Now that spring break is past or just ending the cramming and studying for state testing begins. If your child is just entering the third grade, this will be their first big exam. Other parents know that this is the time their child may have meltdowns because the schools make it a competition. What they are not telling you is that it really doesn't matter if your child is below proficient. It only matters that each year they improve little by little. Getting advanced in every subject is not going to get your kid into Harvard or even UCLA; what really matters is their ACT and SAT scores.
Rather than have your child cram for a state test (which only benefits the schools and their funding) have them begin to learn how to properly train for their scores that will get them into college. You can begin to do this in middle school, but by the end of 8th grade is fine. The more time you properly spend on getting your child for the ACT and SAT scores junior year in high school, the better off you'll be. I am not saying to "blow it off'" just don't stress about it. I wish I put a lot less stress on my own kids, for test scores that in the end, don't really mean anything.
If you have that over-achieving child who won't listen to a word you say, because their teacher is right and YOU ARE WRONG then have them try some Mindfulness Education to alleviate the stress from test anxiety. ME intervention may become a helpful problem-solving tool for reading fluency, math analogies and test anxiety when students do not respond well to traditional strategies. The only ones who care are the teachers, schools, and bureaucracies.
Mindfulness activities not only help children relax, it also allows them to be more calm during state tests. This would include reading for test examinations as well. A quick way to do some ME techniques is SQUARE BREATHING. Have your child go to their "secret place" such as a cloud in the sky. Have them lie on their back and draw a square on their stomach with their finger. As they draw one side of the square they should breathe in. The next side of the square they should hold their breath for at least 4 seconds. The third side of the square exhale....slowly. Last side of the square hold the exhale. Do this exercise at least three times.
This is an easy exercise because you can do it in the car, at home, before a test, an audition, or a big game.
If you would like more information on how to use Mindfulness activities at home with your children sign up here or you can email any questions to: DrPattiMartin@gmail.com