Do YOU stress when your kids test? It’s CRCT time!

My first grader had three days of testing last week and my third grader has 5 days of testing this week. The testing lasts about three hours each day.

The third-grade CRCT really matters because it will decide whether they are promoted to fourth grade.

I worry about getting them to bed on time, getting a good breakfast in them and getting them off to school in a good mood because those are things I can control.

I don’t worry so much about their knowledge for the test but I do worry about them phasing out, especially in first grade when the teachers read the test to them.

Is your stomach in knots knowing your children are testing at school? What part do you stress about if any?

Do you stress about the upper grades instead of the lower grades because those tests seem to matter more or for the lower grades because they don’t know what they are doing?

63 comments Add your comment

Jeff

April 20th, 2010
6:43 am

I think you’re making too much of it.

Ditto, Jeff...

April 20th, 2010
6:56 am

…Theresa is a wonderful person and an excellent mom, but she is VERY “helicopter” oriented…but good luck to all the parents who will be stressing out while their kids are looking at this as “another day at school”…

Jeff

April 20th, 2010
7:11 am

I’m not trying to take a shot at TWG, I think she’s reasonable and does the right thing more than most. I just think this is one of those things that we disagree on. But that’s why she gets to parent her kids and I get to parent my daughter.

G.R.I.T.S.

April 20th, 2010
7:16 am

theresa you need to relax hun. itll all be ok!! really!!

G.R.I.T.S.

April 20th, 2010
7:20 am

i think the only ‘test’ i can remember stressing over was the senior exit project my daughter had to do before she could graduate. it was HUGE-a 10 page paper, a power point project, plus her project wsa on ethnic cooking and she had to cook 7 dishes to be served to the judges the morning of the project. it was pretty stressful mainly because she chose the cooking thing and had to cook all that stuff the day of the project instead of choosing something she could work on and be done with before time. as far as tests, the more you stress the more the kids will….

motherjanegoose

April 20th, 2010
7:25 am

I do not stress over my kids taking a test. I am obviously concerned for them and hope that they will do well. My son took a test in Pharmacy School yesterday. He told me he pulled an all nighter studying and he got an 86. I am so happy I do not have to take the tests that either of my kids take …my grades would not be where there grades are, as the subjects are too tough for me and I cannot stay up all night! I will stick with my suitcases and Delta!

Alecia

April 20th, 2010
8:03 am

I do not stress out about the test. The school does that for me. They spend a whole month working soley on the CRCT and consume every educational moment with the test, so I don’t have to. It’s also the school’s ambition to make sure that those without test anxiety have it before taking the test. I agree with Theresa on testing first graders. If they cannot read they should not be taking the test. Reading the test introduces too many variables like, teacher’s dialects and phasing out. If the student gets anyone that grew up in South Georgia, speaks ebonics, or is from the Bronx, they are **@@##. Also, part of the test is reading comprehension. Doesn’t reading the test for the reading comprehension section negate the point?

Becky

April 20th, 2010
8:03 am

No reason to stress over something that you can’t change.. The only thing that bothers me is watching the girl upset over taking these tests..She told me Mon. that she was worried that she wouldn’t pass the test..It’s tought to see a first grader upset over test..Of course, she told me Sun. that she had passed it, so that was worth it..How long does it take for them to actually find out, does anyone on here know that? This is my first time being hands on for this test..

JJ

April 20th, 2010
8:10 am

Never. Stress is NOT a part of my life, or my child’s. I won’t allow it. I don’t stress over ANYTHING…….nothing is worth getting my blood pressure up. It’s all good……

Roswell Jeff

April 20th, 2010
8:10 am

There is not much you can do about it, so why stress? You work with them from the beginning of the school year and try to prepare them the best you can. That’s all you can do. If they don’t do well, then it’s obvious they need some help in certain areas and you provide for that and move on.

Andrea

April 20th, 2010
8:14 am

@Becky – the results should be back within a couple of weeks. Most school districts give the opportunity for retests before the school year ends.

