Can Olympiad exam preparation add lot of stress to my child?
I have been asked this question very often. My answer to this question has always been, YES and NO. Let me explain.
I am of the personal conviction that you need to be very clear as to why you want your child to appear for the Olympiad exams.
Is it for the gold medal? Cash prize /Recognition? Or the pride associated with it?
According to me, reasons like the above ones are not correct and might actually add to the burden of the child. Parents should be extremely careful in not trying to fulfil their aspirations through their children.
In response to this, few parents retort "are you saying, my child should not be ambitious?"
I say "It is okay for your child to be ambitious but please do not impose your ambitions on your child."
Appearing for the Olympiad exams should be a means to inculcate correct learning in your child rather than the results. If the child gets the Gold medal as a result of this, great.
In other words, focus on the correct learning method which should be "comprehension and application of concepts." Unfortunately, most school curriculum's do not encourage this. The knowledge imparted is dry and without meaning.
So, if you set your child's learning in the right direction, i.e. "concept centric", you would need to know two things.
First: is the direction correct?
Second: is the pace of the progress satisfactory?
How do you do that? This is where, I strongly believe that various Olympiad exams play an important role. These exams focus on testing the concepts of your child on relevant topics and also their application. Also, the mental ability section forces your child to think beyond the "lines set by schools".
I further reason out that "Olympiad exam preparation" should be natural. Firstly, encourage your child to do various "reasoning exercises" for about 15 minutes every day. Secondly, create an environment where your child is encouraged to go deep into concepts of a particular topic.
Net: The importance of your personal face time and also putting a proper structured learning process in place cannot be overemphasized. Focus on the correct process rather than putting pressure on your child for doing well at the Olympiad exams.
The results of taking approach have been highly encouraging. Children grow up with confidence. Cracking the Olympiad exams is just one milestone for them
Most parents understand what I am trying to convey while few do not.
Feel free to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.