Testing, Testing… 1, 2, 3 (Part I)

Testing_TestingHere we go again! Another test is looming on the horizon and our children are getting anxious. Not the day-to-day tests, mind you, but the big ones… standardized tests.

Our children’s biggest concern is never in taking the actual tests, but in letting us down. They are anxious about not hitting the mark. Wow! Interestingly, these ideas are completely of their own making. We, as their parents, have been very clear about this having no bearing on their grades, their advancement, or our relationship with them. This is simply a test to see how well I do as their teacher. This is more a testing of my own ability and our current resources, than of their skill.

To help ease the apprehension, we took a few important steps to make testing run more smoothly:

Prepare – Before you start accusing me of ‘teaching to the test’, this is not what I mean by prepare. The night before a big test, we make sure to set out the items they are going to need for the following day. This reduces the list of things needing to be done before heading out the door and helps ease their mind from details which plague their overactive brains. (They get this from their mother; poor things!) They set all of their necessary items in one spot, making their morning run more efficiently.

A Good Night’s Rest – If at all possible, we make sure all of the kids get to bed at a reasonable hour. When the house is quiet, the test takers are able to relax and get a better night’s sleep. If they are particularly nervous, we attempt to tire them out with some running around beforehand. A good night of sleep is always a good idea.

Shower Power – Hitting the showers first thing in the morning is a plus. Usually they takes their showers at night, but recently we’ve switched to mornings and this seems to be helping them start the day off on a better foot.

Breakfast of Champions – Unlike most parents, I allow my children to choose whether or not to eat a large breakfast. While most people consider breakfast essential, I understand, from experience, that eating while nervous is not always a good thing. I trust their judgement to know if this is the best option. They will have plenty of opportunity to snack during breaks.

Packing Preferences – I try to let our children pick which snacks they would prefer for the day or tell me which they want brought along. Knowing their favorite comfort food is waiting during break times really helps.

Power of Prayer – As much as we’ve drilled into their brain that these tests are just a formality (required by our PSP and an assessment for mom), it is a must to pray with them before they actually walk into the testing room. Prayer helps them to remember they are not alone and refocuses their mindset. This isn’t about how great they are going to perform, but doing their best for the glory of God.

Constant Reassurance – Whenever they step out to take a break, I make sure to smile and let them know they’re loved. (Yes; I stay on campus, even though I could leave.) I reassure them of my affection and once again remind them there this is nothing to worry about. We discuss how they feel things are going so far and answer any questions they might have.

Test taking is never a fun experience, unless you are testing out chocolate, but, with a little care, it can certainly be less stressful.

Am I worried about the results? Not at all! Again, this isn’t a pass or fail; this isn’t about meeting someone else’s standards. This is about discovering areas which might need a little strengthening and perhaps adjusting our routine to better meet their growing needs.

🔔Time to Chime In: Is it SAT season in your neck of the woods?

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10 thoughts on “Testing, Testing… 1, 2, 3 (Part I)

  1. LOL! My kids are testing RIGHT NOW! I don’t know what I was thinking scheduling for the week after Easter. This morning my little guy ate his chocolate bunny for breakfast (not your breakfast of champions!) before I got into the kitchen. Anxiety is high here too. I am not sure why, but it is. I hope your day of testing goes better!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My little one is taking her first standardized test on Monday. She got to skip her 3d grade test because of the paperwork mix up. She is older and a little more prepared now. She is anxious but also excited because this will be the only year she has to take it, considering our state just passed a new testing law for homeschoolers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Here in the Heart of it All (Ohio) testing is optional – you can opt for a “portfolio review” instead. ut, my husband and I agreed that we wanted to complete testing to make sure the work that I’m doing is, at a minimum, keeping our Kindergartener on track with the nationally-accepted skills for her developmental age. We have our Staford tests next week, and I’m much more nervous than my daughter!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi. My son is 6 year old and is in grade one. He is good at reading and understanding but is unable to comprehend the message in the story. Any tips you can give me? I tried making him read but it is not helping.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great question! While it might seem as if something is wrong and your son ought to be able to comprehend a story’s message, he’s behaving as expected.

      At his age, focus on the reading and understanding. Explain the message to him yourself, but don’t worry if he can’t grasp it on his own. Right now, the focus is on getting him to know the story. In a few years, come back and review the story; THEN be a little more focused on whether or not he gets the underlying message.

      The first four years (1-4) are for laying the ground work, memorization and general learning; the second four (5-8) for comprehension; and the last four (9-12) for rhetoric.

      The more you practice comprehension, the more he will start to catch on. Make it a game; ask him to guess the underlying message. In truth, he might be getting it, but afraid to be wrong in his explanation. On the other hand, it just might be that he needs a little more exposure and time. Either way, you are on the right track. You’re asking great questions, you’re making a point of putting this into practice, and spending time working on this area.

      I’m sure he’ll get it in no time! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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