Wednesday, 29 March 2017

A New Series about Exam Tips -- Importance of Routine

I'm a huge believer in routines, just for life and living in general. However, when it comes to academics in our household, routine is one of our foundational principles.

Regular times for school help concentration

This is partly because we are followers of the Charlotte Mason method, and Miss Mason's motto was "Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life." In other words, she includes routine - or "discipline" - in the very basis of her educational theories, and I've found that a regular routine of working on academics together in our home school has a huge impact on our successes or our relative failures.

When we sit down to read our books together every day at 10 am, but kids come ready to learn, to concentrate, to discuss, and to focus. If we fall out of this routine, the kids really struggle to learn on the same level. They get a bit silly, they interrupt, they're distracted. We lose the thread of our books and have to review things that they knew just last week. Somehow, it's all too haphazard to take seriously and to retain.

Not one of our better study days ...

Not just in our studies, but in the children's sports, too. They find that training the same day every day has really helped their bodies to respond to harder, longer, focused exercise, and as swimmers, to build on technique day by day. If they have races and these occur during the same times of day as their training, such as often happens with finals, they are able to compete at a level that they never experienced before, when their training times were less regular.

Training routines in sport gets results,
so why not apply it to revision, too?

And so, we come to exam revision. Having a regular routine for revision means that the body and the mind become accustomed to that subject and that time of day, and the ability to move forward is increased.

There's even an argument to start thinking about mimicking the exam schedule, say, by studying English from 9 am if that's the time when the exam is going to occur.

If you'll have more than one subject occurring at 9 am, then perhaps change from day to day which one you're doing at 9 am, but the important thing is, that exam is going to be at 9 am, and if your teen has never started studying at that time of the morning, he or she will be unlikely to perform at optimum compared to the person who has trained for this moment in advance.

The knock-on effect to setting a routine will include bedtimes (see the earlier tip about getting to sleep the night before the exam), wake-up times, getting used to eating a good breakfast, limiting electronic use in the evenings, etc.

Regular sleep routines are
an important part of revision

The more you can do to mimic exam day in the month before the exam, the better prepared your teen will be in mind, body, and spirit, so setting routines will play an important role in that success.

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