Just following on a new thread rather than hijacking the other one about perfectionism.
My son has recently completed the start of the year testing and during the whole process he was very upset, didn't want to go to school, slept badly, tears and tantrums and generally very unhappy - to the point my very anti homeschooling husband even considered that homeschooling might have to be a possibility.
Since the testing his folder came home and we had the three way conference, despite the fact I know my son knows much more than the tests indicate he did really badly on the tests and the teacher said he would get so far and just freak out and be unable to continue, so anxiety was a major cause of his poor performance.
He hated the fact the tests were set up to be more difficult than what he could readily do - setting a level rather than testing known facts.
His teacher is really cool and very understanding and kind but I'm concerned about my son and wondering if it's just anxiety or if he's got perfectionist overtones as well and what I can do to help.
I feel like he should be doing so much better than he is, he's a bright wee lad but he's struggling within the school system according to his tests - the tests at the end of last year resulted in him not wanting to read, draw or write at all over the holidays.
He can't avoid testing - it's going to happen probably once a term on average and the whole thing is stressful and disruptive (Thank you national standards!) so how can I either test proof him or give the poor kid a bit of resilience?
I'm not concerned that he won't learn - as soon as the pressure goes off he's happy to absorb knowledge and he gets a lot of extra at home via the books he chooses at the library, but I am concerned at how unhappy he is with me leaving him at school each day and his worry about what will happen each day - relief teachers freak him out, sports days scare him silly, any change is stressful....(but he's usually fine once whatever is happening, it's the overthinking beforehand that is the problem)
I have a child who underachieved in tests and always found them stressful. My feeling is that testing is something that is part of life not just school and that I needed to help my child come to terms with that. I tried to avoid making a big deal about test results but when my child complained that the school work was too easy, and it was because of not showing his full capability in a test, I gently explained the cause and effect. It took a while, but explaining the different uses of tests (looking beyond school to things like blood tests, diagnostic tests, safety tests in industrial situations etc etc) made things easier. Now my child is at high school and although we still see exam nerves and the occasional panic resulting in a less than flattering mark, testing has become a much less stressful experience.
The overthinking is something I see in another of my children - what I find helps is to be completely calm about things myself. Distraction and rescue remedy also help.
On a positive note, at least your school shares test results with you, I never see any from my primary age child, unless of course I beg the teacher for them, apparently parents don't need to know test results - sigh....