Parental involvement

Homework and math around the globe

Here’s a small collection of stories and reports from the world of homework and math, and about parenting kids who live in that world.

A survey and subsequent follow-up done by a Parent-Teacher Association for a high school in California has led to the creation of a district homework taskforce to establish guidelines around homework. The focus is “quality, not quantity.”

Paper Management Dysfunction? I know what it looks like when your child’s backpack looks like the entire contents of a filing cabinet were dumped inside. It’s a recipe for stress for parent and student, and a potential drag on school and homework performance. Some great tips on how to work towards restoring order

The Great Canadian Math Debate continues. The Edmonton Journal is into part 6 in a series on how math is taught in Alberta grade schools. Lots of opinion from different perspectives on what is most beneficial for learning – a discovery method-based approach, or more traditional rote learning methods.

Our take – Nightlight Learning offers a great solution for balance. Learn the concepts and discover new approaches in class, but master multiplication memorization as you go to sleep.

 Intro to the series

Part 6 


The Parent Toolkit

It's a wonderful thing when common sense and research agree. That's clearly the case with respect to the positive effect parental involvement has on a child's scholastic success. Research has demonstrated this repeatedly, and we all know it intuitively. The link lists a number of the benefits research has demonstrated: better grades, more homework completion, higher self-esteem, greater achievement. We all want these things for our kids. We want to help them develop an appreciation for reading and the arts, to explore the natural world around them, to learn their times tables.

How parents should get involved is not always so clear. What's a reasonable level of involvement? What's expected of my child? How can I best support those expectations?

Earlier this month, Education Nation (of NBC News) released an excellent resource for parents to help answer just those kinds of questions. The Parent Toolkit is intended to "help you navigate your child’s journey from pre-kindergarten through high school. It is designed to help you track and support progress at each stage."

The Toolkit provides benchmarking and parent tips to help support learning for each grade from K to 12. It's based on curriculum being launched in many states in the US, but is still certainly useful for parents with school age kids no matter where they live.

The tips for parents are both general and specific, easy to understand, and easy to implement. It helps make the responsibility we share in getting involved in our children's education simpler.

It doesn't always mean presiding over homework time, checking school bags for "forgotten' test papers or important correspondence. (Sometimes those things are important too!)

It does mean connecting relevant learning to everyday activity. The Parent Toolkit helps with that. Check it out, and let us know what you think.