According to ENCA, 717 371 learners wrote their Matric examinations in 2016, and in just a couple of weeks, a similar number of aspiring young people will sit down to write their 2017 Matric examinations!
Writing Matric exams is one of the pivotal points in a person’s life, and has important implications for your child’s future. In most fields, it is extremely difficult to gain meaningful work experience without a Matric certificate. Many people would argue that it is even difficult to get employment with only a decent set of Matric results, and that you need a tertiary qualification to obtain work. This leads to increased pressure on young people to do well in Matric, and if possible, to be accepted into a reputable university.
When your child writes Matric, the entire family writes Matric! Everyone is impacted in some way. This need not necessarily be a bad thing. Here are some ways you can support your child whilst he or she is busy with Matric finals:
- Prepare a supportive environment for study. This includes:
A well-lit, well-ventilated study area with a desk or table.
If there are younger children in the family, explain to them the importance of cutting down noise levels during playtimes. Teach them to be considerate, and try to keep them away from the student if they are noisy.
- Ensure that your learner gets adequate, brain-stimulating nutrition
Consuming vast quantities of junk food will make your child sluggish, sleepy and lack concentration. Provide plenty of fresh, wholesome foods like fruit and vegetables, and good quality protein like fish and chicken.
- Encourage your child to get regular exercise
Encourage your child to continue playing sport or getting exercise, particularly if this is already a normal part of their lives. Just control the time spent playing sport or going to practices against the time spent studying – there must be a balance. Strenuous, prolonged sports practices which take up too much time are not advisable now.
Physical exercise helps concentration by stimulating brain cell growth and improving connections between brain cells. It is also releases tension and improves focus. If your child is not very sporty, encourage them to get some fresh air and go for a short, brisk walk. Even better if you go with them!
- Be a listening ear during this stressful time
Depending on your child’s personality type, they may struggle to cope with the stress of this time. If they want to vent, let them. It is a difficult period for all, but knowing that their family understands is important. Be ready with lots of hugs and encouragement.
Watch for signs of depression, and be careful of placing unrealistic demands on your child. Not all children are academically-inclined, but they can be encouraged to do the best they can do.
- Plan the family’s social calendar with consideration
Unless it can be avoided, don’t plan a busy, exciting social calendar until your child has finished writing exams so that they can participate without stressing about rushing home to study, or missing the event entirely.
- If your child is struggling with certain subjects, consider investing in a tutor
BrightSparkz Tutors can offer you a range of passionate, subject specific tutors who can assist your child to prepare for exams and grasp concepts that they do not understand. Additional support from a tutor may be just what your child needs to assist them through this time, and to give you peace of mind. BrightSparkz Tutors has been matching expert tutors to learners for over 10 years, and countless excellent results have been achieved.
Taking a supportive and encouraging role during this crucial period of your child’s life will greatly assist them to navigate the Matric examinations with confidence. A confident child will perform better in the exams.
Written By: Natalie Wilke, BrightSparkz Blog Contributor