Ground Control Parenting – Carol Sutton Lewis

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Academics

Parents, Check Out These Great Back-to-School Resources!

GCP parents, it’s time to get focused on helping our sons and daughters get ready for their best school year yet. Here are some helpful resources:

Readiness Check: You know what grades your kids got last year, but how much of the material do they confidently understand? Does a C in math for the semester mean that your child understands enough of the material to build on it in the next school year? How are we supposed to know this?

The good folks at learningheroes.org are here to help us figure it out. They have recently launched Readiness Check, a free interactive tool for you and your kids to use together.

Click on the grade (K-8) that your child completed in the last school year, and have him or her answer the 3-5 questions that follow — it’s a quick math and reading review from last year. Encourage your son or daughter to treat it like a game, rather than a time sensitive test. Each question includes an explanation of the math or reading topic that is being taught, and suggestions as to how to help your child approach the problem (Do it along with them, and good luck with the later grades–8th grade math is no joke!). Pay attention to how easy or hard it is for him or her to do grade-level tasks. The test is scored and you are given an assessment of how comfortable your child is with last year’s topics.

Neither you nor your child should panic if you see lower scores. Just know that this means you will need to encourage your child to review last year’s work (via old notes or a new workbook) starting now. You’ll also get fun, free activities on this site to help your child at home.

Back-to-School Power Moves: Learningheroes.org has also developed these 5 Power Moves parents should make to ensure back to school readiness:

1. Gut Check: Use the Readiness Check to get a sense of how well
prepared they are. Review your child’s grades and comments in math and reading and
see how they match up with the readiness check results.

2. Partner Up: At your first teacher meeting, find out what’s expected of your child
and how you can be supportive at home. Share your child’s interests and strengths.
Also share last year’s grades/standardized test scores and ask what they mean for
this year. You can also share what you learned from the Readiness Check.

3. Make it fun: You are your child’s primary learning hero, and you can help make
learning exciting. Read together on topics that interest your child. Find math in
everyday life and turn it into a game.

4. Celebrate effort: Emphasize the importance of effort and what your child is
learning over grades and scores. This will help your child feel less nervous about
new tasks or subjects.

5. Support life skills: Success in school (and life) isn’t just about good grades:
 strengths in problem-solving and communications are also critical skills for a confident
learner to develop. Talk with your child about how they handle situations,
especially the tough ones.

Parent Toolkit: Check out NBC News Education Nation’s Parent Toolkit, which offers research-backed expert advice about a child’s development from Early Education through Life After High School. Choose a grade level and a topic to see lots of helpful back-to-school articles and videos.

Any tips on how you are helping your son or daughter get ready for the coming school year? Please share them with us!

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