The turning of the calendar often fills people with a new hope. January is a fresh start. For many pupils in Key Stages 3 and 4, it’s the beginning of more intense teaching and revision. What is the best way to manoeuvre in these cold and short winter days? How to make the most of the motivation that the new year can bring? In this blog, we will try to answer these questions and give you some ideas on how to support your child.
Reflecting on experiences allows us to better understand and learn from what we have experienced. Some people do this very naturally, and after tasks or events they ask themselves what went well and what could be improved. For many though, a more direct approach to reflecting, such as journalling, is a great tool.
While a lot of students could perhaps think of nothing worse, picking up a pen and writing about their day could be very beneficial to them. It can support emotional well-being and allow children and young people to look back at their achievements and find potential areas for improvement by becoming more aware of what they have done with their time. Especially, in today’s busy world, it’s more important than ever to pause, practice gratitude and try to cultivate a positive perspective.
One journaling prompt is: ‘In an ideal world…’.
The student, or parent, needs to finish that sentence starter with something they would like to happen.
For example, ‘In an ideal world I will be more confident in maths’, or ‘In an ideal world, I would find it easier to wake up in the morning’.
It may not seem like much, but doing this sort of exercise can potentially help shift mindsets and help build resilience.
Sometimes stress stems from poor organisation. Students, and adults alike, often put off tasks they must do and before they realise it’s the night before a deadline. They then perhaps miss out on sleep or food, in order to get that work done.
An idea for getting more organised is to allocate time for tasks and then ensure that your child gets the work done in that specific time.
For example, your child always has history and maths homework given on a Thursday due for the following Monday. Perhaps one hour on a Friday evening could be allocated to doing that homework? Then the weekend would be completely free and there would be no Sunday night panic.
Take It Easy
Both parents and students should also take it easy. Remember that doing things in winter can be difficult. The days are still short, it’s cold and dark. It’s fantastic to get things done, but remember that your health, and your child’s health, should be the priority above all.
Therefore, go out into the sunshine whenever you can, stay hydrated, get some exercise, sleep plentiful (8 hours for adults, but more for young people and children) and eat your veggies!
From all of us at Cardiff & Vale Tutors we want to wish you a happy and healthy 2024!
Blog written by Aleksandra Dul.