How to Create a Setting Conducive to Learning for Common Core Standards
Your home environment significantly impacts your child’s education and her ability to meet the Common Core Standards. The more ways you can create a setting that supports learning and encourages your child to value the education he receives at school, the better his chances of success. Here are a few suggestions to strengthen the educational atmosphere in your home environment:
Establish a consistent schedule and healthy routines. Help your child establish a daily after-school routine. Allowing for time to unwind and play is certainly acceptable and something to be encouraged. However, set aside a time when your child is expected to sit down and really dig into his homework.
If your child doesn’t have homework every day, have him use this time to read or engage in other educational activities. The nature of a routine is that it’s consistent.
Eliminate or at least limit distractions during study/homework time. Designate an area in your home that’s quiet and free from major distractions as the place to complete schoolwork. Your child can accomplish more and do higher-quality work with fewer distractions to lure her attention away from her studies. Major distractors include TV, video games, phones, loud music, and anything else that dilutes the mind’s focus.
As your child matures, she may become aware of environmental elements that enhance her focus and productivity, such as music, so engage in conversation periodically to determine what, if anything, helps her study.
Provide access to essential materials and resources. Give your child easy access to pencils, pens, paper, markers, a calculator, a computer with Internet access (if possible), and anything else he may need to complete his assignments. Your child shouldn’t have to stop doing homework to search for materials and resources.
Carefully monitor Internet usage. The Internet is certainly a useful tool for research, but it can also become a major distraction. If your child abuses the privilege of having this resource, remove it from the study area. It’s not an essential tool for meeting Common Core Standards.
Be available to answer questions and assist with homework. Encourage your child to make an attempt to complete her homework independently. Make yourself available, but don’t insist on being involved in every assignment. When she has completed her homework to the best of her ability, give the assignment a quick look to help your child correct careless errors and to be sure there are no major misunderstandings.
If you notice big gaps in understanding, encourage your child to speak to her teacher the following day if possible. Trying to re-teach an entire lesson in the evenings can be hard on your child (and you)!
Attend to creature comforts. Studies show that people are more productive in a comfortable work environment, especially if they’re able to personalize their area. That’s why many people display pictures and other knick-knacks in their workspaces. Encourage your child to create a workspace that’s comfortable and inviting. This helps him feel at ease and takes away some of the bad stigma associated with homework.
Make sure your child gets enough sleep. A good night’s sleep is one of the most important ingredients in success at school. The amount of sleep needed in order to feel energized for the next day varies with age and the individual. Generally speaking, preschoolers require 10 to 12 hours of sleep per day, which may include a nap.
At 7 to 12 years old, children need 10 to 11 hours of sleep per day, and young adults (18 years and older) require 8 to 9 hours of sleep per day. Try to tune in to the optimum amount of sleep your child needs and do what you can to make sure she gets it. Being well rested is an essential part of preparation for important activities.