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It’s that time of year again. Kids all over the country are sharpening their #2 pencils and anticipating their state tests. Whether your child has a standardized test coming up in a few days or in a few weeks, these test-prep tips and strategies will help you to help him or her relax and do his or her best.
Although parents cannot go along into school with their children and “help” with state testing, there are some things at home we can do to ensure our children are in tip top shape for state testing days!
· Double-check to make sure you have the right times and days testing will occur.
· Have your child do a relaxing activity the night before the test, and go to bed early to get plenty of rest.
· Know what types of questions will be asked. Usually children are asked a combination of multiple choice, reading passages, and written response questions. Ask your child’s teacher in advance what you can do to assist with this process.
· Return to those lessons that have been pointed out as state assessment preparations, and practice some questions, especially on topics that were confusing or more difficult with your child.
· Keep your child’s routine the same! Changes in schedules and routines will only distract your child, and prevent them from being able to focus as much as possible.
· Ensure that your child eats an adequate breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Research proves that children who eat breakfast perform better in school.
· Talk about it: Talking to your child about the testing and what it involves can help relieve some of the stress inherent to the process
· Not a know-it-all: Reassure your children that they're not expected to know everything that appears on the test. Encourage them to simply to do their best and work hard through the testing
· Show it off: While they may not know all the answers, tell the kids the standardized test is a great chance for them to show off just what they do know. Help them to see it as a chance to shine rather than a chore to endure.
· Practice the process: Standardized tests are designed to be comprehensive, so cramming the night before won't do much good. However, parents can give their kids test-like practice questions or writing assignments to work through at home. That way they'll be more familiar with the test's format and more confident going into it
· Make it fun: Surprise your child with something to boost morale or to alleviate stress, like a testing survival kit – a small package of goodies your child can take to school
Heather is the Director of The Children's Workshop in Lincoln, RI. She first started her journey with the TCW family in 2007 in our Smithfield location as a Kindergarten teacher. She then entered the company's Management in Training Program, working in several of our locations while also training staff in various areas of early childhood education. She holds a BA from Providence College in Elementary and Special Education as well as a Master's Degree from Rhode Island College in Early Childhood Education. Her true passion is not only working with children, but sharing knowledge with families and teachers in order to provide the best early learning experience for all young learners. She is also a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the Rhode Island Childcare Director’s Association, as well as the Rhode Island College Early Childhood Advisory Board.