I am one of those strange people who loves learning. I read text books on the train when everyone else is reading the latest chicklit. I have an unending thirst for knowledge. I love discovering new facts. I know, many of you reading this are already thinking “I have NOTHING in common with this weirdo!” and I’m sorry, it’s part of who I am, but it wasn’t always.
I have always loved reading, I devoured books at primary school loving nothing more than discovering a new series that I enjoyed and working my way through them; The Chronicles of Narnia, Dr Dolittle, Famous Five and Secret Seven to name just a few. I wasn’t particularly academic at primary school, in fact my Y6 teacher told my parents I was remedial and would never pass an exam, but I loved reading and learning. Like most people, I liked learning about things I was interested in (I still do) but I was not interesting in everything, I don’t know anyone who is.
Then I started secondary school and things changed. We had to read certain class texts and I hated them, not all of them, but most of them. The result was that I stopped reading for pleasure because every time I picked up a book I wanted to read I felt I should be reading that book for school instead. My love of learning and discovering was switched off. I don’t think I enjoyed learning at all at high school. I loved the school musicals, choir, my friends but not classes, not the important bits.
Don’t get me wrong, I did ok at school in the end, I certainly wasn’t remedial and once I went to HE College to do my degree I began to enjoying learning again because I was learning about things I had chosen to learn about. Although, even then it all had to be learned in a certain way, written in a particular style and within very strict boundaries.
I didn’t really start loving learning again until I was away from schools and universities and it was all on my own terms because the things I love to learn about aren’t part of any curriculum, they don’t fit tidily into any box. Fortunately I was a conformist during my school years and I survived but many children just cannot motivate themselves for the subjects and the teaching style which is used in our schools. I was delighted to learn that my daughter had undergone a test to discover what type of learner she is; kinesthetic, auditory or visual. She is an auditory learner, which didn’t surprise me as both myself and my husband are too, but it will be interesting to see whether there will be any change to the way lessons are taught now that they have taken this test. Time will tell.
There is increasing pressure on our children to perform at school. From an early age the school system pushes them towards achievement. All too often the individuals needs aren’t taken into account though and the focus is on targets and attainment and not looking at the abilities and dreams of the student. As parents we must support them but be realistic about their strengths and weaknesses and not put any more pressure on.
As adults we are not equally able in all areas of academia so why would our children be?
“A recent study carried out by the NSPCC found that academic worries were the biggest cause of stress for nearly 50 per cent of children. Further research has confirmed that exam worries cause children more stress than peer pressure to be ‘trendy’ or find a boyfriend or girlfriend.”
Encourage them to work hard and as long as they do that is the most we can ask. Learning a few relaxation techniques; deep breathing, meditation, pressure points etc can be very helpful as well as getting enough sleep and drinking enough water or juice.
Both these pressure points help with anxiety and nervousness. Simply putting a little pressure and massaging these points will release waves of calm and help you to focus.
Other natural options are lavender oil (or indeed any oil that appeals as smelling something encourages deep breathing which is calming), and the crystals below will also help. Always allow your child to choose the crystals and oils they use themselves, our higher self always knows what will benefit us the most.
Rose Quartz – This is a beautiful pink crystal which has a loving energy that is reassuring and calming.
Amethyst – Amethyst is a purple crystal which is great for helping with sleep issues and also helps mental focus so is great for tests and exams.
Moss agate – Great for supporting you through new beginnings and also boosts self esteem.
Citrine – Is balancing and cheerful. It is perfect for supporting teens through hormonal changes. It is also a great stone for self confidence as it supports the solar plexus (that area at the bottom of your rib cage where gut instincts are felt).
Clear quartz – This is known as the master healer, it can be used to help in any situation and for any ailment.
Rose oil – This is the oil best at balancing hormones, it is also a wonderful antidepressant.
Lavender oil – Lavender is also antiseptic and can be used on spots. It is uplifting and easily accessible.