In this guest post, Windy Lopez-Aflitto, Vice President, Content and Partnerships at Learning Heroes, shares tips to help set children up for success in the new school year.
For parents, students, and teachers alike, back-to-school represents that bittersweet time of year when summer winds down and is replaced with the excitement of the new school year. As parents, we make sure our children have their backpacks and supplies, and know where to go and what to do on the first day of school. But there’s another simple but important action we can take as part of our back-to-school routines. We can get a quick gut check on how ready our child is for the new school year. By knowing exactly where they might need more support, we can get a jumpstart and help our children start the year strong.
So, why does this matter? For two years in a row, Learning Heroes’ national parent survey found that nine in ten K–8 parents believe their child is at or above grade level in both reading and math, while the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) shows that barely one-third of students perform at grade level. And, the Scholastic Teacher & Principal School Report: Equity in Education revealed that only 39% of teachers say their students arrive prepared for grade level work at the beginning of the year.
When we have a more accurate and clear picture of our children’s progress, we can start the school year strong, support learning at home, and reinforce what’s being taught in the classroom each day. To help bridge the perception gap, Learning Heroes has partnered with leading experts in math and reading to create the Readiness Check, a new (free) interactive tool that helps K–8 parents see how their child has developed foundational skills needed to learn new skills this year, while immediately connecting them to easy-to-use information and resources to support these specific abilities at home.
The best part: the Readiness Check only takes a few minutes as children answer 3–5 short questions in math and reading—like a fun review of last year! Available in both English and Spanish, the new tool is part of the Super 5: Back-to-School Power Moves, which includes 5 simple actions and tips to help set children up for success this year:
- Get a Gut-Check: Use theReadiness Check to get a sense of how prepared your child is for their new grade. Pay attention to how easy or hard it is for them to do grade-level tasks, and look at the annual state test results from last year. If you haven’t received the results yet, ask your child’s teacher.
- Partner Up: At your first teacher meeting, bring your child’s state test results and ask what they mean for this year. Find out what’s expected of your child and how you can help at home. Help the teacher get to know your child by sharing their interests and strengths as well as what you learned from the Readiness Check.
- Make it Fun: You are the expert on your child and can help make learning exciting! Read together on topics that interest your child. Find math in everyday life and turn it into a game. These small learning moments add up to a lot!
- Celebrate Effort: Help your child see that hard work is what leads to success. Focus on effort and what your child is learning. This will help your child feel less nervous about new tasks or subjects.
- Support Life Skills: Strengths such as communication, problem-solving, and confidence will help your child in school and life. Talk openly with your child about how they feel and how they handle situations, especially the tough ones.
Whatever your back-to-school routine includes, remember that you are the expert on your child—their learning hero—and can make all the difference in helping them find their path to being happy and successful in school.
Image via Learning Heroes