Mummy says… So, we are entering GCSE time again – it is my third time in five years so I kind of know what to expect now! Teen son, Luke is in Year 10 and is in the middle of his, with a lot more to follow next year. How do you support your teen through this difficult time?
Calmly, is my first tip. Keep calm, and remember that these exams are important, but not the be all and end all. Teens have so much pressure on them from all angles, and GCSE’s can sometimes be too much.
Encourage your teen to talk to you – and listen when they do. Talk through their fears and worries. Make sure they know they can come to you.
They are still so young. Starting GCSE exams in Year 10 means some teens – like Luke, are only 14! 14! That is crazy young. He made his GCSE choices not really knowing what he wants to ‘do’, and was encouraged to take what he enjoyed, foremost and then to look at what he was good at. I think this is the best advice.
Most colleges need 5 GCSe’s at grade C and above to be accepted on a course – including English Language, Maths and often, a science. But, there are many courses and options available to those students who don’t achieve this.
Of course, you want your teen to do as well as they possibly can, and here are some suggestions in how you can do that.
- As I have already said, be available. Listen, talk, and discuss. Find a balance between stressing the importance of the exams, but also that they are not everything. (This is very hard to do!).
- Make a dedicated space for revision. A clear, uncluttered quiet area in their room or another room if it suits better.
- Let them listen to music if it helps them.
- Provide regular snacks and drinks – it is important that they keep hydrated.
- Make sure they take a small break every twenty minutes or so.
You can always turn to tutoring for help if need be. I used a Maths tutor for my eldest to get her through and she passed. She doesn’t think she would have without that extra help. Even though she has just finished Uni and gained a 2:1 in English Literature and Journalism, Maths was always her weak spot. Just beacause your teen is clever – even gifted in certain subjects, it doesn’t mean they may not need some extra support.
Turning to a site such as Tutor Hunt is a great place to find a local tutor for you. You can browse their tutor database to find the perfect one for you. Tutor Hunt is different because most other tuition agencies select your tutor for you, based on who they think would be suitable. Tutor Hunt doesn’t work this way, they believe the best judge is the student or parent. Tutor Hunt has been helping students since 2005, and you can register for free.
Are you facing GCSE time in your family?