PREPARE YOUR MIDDLE SCHOOLER FOR SUCCESS BEFORE & AFTER TESTS
Help your middle schooler do well both before and after a big test! To prepare him the morning of the test:
- Be sure he wakes up on time. Too much hurrying may frazzle his nerves.
- Give him a nutritious breakfast.
- Encourage him to dress comfortably.
- Sound upbeat and confident as you send him off,
And when your child returns home on test day? Be sure you:
- Ask him what he learned from the test. Were there surprises?
- Be supportive when he receives his grade—regardless of how things turned out.
- Speak with his teacher if you have questions about the results.
Source: “Test Wiseness Tips for Parents,” Challenger Middle School, San Diego, CA, www.challengerms.org/testing_tips.jsp Reprinted with permission from Copyright © 2009, The Parent Institute
LOOK FOR STRATEGIES TO HELP YOUR PRETEEN IMPROVE VOCABULARY
It is almost impossible to have a vocabulary that is too strong. The greater you child’s working vocabulary, the more he will understand higher-level conversations, a skill that will help him in high school and beyond. A stronger vocabulary can also increase his reading comprehension.
Encourage your preteen to:
- Read. Most of what your preteen reads should be easy for him. If he likes a book by a certain author, encourage him to read others by that author. If he has a special interest such as sports, suggest that he read a biography of a famous athlete. Every so often, encourage him to challenge himself by reading something beyond his reading level.
- Look it up. The dictionary remains one of your child’s most important tools. So is a thesaurus, a dictionary of synonyms. Keep these handy. Send your child to them whenever he meets a word he doesn’t know.
- Practice. It is a great start when your child finds the meaning of a new word. But that new word will soon be lost to him if he doesn’t go any further than that. Remind him to use the new words he learns when he speaks. If he feels awkward about practicing with other, ask him to practice with you. Compliment him for strong vocabulary. For example: “You sound like a college student.”
- Speak. Talking comfortably with his peers is an important social skill. But it may not do much to increase your child’s vocabulary. He should talk often with adults in your community. Be careful not to “do the talking for him” when he is around adults.
Source: Eric Jensen, Student Success Secrets, ISBN: 0-8120-9488-3 (Barron’s Educational Series, 1-800-645-3476, www.barronseduc.com). Reprinted with permission from © Copyright 2009, The Parent Institute