4 Tips To Prepare Your Kids for STAAR Testing

Updated April 2024

A few weeks ago, my middle school son had a benchmark test at school. As many moms know, these tests are the practice run for the state-mandated tests that infiltrate all our minds come spring. My husband tells him he needed to study so he was adequately prepared. Right away, I responded with a resounding “no.” These tests rule the lives of educators, students, and parents alike every single school year, and studying just isn’t needed. But, that’s not the only thing moms should bypass when it comes to these tests. As an educator and more importantly, a mom, I want to share with you four practical tips for preparing your kids for the STAAR test.

Talk With Your Child

Of course, we always promote talking to your kids and letting them know you’re their safe zone. But, when talking about these tests, these conversations should be minimal in number. Don’t start each day with STAAR talk. Instead, take cues from your kids and let them lead the discussions. If they seem anxious, discuss scenarios, and remind him/her of all the hard work they put in every single day. This talk is where you remind your child that you do not put any weight on this test. Remind them of where they excel and that alone makes you proud.

children in a classroom listening to teacher

Know Your STAAR Test Options

Please, oh please, talk about your options with a trusted, knowledgeable educator – not the mom in a Facebook group who heard from another mom that this test is…fill-in-all-the-blanks here. Find a teacher/administrator you know or who knows your child well. As a school counselor, I will gladly lend an ear and share the options that are true for your student. And if you notice your child’s emotions are heightened by this test, please talk to a professional – not the “experts” on social media.

Watch Yourself

Moms are in the business of worrying. This test should not be placed on that list of things that define us as parent or our kids as students. Don’t let them see you fret over this test, or they could feed off your emotions. Always make them that good breakfast. Always stick those notes of encouragement in their lunchbox. Always promote a good night’s sleep. Don’t explode these moments on a test day when the pressure is high for everyone.

sign with large pencil that says "Love to Learn"

Invest in School

Help them with homework. Encourage reading. Collaborate with the teacher. Don’t suddenly jump into these practices when the tests roll around. Those habits, when practiced year-round, boost confidence and enhance the entire school experience. Rushing into it late in the spring only makes this test seem like the number one reason kids are learning, and we all know that is far from the truth.

child writing with pencil on paper

And you know the rest of the tips they share right before the “big” day. Get good rest; eat a good breakfast. But, more importantly, spend your days being the best mom you are. Encourage, be an example, and trust their teachers. Remind yourself that the STAAR test is a measure of them in the moment; not who they are every single day.

Best wishes to all our Houston Moms. And to our sweet kids, you’re so much more than a test.

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Kim Reed
Kim R. was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana but is a Texan now! She graduated from Texas A&M University {Whoop!} in 1999 and moved back to Houston to start her high school teaching/school counseling career. That Houston move resulted in meeting a cute next door neighbor at her apartment complex who later became her husband. Kim and that cute neighbor moved to the Cypress in 2005 where they now raise Griffin {October 2008} and Emmy {August 2013}. Life has had some hardships, and Kim is open to sharing her story of enduring grief and encouraging moms to take care of their mental health. Her other passions include reading all the books, watching reruns of Friends, sweating it out at Orangetheory Fitness, and a good margarita. Kim also believes in working hard to make each day better than the one before. Read more on her blog – alwaysanewdayblog.com.



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