There are moments in your child’s life when he or she needs to step up and hit the books. Now, the main problem in these situations is that children and teenagers don’t see the long term benefits of the effort they need to put in and that’s why it is hard to motivate them. It is understandable that a child cannot perceive and predict the events that are going to happen ten years down the road, and that’s why you need to step in and help them along. A lot of times, parents make things harder for a child by applying additional pressure and making them unnecessarily nervous, which will make it even harder for them to concentrate. Children often get “panicky” during standardized tests and their results suffer because of it. You don’t want your child, who really worked hard, to come back home after the test and tell you that he forgot the answers out of sheer panic.
Here are some things you can do to make it easier for your child to pass through these difficult times.
1. The Program
If you are not aware of what your child is currently learning, how can you evaluate your child’s handling of the situation? You can always ask the child if she is having any trouble at school but you might not get a straight answer. Children tend to avoid responsibilities by lying to their parents. You need follow their progress and see if they need your assistance.
It is crucial that your child doesn’t lose too many classes. The learning process is much easier for everybody if they are not facing the subject for the first time when they start reading.
You can encourage your children to develop good habits such as waking up early, being more active in class and talking to you about things they learned in school on any given day.
Of course, you will pay attention to your child’s health but I feel obligated to mention it, since it can have a big influence on the child’s concentration during classes, as well as during the standardized tests. A healthy diet is also a part of the whole thing, because eating a lot of sugary or fatty foods can ruin a child’s ability to concentrate due to drowsiness and an upset stomach.
4. Test Rules and Accommodations
Knowing what to expect, what is expected of them, and what help they can ask for can influence your child to feel more confident and relaxed during tests. If your child is unsure about any of these issues, he may lose time and concentration, or even make mistakes that can cost him their right to take the test.
5. Regular Study
Continuous work always gives better results than last minute cramming. Teach your child to focus on good learning habits and do away with bad ones. When you break down the material into smaller chunks and study in short bursts, you tend to remember more because your concentration is optimal, and you are still fresh. Long study sessions tend to tire us out, and progressively become less effective.
6. Preparation Tests
You can usually find standardized tests from previous years and give them to your child as practice. These tests are available online. There are websites that offer preparation test for standardized APs and SAT/ACT tests and they can be of great help. Your child can go through hundreds of questions and get a chance to test their knowledge, while getting acquainted with it at the same time.
7. The Day Before the Exam
Make sure that the child is well rested and has enough time to wake up properly before sitting down to take the exam. It is also important that she has a proper meal, to give her enough energy to avoid distractions caused by hunger.
It is also good to give them a light, sweet snack before the exam. Dark chocolate has been shown to be particularly good at boosting brain function.
Of course, being supportive and encouraging goes without saying and remember that being aggressive or pressuring your child into studying can have negative backlashes and cause more harm than good.
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