How to Help Your Kid Study for a Test
Fun, smart ways to help your kid study effectively for reading, spelling, math, science and social studies tests
Talk it out. Have your child review the major math concepts he's studying and either say them aloud or write on index cards the general gist of each topic. For example: "Factors are two numbers you multiply together to get another number: 2 x 3 = 6, so 2 and 3 are factors of 6."
Work it out. "Do actual problems on paper or a dry-erase board," says John Bass, a dad of two daughters and an elementary school teacher in Lake Oswego, OR. Have your child use problems from his textbook or go online to the publisher's "extra resources" site. Other online practice sites to try: Coolmath.com, Funbrain.com, and Mathcats.com.
Add color. When he's doing long division or other problems that require multiple steps, have your child complete each line or section in a different-color pencil.
Play "beat the buzzer." Julie Murray of Cary, NC, prints out the same number of problems that will be on her son Jayden's timed test (search online for "free printable math worksheets"). Then the 9-year-old has five chances to "beat" a timer set for five minutes. If your child gets frustrated about his progress, remind him that it's just a game and he'll become faster and better the more he does it.
Draw it out. Encourage your child to draw simple pictures (such as a rectangle with the length of each side marked for figuring out area or perimeter) -- while studying and on scratch paper during a test -- particularly for story problems involving shapes, sizes, distances, or lengths.