Having your child refuse to study and prepare for a Physics exam in the months leading up to it can be frustrating and hard to combat. Like many other children, they might insist solely on burning the midnight oil, and stay up late the night before the exam in a futile attempt to cram whatever knowledge they can into their brains. However, when told to prepare months before their exams, they are reluctant to do so, as it “looks too hard” or “too much work”. Hence, here’s how to get your child to stop doing late-night cramming!
1. Make “at a glance” lists.
Great for quick referrals when needed.
If your child feels intimidated by the sheer amount of Physics formulas to remember and their contexts, an easy way to combat it is to get them to write down all their Physics formulas on a piece of paper, and organize them by the topics they are used in. Then, paste it onto a place they look at often, such as their bedroom wall or Physics textbook. Not only does this eliminate the frantic digging through old notes for just one formula, it also promotes remembering them as they will constantly be in sight. To amplify this passive remembering even further, it might be helpful to photocopy multiple copies of this list and put it in various places around the house.
Yet another way to make these lists even better are to put in selected questions that show how a Physics concept comes about, or how the formula is used next to each formula your child has problems with. While digging up all the formulas and putting in examples might initially seem time consuming and tiring, this effort is more than worth it’s weight in gold.
Compressing all their formulas into a single, organized and compact space is also great, in terms of convenience. Instead of lugging a large Physics file to school for last revisions before a Physics exam, your child just needs to bring their one sheet of paper with formulas, and maybe a few other pieces of Physics notes. This keeps their bag lightweight and easy to carry around, too.
2. Ask and answer on the same day.
Clarify as quickly as possible.
If your child does not understand a concept in class, encourage them to ask right then, on the spot. This is because the longer a question is left unanswered, the higher the probability that it will remain unanswered. The best and quickest way to do it is to ask right away in class, but if your child is too shy to do so, get them to try and arrange consultation sessions with their Physics teacher on that topic. Clarifying as quickly as possible is very important, because if your child gets lost or misunderstands something right at the very start of the chapter, they might enter the Physics chapter with the wrong ideas, and waste even more time trying to untangle their misconceptions. Even worse, they might not know of their misconception even existing, and go into the Physics exam, getting many things wrong.
If your child’s Physics teacher is too busy or unable to satisfy your child’s queries, it might be a good idea to consider sending your child to Physics tuition, as Physics tuition classes tend to be smaller, and provide a better environment for asking questions. If anything, in a Physics tuition class, it is a lot easier to ask the tutor to backtrack to topics or concepts and reexplain them to your child for a better understanding.
3. Form study groups with friends.
It’s easier to share information and learn together.
While study groups get a bad reputation of being used as an excuse by children to go out with their friends after school hours, they can actually be very beneficial if used correctly and effectively. However, only suggest this as a method to your child if you know that they have the discipline and drive to not get distracted by other things while studying. Study groups are a quick way to get information and study tips from friends, explained in a personalized way. They can be scheduled regularly, frequency depending on your child’s needs, and should consist of just a few friends whom your friend knows will not try to distract them, and are serious about their studying. For every session, your child should bring along a list of questions they have, adequate studying materials and be willing to help others and themselves.
Study groups are also a good way to instantly check understanding. For example, your child’s friend might be explaining a question’s solution to them, and it’s easy enough for your child to quickly check in and see if they understand, with immediate follow up if required. However, care must be taken to ensure that your child’s study group does not turn into just friends hanging out, and a way to check this is to ask your child what their goal for the day’s session was, and if they’ve managed to achieve it.
A big reason children do not study early for Physics exams or tests is because they are intimidated by the sheer depth of the Physics syllabus, and are not sure where or when to start. Helping them to organize and condense their Physics knowledge is extremely helpful, as the subject will suddenly make more sense to them and they will have a clear starting and goal for each studying session.
A list of formulas displayed clearly where they will constantly look at is excellent for helping them slowly remember all the formulas they need, without feeling overly pressured or overwhelmed. If you know it will help your child, suggest that they form a study group with friends who are stronger in Physics than they are, to share information and teach each other. It would also be best to meet regularly, like every Tuesday, for example, to avoid other students not showing up to study sessions because they do not feel very committed.