Testing is one of those things that has huge amounts of mixed views. I was just talking to a friend whose daughter is worried about the big tests coming up. Kids do worry a lot about that test. I have found that every test is different and depends on what it is. There are big and small tests, and they can all affect kids differently.
I’m going to cover a few areas: preparing ahead of time, gross motor, eating well, lots of sleep, making sure I’m calm and big test vs small test.
Preparing Ahead of Time
The next day is a test and is everyone ready? Well, guess what no matter what the test will happen. We have developed a few things over the last few months to make sure that we are ready.
My oldest this year started taking tests every two weeks. It has changed a few things that we do for them. We have started finding out what helped best. The night before I always make sure things are the calmest they can be.
We do a gross motor activity to burn off some excess energy and nerves. It might be something simple or pull something out from the Gross Motor List Printable. It means we do 30 minutes of something that gets their mind off what is going on.
Eating well is the one day that we don’t fuss about what they have to eat. I let them pick their favorite food to have that night and make sure they have it. I also try and have after school snacks that might be their favorites. You could also send in an extra special snack or lunch for school.
Lots of Sleep
Sleep is so important before tests. I try and do an earlier bedtime a few nights before. I also make extra time reading and settling my girls so that everyone sleeps well. I also might let them sleep in a little bit on test day and have their lunch and backpacks ready so they don’t’ have to worry about those details. Sleep is always important but make sure you give loads of time for them to settle down. We also make sure to do some calming activities before heading for the bedtime routine. Here are some examples that we do:
Making Sure I’m Calm
One of the biggest things I can do is not stress about their test. They are ready or not, and my stress won’t help. It also means that I need to make sure that the house is clean and has a calm feeling for them. It helps when I also take extra time to be with my girls the night before. They love the extra attention. Plus I need to support what they need the night before.
Calming Down After Testing
The test is done, and the stress is over, but the nerves from the test might not be as calm as you think. I found that my girls needed extra time to calm down afterward. A lot like before the test we would take some time off from extra activities.
We might pull out a movie and cuddle in blankets. We rarely have TV during the week of school, but it is a special treat that they enjoy. Or I might pull out a special craft that they don’t always get to do. It should be a fun time for everyone, and I plan to be flexible.
Big tests vs Small Tests
There are many different kinds of tests that kids will take. They might have simple tests at school that are quizzes or reviews. Maybe it could be some of the bigger all days tests that some school systems or over several days.
This year we have been doing every other week tests with my oldest. We have come up with study habits and small ways to help her manage stress. We also talk about that no matter what the test score comes back with it is okay. We are proud of her no matter what. It was fun to keep help her study and make her learning fun. She learned all 50 states over several weeks. It was interesting to watch her learn and see how she had to help us learn what she needed to study for the test.
I learned that I had to learn how my girls study for their tests.
Big tests are very different from smaller tests. You can’t really study for them. The big tests are what kids stress about the most. They also are a big stress for some kids. I always remind them that they do their best, and that is okay. We work on breathing and easy to do during test calming activities.
Last year we had the test time change a few times because of snow. It made stress, but I tried to get my oldest not to worry about it. We did the calm down activities before she went to school and I made sure that I was there for her no matter what her needs were. I also reminded her that we were not worried about how she did on the tests. Their test results did not change who she was a person.
This month’s theme is test preparation. Be sure to check out everyone’s posts below!
- Stress Less for Success on Academic Tests by
- What do you need to understand about your child’s standardized assessment results? by Thriving STEM
Be sure to check out the other months school themed posts:
- Back to School: Free Weekly School Calendar
- Managing Homework Ideas & Free Homework Punch Cards
- Keeping an Open Communication with Teachers – Free Note to Teacher Printable
- Holiday Celebrations in School
- Supporting School Projects
Cassie – 3Dinosaurs.com