Tests can be daunting; sometimes outright frightening. (Find ideas for tackling test anxiety.) As a parent, you want to help your learner do their very best. This can involve much parental support, like helping complete homework late at night, quizzing in the car, and even doing memorization or practice problems during meal time.
If the pressure of performance is removed from testing, your student starts to clearly see the subject and concepts better and value learning them for their own sake, and not just to do well on a test. True learning isn't a grade on a piece of paper, but the ability to recall information and apply it in the correct situations.
To help your student study for a test, start by forgetting about the test and focusing on the subject. Then follow these simple tips for helping him study:
1. Kill the drill-and-kill. Make memorizing and applying lessons fun with games, sports, or real-life daily situations. Try making songs or rhymes to help information retention.
2. Wait for an answer. It's so tempting as parents to hurry a student to an answer. Be patient and let your student come to his own conclusion.
3. Become the student. Nothing helps put you in your student's shoes then learning the same material. Have your student become the teacher an explain concepts to you.
4. Be committed. Vocabulary words before bed, and quizzing on the weekend. Helping your student study takes time and commitment. Be in it for the long-haul.
5. Build confidence. Daily practice only goes so far. At some point, learning becomes a mental challenge. Encourage progress, even the tiny steps, to boost your student's self-esteem.
6. Have a study area. Designate a specific area in the home for "study time." Make it a quiet, calm study location, where your student can focus and concentrate.
7. Make a routine. Whether it's certain days of the week or hours of the day, set aside regular times for your student to study. This prevents unhealthy habits like cramming the day before tests.
Studying for tests is hard work, but it can be accomplished (and good grades earned) if you and your student put in the effort. As your student ages, begin building self-responsibility for study habits to help him become a motivated, independent learner.
How do you help your student study for a test?