Education

State test prep starts at home

State testing will be conducted in schools next week, and while the kids have to take the test on their own, there are ways you can have them prepared before they walk out the door in the morning.

Teacher Shannon James said she has a few words of advice to get the kids ready for the big testing days.

“Make sure they get plenty of rest,” said James. “And no rushing to get to school.”

James said the rush of getting the kids to school makes them feel hurried and distracted when they arrive. You may want to leave a few minutes early in the morning of test day, even if that means going to bed a little early.

Not only does rest and routine matter, but James said that a healthy breakfast makes a big difference.

“Make sure they have a healthy breakfast. Nothing really fatty and greasy or sugary,” said James. “Foods like oatmeal and fruit allow the body to digest slowly, allowing the brain to focus on the task rather than trying to digest the nasty stuff. And everyone knows the sugar just gives them a quick energy, then its crash time right in the middle of the test.”

Registered dietitian Rebecca Turner recommended a quick and balanced breakfast for school mornings.

“The first thing I want parents to remember is that breakfast really is the most important meal of the school day in particular,” said Turner. “Plenty of studies have shown that kids who get a balanced breakfast get better grades and test scores, specifically in math as well as reading.”

She said that a balanced, healthy breakfast doesn’t have to be time-consuming or hard. It may just take a little prep the night before, or even on the weekend.

“Really you just want to nab three of the five food groups,” said Turner. “And you can do that and get out the door.”

Many meals can be prepared in advance and pack the needed nutrients.

“Just take a whole wheat muffin, a slab of peanut butter, and some cold milk,” said Turner. “Or you can some Greek yogurt, nail it with some berries and top it with granola.. put that in a sealed container and you’ve got a balanced breakfast for the whole family, then out the door.”

 

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