Although they are not the ‘be all and end all’ of your child’s education, the National Tests (SATs) can potentially be quite stressful. Providing your child with some simple ‘steps to success’ will improve their confidence and help them to feel prepared.
Create a ‘learning planner’ with your child focusing on the areas within the tested subjects that they struggle with. Vary the subjects daily and stick to a specified time and duration every day.
Talk to your child when they have finished their task: ‘How do you feel that went?’ ‘Do you need any extra help?’ ‘What areas are you still struggling with?’
Encourage your child to stay calm. Use breathing exercises, open conversations, or even meditation to help dilute any negative feelings and eradicate the ‘stress’ side of the tests.
To support this further, why not introduce your child to the ‘growth mindset’ concept, explaining how it is often our mistakes, errors and challenges in life that fuel our progress and development. Meaning, ‘it is okay not to be okay’. By making mistakes we often realise and identify areas to develop and improve.
Learning should be a fun process: try to shape some of the key exam objectives around the interests of your child. For example, with percentages, fractions and word problems, why not take your child shopping? By connecting knowledge with experience, things start to ‘make sense’ to children.
During the week of the tests, stay positive and relaxed. Make sure your child has a healthy breakfast (every morning) and drinks plenty of water.
Written by Jacob-Nicholas Mitchell – award-winning teacher, teaching and learning consultant and writer.