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Work with your Child’s School to make sure you understand what will be taught!

im so proud ofIt makes sense that parents have a vested interest in what their children are learning. Working with the school to make sure that the common core curriculum is in place and supported is important. The admin and the educators need all the help they can get. Don’t assume that they do all the teaching and you do all the parenting.

Work with your Child’s School to make sure you understand what will be taught in each subject for the grade each of your children is in. This will allow you to prepare at home too with learning objectives and even when you need to lend a hand regarding their homework efforts.

Ask questions about the common core if you aren’t sure about things. Don’t make assumptions and don’t listen to rumors or myths. Just because you find certain information online, that doesn’t make it the truth. Get involved and find out what the program means for your family and for the students of the school as a whole.

Give your Comments and Feedback

The school educators and admin know what you like and what you don’t about the common core. With that input, things that do work can be solidified. Those that don’t can be modified. Both NGA and CCSSO have public comment periods so that parents can offer comments and feedback to them. This can be done online at www.corestandards.org.

Ask About Teaching Methods

As previously mentioned, the common core doesn’t direct how teachers implement the standards in the classroom. As a parent, don’t be shy when it comes to asking about teaching methods that will be used. If you find that your child isn’t doing well with the methods used, come up with a plan that enables your child to learn in a manner that does work for them.

If the teacher isn’t open to that, talk to admin. It may be a decision that requires the child to be moved into another classroom. It could be a discussion that leads admin to request that the teacher modifies their teaching techniques. Especially if they are hearing similar concerns from more than one parent.

Ask teachers about their lesson plans and what they plan to do that will help the curriculum to work. Many schools will hold forums where the admin will share what they hope to accomplish in the school with the common core curriculum.

Find out the Standards for their Grade

Most schools offer a back to school night where you are able to meet teachers. This is usually in the first couple of weeks of the school year. It is the ideal time to find out the standards for that grade. You should also be able to find that information online. However, the teachers at your child’s school will be able to explain to you exactly how they plan to teach the students to meet those standards.

Let them Know you Realize there are Changes

Parents have to be realistic about how common core will change things. Kids aren’t going to immediately do better and have better test scores. It is going to be a process of changes over time. Be encouraging both to your school educators and to your children. Talk positively about the common core so that kids will see it as an opportunity for them.

Tests may seem harder at first for kids due to the changes. This is because more may be expected with some of the schools that were performing lower than the standards before. It is going to take more time for them to get caught up and on level than it will for the students in schools that were already performing at the standards or very close to them.

The Smarter Balanced testing exams will begin to be allocated for the 2014 – 2015 school year. Students need to relax and not worry too much about the testing process. Instead, they need to get plenty of rest, eat breakfast, and be encouraged to do their very best. Parents should do what they can to reduce activities and outings during the test week to make it low key for students.

Not Federally Promoted or Funded

It is important to understand that the funding your child’s school gets from the government isn’t based upon their decision to go with the common core or not. However, there have been some grants offered to schools for programs and resources that they would like to have in order to successfully implement the common core curriculum.

Some schools have applied for grants but also asked parents to help with fundraising in order to get what they need. The school doesn’t want the children to be without what they need due to a lack of funding. Cut backs in the schools has been a serious problem for quite some time.

Filed under: Common Core