I don’t stress over the test. Test taking is a skill and once you acquire that skill, the test itself doesn’t seem so daunting. I am amazed at how many schools literally teach the test. They literally teach the questions from the test. Sure the main names have been changed (Nancy is now Bob, etc.) but the schools are teaching the test. I feel bad about that because it seems our educators have to focus on these tests instead of educating the kids. These tests are not the only measurement for the success or failure in the classroom. Oh well, off my soapbox now……..

TWG: Don’t stress it, it will be fine. Your kids could pick up on your anxiety.

motherjanegoose

April 20th, 2010
8:36 am

@ JJ…stress is a big part of my life.

Perhaps because I work with so many variables and when I am in charge of a meeting I want it to go perfectly, as it reflects on me. Perhaps, if Ii went to the same place every day, at the same time, my life would be so much easier BUT I would not have had the chance to meet all of the wonderful people who have shared so many neat things with me. For that, it is somewhat worth the stress.

Stressors:
Driving ( during rush hour) from Gwinnett to Cobb and being 3 miles away from a school to find out a road is closed and I will need to go another route and now be late.

Realizing my flight is delayed or worse canceled and I have folks waiting for me in another state.

Arriving at a college campus and not knowing where I need to be…I asked for a map and they told me the campus was so small it would be NO problem to see the building when I pull in.

Last week, I asked someone where the FED EX was and they told me it was facing Sam’s Club, in a strip center…I could not miss it. I drove down the street looking for signs and all around where I thought it should be. …..nothing. FINALLY, I slowed down and drove through parking lots to see that YES Sam’s Club USED to be there but was closed up and there were absolutely NO signs whatsoever
…I only recognized the building as the same shape and size of a Sam’s club and VOILA…I then saw FED EX.

My husband rarely stresses about things and neither do my kids. I think they got his genes there and I am happy for them.

To me, some folks stress and some do not. Some situations are more stressful: some folks stress just about driving on the interstate in Atlanta or going to the airport. This is not stressful to me. it is also not stressful to stand up and talk to 300 teachers for 5 hours but if I cannot find my keys….STRESS!

T…does Michael stress about this or just you. My husband would not…just wondering.

I admire those who say they never stress….I cannot fathom it.

I do know kids can tell if we are stressing and I am not sure this would help them on any test JMHO.

Photius

April 20th, 2010
8:36 am

Parents who stress out over their child’s performance often times pass the same crazy trait onto them. Cheers~

A

April 20th, 2010
8:48 am

Theresa, again you’re stressing over things that don’t need to be stressed over. Of course we parents think about our kids sitting there testing – especially in my case since my 1st grader went through CRCT for the very first time last week – but you can’t stress over things like this. You have to be confident your child is prepared, and since testing is something they’ll be dealing with for many years in many forms, they need to start somewhere and have this experience without seeing their parents freaking out.

JJ

April 20th, 2010
8:51 am

MJG – I don’t stress in situations that are out of my control. Road closures don’t stress me, I think of it as an adventure, therefore I never get lost. Traffic doesn’t stress me, there’s nothing I can do about it. So I listen to music or have “JJ” time where I can think about things, plan things, etc. I carry a book and my iPod with me everywhere I go.

It’s all how you look at situations. I used to be a control freak and wanted everything to go according to MY plan. But that doesn’t always happen. So I decided to quit trying to control everything around me, and stepped back and just relaxed. I cannot control others, I cannot control traffic, I just can’t control this world. So I chose to relax and enjoy my life.

Just last night I was talking to a friend, and I decided that now I am over 50, it’s time to do things that I have been wanting to do. One of the things I really want to do is buy a small camper that I can hitch to my SUV and I want to take my dogs and go camping.

I want to take little weekend trips. There is so much of Georgia that I really have not seen, even though I have lived in this state over 32 years. There’s a western museum in Cartersville I have read about and I want to go see. I love to watch PBS on Friday nights, and watch Georgia Traveler.

It’s JJ time now. “No stress, no drama” is my mantra….

Annie

April 20th, 2010
8:55 am

My parents never had us stressing about testing in school; it was treated as just another day and nothing more, no matter how big or how small the exam was. All of us sailed through school and never had an issue with taking exams, unlike others I knew who would stress to the point of migraines.

Theresa, the teachers are there to educate and prep for exams; you stressing is putting unnecessary pressure on the little ones. If you simply act like it’s just another day, they’ll react the same way and testing will never been an issue for them. You don’t need the kids to buckle under the pressure of another test, as it will reflect in their grades.

