A final test and a lesson in one

Today we finished our end of the year CAT (California Achievement Test) for both our boys. Our 6-year-old didn’t legally need it, but I wanted to have him experience scan-tron testing and see where he was… it all was pretty silly to him and very simple. Good news for mom!

Our 10-year-old has pretty much never taken tests well, especially the TIMED ones! Yikes, his breathing becomes rapid, he stresses out and has to read everything twice to get it because he’s panicking so loudly he has no idea what he’s reading. He only legally has to test every other year in NY, we took our break last year so this was a “have to” year.  He did well on all of the tests, he’s obviously weaker in the language arts but I already knew that and it’s something we continue to work on so it’s not a concern to me. Math though, he’s a grade ahead in his math level and he still flipped out on the first math test. He got through it, and only missed one of twenty, but oye, the panic was heartbreaking to watch.

SO… we took a moment to pause and I explained to him how he is so strong in math skills and had 18 minutes to do 20 problems, some of which were 7×1 and 25×1 and 23×2, those should all take about 10 seconds to glance at and fill in the circles for so he’d have a whole minute at least for each problem that remained. He still wasn’t calm at this explanation so we took it further and I set my phone timer for a minute and asked him to look into my eyes for one minute.

We sat there staring into one another’s eyes for 60 seconds and I just kept thinking about how much I love him and how proud I am of him, how he’s growing so fast and our time is so precious. I love these learning moments together. He grinned at me and stared sweetly back for that whole 60 seconds, even asking toward the end if it was almost done. Lesson learned. A minute is a long time if we clear any panic and worry and just focus. 

He did his next test with another 20 problems and 18 minutes and finished in 12 minutes with a BIG grin on his face and he got them ALL right. Yay!

Take time for each one you love. What you have many not be much, but each minute counts.

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