What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know by Connie Sokol & Rachelle Christensen [Read more…]
I have spent the past 2 weeks in constant, foggy motion. The Bald Genius was in the middle of a random desert for a military assignment, and I had to hunt him down to tell him the most unexpected news: his dad, Superkiddo’s favorite confidant, and my father-in-law, had been found deceased by emergency personnel. There are many gory details to go with that news, ones which I will continue to try not to remember or repeatedly replay, but the end results remain the same: he is gone. Amid the ceremonial and obligatory activities, our family has to face the reality of life without someone. This can be challenging for adults, but just imagine how daunting this is for a child.
Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math!
ROBOTS-4-U Summer Camps Now Enrolling
DYNAMIC ART & DESIGN Summer Camps Now Enrolling – Where Technology Meets Creativity!
www.dynamic-art-design.com @Robots4U #DynamicArt – Facebook.com/DynamicArtClass
Campers having a BLAST, while learning and playing in a dynamic environment. Learning about Robotics and Science, in an independent and exciting way!
Visit our WEB Sites www.ROBOTS-4-U.com and www.dynamic-art-design.com to see dates and locations for these day camps.
Robot / Science / Engineering / Day Camp / Challenges
– Camps Girls and Boys – Aged 7 to 14
– Robot Camps and Dynamic Art Camps offered during June, July and August
– Hands on Learning, Self-Paced. Beginners to Expert!
- 1 week (5 days) long
- Days: Monday to Friday Times: 9:00-11:30a.m. and 12:30-3:00 p.m.
- CAMPERS RATIO: 1 Instructor to 16 participants
- Register early as camps do fill up quickly!
- Each Camper Individually uses a ROBOTICS or DYNAMIC ART Kit. Robot kits do not go home with campers but are available for purchase
This post was made possible through a partnership with US Family Guide.
Many classrooms are preparing for annual standardized tests this month. There is much debate in the parenting community in regard to standardized tests, with many voices for and many voices against testing students. I believe that we should focus on giving our kids the best preparation and support for a successful outcome. If your students are testing this year, you may benefit from the following ways to prepare your kids for standardized tests.
5 Ways to Prepare Your Kids for Standardized Tests
- Preparation – Utilize your child’s teachers and the materials that are sent home with your children. Review any topics that are difficult for your child. Find ways to practice and improve in those areas. Ask your child’s teacher for practice tests and information about testing conditions so that you can replicate those conditions and have your child take a practice test. This will ensure that your child will be familiarized with how to approach the test. For example, if all of the exams are electronic, it would not be as helpful to practice on paper as it would be to take a practice test on the computer.
- Educational Games – Apps and games for kids are very popular right now, and the educational games can be very helpful when your child is preparing to take standardized tests. While designed to feel like play time to your child, these educational games can help to practice any areas that are challenging for your child and improve their testing scores. Learning from games helps children to create new connections with the material they are learning that they may not have made when learning in the classroom and completing homework. When you present the material to your child in different ways, they are able to develop a more thorough working knowledge of the subject.
- Sleep – Our bodies function best when we have adequate sleep and rest. Pay special attention to your schedule, especially during testing season, and make sure that your child gets to bed on time. Naps can still be appropriate if you have commitments that end late at night during the school week. Try to eliminate screen time, stimulating drinks, and anything else that interrupts your child’s sleep schedule. Maintaining a steady sleep schedule can be priceless for a child, especially during standardized testing.
- Hydration and Nutrition – Pay special attention to the nutrition and beverages that you are providing for your child, especially during testing season. As much as sleep helps our bodies to function the best, nutrition and hydration also have a very important role. Reduce or eliminate processed foods as much as possible – this may require preparing meals in advance and freezing them, or developing a menu plan if you’re rushed in the evenings. It’s especially important to ensure that your child is avoiding additives such as synthetic food dyes that can cause hyperactivity reactions in children. Also be sure to limit or eliminate sugar and/or artificial sweeteners. Be sure that your child is well-hydrated with water and limit other beverages including fruit juices. Eliminate any sodas or other beverages with caffeine to increase hydration and steer clear of additives and sweeteners.
