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Setting your child up for studying success

Many kids struggle with studying. We’re here to help you steer your child towards more productive study habits and strategies.

The 2023 academic year has opened across Mzansi, and many children are already writing tests, doing assignments and completing projects.

“Your child’s education is, of course, of absolute critical importance – especially for today’s young people who are adapting to a new digital and hybrid world, where social and student lives are intrinsically dependant on connectivity in so many ways,” says Vuma’s Lianne Williams.

Williams offers parents a few simple tactics to incorporate into their homes to set their children up for the best chance of success this academic year:

Location, location, location

Create a homework or hybrid-learning space that provides the optimal environment for your child’s comfort and focus. Clear a desk space that is dedicated to studying, preferably in an area with ample natural light.

Allow your child to make it look as ‘nca’ as possible, with fun accessories like the POP mouse, motivational posters and décor that reflect your child’s unique style. It’s always better to face a window, so when your child looks up every now and then, it’s to see a less tempting view than the couch or bed, possibly even a soothing garden view.

Make the connection

The shift towards digital learning is here to stay, so access to reliable fibre, both at home and in schools, has become a necessity – for research and accessing online educational resources. The most reliable form of connectivity is fibre, making sure your child never misses those assignment upload deadlines.

A simple low-cost UPS is all you need to keep your fibre box and router running during the rolling black outs and unexpected power outages, and your child is A for away.

Watch their back

Make sure your child has a comfortable chair that gives them proper lumbar support to prevent slouching. Sitting for long periods of time can be harmful to your child’s lower back, and without adequate lumbar support, the soft tissues in the spine may become stressed.

Give them a break

Encourage your child to get up for refreshments occasionally, do breathing exercises and remember to stretch. Breathwork is calming and allows your child’s body to reduce stress and anxiety. Stretching minimises tension on soft tissue and joint pain. Getting in at least 15 to 30 minutes of exercise a day is also important for your child’s mind, body and general well-being.

With so many workout programmes available online to follow, gone are the days when we relied on high-cost gym membership and trainer fees.

Ensure they get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep is undeniably critical to your child’s brain function. Make sure your child gets between six to eight hours of sleep each night.

The sound of silence

There’s nothing worse than, say, a neighbour’s lawnmower, low-flying aeroplane, or the incessant barking of a nearby dog to interrupt your child’s thoughts when studying.

To eliminate sounds that you have no control over, allow your child to put on some library or work ambient sounds available on YouTube, or with a white noise machine. This will create beneficial background noise so they can focus.

The power of recall

Did you know that sensory prompters such as sounds, smells and colours can promote recall in the brain? Many scientific studies have proved this to be true, and your child can use this to their advantage by assigning each subject its own colour and essence.

For example, let your child always use a green marker when studying mathematics and place a drop of mint essence on a tissue close by; or else let them use a pink pen when studying history and always couple their time on this subject with the smell of berries.

Come exam, test, or assignment time, your child can bring out the associated colour and smell and see the power of the mind to associate these colours and scents with what they spent time learning, and promote better recall of the information they need to crush the task.

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