The level of involvement to a child’s education and future career path is one segment of parenthood that many find conflicting.
As parents, it is natural to feel the need to guide our children throughout the whole process.
However, being too overly involved in the education of our kids also brings to the table its own set of problems.
You get what I mean, right?
Once a child enters their junior and senior years in high school, their life priorities start to shift.
As individuals in the cusp of becoming adults, they start to envision their dreams and ambitions with more maturity than ever before. This stage of their life can be challenging and tricky, and it is up to you as their primary guardian to help support and hold their hand through it all.
Some questions though…
Let’s say you have already helped your kid in the first stages of preparation for entering college.
You’ve talked to them about their choice of major and the universities that they can explore.
The next step that you should take is to make sure that they are equipped (both emotionally and intellectually) for their entrance exams, a.k.a. their gateway to college life.
Now here’s the thing, while you can provide guidance during the part of choosing their final course, the reality is that you have little to no control over the results of their entrance admission tests.
This is one thing that will entirely be dependent on your child’s skills, attitude, and preparedness.
Naturally, you have to focus on simply providing the foundations that can help them succeed it.
How should you do this?
Here’s a checklist of pointers to help you out:
1. Build their confidence.
One of the biggest hurdles that can make or break your child’s entrance exam result is test anxiety.
It is normal for kids to feel stressed over something as big as a college admissions test so you should focus your efforts on helping them deal with it.
How do you build their confidence?
Observe. Listen. Encourage.
This way, you can gauge the amount and kind of support you should be giving. Is your kid the type who lets the stress get to them? Then sitting them down to talk about the topic may be something they need.
You know how teenagers are. They feel supported when somebody listens to them.
As a parent, you should pay attention and be in the “now” when your child is telling you something about their preparation for their entrance test. Ask them questions about it and listen very well to their answers and the manner how they answered. You might find clues to where you should give more encouragement and when to get help from experts. Listening will make your child feel that they are important.
Are they the type who flourishes under positive words or would they prefer a more realistic type of approach? Remember, being too overly positive can also be dangerous because it may make your child feel that you are putting too much pressure on them with your optimism.
Give them the encouragement that they need, whether it is tough love, a simple pat on the back or positive reinforcement.
2. Help them become more organized.
Lack of organizational skills can be detrimental during this stage.
Preparing for an entrance exam is composed of many different stages and going through them with flying colors is impossible if your child is unorganized in the first place.
Lend them a helping hand by offering help for the smallest and biggest things.
It can be as simple as helping them organize their schedule for reviewing, or even something as mundane as helping categorize all their reviewers.
The key here is to make sure you are aiding your child every step of the way to keep them from becoming overly overwhelmed.
3. Moderate their activities.
BUT do not impose.
Students have different ways of reviewing.
Some prefer doing it for hours, some function more at night, and there are even others who pick up things better if they are involved in a study group.
As a parent, one way you can help is by supporting their style of reviewing.
Do not force your child to follow a review schedule they aren’t comfortable with.
Does your kid prefer studying using online portals instead of using traditional review materials? Then maybe you can help them enroll in an online review class where they can have more flexibility with their schedule.
One good example is Review Masters’ Online Review program, a portal where they can study and practice anywhere 24/7. The program is available to anyone for free, too!
4. Provide them support tools.
As much as emotional support and encouragement are necessary, providing your children with the necessary tools they need to review is also important.
Did you know that there are three types of learners?
In which category does your child fall? Once you have identified which type of learner they are, it’s time to provide them with the tools that fit best with their studying preference.
One tried and tested support system is by enrolling them in a review center.
Review centers specialize in providing training to your child in preparation for their entrance exams.
In addition to helping review for their examinations, some centers also provide seminars that teach children how to handle stress, as well training on how to best approach their admissions test.
When looking for the best review center, it is important to take into consideration your child’s learning preference.
The best ones offer a 360 approach to reviewing like Review Masters which has an online review portal and a regular classroom review setup.
Review Masters’ online classes can serve as a refresher during the summer season with its online review program and it also offers a 37 Tips Workshop which focuses on teaching its students test-taking techniques to complete their preparation for entrance exams.
It offers a different learning approach to what classrooms usually follow because it also encourages its students to interact with each other and to be active with their support group where they can connect with their friends and mentors.
The mentors of review centers are specially trained to help guide students through this stressful and important phase and being surrounded by a support system can take a lot of burden from your child.
5. Create a study plan.
This is something you should do with your child.
Pacing is something very important when reviewing and you and your kid needs to arrive at the most efficient and workable schedule for them.
A study plan can help give your child enough time to prepare for their entrance exam, which can automatically cure away any possibilities of overworking or cramming.
When creating a study plan, you should take into account their regular load for school work and extracurricular activities as well.
In the event that you do decide to enroll your child in a review center, make sure that you choose one with the friendliest schedule that will best compliment their learning needs.
Now, this doesn’t only apply to you child, but to you as parents as well.
We know how nerve-inducing entrance exams are, but if you want your kid to be confident during their test-taking, you need to set a good example first.
Try to keep a calm demeanor and focus on motivating them with a positive (but not overbearing) attitude.
Most important, make it clear and known to them that while the results are important, it is important to focus on the process as well.
It is suggested that your child should have a confident and relaxed mindset a month before the big day. (The 37 Proven Tips Workshop is a big help in this case.)
Encourage them to practice relaxing at this point and discourage any last minute cramming that can add to their nerves.
If you have followed your study plan well, this shouldn’t be very hard!
A week before the entrance exam date, focus on preparing your kid physically and mentally. Make sure they get enough rest and provide them with healthy foods, too.
Come test day, prepare a hearty protein-filled meal for them, and last but not the least, smile and tell them to try and enjoy the experience.
Taking an entrance exam usually focuses too much on the students, but you as a parent has a very important role during this stage in their lives as well. With the help of these tips, you can help provide the right support your child needs.
And remember: it is not only them who should enjoy the process.
You as a parent, should too.