How Parents Can Help Prepare their Child for The Common Core Learning Standards

One of the goals of the Common Core Learning Standards is to prepare students for the high demands of college and careers today and in the future. Schools throughout the country are working to improve teaching and learning to reflect the knowledge and skills that students need for success in college and careers.  It is a common goal to ensure that all children will graduate high school with the skills they need to be successful, and to be able to compete successfully in a global economy.

There are three major changes in English language arts and literacy.  In addition to reading and writing stories and literature, students will read more informational texts that provide facts and background knowledge in areas including science and social studies. These texts will be more challenging and rigorous and students will be asked more questions that will require them to refer back to what they have read. An increased emphasis will be placed on building a strong vocabulary so that students can read and understand the challenging material that they will be presented with.

One of the major shifts of the Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts is an emphasis on developing comprehension and analysis skills for informational texts. Increased exposure to informational texts better prepares students for what they will encounter in college and the workplace. The reading passages selected for the 2013 NYS ELA tests are expected to be more rigorous than past exams. How can parents help their children be prepared to comprehend and analyze a range of informational texts? Below are some suggestions for parents to helping their child learn outside of school that will help prepare them for the Common Core Learning Standards.

How Parents Can Help Prepare their Child for The Common Core Learning Standards:

1. Find out what interests your child. Ask what topics, events, or activities he or she likes, and then find books, magazines, or other relevant materials about those topics that will motivate your child to read.  Ask your child questions about what they have read and have them refer back to the text to find supporting evidence for his or her answers.

2. Provide plenty of opportunities for your child to read independently. This time should be free from distractions such as music and television. Encourage your child to read newspapers and magazine articles, and do crossword puzzles that help to exercise the brain.

3. Encourage your child to use the dictionary to look up words he or she doesn’t know, have a thesaurus in your home so that your child can learn synonyms. For example, a search in a thesaurus for the word “good” provides many alternatives to this everyday (overused) word – good: acceptable, commendable, pleasing, gratifying, satisfactory, marvelous, splendid, wonderful.  Remember that knowledge is like power, and vocabulary fuels that power!

 4. Make time for conversation at home.  Talk, talk, and talk some more! Discuss shared interests, current events, and future aspirations for education and career. Share what you are reading with your child, and ask them about what they are reading. Remember to incorporate a variety of words in your language as you communicate with your child, giving ample practice to apply newly learned words to everyday situations.

5. Visit museums, zoos, theaters, historical sites, and other educational places to help build your child’s knowledge and increase your child’s vocabulary. Watch educational programs on television together and discuss the topics.

6. Use technology to help build your child’s interest in reading. There are many websites where students can read books or articles online. There are some sites where your child can listen to stories read to them. This can help your child with words that they may not be able to read independently. Libraries also have computers students can use to access educational websites. If necessary, ask a librarian or teacher for suggestions.

7. Get the help you need. If you feel that your child needs additional academic help, hire a private tutor, or enroll them in after school or tutoring programs in their school. Individualized academic help is one of the most effective ways to prepare a student for the academic challenges ahead.

8. Encourage your child, and stay positive, stressing the importance of academic excellence in school and at home.

The Common Core Learning Standards can help students and parents by setting clear and realistic goals for success. Of course, standards alone are not enough to ensure our children’s success, but they provide a guideline for teachers, parents, and students.  Standards are a first step in providing students with a high-quality education that will prepare them for success in college and work.

 Help Prepare Your Child for the CCLS



  1. The big victory in helping children to learn is avoiding as much stress as it possible

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