- Your child's study space
- The Pomodoro technique
- Using flashcards
- Retaining information with spaced repetition
- The best revision sites
Your child’s exams are coming up and you might have noticed the pressure getting to them a little bit. Longer days at school, lunchtime revision sessions, and evenings pouring over textbooks. Are you wondering what you can do to support your child with their revision?
Discover 5 great ways that you can boost your child’s revision.
1. Your child’s study space
It might sound obvious but there are many distractions at home. Even a student committed to school may sometimes struggle with focusing on revision if they don’t have their own desk to work on. There is a solution, though! By creating the perfect study space for your child, you can help them get their revision done.
Your family’s dining room table is likely the centre of a lot of activity in the house. While it may be the right physical space for study, the chaos around the table can make it challenging to focus!
To make the common area an ideal study space, agree as a family that at a certain time of day the table will be the “study zone.” During this time, anyone sitting at the table has to be studying or doing other work. (This includes the grownups!) If there are young children in your house who don’t have to study, occupy them with another quiet activity during this time.
Implementing this strategy takes a little bit extra prior planning for you as a parent, plus you have to monitor the situation to ensure that the quietness of the “study zone” is maintained. If this doesn’t work out, then be willing to be flexible.
You may dislike the idea of your child laying on the couch or in bed as they do their work. But it’s important to remember--all that matters is that they are getting their work done! You don’t need to stress over how to create the perfect study space for your child– let them work where they feel happiest. Save yourself the argument, and allow your child to study where they are most comfortable and most productive. You’ll both be happier in the end!
2. The Pomodoro technique
The Pomodoro Technique is one of the most popular and effective time management methods out there, and many people use it every day to make sure that they manage their time well when they are working or studying.
The Pomodoro Technique focuses on organizing your time into intervals. It involves using a timer to structure your workday or study session. The traditional way is to work for 25 minutes before taking a short break of around 5 minutes. Then you work for another 25 minutes before taking another break. ⏳
Each 25-minute work session is usually referred to as one Pomodoro. When you have completed 4 Pomodoros, it's recommended to take a longer break of between 15 and 30 minutes. It is a simple but very effective time management tool that many people find very helpful
A pro of the Pomodoro technique is that for most people, 25 minutes is the perfect amount of time because it creates a feeling of urgency while also keeping you focused and making it less likely that your child will get distracted or procrastinate.
You could help to support your child by trying out this technique by setting the timer and preparing something small and fun for your child's longer break after completing 4 Pomodoros, like a fresh bag of microwaveable popcorn as a fun snack or making a hot chocolate.
However, keep in mind that your child may get on board with this method. Perhaps the timer element puts them under pressure that demotivates rather than motivates them. That’s ok too! We have lots of other techniques that your child might like.
3. Using flashcards
Flashcards are small, double-sided cards that emphasise key information. They usually mention the topic/question on one side and important details, keywords, mnemonics, etc., on the other. This helps the brain make better connections between those two pieces of information.
These cards can be altered in a number of different ways in order to make them unique and memorable.
Most people who use flashcards try to fit in too much information on them. A revision card is supposed to be a bite-sized factoid that your child’s brain can digest and remember with ease
After you are done creating the cards, sit with your child to review the information on them.
Once they are done testing, you can separate the topics (cards) into three piles:
- Need more practice
- Need a lot of practice
The third pile will contain the topics they are unsure about and will need to be revised and tested the most frequently. Once they are confident about the topics from that pile, they can be moved to the other two
The pros of flashcards are that they can be highly effective if your child has been using them for several weeks or months, and you can support your child by practising together.
The cons of flashcards are that in most cases they alone are not enough to ensure success. Practice papers, mind maps and quizzes all need to be used in conjunction with flashcards. Also, flashcards are time-consuming to make and need a minimum of several weeks of use to be effective, this isn’t a strategy to start with two weeks before the exam!
4. Retaining information with spaced repetition
Spaced repetition is a learning technique that focuses on set time intervals between study sessions in order to benefit from the brain’s way of retaining information. It’s generally considered to be one of the most powerful methods to improve the brain’s ability to remember what you’ve studied.
Think of a child learning the alphabet for the first time. At 8 am, you might go through the alphabet with them. At noon, you would review the alphabet with them again. At 4 pm, you go over it again. Then, in the morning, you’ll go over it again. Before you know it, your child will be reciting the alphabet.
For most people, the spaced repetition method is a better method of retaining information than trying to cram everything in your mind at once. You tend to lose information quickly when you try to absorb all the information at the same time.
A disadvantage of this method is that it is time-consuming, but it can be very rewarding to those who are willing to make the extra effort.
A pro of spaced repetition is that it fits together nicely with using flashcards. You can support your child by using flashcards to quiz them on whatever they’re trying to learn at set intervals.
5. The best revision sites
There are tons of useful revision websites that can help you practice exam-style questions and learn the best tips and tricks to eventually excel. These websites are often designed by professionals who know the best ways to prepare for the upcoming exams. However, with so many options, which ones should you choose?
Don’t worry! Here’s a list of the best revision websites that you can use to excel, perform better in school and ace your exams.
GoStudent is a rapidly-growing online learning platform connecting thousands of tutors to students all around the world. GoStudent tutors are passionate experts in their subjects. They can help you with exam preparation by creating personalised learning plans to suit your needs. They understand the syllabus and know the best tricks to motivate you.
GoStudent’s tutors create tailored lesson plans for every student and guide them to the best resources on the internet. If you’re interested in trying out GoStudent tutoring, book a free trial session now. We’ve got you covered this revision season!
Yes, your favourite broadcasting channel can also help you conquer your GCSE exams.
BBC Bitesize is one of the best revision sites. It has hundreds of resources, including numerous online revision guides, lessons, and interactive platforms, each of which will undoubtedly help you get on track and hit those top marks.
You can learn both straightforward and complex concepts using multiple sources like videos, detailed lessons, quizzes, etc.
The best part? It’s free!
Moreover, you can access past papers and create learning modules and timetables from here.
This is one of the best revision websites because it makes use of AI technology. AI and education go hand-in-hand in the digital world, and Quizlet allows you to access these fantastic AI features.
This website allows you to make flashcards, which can be an excellent revision technique. Designed specifically to help students learn difficult concepts in the most efficient and memorable way possible, it's one of the best revision resources available.
A major pro for children is that they generally enjoy revision on a computer more than having to put pen to paper, so it can make for a nice change of pace.
A con is that it can be easy to get distracted on the computer with other things aside from revising. Be sure to support your child by keeping an eye on what they’re getting up to while they are supposed to be revising online.
Even with all the best revision techniques and resources available, nothing compares to having a one-to-one private tutor. A GoStudent tutor can go through the material with your child to unlock their potential in the subject that they are studying. Why not book a free trial lesson, to see how your child gets on? We’ve got you covered!