Is Your Child Ready For Common Core?

Is Your Child Ready For Common Core?

by : Stacee Parker
posted on : 7/22/2013

Is Your Child Ready for Common Core?

If you’re like most educators and parents, you’re probably concerned about how Common Core is going to affect your child’s education. Perhaps you’re thinking, “Is this another new curriculum? What was wrong with the old one?”

But alas, Common Core is not a new curriculum, it’s just a whole new set of requirements, which are much more rigorous than anything Arizona has ever seen before. Backers say the new standards will ensure that students are ready for life after high school, whether it be in college or in the work force. It’s being billed as a way for the United States to catch up with other leading countries around the globe and truly compete with them on an educational basis.

The purpose of Common Core is to establish one set of standards from Kindergarten to 12th grade in the areas of reading, writing, and mathematics. There certainly seems to be a lot of government money tied to this program and there are students surveys that will directly tie in to teacher compensation.

What troubles educators most though is “Wasn’t No Child Left Behind supposed to cure our educational ills?” Back in 2001, that’s exactly what backers said. How did that work out? Ten years from now will we look back on this as another in a long string of disappointments with public education?

As it stands right now, not passing High School Algebra is more common than passing. So, if students couldn’t meet or exceed the old standards, exactly how are they going to fare with something so difficult and rigorous? I can’t help but think perhaps our children are once again being set up for failure. Are you with me?

Common Core will be filled with a lot of non-fiction verb-age containing many analytical questions which require comprehension. There will be multi-step word problems complete with models and proofs. For the first time, students will have to explain their answers. Answers like “I don’t know” and “I just figured it out in my head” aren’t going to fly.

Questions like “How do you know?” and “Can you draw a model of this?” are going to be asked regularly by teachers. Whereas students used to be able to get by with a basic understanding of concepts, now they will need to truly understand them, to the point of being able to teach someone else. Is your child ready for this?

If you are answering “No” or even, “I’m not sure”, you aren’t alone. There are many people in your shoes. Luckily, there are some things you can do.

First, it is recommended that you get familiar with the new Common Core standards so that you understand exactly what your child will be required to know and when they will be required to know it.  Second, it’s always a good idea to make sure your children are spending time doing and understanding their homework. Establish a routine. Periodically ask them what they are currently working on and if they need help.

If they need help beyond what you can offer, consider professional tutoring. This is a great way to ensure your child stays ahead of the curve. Some tutoring and supplemental education companies offer low cost math and reading assessment evaluations that will pinpoint your child’s areas of strength and weaknesses in mathematics and reading. They will also let you know how the Common Core is going to affect your child and they can offer suggestions to help guide you through these changes.

If you feel your child is already lagging behind, the new standards will certainly make life rougher. For instance, if your student is not a proficient reader by the end of third grade, he/she will be held back by the 2013-2014 school year.

As far as tutoring goes, the overwhelming opinion among educators is that choosing a professional tutor that offers one-on-one instruction utilizing a personalized and unique approach to teaching lessons will provide the fastest, most consistent, and enduring academic improvements. Look for tutors that have programs in English language arts, writing, and Mathematics. Don’t wait until there is a problem, be proactive and schedule an evaluation today.

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