By Jessica Gregory
Maybe you’re a student, already exhausted from numerous online lessons and the unlimited messages from your teachers and classmates. Perhaps, you’re a parent, dreading the thought of coping with at least another half-term of your children coming up to you, begging you to help them with their chemistry, even though you know before they ask that you just won’t be able to help them. Possibly, you fit into neither of these categories, and you’re finding working from home an absolute pleasure, finding that time is passing much quicker than it ever would if you were at school.
However, for many people, it can be tiresome and pain-staking, knowing there’s going to be another day to come of having to ask your parents for help, or even being asked.
Sometimes, a few useful tips are all that’s needed to boost you, or your children in the right direction.
Firstly, everyone knows that taking breaks while studying is a good way to optimise your learning, but you do have to be careful what you do in these times. Fastweb.com suggests that this is certainly not an invite to jump onto the internet or eat a bunch of junk food.
To make your studying more efficient, your breaks must also be used efficiently. They go on to give several examples of what can be done to use your breaks efficiently. For example, while studying, it can be so easy to let your desk become cluttered, making it increasingly difficult to find your pen amidst the chaos of scrunched up paper, a thousand and one exercise books, and a laptop taking up most of your space. Therefore, a good way to spend your break is to have a quick tidy up, allowing you to have the space to concentrate properly during your lessons.
Furthermore, exercise is a well-known way of helping you to re-energise, even if this is as little as walking. Think about how, when you’re at school, you walk between your lessons and get the opportunity to stretch your legs. Even if you don’t plan on leaving the house and going for a long run, I’d still recommend leaving your screen for several minutes just to allow your eyes to rest, and a chance to just stretch. Your body is probably going to be tense from studying, so stretching can help to release all that tension.
One of the noticeable differences between lockdown and physically being at school, is that there isn’t as much structure to lessons- you may start at varying times, work longer than necessary, etcetera. However, this could be a good way of keeping focussed at home.
Working within the time frames you normally do could help you to keep a clear-cut guidance of how long you should be spending on your work, and possibly keep you motivated until the end of your lesson time, rather than allowing the work to drag on and on.
Contrastingly, though, if students want to study in their own time, and they have a productive and- most importantly- sensible way of doing this, it should be fine. As long as they are getting the work done, without being too stressed or postponing it to the next day, there should be no reason why this is a worry. Getting work done ahead of time will allow them to stay on top of deadlines, which could in turn allow them to be less stressed about their schoolwork.
Moreover, a key part of lockdown life is trying to stay motivated. The fact is, when we’re at school, we have our friends and classmates surrounding us, so people we can talk to at lunch, or even to help us with the work. But with the technology we have these days, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to connect with your friends. Just speaking with your friends, knowing that someone else is in the same boat as you, and talking just as you would at school could encourage you to stay motivated.
Another method of staying motivated is to make your learning fun. Obviously, our lessonsare pre-set, so can’t be altered in fun and exciting ways; however, listening to music at school was always a privilege, with everyone dashing to their blazers and rucksacks the second the teacher said ‘yes’. When you listen to music, you release the dopamine- this encourages feelings of excitement and happiness. Studies show that people are better at solving problems when they’re in a happy mood, as opposed to a neutral or negative mood.
Additionally, relaxing music can help students deal with stress and anxiety. As a result of this, they’ll be able to study more efficiently. This can be seen as a double benefit, because falling behind could be a fear during lockdown, and so being able to study better could help students to feel more confident in their exams. More information on listening to music can be found on studyinternational.com.
Here are only a few ways of helping you or your children to succeed with their studies.
Obviously, there are many helpful websites and videos out there that can be used for specific subject help, such as Freesciencelessons, which covers all GCSE science papers, and Corbett Maths and Maths Genie to help with maths studies. Hopefully, this will be able to help you and your family during this next half-term. Even if not, please remember that you can always ask your school for help, as they want you to succeed as much as you do.
They’ll also probably be able to recommend good study guides and offer great advice,
considering how long they’ve been in that role.
Good luck with your lessons, and stay safe.
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