If your child is in years, 3, 5, 7 or 9, then you are no doubt aware that they will be sitting the annual NAPLAN exams soon.
As schools across Australia start to transition to NAPLAN exams online, Brent Hughes, former teacher and Teacher Educator at Matific, says that it is crucial to engage students in learning experiences they enjoy to effectively prep them for these upcoming assessments.
To help students feel more confident and at ease when taking part in the May tests, here are 5 top tips you can adopt to help relieve your child’s exam pressure.
1. Let them know they are not alone
Thousands of students across Australia will be sitting down and taking the test, so remind them that they are not alone. Your support and encouragement are important to help children develop their own motivation and confidence when tackling challenges, which may occur later in life.
2. Create a well-rounded routine
Teaching your child effective study techniques and test-taking skills can help anxious children cope in the lead up to exam period, but ensure you leave time for rest and relaxation. Include unstructured play, reading, outdoor physical activity and even good screen time (see next tip). Screen time may be a little controversial, but the truth is your child will grow up into a world where confidence with technology is a requirement for survival. Having a balanced and well-rounded routine can help avoid burn-out and ease anxiety, whilst still ensuring they are fully prepared for the exams.
3. Put screen time to good use
We know how much kids love their devices, but luckily this love of technology can be harnessed for good use as there are an array of apps and games that help reinforce and teach maths concepts that are aligned to NAPLAN. Programs such as Matific (available on desktop and via app), can help kids from years K-6 to learn and love mathematics through great gamified activities. Unlike mundane maths revision, kids are tasked to complete fun and stimulating activities to help save little creatures in a space-like setting within an educationally engaging game.
4. Help teachers help you
Teachers and parents are two of the most influential people in a child’s life, and it’s important that the two remain on the same side as much as possible. Rest assured that teachers will be teaching based on contemporary research methods. If you or your child are confused at any stage then make an appointment with the school and ask the teacher to help you understand, so you can support your child from home.
5. Get involved, show an interest in their work without taking over
One of the biggest issues with parents and their child’s education occurs when a parent tries to help but inadvertently takes over. If your child asks for help, certainly point them in the right direction but let them try to resolve problems and tackle their revision on their own. This will enable them to become independent thinkers and improve confidence in their own learning journey.