My name’s Tom and I’m a proud father of three as well as a parent blogger at Diary of the Dad.
The dreaded SATs are on the horizon and teachers, parents and kids alike are already mentioning them in hushed tones!
My older son experienced the KS1 SATs a couple of years ago and, although he’s a very capable little lad, he became quite stressed about the whole thing.
His younger brother will be sitting them this summer and is very much in the same boat. I have no concerns about his ability, just about the worries the tests may cause him.
With all this in mind, here are my top tips for helping your kids prepare for SATs.
1. SATs aren’t a big deal
Strange though this statement may seem, SATs are more about testing schools than individual children.
Sure, you can find out whether your child passed them afterwards, but the results have no bearing on which secondary school kids will go to or anything like that.
I find that keeping this in mind makes me worry less which is important as kids really pick up on stress!
So, hopefully, when I discuss SATs with my son, he’ll see that I’m relaxed and take my lead.
2. It’s good to talk
My first tip leads nicely to my second – it’s so important to talk to your kids about SATs.
Of course, their teachers will have told them everything they need to know but reinforcing this at home can only be a good thing.
Much like reading together or helping with homework, it helps cement good practice.
Also, talk to teachers if you get a chance. After all, they’re in the best position to offer advice on areas for improvement.
3. Get some revision guides
While they’re by no means essential, I’ve always been a believer in getting a revision guide or two – and this goes right back to when I was at secondary school.
It’s logical really; they’re written by people who know what’s likely to come up in the exams, so they focus thoughts on what’s necessary.
My kids have always liked getting books like this. Even during summer holidays as, even though they won’t admit it, they miss exercising their minds while school’s out!
The Collins ones, for example, are great! They cover everything and my son is really enjoying using them.
They’re helping build his confidence and it’s brilliant when he points out things that he has learned in class.
4. Make it fun
Revision doesn’t need to be limited to the important traditional methods – it can be fun too.
Most children enjoy board games and there are loads which are great for honing English and maths skills.
My sons love playing Bananagrams and Monopoly, for example, so that’s two ways of stealthily keeping the necessary thought processes in mind!
5. On the week
During SATs week, I think it’s important to keep things as normal as possible.
Kids thrive on routine, so changing it to accommodate the tests could make them seem like a big deal.
Also make sure that kids get time to unwind after each test but avoid late nights. A bit of fresh air each day can work wonders too.