Becoming a father has taught me a lot of things. Being more patient, kind and selfless are some of the few traits that have improved since my son was born. As he gets older, I’ve unexpectedly experienced this feeling of hope. Not hope for my future goals or dreams, but for his. Deep down, I know that his success in life hinges on me teaching him to be self-sufficient. Guiding our children to be independent thinkers and doers isn’t easy—especially around school work.
With finals and standardized tests around the corner, this can be a stressful time for both parents and students. Kids can be focused on their upcoming winter break and you have your own responsibilities to take care of. As we all know, finals aren’t going to be the last time our children have to take an important test. Whether we like it or not, preparing our children for test taking can teach them important life skills like discipline, hard work, preparation and problem-solving. All of which are important traits of a self-reliant individual.
Here are three things that have helped me prepare my children for important exams.
Use Technology to Help Your Kids Learn
Parenting in the digital age has its challenges. For one, our children are constantly bombarded with distractions. From social media, video games, text messages and video streaming sites like Netflix—parents may decide to force their offspring to completely disconnect from the internet.
However, that may not be the best strategy. Technology is unique in that it can engage our children like no other platform can. For example, you can utilize an online tutor to help your little student get ready for their big exam. Tutoring online gives you and your child greater flexibility. As long as you have an internet connection, you can have access to a qualified tutor and their resources. Additionally, you can have your kid use an online test prep service.
Practice makes perfect in most areas in life, especially with tests. Online test prep can be catered to your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Buying a printed test prep book can be useful as well. It’s just more time-consuming.
Parents can also use popular media platforms to help their son or daughter study. Podcasts are great because you have a wide selection to choose from. If your child struggles with history exams, you can research a podcast episode that discusses the subject matter in-depth. This process can be applied to nearly any school subject. Tutors and educators will also post their lectures or tutorials on YouTube. I’ve found success in finding math educators that will break down how to solve a complicated algebra or calculus problem.
Teach Your Children Organization
Benjamin Franklin once said, “You may delay, but time will not and lost time is never found again.” I think we’ve all suffered from the consequences of procrastination at some point in our lives. Especially when we crammed for an exam the night before it was administered. Fortunately for us, we can help our kids realize the importance of time management at a young age.
It’s important for parents to stay on top of their kid’s school schedule. Knowing when projects are due and when tests are going to be administered may seem like a tedious task, but giving our children a sense of responsibility and accountability will go a long way. Make sure to follow-up with them on how their homework is going and ask them if they feel prepared for their upcoming exams. Helping them allocate their time between schoolwork, studying and extra-curriculars will help them become a better test taker and time manager.
Establish a Relationship with Their Teacher
According to a Harvard study, establishing a good rapport with your child’s educator(s) has been proven to help students succeed academically. Make it clear to the teacher that they should contact you if your son or daughter is struggling in any way. Getting in front of any problem will save you a lot of time and headaches in the future. Additionally, you can let the teacher know how to offer your child constructive criticism. This will help your son or daughter develop proper communication skills.
Parent’s can’t take tests for their kids, but they can teach them effective habits to help them succeed. Helping your son or daughter use technology, manage their time effectively and assisting them in developing is a great first step in setting them up for success.