It’s that time of year again as if there aren’t already enough tests for students to take in school now in days. I’ve been teaching middle school for 8 years now so I have also served as an test examiner for State Testing for 8 years. Before that I substitute taught and assisted with the administration of C.E.L.D.T. (California English Language Development Tests).
I know this time of year may be a bit stressful for your child. Schools are really focused on high test scores and having students do the best. If your child is in middle school and on their way to high school this can also determine their class placement at the high school and whether or not they need to add in extra support classes or they can be placed in Advanced Placement or Accelerated/Honors courses. Either way this can be a lot of pressure for your child to do well. This is when having a balance in their lives can be so important. Yes testing is important in the world of academics but your child’s growth and personal development as a happy, healthy, and prosperous individual is even more important. Teaching them or assisting your child to find that balance is key especially at this time during the year.
During testing season and really anytime during the year it is really important for your child to get a great nights sleep and eat a healthy breakfast before they go to school. Students who are well rested can generally focus more on their tests and not feel to sleepy. Eating a healthy breakfast also helps them to concentrate. It is so hard to concentrate and do well when your stomach is growling and making noises.
The morning and the night before testing encourage them. Let them know that you believe that they can do anything they put their mind to and that no matter what the results of the tests are you love them no matter what. Feed them the self-confidence they need. Remind your child that this test is important to academics and it is great for them to try their best but it does not evaluate what sort of placement your child has in your heart as a parent. Attitude goes a long way and so does having the right mindset. With the right attitude, mind set, and goals your child can achieve anything the are willing to put the time and handwork into!
I understand that they day can get pretty busy, trust me I’m a full-time teacher, a mom, and a fitness consultant am I busy too? You bet! Schedule in some time with your child without interruptions. Make sure they know that even though you have other things going on in your life, they are one of your top priorities. Schedule this time together and call it your “Quality Time” or whatever you like. Knowing that you both have this time together will be awesome. Talk to them ahead of time and plan what you are going to do during your “Quality Time”.
Try talking to them before testing and doing something fun after school with them to ease the tension. Fun and inexpensive things to do would be go for a walk, they need that fresh air after testing, go outside and play catch, soccer, basketball, football or whatever is your favorite sport together. Have a nice home cooked dinner or take your dinner and eat outside and enjoy the air. Get that fresh air in and that exercise in because as much as we need to exercise as adults so do children.