How to Make Education Relevant to the Real World for Common Core Standards Success
Success in Common Core Standards requires direct association to the real world. If you spend much time around school-aged children, it won’t take long before you hear one ask, “Why am I learning this?” If you think about it, you can’t really blame him for asking. Spending time practicing abstract skills and concepts for the sake of learning isn’t tempting for many children.
However, it’s much easier to engage in a conversation or try out a new skill when you can see the connection to everyday life. Although helping your child see the relevance of what he’s studying at school requires time and effort, the outcome (an engaged and interested student) is definitely worth the investment.
You can help your child recognize the relevance of schoolwork to the real world by following these tips:
Help your child answer the “Why am I learning this?” question. Don’t be afraid to tackle this question with your child. Sometimes you can take a general look at the concept being studied, while other times you may have to consider using a very specific example. Either way, answering this question requires you to remain involved and aware of what your child is learning at school.
Connect skills and concepts to real-life scenarios. Help your child connect the dots between skills and concepts taught at school and applications in real life. You can reinforce many of the math standards, particularly in the early grades, with objects around your house. You can reinforce the English language arts and literacy standards with reading materials that are interesting to your child.
Point out the problem-solving power of knowledge. Look for stories in the news about people solving real-world problems with knowledge and skills they probably gained in school. Your child will no doubt discover writers she likes to read, fascinating scientific discoveries, and technologies she uses on a daily basis. Help your child realize that the foundation for many human accomplishments is education.
Look ahead to potential careers. One of the best ways to make your child’s education relevant to him is to help him see how it’s likely to benefit him in the future. Have a conversation with your child about a career he may be interested in pursuing. Then look for ways to connect his schoolwork to the knowledge and skills required to be successful in that career.
Research articles about how education affects brain development and discuss them with your child. You may be surprised to discover just how malleable the brain really is.