It's a difficult balancing act. One the one hand, your little trooper has just finished the academic year and is looking forward to the long (hopefully sunny) summer break; on the other hand, however, the entrance exams season starts in 8 weeks and every moment counts.
So as parents or carers, how can we manage this in a way that drives the right result in the right way?
There's no magic recipe here and every family is different. But here are a few ideas and tips that you may want to consider, especially if you are going away this summer:
1. Print your papers before you go away
Let's start with the practical! If you are going away this summer, avoid the long waits at the hotel reception, paying by the page to have your mock papers printed. Print everything you need at home before you go 😊
(I'm speaking from personal experience on this one).
2. Have clear diary expectations.
Don't make up your revision on the run. Decide now when you will work and let your child know, so there are no surprises. You should also consider days off. For example, 1 hour per day on week days with weekends off, is a lot of valuable revision time if done correctly. However you manage it, build in some days that are revision-free.
3. Alternate between mock and master
It won't surprise you to hear that at Pass the Paper, we believe mock tests matter. Without them you miss the content, structure and essence of the exam itself. However, it is important to build in time to master the areas which your mock tests expose as weaknesses. When you have sat a test, look for trends in the questions that were wrong and spend your next session working together on understanding those question types. Seen a gap in multiplying fractions, or identifying homophones? Great - that's your next session. Then, we're back to the mocks to firm up our new knowledge and find other areas we can improve.
4. Teaching what you don't understand
The mock-master approach may result in you having to explain theories or linguistic principals that you do not understand yourself. That's ok, it can be a learning journey that you go on, together. You Tube is packed full of patient tutorials on everything from algebra to synonyms. Don't be afraid, dive in!
5. Find a place to work
Environment really matters when it comes to learning. If you're at home, you will likely already have a space where you tend to work. But, if you're away, it will need some consideration. For hotels, you may choose to work in your room, but in truth hotel rooms tend to be small and riddled with distractions (siblings getting changed, maids etc.). If you have a suitable corner with a large writing station then it might work. If not, consider these options.
The breakfast room
Most hotels have a breakfast room or restaurant of some description, which after breakfast and before lunch, does very little but sit empty. This could allow you to build a comfortable, repeatable slot where you and your little one can sit relatively undisturbed in a wide, air-conditioned, open space.
Restaurants and cafes
As a backup, explore the local area for restaurants (rather than coffee shops). Again, restaurants will have a lull-period between about 10:30 and 12. If they're open, they will be very likely to invite a repeat customer who orders a couple of cold drinks in that window.
6. Consider remote tuition
Many tutors operate online now, as well as in person. If you have a tutor, consider keeping your sessions in an online setting, to avoid any breaks in learning.
Got your own ideas? We'd love to hear them. Drop us a note to firstname.lastname@example.org