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10 Tips for Rocking the STAAR

JAN 21, 2020

STAAR testing is quickly creeping up on students, and teachers are pushing learning into high gear in order to cover all the subject matter for each test.
Unfortunately, this also means you child is probably starting to feel the stress and pressure of having to learn a steady flow of new information in subjects they may not be too comfortable with. That’s why your Sylvan Learning of Napa Valley is here with some tips to help you and your child prepare to rock the STAAR.
Tip #1: Make time for studying.
While the spring term can be hectic for students due to STAAR preparation, regular school work, and extracurricular activities, it’s still important to make some time to review STAAR test materials. Even 30 minutes a day can go a long way in helping your child get prepared. Divide the week into different subjects for a more comprehensive study plan.
Tip #2: Talk with your child’s teacher.
Now is the time to get in touch with your child’s teacher(s), while there is still some time left to get help. Share your concerns and find out if your child’s teacher has noticed any areas with needs for improvement. Ask about any tools you can use at home to get your child ready for the tests. If possible, request a handout with STAAR test-taking strategies.
Tip #3: Take advantage of school tutorials.
Teachers are always up to go the extra mile and frequently provide before-or-after school tutorials to help students master STAAR best practices. These sessions usually include content review and tend to be conducted in a small group setting, which means the teacher can focus a little more on individuals. If necessary, find out when tutoring takes place.
Tip #4: Don’t forget to give them breaks and rest.
The months leading up to the STAAR test can be an overwhelming experience, especially for younger children. With school, tutoring, homework, and the everyday hecticness that is family life, your child may not be getting the breaks they need. Make sure to give them a break every now and then, and pull them away when it seems like they are over-studying. A moment to play and get some ice cream can do wonders for your child’s energy.
Tip #5: Expose the monster that is STAAR.
While there is understandably a lot of emphasis on the STAAR, it’s important to demystify its scariness. The STAAR is simply an exam that your student has been studying for all year (whether they know it or not). Reduce some of their stress by reminding them that, “you’ve already done this.”
Tip #6: Unclutter the calendar.
As STAAR testing gets closer, you’ll want to begin limiting extracurricular activities so that they can focus on the task at hand. While a bit of downtime and fun can have a positive effect, you don’t want to continue into testing time with a calendar full of band practice, choir practice, dance practice, basketball practice, etc. Help them get serious by rescheduling as needed.
Tip #7: Organization is key.
Effectively preparing for the STAAR also requires organization. You don’t want your child to be flustered on test day, so start organizing today to get them use to the routine.
  • Having clothes and bags prepared the night before so there isn’t a morning rush.
  • Setting the alarm clock at least 10 minutes earlier so that there is enough time to eat and lose that morning grogginess.
  • Turning off electronics at night so that there are no distractions from a good night’s rest.
Tip #8: Parents need to encourage.
It doesn’t help your child when you are constantly worrying about STAAR. Whether you like it or not, your little one is going to pick up on your energy, and if you are panicky, then your child might just be the same. Encourage them, let your child know how much you believe in their abilities, and remind them that putting forth their best effort is more important than the grade.
Tip #9: Plan some rewards.
The road to scholastic success can be a rough journey, but you can make it an easier odyssey by having some rewards planned out. Consider planning a post-test dinner at a favorite restaurant, a weekend excursion, or a Friday night sleepover. The idea is to do a little bit of celebration for getting through the STAAR.
Tip #10: Remember that school doesn’t just happen during STAAR season.
STAAR is important, but learning takes much more time than just the few weeks leading up to the exam. Make sure that your family and your child are invested in education all year long by:
  • Attending class regularly.
  • Keeping up with homework and projects.
  • Participating in class.
The truth is that there is no secret formula to ace the STAAR. It takes time, work, and dedication to prepare your child for these exams. Remember that this doesn’t occur overnight. Be sure to make school a priority all year long and your child will be more than ready when testing comes along.
Your Sylvan Learning of Napa Valley is here to help your child rock the STAAR.
With our personalized programs, 3:1 student-to-teacher ratio, interactive learning system, and amazing environment, you and your child will love Sylvan. Get ready for the STAAR. Call us today (707)258-9000!

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