For Parents

When Tennessee students take the new and improved statewide English and math assessments, they are taking an important step to being ready for what comes after high school–whether going to career training, college, the military, or work. Strong academic standards and an assessment that measures how well students are meeting our high expectations will help Tennessee students graduate ready to take on the world and win. Here are ideas for things parents can do to help support their students academically.

Get the TNReady brochure for parents


Reduce Test Jitters

Some kids can feel significant stress before an assessment. A common cause of test anxiety is insufficient preparation – make sure your child has studied enough to feel confident. But also watch for signs of anxiety coming from deeper sources, and make sure your child has opportunities to learn stress management techniques. Above all, remind your child that he or she is loved, no matter the test results.

For stress management techniques, click here.

Help with homework without knowing the all answers

Tennessee’s higher standards have kids learning some concepts in an earlier grade than their parents did. Remember that parents don’t need to be completely confident with the lesson to help their students. Ask your children to explain concepts they’re working on – teaching someone else is a great way to learn. Because TNReady will ask students to show their work on some problems, you can help them prepare by asking them to show YOU how they got their math or English answer.

Use Math in the Real World

Many of the math skills students are expected to develop are ones that can be put to use every day. Don’t make math something that’s just practiced in school, give it some real world application – measure distances when you travel, count change at the grocery store, divide whole pizzas into fractions (or slices) on family movie night. You’ll be having fun and getting your child ready for classwork and assessments.

Work on problems with real world application.

Use Context Clues to Learn New Words

There will be no rote memorization of vocabulary words for TNReady. Nevertheless, your child will probably run into some new words. Good news! Students can use their problem-solving skills to find context clues to help them understand what the unknown word means. Help your children learn how to understand on their own by using some context clues strategies.

Notice and note in reading

Close reading is an important skill that parents can help their students learn. When you read with your child, ask questions about the text. Great questions include “What is the main idea?” and “Can you describe the characters and how they differ?” And a very important question is “How do you know that?” Through asking questions and discussing what your student is reading, your student will learn to support their support their opinions with evidence from the text. This skill will help your student develop the critical thinking needed for their future.

Questions to ask your child, while reading together.

Learn More about TNReady

TNReady is Tennessee’s state assessment for grades 3-11. This test helps you know if your kids are learning the real-world skills they need to succeed! At you can learn more about the what, how, and why behind TNReady. You’ll also find an in-depth parent guide and other helpful resources.

Click here for the how, what, and why of TNReady.

Understand Reading Levels

Many books for kids include reading level or age guidelines. RL4, for example, means reading level 4, and RL4.3 indicates month three of fourth grade. Books sometimes include age recommendations, like 009-0011 for ages 9 to 11. Other rating systems include Guided Reading Level, Developmental Reading Assessment, and Lexile Measures. Your child’s teacher can recommend appropriate levels for school and home reading.

Learn more about reading levels

Meet with the Teacher

Meet with your child’s teacher to get insight into both how your child is doing and different ways your child can grow. When you talk with the teacher, you also can learn more about what is happening in the classroom to prepare your child for TNReady. Prepare with questions before the meeting to make the most of your time.

Prepare with questions.

Create a Supportive Study Environment

Creating a supportive study environment at home can make all the difference in being ready for TNReady. Ask your child a few questions to make homework assignments easier to manage. Do you understand what you’re supposed to do? Do you have what you need to do this assignment? Does your answer make sense to you? Read more ideas about helping your child study at home.

Read more on helping your child study at home.

Encourage Reading, So Learning is a Year-long Activity

TNReady is not just a “fill in the bubble” test, it measures real-world reading, writing, and analytical skills. Support your student in developing these skills with activities at home. Encourage your child to read grade-level books and engage with them as they read to learn more and achieve more.

Check out this list of grade-level books.

Tap TNReady Resources

Find your go-to TNReady resource. The Parent Toolkit from the Tennessee Department of Education is a great resource on TNReady for parents. The guidebook walks through changes as the state transitions to TNReady and lays out FAQs surrounding TNReady. Of course, your student’s teacher is also another wonderful resource, as well, for helping your child learn and succeed.

Get the Parent Toolkit.

Take Time to Recharge

After the TNReady preparation that has come from high-quality teaching this school year, holiday breaks offer a chance for students and parents to recharge and refocus. Spend time together on fun activities, reading, enjoying music and other arts, and talking about how the school year is going. An enriching time-off will help your child head back to class refreshed and ready to learn more.

Get ideas for school break activities.

Motivate Your Child

As your students return to class, make sure you’re taking notice of not just the things they are working on, but also the things they are excelling at. Encouragement helps children feel confident in their abilities and will allow them to perform well on their assessments, demonstrating what they know and can do.

Discover more ways to motivate your child.