When our students teach their parents what they’re learning, it helps them develop a deeper understanding of the material and improves overall academic achievement. One example of how this made a huge difference is with a kindergarten student at my school, Jahid. Through Family Playlists, Jahid’s teacher, Mrs. Sikder-Ali, and his mom, Ms. Henry, realized that Jahid learns best through learning games. They found he was far more engaged than with traditional homework. Ms. Henry also noticed something Mrs. Sikder-Ali had not; he was mixing up his numbers and saying “19” instead of “90.”
“In a class with more than 20 children, it might be difficult for Mrs. Sikder to notice such important but subtle detail,” Ms. Henry recently shared with me. “But, by using Family Playlists, I was able to communicate this to Mrs. Sikder, so we can both support Jahid at home and in the classroom.”
Bonus: If you want to help your child practice explaining ideas, have them create a video tutorial. They can practice skills like introducing the big picture, providing examples, and explaining steps. To get started, have your child use a concept map to organize information and show connections visually. Once the video is recorded, you can review it together and provide feedback.
2. Ask Questions
During homework time, ask your child guiding questions like the ones below to help them problem-solve using resources they have from class.
Try these helpful prompts before, during and after to nurture your child’s curiosity and agency.
- What are you learning in school that can help with this?
- Where can we find more information?
Explain the Process
- What strategy do you want to use? Why?
- Where should we start? What comes next?
- How does this connect to what you learned last week?
- When would you use this in the real world?
3. Team up with parents to support learning objectives
For a school to be truly effective, parents must be equal partners with teachers in their child’s education. This partnership can take many forms, such as engaging families in the learning objectives for the week, providing questions that parents can ask their student(s), and sending home activities they can do together.
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