Backpack and supplies — check! So, what’s left to do before going back to school? How about finding out how well your child has learned foundational skills that they need to succeed in the next grade?
Ninety percent of K-8 parents believe their child performs at or above grade-level in reading and math, according to Learning Heroes’ research. However, the National Assessment of Educational Progress finds that only a little more than a third of students are achieving at that level. What’s more, the “summer slide” puts students at risk of losing up to two months of reading skills and two and a half months of math skills over a single summer.
To get a better feel for how prepared your child is for the next grade and how to support their learning at home, check out these tips from Learning Heroes’ “Super 5 Back-to-School Power Moves.”
1. Get a gut check: Use the Readiness Check to see how prepared your child is for their new grade. Designed by leading experts in reading and math, the Readiness Check instantly provides important information about your child’s grade-level progress with reading and math skills after your child answers just three to five questions in each of the two subject areas. The free tool, which is available in both English and Spanish, also connects you to information, videos and activities to help build grade-level skills at home. To access this tool and other resources, visit bealearninghero.org. Other ways to assess how ready your child is for the new grade include paying attention to how easy or hard it is for them to do grade-level tasks and looking at their annual state test results from last year. If you haven’t received the results yet, ask your child’s teacher.
2. 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 provide support at home. Help the teacher get to know your child by sharing their interests and strengths as well. You can also share what you learned from the Readiness Check.
3. Make learning fun: You are the expert on your child and can make learning exciting. Read together, choosing 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.
4. 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.
5. 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 handle situations, especially tough ones.
“Learning happens everywhere — at home, in the community and in the classroom,” says Bibb Hubbard, founder and president of Learning Heroes. “The Super 5 Back-to-School Power Moves can help you use the summer and beginning of the school year to get a more complete picture of where your child is on track, and where more attention and focus may be needed.”