State testing is right around the corner. You may notice your kids have started talking about their big math and reading tests with either excitement or groans of reluctance. I know my son was a little stressed about them! As a parent, it’s our role to help them through this process so they can perform at their best. If your school aged kids are taking the test for the first time, here are a few tips that have been helpful in my household to calm the nerves.
Tip #1: Get Rest
Rest, rest, and more rest is the key to success. When your kids have a clear mind, they will be better focused and will be on their A game. My son’s bedtime is usually around 8:00, but for the entire testing week, I put him to bed by 7:00. If you don’t think your kiddo will be ready that early, make it a point to tire them out. We exercised as a family after dinner, took long walks, and set up obstacle courses around our basement. Trust me–if you make them sweat, they’ll be ready to hit the sack earlier.
Tip #2: Practice!
Ask your child’s teacher for extra practice prior to the test. My son always struggled a bit with math. To help ease his mind and to make sure he was where he needed to be for the test, I talked with his teacher. She sent home a packet of problems to go over (in addition to what she was already doing in the classroom) for us. I didn’t want to overload him with math, but we made it a point to complete a few problems every night. I truly believe the extra practice boosted his confidence and kept his mind moving!
Tip #3: Discuss Testing Strategies
I taught my son to skip the questions he struggled with and to return to them at the end of the test. We also went over how to highlight the directions. This helped him to stay focused on what he was supposed to do. We also talked about the process of elimination, where he could narrow down his choices to make a better, informed choice (or guess, if it came down to it). I learned there are many videos online that serve as tutorials for kids, so be sure to do some searching as well! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5ufbqAzzCc)
Tests are a part of your child’s schooling experience, whether we like it or not. Consider these three tips to help your child do their best and to send them to school during state testing week with confidence!