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Write a Letter to Your Kids on Testing Day

Welcome back friends! I had a fantastic week in Northern California – travelling always inspires me. My cousin was absolutely stunning on her wedding day and I’m so glad we made it out there to celebrate with her:) That being said, i’m glad to be back and it’s a big week here in New York…

Tomorrow is the first of a string of 6 testing days in New York. Standardized testing has become an issue of controversy over the years. Regardless of your opinion (or mine) of standardized testing…I think we can agree on one thing: the level of anxiety that standardized testing brings forth is unpleasant. Kids, parents and teachers all feel anxiety before testing day. We can’t fix everything but here is one simple thing you can do to alleviate some stress for your child on the big day. Write your child a letter!

Why write a letter on testing day?

Kids and teens often experience high levels of anxiety on testing days. There is a lot of buzz around testing this year in particular. Perhaps it is due to the release of teacher scores in NYC, but either way…it is causing quite a hubbub. Many parents and teachers place a ton of importance on student test scores and this can be daunting for our kids. Writing a letter to let your child know that you are proud of him/her can have a huge impact on confidence. Right before the packet hits the table, a child can have a lot running through their mind. If they have just read a letter from a family member who is cheering them on, there is a greater chance that their thoughts will be positive going into the test and that can make a big difference.

What should I write in my letter?

Stay positive and keep it simple! This is not the time to give 101 reminders about things to do during the test. This is a time to say things like: “I love you,” “I’m proud of you,” and “I can’t wait to see you this afternoon.” You could also include one simple tip for test-taking that is specific to the test on that particular day. For example, if it is Day 1 of the ELA test, that means your child will be reading multiple passages so a strong tip might be: “If you get tired, take a 1 minute break and then go back to reading,” or “If you finish early, go back and double check your work.”

Sample Letters:

I know some family members who have written one letter for each testing day. You can do that if you want, or you can just write one. The big idea here is to let your kids know you love them and are proud of their growth as learners no matter what the outcome is on their testing day. We can all hope for the best, but we want our kids to go into the test knowing that they will be loved no matter what:) Good luck everyone!

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