- Remain positive – At the end of the day, regardless of the score that your child achieves on the test, it is an incredible feat for him or her to have sat through the testing. Avoid pressuring your child. When you are practicing for the test, limit the amount of time that you spend on practice. Try to spend more time on working together with and focusing on creating family memories with your child – that also happen to include practice, a point at which educational games can be very helpful. A great way to help your child is to practice gratitude – each night at bedtime, ask your child what 3 things that are thankful for that day, or ask what was his or her favorite part of the day. This can help set them up for a brighter day the next day, and it is a great habit to teach.
Whether you agree or disagree with the notion of using standardized tests to verify the education that our children are receiving, it is important that you are helpful and supportive when your child is in testing season. Preparing your child for taking standardized tests also helps to prepare him or her for the best possible outcome on the test. If they must take it, it is best if they are successful on the test! These 5 tips may be easy to incorporate into your life – or if they are a large variation from what you typically do, these tips may be difficult to follow. However, if you do follow the tips, you are setting your child up for the best possible testing experience.
There are many children who have difficulty taking standardized tests. Often when we hear of parents who are helping their child prepare for tests, we think of overachievers who are placing far too much pressure and stress on their child, focused only on achieving the top score. That does not have to be the case, however. Most children will benefit from practicing a test in the same environment, or as close to the same environment, as they will have when actually taking the test. It helps children to understand what will be happening, that way they are able to perform to the best of their ability on the test. To not practice and prepare your child for standardized testing can be a bit like setting him or her up for failure because it is a complete unknown to the child. No parent wants to have that situation in their child’s life, as we all wish to minimize the stress our children are experiencing in their daily lives.
In addition to these tips, it is also beneficial to create a regular schedule or routine for your child. Particularly during testing season, it is important to try not to change the schedule or routine. If change must be made, try to make it as minimal to your child as possible. Change can be very stressful for children, and a child who is stressed will simply not perform as well, particularly on standardized testing. It is a difficult enough measurement tool to complete for the child, that adding additional stress is not advised.
Best of luck to you and your child this testing season! Do you have any tips for preparing your child for standardized testing? Share them in the comments below!
I hesitated to post this today because it truly irks me when bloggers attempt to use tragedy to pump their numbers. You’ve seen the posts – whenever something awful happens, all of a sudden, a slew of bloggers become experts of hashtags and stats. This post isn’t an attempt to do that, but it was definitely inspired by the world’s loss of Stu Scott yesterday. I remembered his ESPY speech, and how he spoke of his daughters. It was heartbreaking. I also thought about how much I hate cancer.
Seriously. I HATE CANCER. That would be a completely different, and much longer post, so I will attempt to remain focused on today’s topic.
I can’t imagine ever leaving my kid behind, but the truth is tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. We don’t know how much time that we will have on this planet. In my opinion, that means that I should make every moment count. As a parent, I have to remember to be present. When? All day, everyday. It can be exhausting at times, but our children deserve our best attention, full focus, and zero doubts about how much we love them.
Have you ever watched other families in restaurants? How many are interacting with each other? Do you find that most are on their devices? I do, and it truly burns me up! I get that many parents have high pressure, on-call situations on their jobs. The Bald Genius is technically on-call all year, but when we sit down for a meal, phones aren’t touched. That is a no-no. Why? I believe that we have to be intentional about being present because it is far too easy to get distracted.
I don’t wish the pain of losing a loved one upon anyone; however, I hope that we can start learning from what is happening around us. As I said earlier, tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone. All we have is today, right now, so let’s make it count. I pledge to be intentional about being present with my family and loved ones. I encourage you to remember to make today, and every moment with loved ones count. Be present. Is it always convenient, or easy? No. Will it is cost us something? Yes. Will we have to sacrifice “me time”, or our favorite things occasionally? Definitely. At the end of your life, what will be said by your friends and family? Will they mention how often you updated your status online, or how many levels of a certain game you mastered? Or will they be able to honestly say that you lived life well, loved with all that you had, and made every moment count?
I hope that you will join me, in your own way, and pledge to be intentionally present with your family everyday.