JJ

April 20th, 2010
9:04 am

Just make sure they get a good night’s sleep and a good hearty breakfast. Which should be every day, not just test days……

motherjanegoose

April 20th, 2010
9:11 am

@ JJ…being self employed and knowing you will perhaps not get paid if you do not show up at the right place and the right time can be stressful to me.

If I am frequently late it will be my adventure too as my clients will not rehire me ( even though it is not my fault). Just the way it is in my line of work. I accept it and know they expect me to do what Ii said I would do and at the time we agreed on. That seems reasonable.

Maybe others who are self employed feel the same way or is it just me?

It is not an adventure ( to me) when I am roaming around in neighborhoods and knowing that the Kinders do have to eat lunch (at a certain time) and if I am late they will not be able to see me nor will I get paid, AFTER I DRIVE IN TRAFFIC FOR AN HOUR.

I take what I do very seriously ( love it too) and want everyone to be pleased with the outcome. Yes, I am a perfectionist ( which contributes to stress) My clients tell me; ” we know when we hire you, it will be done right and you WILL be there…”

I admire those who can just relax but it is not me…especially when I am contracted to work for someone else….I want things to go exactly as the client expects them to go, since they are paying me for my services.

Outta’ here…have fun all!

Becky

April 20th, 2010
9:16 am

Thanks Andrea..

MJG..I stress about some things, but not a lot..Again, why stress over things that I can’t change..

JJ..The western museum is called Booth Western Museum..When you get there look for an exhibit by Eric Strauss..He does some really nice work..There is also a new Science Museum up toward Dalton that jsut recently opened..I think it’s The Tellius (sp) Science Museum..You are so right, that there is so much to see and do in GA., so when you start all of your traveling, enjoy..

Lori

April 20th, 2010
9:21 am

If you stress, then your kids will stress. So I think it’s best just to make sure they have a good breakfast, kiss them goodbye and say have a nice day, just like always!

TechMom

April 20th, 2010
9:28 am

I find all the hoopla over standardized tests a bit funny. We took standardardized tests growing up and not one time do I remember the teachers talking about it more than a week before the test. They did not focus on the test all year; they simply taught the curriculum and then told us we’d be taking the standardized test the following week so we should be on time, bring pencils, eat breakfast, etc. Usually the day before the test the teacher would explain the process so we would know what to expect and go over a few practice problems. I never had test anxiety but the CRCT has such greater implications now for kids & teachers, it’s a no wonder they’re stressed about it. I would venture to guess though that 80-90% of kids don’t need to stress about it and would probably perform better if we didn’t make such a big deal out of it. The rest would probably still be better served if all the time spent ‘teaching the test’ was actually spent teaching skills and knowledge areas that will allow them to pass the test anyway.

Jesse's Girl

April 20th, 2010
9:32 am

I teach the kids to roll like their mom……don’t worry about what you cannot control! This is not a study-type-test. They are all A students….and the teachers are made to review for it so much anyway…it is what it is. Feed em’ and ship em’ off with a kiss and a hug.

DB

April 20th, 2010
9:42 am

Never, never, never did I ever stress out about my kid’s testing. We had standardized tests, but not the CRCT. And the school found themselves under the microscope if the scores in a particular subject were uniformly underperforming, so there was accountability both ways. Fed ‘em (like I did every morning for 18 years), fussed at ‘em to get ‘em to bed at a decent hour, and tried to keep things relatively calm in the morning — and after that, they’re on their own.

Why stress about things that are completely out of your control? If they do well, then hooray. Big whoop. If they don’t do well (and define “well”, if you please), then what are you going to do? Ground them until next year? Use the information to enrich their learning over the next year, and DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT.

I think putting this much emphasis on a test is nuts. Thank goodness private schools didn’t have this crap to deal with.

momofone

April 20th, 2010
9:42 am

The only thing that stresses me out about the CRCT is how it has affected my daughter. I agree with Techmom that there is too much focus on this test. She has worried about this test since she was in kindergarten because of the teachers, other kids and parents talking about it. She told me she didn’t want to go to first grade because she didn’t want to take the CRCT. Now why would a kindergartener need to worry about that?? Especially a bright, strong student?

