Guest post written by Jenna Smith. For more information on this kind of post, please read my disclosure statement.
Recently, the majority of states adopted a new set of education standards called the Common Core Standards. Essentially, these standards outline the fundamental educational skills that we feel American children should grasp by the end of their public school tenure. These standards cover all children from kindergarten through high school.
There are two primary focuses of the Common Core Standards, Math common core state standards and English Language Arts. The standards provide the outlines, but how the standards are met in individual schools are determined by the states themselves.
How Can the Standards Help Parents?
Even if you live in one of the four states that have not yet adopted the Common Core Standards, parents can use them to discover whether their child is performing to the standards which have been developed by experts in various educational fields. The key to knowing where your child stands in their education in through involvement.
First, visit the Common Core Standards Initiative website where you can find detailed information regarding the standards and answers to many of your basic questions. You can also go to your child's school and ask an administrator or your child's teacher to provide you with information about the standards.
Next, participate in your child's homework with them and see what topics they're covering in class. This is the best time to see if your child's school is addressing important learning goals and assess how challenging your child finds the lessons. If you begin this type of involvement, the easier it will be to maintain as they get older. You can also encourage your child to share their quizzes, tests, and exams with you. Be sure to look over the actual work and not just learn their grade. Showing your sincere interest in what they're learning will encourage them to open up more about their education.
Finally, ask your child's teacher any questions you may have about the standards. The teacher will be able to directly address how she is designing the curriculum and give you ideas about how to more effectively participate in your child's education.
If You Suspect Your Child is Behind.
There are many after school activities that can help fill gaps in your child's learning. Tutoring from a teacher or instructional games can be enjoyable and rewarding. Remember that a positive, informed outlook is always the best approach.