We all want to see our kids score great results on tests and exams, but sometimes that isn’t the most important part of the learning journey. Particularly in primary school tutoring, we believe it is more important to build base writing and maths skills and track improvement in these areas rather than relying solely on exam results to see how children are going at school.
Here’s a list of 5 reasons it is more important to build writing and maths skills than worry about exam results.
Building Broad Skills and Forming Habits (It pays off!)
Primary school tutoring, when done properly, should focus on learning broad skills to benefit a child throughout their education, not just cramming for one exam. A child who learns effective methods of studying, exam techniques and time management is going to achieve better results in the long run than a child who gets some good marks in primary school but doesn’t really understand why they got those results.
When children understand how to best approach their learning and truly understand the basics of writing and maths, they’ll start forming the right habits to carry them through future years of study – not just for one test.
Confidence Counts (Big Time!)
Let’s face it – exams and tests can be hard. They’re stressful and put kids in a position where they feel pressured to be perfect. Coping with the pressure of exams is a skill in itself, and the techniques required to study and prepare for them is something primary school tutoring can help with.
In some respects, children aren’t in control of their test results. They’re responsible for how they approach their school work, their attitude to learning and their effort – but they should never feel like they are their exam results. Poor exam results can damage a child’s confidence, and children who lose confidence in their school work can suffer from difficulty in future learning.
Track Improvement, Not Results
It’s more important to see your child making steady improvements throughout a school year rather than scoring well on one test. This is because it shows qualities like focus and effort.
If you’ve realised your child may be struggling in primary school, it may simply be a case of filling a few knowledge gaps and getting them back on track with some primary school tutoring. Once they’re motivated to learn, it’s much more important to see them improving their understanding of writing and maths concepts consistently throughout their schooling rather than just acing one exam.
Praising Effort Rather Than Results
If you have a child who loves going to school, puts effort into their work and shows pride in what they’re learning, how much sense does it make to judge them solely on a Naplan test result? None. It only serves to put a dent in their confidence.
Instead of scolding a child for messing up an exam, focus on all of the effort they are putting in. Praising exam results really only teaches a child that knowing the answers is the most important part of school. If we praise children for their attitude and effort towards learning, it encourages them to keep working hard.
While this is important, we also shouldn’t minimise consistently poor marks and focus on something a child enjoys more, like sport. Help them get back on track and get them loving learning too!
Learning How Things Work, Not Studying Answers
Have you ever felt like your child has an almost photographic memory with some of the strange things they seem to retain? Kids are often very good at memorising things like story books word for word – so much so they can convince you they’re reading when they’re actually just recalling the times you’ve read the story to them!
It can be somewhat the same with exam results, which is why we shouldn’t put all of our focus into them. Spending hours studying in the weeks leading up to an exam can help them remember answers and therefore achieve high results, but it doesn’t guarantee they actually understand how to reach that answer. Learning how things work and how to solve problems is a far greater skill to learn than the ability to commit single answers to memory.
As you can see, there’s many reasons why we shouldn’t focus too heavily on exam results. Testing such as Naplan should be used as a guide only – it can certainly paint a general picture of how your child is tracking in primary school, but it isn’t the be-all and end-all of the school year. At a young age, HOW your child learns is perhaps more important than WHAT they learn, so to focus on the answers they can give during one day of testing isn’t giving credit for how well they’ve done in the other 364 days of the year.
At Big Improvements Tutoring we aim to provide a supportive, confidence-building environment for children to discover a passion for learning. If you think your child would benefit from positive, individualised primary school tutoring that focuses the skills they really need help with, click below to book a free session today!