She’s now in second grade and has made the comment that she doesn’t want to go to third grade because the test will be longer and harder next year.

All I could do was tell her she would do fine on the test and not to worry so much. Her scores were excellent last year and she was even moved into the advanced class for one subject but again, she worries this year.

I understand that a certain amount of testing is necessary but I think the focus on this test is too extreme and it has a negagive impact on many students.

JJ

April 20th, 2010
9:47 am

Thank you Becky. The name just didn’t come to me when I was posting. I read about it in Points North magazine. I love that publication!!! And it’s free!!!!!

Nadia74

April 20th, 2010
9:54 am

Theresa, can you find my comment? It is not showing and won’t let me repost, saying it is a duplicate.

Mom

April 20th, 2010
9:54 am

I do think the teachers have added enough stress of their own. My 3rd grader told me last night that if he didn’t pass, he wouldn’t be going to 4th grade. WHAT???? He’s a straight A student. I told him that he’s going to 4th grade either way so do his best. See – even if the school tells you that the child cannot move to the next grade if they don’t pass, what they don’t tell you is that it is only one factor in the promotion process. If you don’t stress out over it, they will realize that they don’t have to either. It’s just another day…

stepmom2

April 20th, 2010
10:00 am

I agree with TechMom. The only test we took was the ITBS and we never thought about it until the week before when they let us know that we would be testing and to get a good nights sleep, eat breakfast, etc. There is no need for these kids to be so concerned about taking these tests. They spend so much time trying to get these kids ready for the CRCT that they don’t spend near as much time as they should actually teaching them anything they might need to know.

Andrea

April 20th, 2010
10:20 am

I think the teachers/administrators are so stressed about these tests now because their jobs depend on it. It doesn’t matter how beloved one is, if that school does not perform and the school loses one dollar, staff will be replaced. That stress is passed on to the kids.

DB

April 20th, 2010
10:30 am

@JJ: I had a friend ask me last week, “How did you learn not to let stuff get to you? You are so calm about stuff that freaks me out!” I told her that one, part of it was age (over 50 as opposed to late 30s), two, it was learning the difference between what mattered (my family and just a couple of other things) and what didn’t, and three, getting to the point where anyone else’s opinion just doesn’t matter.

Goodness, I love being in my 50’s! It’s so freeing!

HB

April 20th, 2010
10:34 am

You were close, Becky. It’s Tellus Science Museum, also in Cartersville. I haven’t been, but I hear good things. I believe the hands-on science center is sort of an expansion of what was once the Weinmann Museum, a natural science museum focused mostly on minerals/gems. I’m pretty sure there’s a Weinmann mineral gallery in the new facility. If y’all go, please report back!

MomsRule

April 20th, 2010
10:53 am

Absolutely not. No stress in our home regarding these tests. We actually have a little surge of energy surrounding the entire week. Easy/fun week at school and no homework! (per my kids) — middle schooler did have math homework though :)

I am of the opinion that the schools go over the top stressing the kids and put way too much time into “teaching for the test” vs teaching academics.

Last week in our elementary, I could have checked my child out every day at 11:00. And yet, most of the kids I know were playing their parents with how long and hard their day was. Some of the boys tried this on me at baseball practice. I responded, “Oh please! You were done by 10:30 this morning, who are you trying to kid?” To which I received big smiles. LOL, gotta love em.

I think it is silly to be sending in water and healthy snacks all week for something that takes a couple of hours each day, in all the schools I know, the rest of the day is mostly play time. I always contribute to support the teacher and children but I still think it is silly. These kids have snacks everyday already.

I love that some of the schools are allowed peppermints and peppermint gum chewing during testing because it is helpful for their brains. Really? If it is so beneficial, shouldn’t this be a daily thing?

The only thing that changes for us during CRCTs is homework levels. Good nights rest? We follow this every school night. Good breakfast? Every morning.

Kris

April 20th, 2010
10:54 am

Totally off topic, but since JJ and Becky mentioned it, how about ideas for places to see and things to do in Georgia? I, too, have lived here all my life but know that there are plenty of places I haven’t been. Summer
vacation is coming up for the kids, and some one or two day trips closer to home might be more economical for us. Thanks!

