Ways to Help Our Kids Get Through PARCC Testing

I’m not ashamed to say that school wasn’t my favorite place to go

Sharpened number 2 pencils in hand, two to be exact, a good breakfast and out the door and off to school for a full day of testing.Oh, how I dreaded those days.Although I cringed the days of testing, the apprehension was higher when the results were in.

I’m not ashamed to say that school wasn’t my favorite place to go, but I also can look back with slight regret wondering what if, things would have worked out differently?What if school had been my prized place to go.Knowing that dwelling on the ‘What ifs’ changes nothing, I keep those experiences in mind and I’m always looking for ways to help make my kids look at school differently than I did.

how I help my kids get through the testing as stress free as possible

This week many of our kids, grades 3rd through 8th and high school will begin taking the PARCC Tests. Short story long, PARCC is PARTNERSHIP FOR ASSESSMENT OF READINESS FOR COLLEGE AND CAREERS.That’s a darn mouthful.I’m not here to debate if this testing is beneficial or battle out my beliefs of the Common Core State Standards.I’m just here so I won’t get fined LOL.For real though, I’m sharing how I help my kids get through the testing as stress free as possible and hoping you may adopt some of my ideas or spark your creativity to come up with your own.

One thing I do to help my kids look at school differently than I did growing up, is by sharing some of my experiences with them, when I see them facing similar battles that I faced growing up.Of course when sharing my experiences I have to be selective with each child and make sure I share what’s age appropriate for them at the time.I think it also let’s them see that, although I’m a parent now, I’ve walked in their shoes and I know how this may be challenging for them.Hopefully this helps them feel comfortable and willing to come and talk to me when they need someone to talk to.

Another way I like to shine some light on my kids educational experience, is to make sure that when they’re testing, things on the homefront are as stress free as possible.Here’s 10 ways I do this and depending on what type of test and the severity of the stress it can cause, I may subtract a few or add some more.

Prayer

This is where I begin and this is where I end, praying with and for my children when they’re about to take a test.Although I pray for my children daily, taking their hand and letting them hear me pray for them is refreshing to their souls.Though they may not always say it, they have come to me later and said thanks for praying for me, mom.I’m thankful to the Lord for allowing me to come to Him with my concerns and when I see Him answer my prayers.

Practice

From spelling test to PARCC, practice, practice, practice.A few weeks ago we had a parent meeting at my daughter’s school informing us of what we needed to know before our kids took the PARCC test.That’s when we received website information for the practice test.Daily Jala spent time on the site taking the practice test and getting familiar with the type of questions that would be asked and how to solve them.We both thought it was helpful because it gave her and myself insight on the testing process ahead of time.

Breakfast

Let’s make sure they get a good meal before leaving the house while testing.Does this mean you have to cook breakfast every single morning?No, but if you want to go right ahead.You can also make breakfast ahead of time, a bowl of cereal, smoothie or some quick frozen breakfasts meals that you can heat up in the microwave will do.I also like to ask my kids what they’ll like in the morning.If they say cereal, cereal it is and they better not expect bacon, eggs, grits and pancakes, if they suggested cereal.

Snack

Seeing as though I like to have dinner done before the kids get home, eating dinner at 3 o’clock is a bit early.So, after a long testing day at school coming home to a refreshing snack always makes the day.Days like this really calls for a tasty smoothie, some fruit, yogurt or whatever snacks your kids enjoy.

Dinner

Ain’t nothing like a home cooked meal and what better way to end the day with dinner.

Get Clothes Ready for the week

Of course you can set out the clothes the night before, but if you can do it for the entire week…Do it!You’d thank yourself in the morning.

Hair

For us moms with natural brown girls, throwing the hair up in a ponytail…is as is as it gets.However, when I put Jala’s hair in a ponytail I have to do this every morning for the entire week.That’s when braiding her hair up into french braids trumps the ponytail. So, I shampoo and condition her hair.

Then, braid it into french braids and it’ll look beautiful the entire week.This helps make our mornings a breeze.

