Post about "Early Childhood Education"

Summer Educational Ideas for Parents to Bridge the Achievement Gap

One thing that I find troubling is the lack of access that is afforded to many parents with regards to educating their children. An ability to speak more than one language, a defined curriculum of math and science, as well as, an understanding of the workings of the world outside of American shores will give our children an advantage in the world that they will inherit as adults. Is this a secret to anyone? When we compare the idea-learning curriculum to the curriculum offered in many public schools, we can see a drastic difference. If you are reading this and wondering if I am bashing teachers or public schools then let me assure you, I am not. I am a former public school teacher and have worked in urban as well as suburban public schools in both New Jersey and Maryland. I am also a mother of four children.My son attended private school and for a time was home schooled. My two oldest daughters are both in public school. And as I child, I attended both Catholic school, and public school. The fact of the matter is the educational gap between the idea curriculum, and the general curriculum offered to our students, which on a large part is based on socioeconomic status. Many working parents simply cannot afford the language immersion classes, robotics training, or early chemist programs that are being offered in more affluent school districts. The solution cannot be a simple bashing secession, but a plural marriage between policy makers, teachers, and parents for the best practices for all American children. Until that agenda is realized and acted upon, the question for parents become what can I do now to bridge the gap. With summer, being just around the corner the ground is fertile to put plan to action with your child. With awareness, patience and a little ingenuity you can begin to incorporate the missing elements; thereby adding depth to your child’s education. Until, the country as a whole get together and decide that all children deserve the highest education possible we as parents must do our best to link the missing pieces. So if you are asking, “What are we going to do”, then read the Three S’s below.Start Small
Retrieve all of the class work, homework, tests and quizzes that your child completed throughout the course of the year. Have them re-do each assignment and practice each skill being addressed. Practice makes perfect, and repetition solidifies learning making each level of advancement easier to master as your child progresses.
Get a copy of the curriculum from your child’s classroom teacher or from the board of education. Most boards list the standards or skills covered by grade level on their website. Identify and review deficit areas.
Ask teacher for summer work or activities to reinforce skills. The purpose of this is not to lose learning skills while on vacation.Steer Ahead
Obtain a copy of high achieving private school and/or public school curriculums. Identify gaps between your child’s curriculum and those from the high achieving more affluent school districts.
Explore learned academic concepts and find relevance in your child’s everyday life. Math is used consistently in our lives For example, fractions in the kitchen when baking cookies, to algebra when calculating distance and time to grandma’s house.
Hire an older student within your own community to work with your child on particular subject content areas. Children have a way of communicating, that is unique to their generation and in some instances, may be able to teach academic skills in a way that is effective and easily understood. In doing so, your child not only gets a few extra skills under their belt, but a chance to see a positive model which reinforces the idea of, “If this person can do this, then so can I”.Soar High
Make use of the skills and talent within your community. Is there a songwriter, visual artist, or author in the neighborhood? What skills do you posses? Are you good at writing poems or stories? Are you able to sew or enjoy making fragrant soaps in your spare time? Coming together as a community to share skills and talents with the youth follows the adage; it takes a village to raise a child. In the process, our children develop skills beyond learning the ABC’s of traditional schooling. And we begin to not only shape their minds but moral values as well.
Research colleges within your city to identify continuing educational courses offered to young children during the summer vacation. There are many programs to supplement the general educational model. Find one that compliments the personality and ambitions of your child. The costs vary and it is very likely that you will find a course that is affordable and beneficial.
Take advantage of the summer months by exposing your child to different cultures. Visit neighborhoods with different ethnic groups than your own. If your primary mode of transportation is by car, venture out on a Saturday using public transportation. Go to cultural events or visit online websites that show the diversity in the world. These early glimpses of the world outside of a child’s everyday environment is a great first step at improving your child’s cultural intelligence, and can lead to him or her becoming more compassionate towards children of different ethnicities and/or children with special needs.