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Is it a good idea to encourage DS to do some study over the Xmas break?

(30 Posts)
paulkal Tue 16-Dec-14 08:55:49

My brother has a son who is in his GCSE year and has been studying in a very methodical way so far but wants to completely take his foot off the gas pedal over the Christmas break. In principle my brother is in agreement with this, because he's worked hard this term, but he would rather that his DS did at least continue to read a book to maintain his language learning and continue with any controlled assessment projects he's started. Has anyone else exprienced anything similar with their DS or DD?

Unexpected Tue 16-Dec-14 09:25:00

Has he already had mock exams or do they happen after Christmas?

TooHasty Tue 16-Dec-14 11:13:56

If he is studying in a methodical way it sounds as though he has a timetable and has built in a break.

Hedgehoginhotpants Tue 16-Dec-14 11:40:27

Eldest had a complete seven day break and then started back up again albeit in very low key way. Plan was to learn all the English quotes and get them out the way and so pretty much only did that. Would recommend that route to others.

Mocks were end of January.

amidaiwish Tue 16-Dec-14 12:10:31

"My brother has a son who is in his GCSE year and has been studying in a very methodical way so far but wants to completely take his foot off the gas pedal over the Christmas break. "

it sounds like he knows what he's doing, taking responsibility and working well. if he wants a break let him, leave him be!

Middleagedmotheroftwo Tue 16-Dec-14 12:13:28

I don't think your brother should be deciding how much and when his son studies. At the age of 16, surely the boy is able to decide this for himself?

TheWordFactory Tue 16-Dec-14 12:14:26


If he's finished his mocks and has no CAs etc in January and the holidays are two weeks, then why not?

Mine have mocks, CAs and IGCSEs after Xmas so work will have to continue apace...

BackforGood Tue 16-Dec-14 16:52:46

Like amid and Toohasty have said, it sounds like he's sorting himself out and that should be acknowledged.

antimatter Tue 16-Dec-14 17:29:42

Last year before my dd's gcse's we went away for a week skiing
she stopped for all studying but some german vocab
it didn't harm her at all

skylark2 Tue 16-Dec-14 17:47:20

DS has mocks as soon as he goes back. The school would like him to do 80 hours of revision over the holidays.

noblegiraffe Tue 16-Dec-14 18:58:33

Depends on whether he's on track to do well. It has been a very long term and the kids are exhausted, but he may regret doing nothing for two weeks, especially if there's anything he knows he needs to do. He might be planning to learn that vocab or research that essay in January, but what if he's ill or really tired? Doing it on top of his school workload instead of at his leisure may be something he then regrets.

One week off around Christmas is probably fair if he's doing well (if he's not doing well then he should be working his arse off). The other week chipping away at his revision will pay off in the long term.

ThePointyAndTheIvy Tue 16-Dec-14 20:48:51

When I was studying for my A-levels I stretched all my weekends to 4 days and studied like a demon the remaining three days. Had exams straight after and did very well. You do need a break to recharge your batteries, let it depend on how soon the post-Christmas exams are. Your brother's DS sounds sensible and on the ball, so I'm sure they can work out a compromise that involves a decent amount of rest.

AtiaoftheJulii Wed 17-Dec-14 06:38:29

It depends what sort of encouragement it is! I think your brother can tell his son what he thinks, but pushing it any further than that - especially when the boy sounds very organised anyway - wouldn't be good. You can't actually make someone learn things.

paulkal Thu 18-Dec-14 06:49:52

He has already had mock exams, so feels he has done enough but I guess we would rather see him maintain his reading skills

paulkal Thu 18-Dec-14 06:51:49

he has built in a break up to a certain point but we would rather he does things like continue to read literature that will maintain his language learning to a high level.

paulkal Thu 18-Dec-14 06:52:44

Sounds like a good suggestion

paulkal Thu 18-Dec-14 06:55:48

I agree with you up to a certain point but we have noticed in the past that his son has a tendency to be somewhat optimistic about how well he has prepared. He may seem to have done enough but sometimes has found that to be insufficient and then finds it hard to accept, and doesn't learn from experience.

paulkal Thu 18-Dec-14 06:59:09

I think you make a good point about balance. Of course we don't want him to think that he needs to be focused n study all the time during the break. A week off would probably be enough after which it would be a good idea for him to work out how much time he needs to study.

paulkal Thu 18-Dec-14 07:00:27

I tend to think you're right: working out a compromise is important right now.

paulkal Thu 18-Dec-14 07:03:46

You're right about not being able to make him learn things and my brother's approach is always to encourage. I guess what he wants to ensure is that his son's tendency to underestimate the amount that he needs to study needs to be challenged, as he has had difficulty in acknowledging this is the past.

stn24 Thu 18-Dec-14 09:26:30

Pupils normal forget things if they don't do them regularly. It is like running, if you don't run for 2 weeks, when you start again, it will take a while to get back to normal level. Just do a bit over the holiday for the main subjects, Maths and English and also one of two weaker subjects.

paulkal Mon 05-Jan-15 08:51:13

Thanks for your reply. My nephew did study some Maths and English over the holiday break, as well as French and History, which are his two weaker subjects. It seems to have worked, as he paced himself very well, just studying during the first part of the day when his mind was the most active and then had the rest of the day to do other things such as see his friends and be with family.

TheFirstOfHerName Mon 05-Jan-15 08:57:45

we have noticed in the past that his son has a tendency to be somewhat optimistic about how well he has prepared

I have one of those! He is only in Y10, so the only studying we encouraged over the Christmas break was what his Head of Year requested (catching up on syllabus content he had missed when ill). It was about 15 hours spread over the two weeks.

I am shock at 80 hours. That's 8 hours of studying every weekday.

Cretaceous Mon 05-Jan-15 10:19:03

DS put in a lot of revision over the Xmas holidays - to make up for a total lack of work earlier in the term. I was really pleased, as he'd done this unprompted.

However, last thing last night, I noticed he had a maths mock today, and happened to ask whether he remembered to pack his protractor and compass. It turns out he hadn't even got any!!! I asked what he would have done if I hadn't have asked. He said he thought you could get an A* without answering the construction questions. shock And if he had time, he thought he could work it out using his ruler, although that might take longer hmm

Luckily, his (younger) DSis had four compasses and two protractors, just in case! OP, by comparison, your nephew sounds really well organised. Hope it goes well.

paulkal Tue 06-Jan-15 08:01:25

Sounds like he made good use of his time.

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