Parents in Action: Preparing for finals

Kids across the country are gearing up for the final stretch to summer vacation. Older kids are especially ready to part ways with books for a few months. But before they get ramped up about how their summer will unfold, there is still one more hurdle left to jump this academic year: finals.

As the end of year approaches, parents of tweens and teens may see a lack of motivation to get studying for those dreaded exams but it's important that your kids finish as strong as they started the year. With a little motivation from mom and dad, organization on the part of the student and polishing those study skills, they'll be on the way acing those finals.

Here are a few simple but effective ways to review a semester's worth of material.

Get Organized
Your students should start by collecting all notes, worksheets and tests from each subject they're going to be tested in. It's a good idea to re-read through all of the work, which shouldn't take them too long. Then go through again and have them highlight the important parts to focus on and commit to memory. By gathering and reviewing old materials from earlier in the year, they'll understand the big picture that helps them to answer essay questions and gives them framework they can populate with supporting details. This process will also help your kids grasp concepts that they had trouble with originally or that need further focus.

Make Note Cards and Study Sheets
Many schools require teachers to prepare and distribute review sheets a few weeks before the semester exam. This is a great tool as it shows the students what the teachers thinks is important. If your teacher does not provide them, have your kids review their notes, textbooks or syllabi to compile a framework for what is important and needs to be reviewed.

Once you've gathered the information, note cards are a great way to remember and organize information that might be included on a test. Note cards works especially well with math formulae and vocabulary as well as history dates and remembering literature themes.

Start a Study Group
An efficient way to help your kids review for finals is by starting a study group of friends that meets and school or someone's home. Have them outline the work that needs to accomplished and divvy up the responsibilities to each member of the group. A benefit of this method is that they'll be able to lean on each other and take advantage of each other's strengths and perspectives.

When the group meets, include healthy brain-food snacks, such as nuts, dark chocolate, green tea, wild salmon and eggs. This will keep the kids energized and help fuel their brains.

The end of year hustle can be a stressful time for you kids who have to prepare for final exams. No matter what your kids may say, it is never too early to start studying for these tests. Take over the next few days to get a plan of action in place and get studying. After this last push, your kids will be able to bask in the glory of their good grades.



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