We’ve all had that moment, staring at our kids’ take-home work packets, realizing that all our knowledge on how to carry the one or memorize multiplication tables has suddenly gone out the window. Now, with our children homeschooling during quarantine, it’s more important than ever for parents to not just understand but embrace Common Core.
If you’re overwhelmed trying to navigate Common Core while teaching at home, you’re not alone, and we have resources available for you! Gain a deeper understanding of the Common Core curriculum, and how you can make teaching it a little easier on yourself.
Your At-Home Guide To Common Core For Parents
Why Common Core Matters
At Miracle Math, we’re big believers in Common Core; it’s a research-based approach that has revolutionized the way Math and English Language Arts are taught. Today’s parents didn’t use Common Core when we were in school, so many of us are now teaching something that we ourselves never learned. Because we’re used to approaching things a different way, Common Core can be a little baffling at first. But this curriculum is a tremendous improvement for students and is preparing them for future success in school.
#1: It Lays A Strong Foundation For More Advanced Subjects
What seems like an overcomplicated approach at first is in fact laying the groundwork to make it easier for your child to tackle more advanced subjects at higher levels. The beautiful thing about Common Core is that it wasn’t created just to help them pass their tests at the end of the year; it was created to prepare them for trig, calculus, etc., right from Kindergarten.
#2: It Encourages Learning, Not Memorization
Teaching by beginning with the end in mind is a more strategic, brain-based approach. All of those diagrams and step-by-step solutions to problems are serving to shape their thinking skills so they have more fluency. Common core achieves this by encouraging learning instead of memorization. Many of us memorized our times tables and how to write a 5 paragraph essay. Common Core is teaching kids the reasoning behind those subjects to give them a deeper understanding.
The first step to helping your child understand Common Core while teaching at home is to embrace it yourself. If you buy into the curriculum, it will resonate better with your kids. Think of it this way – the math hasn’t changed, the method has.
How To Explain Common Core To Your Kid
#1: Use Your State’s Resources To Guide Their Learning
The Common Core applies to Math and English from K through 12th and provides concrete, measurable goals for your child. This is great for parents now because it means there are clear outlines of expectations for their child based on their grade level to use as guidelines while teaching at home.
These resources provide specific objectives with sample problems to familiarize yourself with.
#2: Make The Student The Teacher
Confused navigating Common Core’s problems in your student’s work packet? Have your child explain them to you! This role reversal may seem counterintuitive at first, but it can be an impactful approach.
Teaching is a great learning method. In explaining the problems and their reasoning to you, your child is reinforcing their own knowledge.
#3: Focus On The Problem, Not The Solution
Because Common Core is so deeply based in the reasoning required to solve a problem, focusing on how to solve the problem and not on the solution itself can be a great approach. Furthermore, many of Common Core’s prompts have multiple aspects to them, so looking at what the problem is asking for breaks it down into more manageable parts.
When your child comes to you with a homework question, start by asking “What is the problem asking you to do?”
#4: Encourage Productive Struggle
It can be hard to watch our children struggle with something. Our first instinct is often to swoop in to save them or explain the issue. However, struggle plays an important role in brain development! Dealing with a hard problem can deepen their learning, so let them grapple with a tough problem for a while.
#5: Turn To The Experts
Miracle Math Coaching has spent years helping students and families understand and excel navigating the Common Core Curriculum. We focus on teaching cognitive skills in our online learning labs so that students understand how to learn and process information more effectively. In fact, because our approach is grounded in neuroscience, it fits well with Common Core!
Teaching at home can feel overwhelming and isolated. If you’re struggling through new material in the Common Core Curriculum with your child, reach out. We will place your child with one of our coaches who can walk them through their materials to ensure they don’t fall behind! You’ll be able to do what you do best and support your child, and let the coaches at Miracle Math handle the rest.