For the first 7 years of our marriage, Austin was in school. We got married and moved to Lynchburg so he could finish up his undergrad at Liberty University. Then, he started seminary, which is a 5-year degree. Needless to say, I know all too well what it’s like to have a spouse in school.
I won’t lie, it’s really hard to have a spouse in school. Today, Jenn Ward is giving her advice on how to help your spouse study. Here’s what she has to say-
Is your spouse working on a degree? If so, you both have your own set of challenges that lay ahead. You may feel bad about sitting by and making them face the challenge alone. If you want to take part in their journey, check out these tips for helping them study for the exam.
Give Your Spouse the Time to Study
You might free up obligations from them in the days or weeks leading up to the exam. This could mean cooking dinner, taking the kids to school, mowing the lawn, or anything that your partner might normally do. Studying well for any subject requires complete focus and attention, which can easily be achieved by dedicating an entire block of time to it.
Remind Your Spouse to Take Breaks
Taking breaks will increase the efficiency of study time. Just like athletes need to rest to building muscle, your brain has to rest after learning something to really absorb it. While small breaks throughout the day are helpful to stamina, more than a few hours of intense study every day might be too much. After three or four hours it becomes very difficult to focus and retain information.
Sitting for a long time is unhealthy and will probably put your partner in a worse mood. Reminders to rest can be helpful because your partner won’t think that you perceive them as lazy for taking too many breaks. If you want to do something with your spouse, check out these random date ideas for inspiration.
Be Supportive and Not Discouraging
All exams are stressful. Try not to cause any more stress for your partner. This ties in with the last point, but you can go out of your way to relax them. Massages are great. You can cook their favorite meal. And, of course, be verbally supportive.
Talk about what your partner likes to talk about in regard to the exam. Be positive. You could even exercise with each other to de-stress.
Use Online Prep Courses
Instead of taking classes in person, save time and gas money. Utilize online prep courses. For example, if they are in the medical field, use online MCAT prep courses. This will make scheduling much easier and give them more time to spend with you.
Quiz Them with Flash Cards
If you haven’t taken the MCAT yourself, you should probably let them make their own flashcards. Have them give you the cards to hold on to until their memory fades a bit, and then quiz them at their request. Or you can help them make a lot of them so that they can quiz themselves whenever it is convenient.
Let Them Teach You
One of the most effective ways to learn something is to teach it to someone else. By consolidating information into a form someone else — who hopefully knows nothing about the topic — can understand, he or she will make themselves more efficient at remembering the information later.
Buy Them Study Materials
You can find practice books for sale online or in some bookstores. You can also buy them school supplies. Pay attention to what they say they need and surprise them.