RJ

April 20th, 2010
11:29 am

I refuse to allow my kids to be stressed over this test. They are simply told to do their best. I’m more concerned with their grades. Trust me Theresa, your kids will do just fine.

Meme

April 20th, 2010
11:39 am

What a great idea, Kris. I will have the grandkids here for part of the summer and would love to know of places to take them. They are 3 and 5.

Kris

April 20th, 2010
11:41 am

BTW, did not mean to hijack today’s topic. Just a suggestion for maybe a Fun Friday topic.

Andrea

April 20th, 2010
11:46 am

To respond to the off topic post – If you check groupon, they had a coupon for a family membership to Fernbank for $42.

There is a great kangaroo park that is in Dawsonville also.

flwrgrl

April 20th, 2010
11:49 am

@JJ, @Becky, etc, re: Cartersville. I grew up in C’ville and there are many great places to visit. Try to go early and see the Booth Museum first (it’s not just Western Art, they have a whole hall on Presidential Exhibits with something from each President), then make time for lunch at the 4-Way Cafe a few blocks from the museum. Ask anyone and they can tell you how to get there. It is C’ville’s version of the Varsity. Order the chili burger all the way, it’s to die for! There are many neat shops around the 4-Way, if you are so inclined. After lunch, you can visit the Etowah Indian Mounds, about 5 miles out of town. It’s a wonderful musuem on the life of the early Indians in the area, and has several mounds you can climb. Then head back north up 75 and see the Tellus Museum. It is great! There are many exhibits to tour during the day, especially on minerals and early motor vehicles, and they have a children’s wing with activities for the kiddies. You can spend a whole day there, or stop on your way up 75 when you are en route to vacation, etc.

HB

April 20th, 2010
12:03 pm

Kris, you may need to make it three days, but I highly recommend the Golden Isles. I love St. Simons, which is nice and has fun shopping and restaurants, but for a kid-centered trip, I think Jekyll is the better choice. Biking over there is great and the trails have long stretches with no streets to cross (plus, there’s really not much traffic to begin with). Beach is easily accessible. Summer Waves is a fun little water park, and the new Sea Turtle Center is fantastic. It’s really a great, easy-to-get-around spot with plenty to do with kids for 2-3 days without leaving the island.

Cammi317

April 20th, 2010
12:05 pm

I will be a little “concerned” on the days where she tests on the Science and Math sections, but otherwise, no. Today is Reading and she will breeze right through there as well as Language Arts and Social Studies on those days. Math and Science take a little more concentration, but I expect her to do well nonetheless.

JJ

April 20th, 2010
12:23 pm

Kris and MeMe, Callaway Gardens down in Pine Mountain is great and can be done as a day trip, although we like to spend the night in Pine Mountain (The gardens are very expensive to get a cabin or stay in the hotel on the property). It’s a little expensive to get into the gardens, but well worth it. There’s plenty to see and do, especially with the kids. They do have a lake with a beach area.

There is also a Wild Safari in Pine Mountain, where you can ride in your own car, or in a “bus” through the animals. The animals are pretty tame and will eat right out of your hand.

Warm springs is a cute little town, with the hot springs that FDR loved so much, and The Little White House.

St,. Simons is beautiful. I want to one day retire there. I’ll be there in September on girlfriend weekend. I haven’t been there in about 5 years.

Beach and Water Park at Lake Lanier.

Helen is fun for the kids. Do an overnighter there, and stay at the Unicoi Lodge. The rooms have lofts for the kids. And you get a free breakfast buffet for two in the mornings in the Lodge.

There’s some ideas to get you started…..maybe this can be a Friday topic….????

almh

April 20th, 2010
12:27 pm

I think the stress comes from the school systems and works its way down to the kids. I think AYP is based in part on CRCT but I could be wrong. My oldest is in kindergarten so it’s not an issue this year.

We took the 5 and 3 year old to Tellus and they loved it. They have a big pit to dig for dinos and you can pan for minerals. GA Tech’s solar house is there too. Well worth the drive.

