Being a parent is the most important and satisfying job in the world. As parents, we all want to help and support our children so that they can grow up to be the best they can be. Their successes are our successes, and their failures are also our failures. They are constantly growing and changing. Sometimes it is hard to know if we are asking too little or too much of our children.
I find that everyone seems to have an opinion when it comes to education, because it is something we all have in common. Good or bad, most of us have had our own school experiences, and we sometimes reflect back to those experiences when dealing with our own children. It is important to remember that education is changing. We know so much more today about how children develop and learn. The classroom of yesterday is not the classroom of today. Now, the focus is on helping our children to become creative thinkers and problem solvers, who work well with others.
As an experienced elementary school teacher, I am often asked by parents for resources to help them support their children. I have put together a list of my four favorite free websites that I find very helpful, as both a teacher and a mom.
- The Child Development Institute As a parent, it is important to understand where your child is developmentally. This website is an excellent resource that offers expert articles, as well as a blog about the various stages and aspects of development. From physical development to intellectual, language and social – emotional development, this website offers parents resources about child development, parenting, and family life.
- Council of the Great City Schools Parent Roadmaps Council of the Great City Schools provides Parent Roadmaps to Common Core Standards for both English Language Arts and Mathematics. These Parent Roadmaps are easy to read and available for grades Kindergarten through High School. These resources can help parents get a good understanding of what their child will be learning and offer questions to ask your child’s teacher. I like that the Parent Roadmaps connect learning to the previous grade level, as well as the next grade level. There is also a section of how you can help your child, along with some additional resources.
- Scholastic for Parents When most people think of Scholastic, they think of a publishing company. It is so much more. Scholastic has a thorough website full of resources to help you and your growing elementary aged child be a successful learner. There are resources about child development, along with information to support your child for each grade level and engaging activities for children through age 13. One of my favorite parts of this website are all of the resources about reading it makes available to parents. From articles about reading, to book lists, to a book search feature to help children find “Just Right Books”, Scholastic shares this abundance of resources absolutely free.
- Edutopia Parent Partnership in Education: Resource Roundup We all know what a creative visionary George Lucas is. But, did you know that George Lucas has been committed to making education better for students for the past twenty-five years? Edutopia, part of the George Lucas Educational Foundation, is an educational website and community that shares resources to promote problem solving, creative thinking, and collaboration. This comprehensive parent page provides resources on a variety of topics that all encourage families to support student learning. A valuable list of additional resources for parent involvement is also included.
There are many more valuable websites and resources out there, but these are a few of my favorites. I hope you find them helpful as your child grows and develops as a learner.
What are some resources you find helpful? I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback!