10 Ways to Help Your Child Achieve Common Core Standards - dummies

10 Ways to Help Your Child Achieve Common Core Standards

By Jared Myracle

Most parents want to send their children to school confident that they are meeting Common Core Standards and acquiring the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in college and career. That expectation is certainly reasonable. As a parent, you play a key role in your child’s academic achievement. Here are 10 ways you can help your child achieve the Common Core Standards.

Know what your child is working on

Here are a few ideas that will help you stay current on the topics she is studying:

  • Check to see whether your child’s teacher has a website or newsletter that communicates important upcoming assignments.

  • Take a look at the major topics addressed in assignments that are sent home.

  • Regularly carry on conversations with your child about specific concepts she studies at school.

  • Review the Common Core Standards so that you have an idea of what your child will be learning all year.

  • Ask your child’s teacher for a list of upcoming topics.

Monitor your child’s performance

Asking yourself the following questions helps you successfully monitor your child’s performance at school:

  • Does my child receive graded assignments that I can review on a specific day of the week?

  • Is there an online grade portal where I can see all of my child’s grades at once?

  • How can I determine my child’s cumulative grade/average in a particular class?

Some schools use a “grading” method known as standards-based grading. Standards-based grading involves tracking student mastery on specific skills and concepts.

  • Is there a way I can monitor how well my child understands certain skills and concepts before a test is given?

  • What can I do after receiving results from a test to help her in any areas where she may have struggled?

Have a daily homework/study routine

Follow these tips to get started on developing your child’s study routine:

  • Decide when homework will be done.

  • Think through your weekly schedule and plan ahead for important events.

  • Make sure an adult is at home to assist with homework if needed.

  • Leave time for breaks and recreation.

  • Use this time productively so your child can see you model attributes such as focus, dedication, and attention to detail.

Provide a study-friendly environment

Use these factors as a checklist for preparing and maintaining an effective environment for schoolwork:

  • Establish a comfortable and inviting environment in which homework can be done.

  • Eliminate distractions.

  • Make sure your child has any necessary resources close at hand.

  • Be on standby to assist your child.

  • Remind your child to organize her workspace so she can easily access needed materials.

Don’t do your child’s homework!

If you provide too much help, your child will stop short of sticking with difficult problems because she knows you’ll jump in to do the work for her. Here are a few tips to follow:

  • Be available to assist without always feeling the need to jump in as soon as she starts to struggle.

  • Review what she’s learning beforehand so you know how to assist when needed.

  • Learn to help her by asking the right questions to prompt her thinking.

Praise your child’s efforts

Keep these considerations in mind as you think of ways to reward your child’s progress:

  • Focus on rewarding effort, not grades.

  • Look at graded assignments in smaller chunks to see whether your child completes certain parts more accurately than others.

  • Find a tangible item that can serve as a quick and easy reward.

  • Consider allotting additional time on electronic devices for excellent work at school.

  • Find ways to let her further explore topics of interest in which she also displays a high level of aptitude.

Provide interesting reading material

Students are more likely to stick with reading if they find the material to be interesting and engaging. Try these tips:

  • Bookmark topics of interest on the Internet.

  • Search for free books that you can download.

  • Make use of an Internet-based storage site, where reading materials and other resources can be stored and accessed from multiple devices.

If you don’t have quick access to the Internet in your home, there are other options.

  • Look for free resources in your community that are of interest to your child.

  • Cut out interesting articles and store them in a folder that your child can easily access.

  • Subscribe to a magazine that your child finds interesting.

  • Check out books from the library and designate a household “reading time.”

Encourage your child to take advantage of academic enrichment opportunities

Your child needs to explore interesting opportunities for academic enrichment. To get started, take a look at the following tips:

  • Make a list of the academic subjects, career fields, and topics in which your child is interested.

  • Look at the programs, clubs, and other enrichment opportunities offered by her school.

  • Research opportunities for involvement with community organizations.

  • Talk to your child about an appropriate amount of time to allot to these activities.

Take fun, educational trips

Keeping education interesting helps your child maintain a spark that drives her to continually explore the world around her. Try this:

  • Visit your local library regularly.

  • Go to the zoo and participate in a guided tour.

  • Take advantage of museums and the many resources they provide.

  • Look into learning experiences that you can take advantage of during vacations.

Encourage stimulating hobbies

Keep these questions in mind as you assist her in finding stimulating activities:

  • Is my child being required to read or write?

  • Is my child building critical-thinking and problem-solving skills by considering the outcome of multiple scenarios?

  • Does this hobby require planning and organization?

  • Is the activity challenging?

  • Is there a way to connect this hobby to important skills and concepts being addressed at school?