Panda8

April 20th, 2010
12:29 pm

If parents freak out too much about the tests, it is no wonder some of the children get scared and then cannot do well.
Make sure they go to sleep on time, get them breakfast, make sure they have any needed supplies and forget about it.

Dar

April 20th, 2010
12:35 pm

Maybe I do stress a little bit too much, but I think I do it to try to impress on my son how important school/grades/tests are because otherwise he is just TOO calm. He makes all As and Bs, but struggles with Math, so I have him tutored twice per week after school by a teacher (before anyone starts – I pay for it out of my own pocket, it is not from your tax dollars). This is not a “need to pass” year, but if he doesn’t pass math he will have to tutor twice a week through the summer or elect the month of summer school — my rules, his choice of tutor or summer school. Math is just way too important as far as I am concerned — even with the insane way they teach it now — because it builds on itself year over year and if you don’t master it now you will suffer for the rest of your educational career.

Becky

April 20th, 2010
12:47 pm

Also, this could just be my opinion, but anything in Savannah is worth seeing..

In the Atlanta are..CNN Center..The Jimmy Carter Library..World of Coke..The Atlanta History Center..

@JJ..Love the Pine Mtn. area and Calloway Gardens..The Little White House is a great place to take kids..

In North GA..Cloudland Canyon..Fort Oglethorpe..Fort. Mtn. Tallauh Gorge..Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park..

ntpn

April 20th, 2010
1:05 pm

My first grade son was worried about the test. I told him that I didn’t care how he did on it. It upset me that the school put all this pressure on him.

He finished it yesterday and says, “Dad, it was so easy. i think I got a 100″

So, apparently the test is very simple.

I’ve never heard one person say anything positive about No Child Left Behind. Why not just repeal it if its universally agreed upon that it is a bad idea.

FCM

April 20th, 2010
1:09 pm

ROFL…..We had this discussion today in the car. Apparently the kids’ were comparing notes and many of their peers have parents like Theresa.

Like Jeff (1st post) I think those parents are over stressing it.

We were students once. Either they know it or they don’t. No amount of extra sleep or whatever is going to make them know it. A big breakfast is likely to make them sleepy (especially if it is full of carbs), a change in rotine (early bed) is likely to create issues, it is crazy to make that much out of this.

Get them on a routine early and stick too it. In fact I RELAX the rules around CRCT time…Bedtime/Wake up is still a hardline. Chores are reviewed to make sure only the essentials happen…then they get the pleasure of “catch up” later. I even cut slack on the DEAR Time. I let them play instead.

A child who learns not to over stress the test is going to do well and be more mentally perpared (opinion). Additionally, I want them to meet challenges head on with a clear thought process, not get stressed over them…

“It is what it is”

FCM

April 20th, 2010
1:26 pm

@ DAR “Math is just way too important as far as I am concerned — even with the insane way they teach it now — because it builds on itself year over year and if you don’t master it now you will suffer for the rest of your educational career.” You get a vote for GREAT MOM! I struggled with Math like crazy…I passed (barely) the requirement to graduate College with a BS (Pol Sci). As many here know I went to back to get another degree (BBA) and I have math this Semester it is KILLING me…I wrote my prof after the last test and said “Ok, not as good as I thought worse then I hoped. Since Math is a building item how do I have a hope of doing better on the next 2 tests.” Believe it or not it is not an uncommon issue, because it DOES build and missing a “block” weakens the foundation. SO you get GREAT MOM because you recognize it and work on it….BTW my prof says the only way to learn math is to work problems over and over again until it sinks through (concrete maybe?).

HB

April 20th, 2010
1:48 pm

I love Callaway/Warm Springs! Also, if you do head toward the coast, or anywhere else down 75, High Falls is a great place to stop for a picnic and maybe a short hike — there’s an easy, short trail that starts near the main parking lot and goes down stream a little ways. The Ocmulgee Indian Mounds in Macon are great to visit with kids too — I think that exit is off of 16 just after you pass through town, maybe a couple of miles past the Colliseum. Not sure, though. I haven’t been there in years.

Polytron/E2M Sucks

April 20th, 2010
1:49 pm

I haven’t been to Warm Springs but my mother went. She said it was nice.

I do enjoy a relaxed atmosphere to travel to.

Any other travel places to suggest?