For Parents, Pupils and Students in Lockdown

Across the globe, these are unprecedented times in education, calling for a huge re-evaluation of all out systems.  For now, being in lockdown means facing these key issues:

  • Dealing with the shock, fear, grief and loss – loss of friends and prospects, for instance, or income loss.
  • Managing the practicalities and helping those in need. A family member may be unwell, from Coronavirus or because of some other difficulty.
  • Working out how to maintain academic work from home – this is a question that both home educators and schooling families alike are asking themselves.
  • Facing uncertainty about the future: no one knows yet what the next months will be like, what’s going to happen to exams or college and university plans come autumn, and how this affects our lives as a whole.

In trying to fulfil their remit to continue deliver learning, individual schools and teachers are currently offering contrasting approaches. Some schools and colleges have already put remote learning systems in place, and may now be keen to run ‘business as normal’ using these systems. But a switch to distance learning may or may not work for you and your child. Parents with children at different educational establishments are already noticing major differences in their varying tones and expectations.  Some teachers and headteachers are trying to be firm and stick to schedules. Others are calling for parents to allow themselves time and space to work out their own systems, mindful of the fact that many parents are juggling work from home, and/or looking after children with different levels of need, and/or dealing with difficult financial problems.

With these complexities in mind, I have written a blog post to help schooling parents who are wondering how best to educate their children at home. This links to resources, legal information and support by experienced home educators.

In addition to the content on this website, I can offer one-on-one support. I have 30 years’ experience in helping people of all ages (and their parents) to improve their academic performance. Due to the current circumstances, all my work is now by telephone or video conferencing, and this usually works very well.

How I can help

Three key aspects:

  1. In most cases I will teach a range of study skills and I will also adapt these to suit individual preferences. Sometimes all it takes is a session or two (though usually I recommend about five). Once students learn to work more efficiently, progress is usually quick: it is not uncommon for grades to improve across many subjects at once. 
  2. If the underlying cause of the study problem includes a fear of exams or some other emotional issue, I look at ways to reduce stress. Sometimes it’s just a case of talking things through, but I may also offer techniques, some described on this site. Progress here too can be very fast as even just a little more confidence makes a big difference to how someone studies, and what results they can achieve.
  3. If parents are stressed too, I offer separate discussion and meetings for additional support in academically challenging times.  

Although people usually see me in order to improve their performance, paradoxically, I don’t focus too much on grades. My priority is to give a sense of general well-being and academic capability. Good grades and motivation flow naturally from that.

What you can get from this site

As well as appearing on radio and television, I also write for the national press. You can access my articles from this site, and they are packed with study tips for students and their parents (who seem to love the one on what not to say to your teen, for instance).

From time management to mind-mapping, my book The Student’s Guide to Exam Success tells you everything you need to know about studying. It doesn’t just give out study skills, because that’s not always enough: it helps with the emotional challenges involved in being a student. Though it’s written with university students in mind, A-level students can relate to it perfectly well. It’s quick to read because it contains summaries down the margin and it is easy to purchase online, for instance.

For an even quicker read, you can download my Quick and Easy e-books from this site. These smaller books cover all study levels, from GCSE to university level, and include material relevant to mature students too.

You can also download, for free, my Quick and Easy Guide to Boosting your Studies and your Morale with EFT. (There’s also a smaller freebie on understanding exam instructions, because examiners’ top complaint is that students don’t answer the question!)

So whoever you are, whatever your situation in these challenging times, I hope this site can offer you the help and resources that you are currently looking for.