You may have heard about the new Common Core Standards, which most states have adopted into their curriculum. What exactly are they, and what does it mean for your child? Learn more in this guest post by San Diego tutor Natalie S…
Having a unified educational system is an incredibly important factor when considering how to make sure each child is given the best chance to learn and succeed. This is why 43 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards for English and Math. However, most people don’t know what these Common Core Standards are, or even that they exist! Read below to find out more about how these standards impact your child.
What Are the Common Core Standards?
The Common Core Standards are academic standards for English and Mathematics. They map out learning goals for what students should be achieving from Kindergarten to 12th grade. These standards are designed to better prepare students for rigorous college courses and for entering the workforce. Recently, these standards were updated, and we’ve summarized the changes below.
What Are the Changes in the Common Core Standards for English?
The Common Core Standards for English include instilling academic practices like having children read and comprehend complex texts with increased difficulty. For example, each year, students read texts that are more complex (whether that be through prose or through themes) than the year before. Certain types of texts that the Common Core Standards website specifically lists include US documents, international myths, and Shakespeare.
The Common Core Standards for English also emphasize teaching students how to use textual evidence when making arguments in essays, as well as building specific knowledge about the non-fiction world.
What Are the Changes in the Common Core Standards for Math?
One major change in the Common Core Standards for Math is the increased focus on specific concepts. Instead of trying to cram a vague understanding of a hundred different concepts into your child’s head, the Common Core Standards dictate that students should study a concentrated number of concepts in depth and master them. For example, students will still study multiplication and division, but they won’t learn how to implement those functions of math until the third grade. This should help students improve their understanding of basic mathematical foundations more thoroughly before implementing newer, harder concepts.
The changes also aim to better link seemingly unconnected topics in math. For a full list of concepts covered in various grades, take a look at the Common Core Standards website.
How Can You Help Your Child Adapt to the Common Core Standards?
One of the biggest changes made to the Common Core curriculum is the new emphasis on linking topics across each grade level. This is a good tactic because it gives students a greater understanding of what they’re studying, however, it also means that it is imperative that students keep up with their work and do not fall behind. If you want to help your child learn with the Common Core Standards, it is important to check on them and make sure they understand their lessons in English and Math. Go over the readings with them, check their homework, and drill math problems at least once a week.
If your child starts to struggle and fall behind, this is a good time to consider hiring a tutor. Make sure the tutor is familiar with the Common Core Standards, and that he/she is aware of what your child should be learning at this time of his or her educational career. If you need further advice or assistance selecting a tutor, TakeLessons is here to help!
Natalie S. tutors in English, ESL, History, Phonics, Reading, and test prep in San Diego, as well as through online lessons. She received her BA in English Education at the University of Delaware, and her MA in English Literature at San Diego State University. Learn more about Natalie here!
Photo by Bill Selak