As the ISTEP window opens in Indiana today, parents, teachers, administrators, and counselors are up to their eyeballs in manuals, test tickets, and scheduling debacles. Take a deep breath and look at three quick things you can do tonight to help your kids do great this week.
–Keep the schedule light-No late night practices or events this week, please. The mental effort testing can require may not wreck your kids, but the change in schedule in school, altered environments, and such can be unnerving for some kids. Adding big afterschool events can be a bit much. Most teachers limit or eliminate homework during this week, just so kids can have a chance to relax.
–Don’t stress the test-Yes, it’s important for kids to do their individual best on the test, but don’t add pressure but reminding kids how important it is. By and large, most of them understand and WANT to succeed. Remind them how hard they’ve already worked and that this test is just the icing on the cake.
–Be ready for the aftermath-No pun intended. Hard working, high achieving kids often second guess themselves due to the high stakes of the test. Be ready for the emotions that can come out when kids are either worried about how they did or exhausted from the process. Kids who struggle with tests might enjoy a favorite dinner or maybe a choice of stress relief activity to come down from the energy that can be palpable in the building on test day. You know your kids better than anyone, and they need the comfort of home.
Staff at your child’s school do everything in their power to make sure your kids are ready for the test and that the day is as stress free as possible. A few quick tweaks from you at home will make these days seem like a breeze.