With NAPLAN putting a lot of pressure on the 3, 5, 7, 9 children (and their teachers) this term, I thought I would revisit the “Y” part of our YES Message, You Can Do It. As you know we encourage all their children to realize that they can do more than they think they can, by letting them know they can do it. Some things may be a little tough, but with perseverance and a little resilience; and some help from all us adults, they can do it. Sometimes the reason the children don’t do as well on a test as they should is because they decide that something is just too hard to do and so they don’t even try to answer the question. Needless to say this applies to more aspects of life than just tests. For example, no one just gets on a push bike and starts riding, they have to have a number of goes at it until they master not falling off. Same with tests, the children need to at least try or they will never be able to answer the questions. As I’ve said to my students in the past, “If you don’t answer a question, can you possibly get it right”? No, but if you have a go, you might just surprise yourself and get it right.
What can you do to help at home? First of all encourage them to have a go at all things. Let them know that if they keep trying and ask for help when they need it, they will eventually succeed. Let them know that they will not always get it right, but if they keep trying, they can do it. So with the NAPLAN tests for example, if they get a question wrong, that’s not the end of the world, at least they gave it their best try. Simply, encourage, encourage, encourage. If they know you are there supporting them, then they will keep trying.