Striking a healthy work-life balance is important at any stage in life, yet it is particularly crucial when studying for exams. Making sure that your child gets plenty of downtime during their revision period will allow them space to relax, reflect on what they are preparing for and to rediscover what makes them happy and fulfilled. Pursuing a sport, learning an instrument or enjoying a drama group or other hobby can also enhance skills that will complement the academic studies and even help make all the difference when it comes to interviews and personal statements.
The physical advantages of playing a sport are obvious, including enhanced fitness levels, heightened cardio-vascular performance, stamina and flexibility. However, keen sportsmen and women also benefit from motivation, goal-setting (quite literally in some sports…), team-working, plus tactical thinking and analysis. Keeping to a regular routine of attending training and matches will also help your child take decent breaks in their revision and give them other, non-academic goals to aim for.
Drama and dance
Acting and dancing bring so many advantages to a child’s life, including empathy, creativity, memory, musicality, self-confidence and performance skills. Being part of a group working together to create a piece of theatre adds a wealth of skills to anyone who takes part, not to mention a huge sense of satisfaction and achievement. In addition to this, these added extras are not only gained on stage. Getting involved with directing, choreographing, costumes and props, or with the lights, sound or stage management will also cultivate teamwork and hone creativity, leadership and co-operation.
Playing a musical instrument brings enormous pleasure to the player and his or her audience. Taking time out of academic studies to practice ensures that playing standards are maintained and creative muscles flexed. Many studies have also linked playing an instrument to increased abilities in maths and science-based subjects, due partly to the patterns involved in reading music and understanding pitch and rhythm and the physical nature of getting the instrument to work through blowing it, plucking it, striking it or similar.
Chess, crafts, gaming and more
Simply choose whatever hobby your child prefers. There are all kinds of ways to keep it going throughout periods of revision, even extended ones. As with anything in life, it is a matter of striking the right balance, not to mention using hobbies to aid relaxation and enhance feelings of achievement and satisfaction away from the stress of the school books. So, whatever your child enjoys doing, encourage them to stick with it so that their feelings of self-worth are not completely reliant on the
grades they get in their written exams or the schools or universities they get into after.