Research has shown that those children whose parents are actively involved in their education do better overall in school. Naturally this does not mean that a child whose parents are indifferent to her education doesn't do well. She may, but with parental involvement the child may do even better.
What does parental involvement mean?
For some parents their level of involvement in the child's studies extends to telling them repeatedly to study or finish off their homework. They may prevent the child from meeting friends or talking on the phone until the child has studied for a certain time span. Other parents may even question the child regarding his studies and 'take up' the chapters.
Although all parents are interested in seeing that their child does well and have their child's welfare at heart, forcing a child to study or emotionally blackmailing them to perform well at tests is not the best way to go about it.
Instead of dictating when your child should study and when he should play, work out a timetable together with him. Don't cram too much into the timetable, and make sure the plan is feasible.
Does your child go out and play with his friends every evening? Factor this into the timetable, so he studies a little before going out, and carries on with his studies when he returns. If exams are nearing, you should plan on reducing his playtime, unless he is already well prepared due to regular revisions through the year.
Factor in time for him to watch his favourite progamme on the television. This way you will not find him cheating on his timetable.
Keep it light
Keep his schedule light at first, and slowly as exams near you could make it more intensive. You and your child may get carried away at first when making the timetable, but if it involves too much study, pretty soon your child will run out of steam. If you keep it light initially, chances are stronger that he will stick to it.
Plan the subjects
If your child has three hours of studying to do in a day, you could plan it so he does three different subjects a day or so he sticks to one subject. A large part of this will depend on your child's grade. An older child may require longer hours at a stretch per subject. It also depends on your child's personality. A child with a shorter span of concentration will require frequent short breaks and different subjects while a child with a longer span of concentration can take one long break before hitting the books again.
Don't lay equal stress on each subject. Certain subjects like Mathematics may require more and regular revision, while once a week may be enough for other subjects.
Improve his study area
Make his study area comfortable and welcoming, so he doesn't feel depressed every time he reaches his table. In fact, if you haven't yet made or purchased a desk for him, take him along with you so he selects something he loves. Keep something healthy for him to munch while he studies. Ensure that his desk is well lit and keep the area quiet.