CALMING AND MEMORY SKILLS AT KING

PRACTICE CALMING SKILLS IF YOUR PRETEEN SUFFERS FROM TEST ANXIETY

In elementary school, your child may have worried about getting a poor grade on a test--if he worried about tests at all. But in middle school, kids begin to have the sense that test scores can affect their futures. And some freeze up whenever a big exam, such as a standardized test, is put in front of them.
Help your child reduce test anxiety by reminding him to:

• Be prepared. He can ask his teacher for tips on what to study. Then he can study for 15 or 20 minutes a day—more if the test is coming up soon—as far in advance as possible.

• Talk to the teacher. If your child is especially nervous, he should share his concerns with the teacher, she may be able to talk to him about the test format and reassure him that he is, indeed, well prepared.

• Practice calming techniques. He can try deep breathing to take himself mentally to a relaxing place, counting backward from 100—anything that works for him. He can use these techniques before he studies and right before he takes a test.
The idea of standardized testing may make you jittery, too. But try not to pass that on to your child. Say something like, “You’re prepared and I believe you will do your best. I’m proud of you.”

Source: Leslie Garisto Pfaff, “Test-Time Jitters,” Parents, (Meredith Corp., 212-499-2000, www.parents.com). Reprinted with permission from Copyright © 2009 The Parent Institute


USE STRATEGIES TO BOOST YOUR MIDDLE SCHOOLER'S MEMORY SKILLS

Help your middle schooler remember the things she studies! To boost her memory skills:

• Be sure she understands what she’s studying. It’s tough to memorize something if you don’t know what it means in the first place.

• Set it to music. Help you middle schooler make up a tune or simple rhyme to remember names, dates or math formulas.

• Surround her with the material. Is she studying a certain history topic? Find books, movies and songs about that topic, too.

• Have her tackle the tough stuff first. When she’s studying at night, remind her to focus on the must remember topic first. That way, she’ll be at her freshest when dealing with the most critical material.
• Try visualization. Get your middle schooler to associate the thing she’s trying to memorize with a mental image. Have her close her eyes and picture what she is studying. A picture really is worth a thousand works (or facts).

• Make it personal. Ask your middle schooler to explain the topic she’s studying to you. Just putting it into her own words may help the concepts stick in her mind.

• Be thorough. Remind your middle schooler to read through all of her notes when she’s studying. Afterward, she can go back and reread the parts she’s struggling to recall.

Source: “10 Ways to Build Your Child’s Memory,” OxfordLearning.com, www.oxfordlearning.com/letstalk/howtostudy. Reprinted with permission from Copyright © 2009 The Parent Institute