As fall is approaching, parents are scrambling to figure out school plans for this upcoming year. Most of us are feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about what to do and how to do it. As both a parent and an educator, I share this sentiment. Virtual learning, in-person learning, social distancing, wearing masks all-day….I have a hard time catching my breath just thinking about it. And then, when I think about the parents who aren’t educators, or who don’t have independent learners at home, I realize I have a lot to be grateful for!
What I have on my side is I know how to teach. Whether it’s my children, my students, online, or in-person, at least I can rely on my knowledge of instruction to support everyone I am responsible for educating, regardless of the method. Most parents aren’t privy to this information. You can Google it, check out Pinterest, or comb through Teachers Pay Teachers, but a random collection of articles, printables, and techniques won’t give you all the tools needed for effective instruction.
Parents don’t have a toolbox of strategies to support their child, especially when they are struggling to understand. Even worse, adults often misinterpret learning problems as behavior problems. 80% of all behavior issues in school are due to an underlying learning issue (-Todd A. Gravois, ICAT Resources). 80%!! This means we can expect that when a child is not understanding, they will probably act out, and usually the situation spirals from there.
There are essential elements to teaching and learning every parent should know. Whether teaching a toddler to put their toys away or working on multiplication facts with your third grader, science shows there is a best way to convey the information. Most parents don’t know that when a child’s mental RAM is overloaded with too much new information, they will not only become confused, they can lose or misunderstand all new learning and insecure concepts. The educator’s next step at this point is critical because things are going to go one of two ways. It can either lead to building student success and confidence or it can lead to the student feeling incapable and inadequate. I know from first-hand experience (as both the parent and as the child) how painful learning from your parent becomes when frustrations run high.
I can help
I created A Parent’s Guide to Supporting Children in Learning at Home because I have information to share that I wish I would have known when Jada was young. My mom even said the same thing. After reading the book she said if she had this knowledge when I was young she thinks we could have avoided a lot of conflict.
As parents are becoming responsible for more and more of their child’s learning, I started to realize the imminent need for them to have a basic working knowledge of effective instructional practices. I am confident this easy-to-navigate comprehensive toolkit will ensure every parent is prepared to support their child successfully.