How to Support Your Child During the Matric Examinations

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!

Matric results are important!

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

Exercise improves brain function

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.

A tutor can improve your child's matric results

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

Tutor Of The Month: Joshua Boucher

 Joshua Boucher

Joshua is our September 2017 Tutor of the Month!

Joshua matriculated from Hyde Park High School in 2015 with great results all-round. He is currently in his 2nd year of a Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in Law at the University of Johannesburg, and hopes to become a Lawyer or work in the industry once he qualifies. Joshua joined BrightSparkz last year, and has worked with seven of our clients at BrightSparkz Tutors, and has received amazing feedback! He also has previous tutoring experience, having assisted a learner with Maths at Grade 7 level, and has been actively involved in mentoring and managing large groups of youth during his high school career. Joshua received his half colours in academics throughout high school, and has also received colours for multiple sports that he was involved in during his school years.

He is a confident and patient young man, and has proven himself as an experienced and dedicated tutor at BrightSparkz, having assisted the following learners: Two Grade 8 learners with Physical Science, a Grade 9 learner with Physical Science, a Grade 12 learner with Physical Science and a Grade 12 learner with Life Science, all with incredible feedback from both client and learner. In his spare time, Joshua enjoys playing and watching sport, as well as socializing with his friends.


To get your own amazing tutor, click here.

5 Helpful Responses To Your Child’s Report Card

How to respond to your child’s report

Report card

It’s that time of year – the much anticipated (or dreaded) school report card will be coming home soon. As a parent, it’s often difficult to know how to respond to poor results, and how you do may impact your child more than you realize. Here are 5 helpful responses to your child’s report card: 

1. Talk to your child’s teacher 

If your child performed poorly in a certain subject, and you aren’t sure why, contact their teacher to ascertain whether this is due to not understanding the concepts, or some other aspect. You could also ask for an idea of how their peers performed, and where they rank on this scale. 

Social issues, learning problems or even something as simple as needing glasses could be affecting your child’s grades, and their teacher should be able to provide insight into this. 

2. Talk to your child Talk to your child about their report

Maybe they hate the subject, or don’t understand the teacher. Maybe they are being bullied, or don’t like their school or classmates. You will gain far more from talking to your child to understand what is going on in their lives and minds. Above all, do not disregard their feelings. Talk to them about how you could work together to improve their grades. 


3. Re-evaluate your own expectations 

If your child has one B on an otherwise straight-A report card, this may not be the issue you think it is. Are you being too hard on your child? You want the best for them, and for their future, which is why you push them, but be sure you don’t push them to the point of burnout. 

4. Reward your child Reward your child

Your child worked hard, and deserves praise for their achievements. Highlight areas where you are proud of their achievements, and celebrate with them in some small way – this could be taking them for an ice cream, or to see a movie, or just some quality time. Children want you to be proud of them, and will work hard for this, so make sure they know that you are. 

5. Arrange extra support 

BrightSparkz can help!

If your child is facing any kind of academic difficulties, they may need extra support. Contact BrightSparkz Tutors to arrange for a private, personalized tutor, or to arrange a session with our Edu-Coach to better understand why your child is struggling. Your child may need assistance in writing exams, such as a reader/scribe, or they may be lacking study skills that could be resulting in poor exam results. Whatever the reason, BrightSparkz offers a range of services that will help your child succeed. Contact us today! 



Written by: Tessa Cooper, BrightSparkz Contributor