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7 Ways to Get Your Kids Ready for Standardized Tests

7 Ways to Get Your Kids Ready for Standardized Tests

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.

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2. Attendance

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.

Elementary school class outside

    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.

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    3. Health

    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.

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    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.

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    Healthy family meal

      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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      Ivan Dimitrijevic

      SEO Consultant

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      Last Updated on September 20, 2018

      How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

      How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

      Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

      If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

      1. Breathe

      The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

      • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
      • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
      • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

      Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

      2. Loosen up

      After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

      Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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      3. Chew slowly

      Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

      Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

      Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

      4. Let go

      Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

      The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

      It’s not. Promise.

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      Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

      Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

      21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

      5. Enjoy the journey

      Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

      Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

      6. Look at the big picture

      The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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      Will this matter to me…

      • Next week?
      • Next month?
      • Next year?
      • In 10 years?

      Hint: No, it won’t.

      I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

      Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

      7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

      You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

      Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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      8. Practice patience every day

      Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

      • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
      • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
      • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

      Final thoughts

      Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

      Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

      Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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