Believe it or not, another school year is coming to an end. At this time of the year students, families and teachers are trying to find the balance between finishing the school year strong, and looking ahead to summer. Our team of Educational Specialists recently shared their answers to some common questions parents have at this point in the school year.
Q: How can I ease my child’s anxiety about standardized assessments and end-of-year exams?
A: It’s not uncommon for some students to experience an increase in academic stress towards the end of the school year. This can be especially true if your child is preparing for cumulative exams. In the weeks before an exam, it’s helpful to encourage positive self-talk and model or practice relaxation strategies with your child. If your child receives testing accommodations, be sure to review them ahead of time so that they know what to expect on test day. Encourage them to advocate for themselves in regard to their accommodations and praise their efforts for using these supports.
This article provides additional ideas for parents on how to tackle test anxiety.
Q: My child had an IEP and is transitioning to middle school/high school next year. As a parent, how can I support a smooth transition?
A: Your child’s school should hold a transition IEP meeting that includes current school staff and in an ideal scenario, a teacher or representative from the middle or high school. During this meeting, discuss where and when individualized instruction will be provided. Also, consider appropriate classroom and testing accommodation revisions for the new grade.
This article is helpful for learning more about preparing for any IEP meeting.
Q: What sort of academic work should I expect my child to do during summer vacation?
A: By the time summer vacation rolls around, parents and kids alike are ready for a break! It is, however, important to encourage learning and provide opportunities to practice academic skills during the summer months. Our team suggests taking a more hands-on approach in lieu of a battle to complete worksheets or workbooks. For example, practice math skills by planning the grocery store weekly trip, using a set budget and then help prepare meals/dessert. Practice reading and geography by having children be a part of vacation planning. Make frequent trips to the library to find books of interest. Parents can also ask their child’s teacher about fun on-line programs as well.
If you have other questions about your child’s academic development and would like to meet with one of our Educational Specialists, our team offers virtual parent consultations. To schedule, visit our website to request an appointment online.