How to get the most out of revision
SATs week is here and many children (and parents!) are feeling the stress. Many children will be feeling like they need to as much revision in as possible before each of their tests. However, this could actually do more harm than good!
Often, we make the mistake of thinking that the best strategy for success is to work through as much material as quickly as possible. When, in fact cramming can have an opposite effect than was intended and actually leave children feeling worse than before!
By trying to think about too many things at once and forgetting to give their minds a rest, children can easily get lost in a muddle of half-formed thoughts and anxiety about all the different things they have to do.
Of course children may want to do some last-minute preparation before sitting their tests, but revision sessions should be brief and focused. Ideally, children should begin revision sessions with a clear head. They should avoid trying to learn new material and just do a calm and confident run-through of the main points they have learned for their upcoming test (trying not to think ahead to their other tests the following day, or the day after!).
It might sound like an impossible task to get children to clear their minds and focus on one thing at a time… but a technique called MINDFULNESS could help!
If you haven’t heard of mindfulness yet, mindfulness is the practice of being present. For example, if you are walking through the park in the sunshine, mindfulness is feeling the sun on your face and the breeze in the air, rather than worrying about your destination. In the classroom or at home, being mindful could mean taking a moment to forget everything else and simply focus on your breathing, or the feel of your heart beating.
How does mindfulness work?
Children are inclined to have a million things buzzing around their head at any given moment, but this is especially true around exam time, when they are trying to remember lots and lots of information. But by trying to hold on to all of these thoughts at once, children are not able to give 100 percent attention to anything!
Mindfulness exercises will help children understand that they can put down these thoughts and pick them back up when they need to. They won’t forget what they have learned just by giving their minds a rest!
Mindfulness has been shown to have a significant effect on children’s concentration skills. Many schools have already introduced mindfulness techniques to the classroom, and some MP3s have supported the idea of including mindfulness in the national curriculum.
Relax Kids has created https://relaxkids.com/product/stressbusters/ download album with 8 mindfulness exercises to help children get through exam stress. The album includes 8 MP3 tracks which children can listen to before a revision session, before bed, or in the car on the way to school. Download the Stress Busters album now.