The mounting pressure of increasing curriculum added with homework and extra-curricular classes is making childhood very stressful for kids as well as parents. Gone are the days when kids played in the building compound for hours, breaking glasses, eating munchies at some friends place, fighting over who won and who cheated. Parents usually complain there is so much to study and homework to be done too, where is the time to play? how do we make studying a fun activity for the child? how can she/he enjoy his/her childhood and stays atop competition as well?
Set weekly targets: Parents should set weekly targets as per topics and subjects covered in school, and decide a day of the week when he/she should be prepared with the weekly portion. Don't panic if on a particular day much hasn't been done. Encourage the child to cover up until the target day. Of course make realistic targets, taking into consideration daily homework, recreation time and other activities. You can get kids to set targets themselves. It would be fantastic lesson in planning and execution.
Make a study group: Make a group of 3-4 children- child's classmates, the ones he/she is super comfortable with. All should have the same study target. On the scheduled day-say Friday afternoon, make it a point to meet at someone's house/coffee shop, prepare a questionnaire/ quiz for all related to the weekly target. After the quiz they can be can be given a small treat and then take them for a movie/park/beach as a reward for completing their weekly target. Having your best friends in the same target zone encourages the child to study regularly and they might even fare better in tests, it will effectively reduce stress during exams.
Play time: A couple of hours of free play/sport should be scheduled for every day, irrespective of homework, extra classes and study. After all academics isn't everything in the world. Having a calm and balanced child will ensure his good health and happiness for future.
Beware: Big study group may not be a good idea. It will be like school and classes, taking the fun element away. Do not compare the kids ever. Remember you want to make study fun and not make your child or anyone else look small. Refrain from marking or ranking, otherwise it will be another stress to deal with every week.
Remember you are doing this to make study fun and take off the pressure and stress of the present education system.