Be Fun
Misery likes company, and studying with friends can be a good way to make it more fun. My kids tend to have study sessions with their friends, and it usually ends up helping them. They call the material out to each other, talk things through, and enjoy learning from one another. I don’t have to worry about time being wasted. They’re stressed out enough and know to make good use of their study time.
Keep Things In Perspective
It’s important to keep things in perspective for your kids. You hope they do well on their exams, but if they don’t, it isn’t the end of the world. Sure, it might hurt their grade, but you need to help them understand they’ll get through it. Help them see the big picture. Hopefully, your kids will study well, be prepared, and accomplish what they hope to achieve. But if not, they’ll survive.
Exam time isn’t fun for anyone. Try to help your kids get through it by providing encouragement, study snacks, and cheering them on. They’ll get through it, especially with your support.
Find meaning each day,
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