Manic: AIMS testing!! Important, crucial and another stressful event to put on our mom calendars.
Managed: Reducing the stress by reading this awesome AIMS prep article that our managedmoms.com writer and teacher, Lisa Walton put together for us anxious parents. This is good stuff and she gives us a great game plan on how to help our kids do their absolute best on the AIMS testing. Check this out…
Standardized testing is something our kids will face many times throughout their school years.
Here are some steps to help them prepare both mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Before the Test:
- Get Enough Sleep: Research has shown that students score much better on tests when they are well-rested. Try to keep the house peaceful the night before testing, and stick with normal routines to alleviate any anxiety.
- Check your Schedule: It’s important for children to be at school for all testing sessions. Make sure you don’t have any appointments scheduled, and try not to over-schedule after school and evening activities so kids are well-rested. Try to plan ahead and avoid conflicts that would result in being late on testing days. Limit absences during the weeks prior to testing as well so students are there for review.
- Discuss Test Taking Strategies/Do Practice Tests: Go over sample tests or reviews that the teachers send home. The Department of Education often has practice tests online so children can familiarize themselves with the test format and types of questions. Remind children to take their time, check their work, and do their best.
- Relaxation Techniques: Children often get anxious during testing so giving them some techniques to calm them can be helpful. We use a breathing strategy at home. Take one long breath in through your nose (4 seconds), hold it (4 seconds), and then blow out forcefully through your mouth (4 seconds). Repeat this process several times to control and slow down breathing.
- Get up Early: Try to have your children to school early and avoid rushing, this will help them stay calm and focused. When children arrive late for testing it already fuels anxiety and doesn’t give them time to mentally prepare with their peers. I like to get my son to school early to give him ample time at morning recess to run around and get out the nervous energy, as they will be sitting for long periods of time during testing.
- Eat a Good Breakfast: Research also shows that students score better if they have eaten a healthy breakfast. Try to avoid a heavy meal which may cause them to be tired. Try to eliminate sugary foods, but instead go with fruits, grains, and proteins. Eating breakfast will fuel your child’s brain and get them ready for their big day.
- Be Positive: Try to make your child feel confident and comfortable about testing. Keep any negative opinions about testing to yourself. Encourage them to do their best and remind them that it’s ok to ask questions about directions.
After the Test:
- Talk to Your Child: Ask them about the testing and how their day went. Discuss what was easy and what was hard about the tests. Acknowledge all of their effort and hard work.
- Praise Them: Congratulate them for doing their best, and remind them that no matter the results, you love them. Testing is just a snapshot of their academic performance it does not define their abilities or who they are.
Hope these tips will be helpful and reduce some of the stress during testing. Remember the most important thing you can do is let your children know how proud you are of them!
About our writer, Lisa Walton:
Lisa Walton–Parenting tips, Valley Teacher and Mother
Lisa Walton has been a teacher in the Valley for over 18 years. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Deaf Education from Illinois State University; and Master’s Degree in Special Education from Arizona State University. She currently works as an itinerant teacher, collaborating with regular education teachers in the public schools.