By now, your child is being drilled and drilled again in preparation for the high-stakes testing they will undergo in the coming months. Frankly, they’re probably sick of it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t feel the need to help them. It also doesn’t mean you have to start investing in workbooks full of drills.
Here are some easy things to do at home that can make a difference on test day.
Although states are getting better about requiring a certain amount of outside play in a school day, gym class isn’t what it once was. So how are students supposed to get the exercise they need in order to alleviate the stress of testing season?
This might be the antithesis of test prep, but kick them out of the house. Send them outside to play. Sign them up for a sport or activity. If they have an outlet for their stress, they will be more likely to retain what they’re learning in class.
Let them help with math
Math is all around us. Most of it you probably do yourself. Help your child get a little extra practice by assigning them the math tasks instead. The trick is to not frame it as “You need some extra testing practice”. All kids love to help, so just ask them. “Hey, I need to take this recipe down by half. What do I need?” Unfortunately, the more advanced your child is in their math career, the more difficult it will be to find them tasks.
Bring English/Language Arts home
The skills covered in the Common Core standards for English/language arts come into play everywhere, even at home. They ask students to be able to communicate their opinions and ideas in a variety of ways. They ask students to be able to read a variety of texts, mainly nonfiction, and understand them. Those events happen every day.
The trick is to find things about which they want to communicate. Making them watch the news or read the newspaper will quickly turn stale. Instead, if they are into music, start sharing articles from Rolling Stone with them and discuss them together. If they are into a particular video game, have them give you a lesson. The goal is to keep their brain moving in the right ways even though they’ve left school.
It’s important to model a positive attitude for your student, especially at this time. They’re probably nervous or even pessimistic about the tests. Positivity can go a long way toward working through the challenging parts of the test.
If you truly are worried about your student’s chances for success on your state tests, find out more about our approach to tutoring and student achievement here.
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