This will depend on your situation, your child’s preference and what’s available at their school in terms of supervised study after core school hours.
Because we live a bit of a drive away from school and I’m already picking up her younger sister, it’s not very feasible to drive twice to school, so we ruled out staying to study after school. In any case, my daughter preferred to come home, have something to eat then get stuck into her homework and study at home in peace. She can play music while she’s working and not get bothered by other people.
However, that might not suit your teen. Michelle, the other co-founder of Mykidstime, says that her daughter prefers to stay after school for supervised study, get her homework and study done so that then when she comes home she knows it’s all finished for the day.
Avoid your own Leaving Cert stories
Don’t bother telling them about when you were doing the Leaving Cert.
It’s irrelevant and times have changed.
Stay practical for them
Put key dates and times into your phone and on the family calendar so you are on top of when you need to be chauffeur outside of normal school drop offs and pick ups.
Help them get plenty of sleep (9/10 hours is ideal)
Although you can’t stop them staying up late, remind them that a good night’s sleep is really helpful for studying the next day.
Provide good meals and nutritional snacks to help them avoid sugar and caffeine
Good snacks include nuts, dried and fresh fruit, popcorn, or high fibre cereal like Weetabix with milk.
Try to free up as much time for them as you can
We have a rule in our house that our daughter doesn’t have to do chores during the week so she can maximise study time, but she has to help at weekends.
Make sure they get exercise
Whether that be gym, swim, team sports or just walking the dog, encourage them to take a break from studying and get active.
You might feel anxious too about the whole thing but too much reassurance can prevent them learning to reassure themselves, so it’s a balance of keeping calm and being there for them when they need to vent.
Acknowledge that they are anxious
Listen and be empathetic. This is a big milestone they are facing, and it’s understandable for them to feel nervous and unsure.
Make sure they set aside time for socialising
Obviously this won’t be a problem for every teen, but if you think your teen is spending too much time with their “head in the books” then suggest they organise some down time with friends.
Help them to get to grips with managing their time
Some people like to be rigid in their schedule, others like more variety. My daughter and I sat down the very first time she was sitting end of term tests in Leaving Cert and made a study plan together.