Recently, the Temecula Council PTA posted a really great resource for parents which was developed by The California PTA (CAPTA). CAPTA put together a resource to give parents a snapshot of what their kids are learning according to their grade level with additional resources to help understand Common Core Standards. It can be accessed here CAPTA Guide.
It can be both frustrating and confusing to try and keep up with what our kids are learning. Having a head ups is always helpful. As parents, we also need to prepare for the year and have an understanding of what our kids are learning not just so we can help them with homework, but also so that we can research and review correlating supplementals to support their studies. For example, when our 4th graders study the history of California and the missions, finding a local mission and planning a trip to visit it can be a helpful tool for our budding historians. Unfortunately, field trips are not always an option, but this is the kind of recreational/educational activity that supports student classroom learning.
Additionally, the guide has a link to Common Core Standards that provides easy to understand information on Common Core Standards and what they mean for our kids. There is even a really cool video that can be watched in English or Spanish explaining Common Core Standards.
The more we understand about what is required of our kids to learn and understand, the easier it will be for us to help guide and support them through the educational system. We are seeing that even though the California State Board of Education adopted Common Core Standards in 2010, there is not a great deal of understanding by parents about what the standards mean. Having information that is easy to understand and digest is critical for parents so we can encourage and support our students. If your student is in middle school or high school, the transition to Common Core Standards may or may not have been an easy one, depending on the district or schools they attend. For students in the lower elementary grades, they have come into school right at the transition and are not children of the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) era.
I have a 6th grader as well as an 8th grader, and we have been transitioning for a couple of years. I say we, because although the curriculum is delivered in the classroom, it has at times been a little challenging in the homework department. Kids are learning a new way of analyzing and coming to conclusions. There have been times when my 5th grader had to teach me how to do the “new math.” Fortunately, I am internet savvy and have been able to keep up, but I can see how it could be very difficult for some of our Comadres to meet some of these challenges, especially if they don’t know where to find tutorials or other helpful resources.
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