A couple years ago, our school district, like others in Wisconsin, made the transition to Common Core Standards.
At first, I had some doubts about this program, mostly because it was different. However, while there are plenty of parents that don’t share our opinion, my wife and I ultimately found we liked it. It’s more challenging for our daughter (something that keeps her from becoming bored) and we’re able to track her progress and see where she stands when compared to her other classmates.
However, the transition did require some adjustment on our part. Since making the switch, our daughter does have more homework than she did before (or, at least seems to) and, since some of the teaching strategies are considerably different than what they were when we were in school, some of the homework is foreign to us. Despite this, we were able to take three simple steps to help us make that adjustment.
The first thing we did was help our daughter with time management. Once we started to understand the actual work (more on that in a moment), the homework proved not to be overly hard, just a bit time consuming at times. As a result, we had to teach our daughter how to budget her time so she got her daily work done on time while putting aside time to work on projects that were due later in the week. By doing this, she doesn’t have nights where she’s feeling like she’s overloaded.
The second thing we did was make sure to keep an open mind. As I said before, the biggest adjustment for us was the way our daughter was being taught. Some of the methods that are used (especially in math) were difficult for us to comprehend at first and, as a result, there was some frustration. But, we also realized not giving it a chance would ultimately hurt our daughter, who was supposed to be doing her school work that way.
The last thing we did was do our own research. A lot of the concepts that were foreign to us were actually available online in an easy-to-understand format that allowed us to learn just enough to be of help to our daughter when she gets stuck and even understand the concepts behind what she is learning. Once we realized this, any frustration we had with her schoolwork pretty much disappeared.
As I said before, our school district’s switch to Common Core Standards resulted in a pretty big adjustment for us. However, while there are plenty of parents who are still opposed to the change, the steps we took helped us overcome our objections and have made us big fans.