Go to bed early

Jala has a 9 o’clock bedtime.I’m sure that may be considered a bit late for some, but it works well for us.Every night about a half hour before bedtime, Jala gets some “ME TIME’.During this time she gets to either watch one of her favorite Youtube channels or have some reading time.This week this won’t change. She’ll have her “ME TIME” and she’ll go to sleep between 8 o’clock and 8:30 to make sure she get’s enough rest and she’s bright eyed and bushy tail in the morning.

Stress Free

Um, who doesn’t like a stress free home?I know I do and that’s one thing I’ve always strive to do was to create a peaceful atmosphere in our home.

Set Timers To Get To School On Time

Last and definitely not least, I set some timers to make sure our mornings are flowing smoothly to get the kids off to school on time.Who wants to get to school late and have to rush to get in their seat right before a test?Not me and our kids don’t either.Check out this post on how I set timers to stay on track.Not trying to toot my own horn, but I don’t think Jala has any tardies this year.Not bad for a mama that received detentions for being late all the darn time when I was in school.So thankful for maturity.

Hope this gave you some ideas on how to help your kids make it through PARCC testing and any other testing they may have coming up.What are some of the things you do to make sure your kids get through testing stress free?

 

Nicole

Helping Moms power on faith, Tune-In to family life, Flip through to do list, Turnip in the garden & tell you what’s on the Menu. Nicole is a wife, mother of 3 and a Chorkie. Blogging and vlogging about the things that she enjoys in life, her family, cooking, gardening, decorating, planning, crafts/diy, thrifting, giving roadside finds new life and more.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - Pinterest - YouTube

Print this entry

Flashback Friday: His Penmanship

It’s officially summer here and I ran across some of James’s old penmanship practice sheets.  I was prepping for Jala’s Summer Homeschooling and ran across this.

image

I can’t believe my only son will be in 8th grade next year.

Nicole

Helping Moms power on faith, Tune-In to family life, Flip through to do list, Turnip in the garden & tell you what’s on the Menu. Nicole is a wife, mother of 3 and a Chorkie. Blogging and vlogging about the things that she enjoys in life, her family, cooking, gardening, decorating, planning, crafts/diy, thrifting, giving roadside finds new life and more.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - Pinterest - YouTube

Print this entry

Kindergarten year in review

Seems like yesterday this cutie walked into her kindergarten classroom while I held back tears.

image

Armed with her book bag, she was ready for the classroom.

image

Jala loves being around people and LOVES to talk which is an understatement.  By the first week she had all her bffs picked out. Surprisingly, none of the names changed. She was consistent with her picks.

The highlight of the year was grandparents day at school.  Jala took her grandad to school with her.  Well, actually I think this was his highlight of the year.  That day my father took my iPad with him to take pictures.  His first time ever using an iPad.  He still talks about the kindergarteners in Jala’s class teaching him how to use the iPad.

image

We lost teeth this year.  Looks like she lost all 32, but losing those two front teeth will have you looking that way.

Colds, colds and more colds.  This was definitely our challenge this year.  Seems like Jala caught every cold and germ there was to catch.  Towards the end of the school year things were a little better until allergy season hit. 

She learned Mandarin Chinese the entire year and will continue to have Mandarin until she completes 3rd grade.  I think this is a great opportunity for the kids and worth our high price tax dollars.

Then there was last Friday

image

My beauty celebrated completing kindergarten.

image

A funny thing happened

The day before graduation, my mom was telling us that doctors aren’t shaking patients hands due to germs.  We discussed it a bit and gave our opinion.  After graduation Jala says, ” I didn’t shake Dr. Jones (the principal) hand because grandma told me not to shake a doctors hand. LOL

Love this kid. Congrats, baby girl on completing kindergarten.

image

Nicole

Helping Moms power on faith, Tune-In to family life, Flip through to do list, Turnip in the garden & tell you what’s on the Menu. Nicole is a wife, mother of 3 and a Chorkie. Blogging and vlogging about the things that she enjoys in life, her family, cooking, gardening, decorating, planning, crafts/diy, thrifting, giving roadside finds new life and more.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - Pinterest - YouTube

Print this entry

5 Questions to ask your Kindergartener while at Open House

Yesterday was Open House at my daughter’s Elementary School.  I’ve never seen a child so excited to go to Open House.  Of course she had no idea what to expect or what was going to take place. 

