You can work on your conversation skills, but there are also other ways to figure out what your child is learning at their public school.
Start With the Standards
Behind the Scenes at School
The Structure of Your Child’s Day
- Find out the daily schedule. Use it to structure your after-school interrogation of your child. Sometimes I like to start with what they did at the end of the day and work backwards.
- If you ask the same sorts of specific questions daily, your child will probably get better at answering them. He’ll pay more attention to, say, which reading center he goes to, or what math manipulative he got today.
- Try learning some magic words for triggering your child’s memory of their day. Do they have “carpet time,” “group time,” “calendar time,” or a “class meeting” first thing in the morning? Does literacy learning take place in “centers,” “stations,” “workstations,” “tubs” or something else? What are the magic words for math, science, and social studies?
- If your child has access to computers or tablets in the classroom, you can find out what programs are being used. Often, schools can give you home login credentials.
- The younger the grade level, the more time spent on teaching the children how to behave in a classroom setting. At the beginning of the school year, don’t expect your child to get into the curriculum right away.
- Find out what kind of math manipulatives are being used. You could browse through the pictures here (affiliate) to see what your child recognizes. Then ask her to show or tell you what she does with those items in math class.
- Sometimes social studies is integrated with reading. Your child will think they were doing reading, but actually the
teacher has checked off a social studied objective as well.
- Classwork that comes home only gives you a small picture of what your child is learning.
- Some amazing learning takes place that never generates paper to go home. Hands on activities are probably the easiest for your child to tell you about, though. And once you have a grip on the state standards, you may be able to see the big picture of what they were learning.
- Talk to the teacher, of course! (For tips, you can read my post on how to communicate with your child’s teacher)
This post is part of the Bloggers for Public Education blog hop. Our topic this month is curriculum. You may like to read these insightful posts:
How I know that Common Core is Not a Bad Curriculum from Thriving STEM
What is Inquiry Based Science Curriculum? from Share It! Science News