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I want to share these Common Core Helpful Hints because although I taught second grade a few years ago, I am now on the other end- the parent of a third grader.  He is working with The Common Core, along with our First grader. This curriculum is a change, to say the least.

Now our two older boys are doing Common Core and I am trying to find ways to help them…
becky jack & beau

I am not going to say that it is the right or wrong curriculum, because, as with any curriculum, we have to give it time to prove itself. If we keep changing, as we have been doing, our students are never going to be able to ‘build’ on top of what they learned last year – and isn’t the the purpose of grades in school? To build on top of prior knowledge?

common core hints
Here are 5 tips that I found that I wanted to share:

1- Common Core test scores do not impact a student’s GPA or college acceptance.
I just had to throw that out there, because many parents do not realize this. The first year of scores will identify the areas where students need extra support and where they excel.

2- Minecraft is a good thing!
“Despite the claims of certain products that they teach your baby to read or do math, media that’s really good for learning may not produce immediate, observable results. Instead, websites and apps with the most learning potential help your child learn how to learn — and makes her want to come back for more. It’s a bit tough to find the good stuff, but it’s worth it. Many of the apps, games, and websites that Common Sense reviews also are rated for learning potential, so check our lists and reviews for hand-curated good stuff…

A few that incorporate these qualities include open-ended sandbox games such as Minecraft and Algodoo, creative games such as Faces iMake and Curious World, and math apps such as DragonBox and Get the Math.”

3- Bring the problems home.
Highlight real-life math problems. For example, ask your child to figure out the number of days until an event three weeks from today. Or have your child calculate how many weeks of allowance would need to be saved to buy a toy or game (or that new Football shirt that your son just HAS to have).

common core

4- