Getting ready for the National Qualifications – a parent’s perspective

In the run-up to this year’s NQ exams we asked some young people how they are preparing for them and some parents how they are supporting their children through them. Over the next few weeks we’ll share their thoughts with you via this Learning Blog.

‘Motivating a National 4/5 boy and a Higher girl has thrown up two different sets of problems. The boy, typical of his age, has better things to do. The girl motivated, determined, single-minded, all these things apply, as well as studying has a part time job and believe it or not has a boyfriend, whom she makes study with her.

Leading the boy and persuading him to work has been at times a trial. I have had to side with him in his attitude and make him believe I was just the same and how much more difficult it was to get on in life, to a certain extent true. The biggest mistake was to compare him with his sister, he totally rebelled. The answer was to become his buddy and slowly it is starting to work and I hope to get a pleasant surprise when the brown envelope comes in.

The girl doing Highers is very motivated but has had the occasional confidence drop off. ‘I never get an A’, she says. Then we do a mock exam and in comes a good result. At Parents night she tells her Physics teacher I am no good at this subject and has to be reminded she got top marks in Standard Grade and is leading the class in all the results so far. The point I make is she is smart but the confidence drops off very easily at times and needs boosted, lots of dairy milk chocolate does it. I have had to provide Chemistry tuition at home for her, as during the first term there was no teacher and a lot of the basics had been missing for Higher. This did not help her confidence but we have turned it around.

The key to dealing with both of them is support, support and remembering they are kids.’

Parent (National 4/5 boy and Higher girl)

(Take a look at the Parentzone website which has information and advice for parents and carers who have children sitting exams in the coming weeks. )

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