In the world of children, testing is one of the hard things they are required to do.
I was opposed to testing and the stress that it causes. I tried to shelter my now adult children from any and all stress, but have since changed my view.
Doing hard things gives us the confidence to know and trust in our own ability to do hard things. Simply reading about hard things or seeing someone else do hard things doesn’t give us confidence. True growth comes from doing.
One of my children struggles with anxiety. Testing is just one of those anxieties. Over time, she has slowly developed confidence in her own abilities, thus decreasing some of that anxiety. Our initial testing experiences were hard. We focused on the fact that she simply had to do her best. Everyone’s best is different. I explained to her that the purpose of a test is to simply find out what you know or don’t know as to better be able to help you grow. The test isn’t only for the child, but for the teacher. The child benefits from the experience of doing something hard. The teacher benefits because they can see how their teaching methods are working and where adjustments or repeat lessons need to occur.
I have another child who, in her mind, needs to get 100% on all her work. Testing is hard for her as she grapples with the fact that no one is perfect.
I also have a set of twins that strive to be the same. They work hard to keep up with each other, do everything together, and like to dress the same. Testing points out their differences and helps them learn that it is ok to be an individual.
Each child learns a different lesson from the process of taking tests, but each lesson is important. The test results are helpful for the adults, but the test-taking process is growth for the child.
Life is full of things that are hard, but it is the confidence in ourselves that enables us to move through the hard things with grace.
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