After we met with her teachers and she gave me a tour of her school, she still wasn’t ready to go.

We stopped by the library and she took a picture with Super Reader.  She came home with her first library book from school yesterday.  So, she wanted to make sure I saw the library.

image

A moment I thought was priceless was meeting her Mandarin Chinese teacher.  My daughter greeted her with, “Ni-Hao.” I think that’s what she said. LOL

Here’s a few things to ask your Kindergartener while at Open House or visiting the school.  I really think it’ll give you a great sense of how they’re adjusting.

1. Take me to your room.  Of course by now they know exactly where there room is, but this gives them a boost of confidence.

2. Ask them to introduce you to their teacher.  Again, you’ve more than likely met their teacher. However, allowing our children to learn communication skills early gives them a head start in life.

3. Where’s their seat?  When I asked my daughter to show me her desk, the pride in her eyes said it all.

4. What do you like to do in here (their classroom)?  My daughter shared with me that she enjoyed playing with some interlocking blocks. Similar to legos, but different.  Whatever that item or activity is, you may want to get them one for home.  If not, it just gives you a peak into what other things your child may be interested in. 

image

5. Show me around your school.  This was really important for me to see how my daughter adapts to a different environment.  How quickly does she catch on and how I may be able to let or help her navigate when we’re together.

She had an absolute blast at Open House and the chile automatically assumed it would be a routine.  Before she went to bed she asked were we going to Open House tomorrow. No, Dear. No, Dear.

What other questions have you or do you think would be good to ask your child when visiting their school?

Nicole

Helping Moms power on faith, Tune-In to family life, Flip through to do list, Turnip in the garden & tell you what’s on the Menu. Nicole is a wife, mother of 3 and a Chorkie. Blogging and vlogging about the things that she enjoys in life, her family, cooking, gardening, decorating, planning, crafts/diy, thrifting, giving roadside finds new life and more.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - Pinterest - YouTube

Print this entry

Home sick, Legos with Grandad & Labor Day

This past Friday my dad and grandma came over to visit before my daughter went back to school.  My youngest had to stay home because she was sick and had some play time with grandad. 

image

The beginning of the week she started having a runny nose. I was hoping we could make it through the week and she’d have the weekend to recuperate.  When I went to check to see if she was dressed for school, she was dressed laying in bed and weazing.  With that being said, staying home was a must.  I began giving her nebulizer treatments and by yesterday she was feeling better.

While my father was over on Friday my daughter wanted to play with her legos.  Before they began playing with the legos my dad told her to wait 30 minutes before they would start playing.  Of course she was anxious and impatient. So, I said, “I bet if I go get your boat he’ll play with you now.”  I went to get her new boat that her dad bought her a couple weeks ago……and my dad’s eyes lit up like he was 5 too. LOL he got up from the couch and started playing with her.

image

I told him that I was getting him legos for Christmas to keep his brain sharp 🙂  They also had a push up challenge and my old man beat them all.

image

My daughter left for Brooklyn to get more knowledge.

image

While NewYork stayed behind living the good life.

image

image

image

Oh and I refused to cook this Labor day and my labor was not in vain.  I went to get us Chipotle and sat up watching The Food Channel all day.

image

Now, back to life. Back to reality. How was your weekend and Labor Day?

Nicole

Helping Moms power on faith, Tune-In to family life, Flip through to do list, Turnip in the garden & tell you what’s on the Menu. Nicole is a wife, mother of 3 and a Chorkie. Blogging and vlogging about the things that she enjoys in life, her family, cooking, gardening, decorating, planning, crafts/diy, thrifting, giving roadside finds new life and more.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - Pinterest - YouTube

Print this entry