It’s one of the most trying tasks parents have to face: how to prepare kids for tests. It’s easy enough to coach them on regular school days when the scope of exams are usually precise and limited. When exam week comes around, however, some parents get on full battle mode, devising rigorous study schedules for their children.
But preparing your children for tests need not bring about unnecessary stress in your household. Encouraging them to study regularly and get ready ahead of time can help. Tina Zamora, directress of Nest School for Whole Child Development, offers other ways to help your kids ace their tests.
#1 Explain to your children what exams mean.
“Exams are used to gauge mastery of skill,” says Teacher Tina.
Some children get very upset when they get a bad score, seeing it as a personal failure. Teacher Tina says, “Explain to your child that it defines what he knows but does not define who he is. If he fails, it does not mean that he is a failure. It only means that he needs help on a particular topic.”
#2 Manage study time.
You know how you find yourself more productive at certain times of the day? Well, this concept is true for your kids, too.
“Every child has his own internal clock on when he is most productive,” says Teacher Tina.
“These times should also coincide when he has had enough sleep and enough to eat. Some early risers find it better to study before going to school. Find out when is the best time for your child by observing when he is most productive.”
#3 Manage study space.
So you set up this really nice study desk for your child. But when he sees it, he tells you that he’d rather crash on his bean bag. What’s a conscientious mom to do?
“As much as you need to understand when your kids are most productive, you should also understand where they are most comfortable to study. There is no one way of studying. Your child may be more comfortable on a bean bag rather than at a desk. Another may be more comfortable with music rather than without. If your child suddenly puts on earphones to listen to music while studying, don’t discount it as unproductive right away. The important thing is to place all the things he needs at arm’s length (notebooks, books, supplies, etc.).”
#4 Pencil in some downtime.
Just as moms need their me-time, kids need their play and quiet time, too. Teacher Tina explains, “Your child needs time to process all the information he studies about. This happens during a child’s downtime. At this time, his brain is able to recover and connect information with each other. A lot of parents think that the more they study, the more they can retain information. This can only be effective if a time for rest and recreation is also allowed for a brain break.”
#5 Don’t stress out.
Stay calm at all times. Some parents get absolutely stressed out when exam week comes rolling, and that shouldn’t be the case. As Teacher Tina explains, “Most kids who are anxious or stressed over exams only mirror what their parents are also feeling about it. You should be encouraging and positive about the whole learning process.”
So, moms, breathe! Your kids are going to be fine!
Teacher Tina Zamora is the directress of Nest School for Whole Child Development, a progressive school oﬀering preschool and elementary education founded in 2001. She has spearheaded the school to be one of the leading progressive schools in the country. An expert in the ﬁeld of early childhood education and the progressive stream of education, she blogs about progressive education at https://teachertina.net/.