It Takes A Village: Preparing for the PSSA at Home
You’ve heard it said that it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to prepare students for the PSSA. Teachers, specialists and students have been hard at work since August and now it’s your child’s time to shine. As parents you may be wondering, “What can I do at home to help my child prepare?” Well, you may not have realized it but you’ve already begun. You’ve prepared them by ensuring that they attended school regularly. You’ve sat with them while they completed their homework and prepared for tests. You’ve reached out to teachers with questions about how to help them be successful. You’ve provided books and magazines for your child to read at home, which helped them learn new words. So as the PSSAs approach, keep doing what you’ve been doing! In addition, here are a few ways that you can set your child up for success on the test.
Before the Test:
Build your child’s confidence by reminding them that this is their opportunity to show what they know. Remind them of their strengths. If you know your child has struggled in a particular area, you can help him or her by providing extra practice at home using workbooks, apps, or online resources.
Reduce anxiety. Keep conversations about the PSSAs encouraging and low key. Reduce anxiety triggers at home if possible, and familiarize your child with the testing schedule ahead of time. Everyone will feel a little better when they know what to expect.
On Testing Days:
Make every effort to keep these days as stress free as possible. As such, please avoid scheduling appointments during test days and arrive to school on time. Testing begins promptly at 8:30. Students that arrive late will not be allowed to enter the classroom and will need to complete the missed portion of the test on a make-up day. Also, make sure your child gets plenty of sleep in the days preceding the PSSAs and provide a good breakfast on testing days.
After the test, ask your child how they felt. What went well? What could have gone differently? Praise their efforts and reward their honesty. Then make time for some play and exercise, a hearty dinner, and a wonderful night’s rest. Remember, this test is just a tiny slice of a child’s academic portfolio. These tests can be viewed as a way to celebrate your child’s growth. It’s their opportunity to apply all the knowledge they’ve gleaned so far this year and demonstrate it in a formalized way.
Mrs. Lisa Krammes
ES K-3 Reading Specialist
Lehigh Valley Academy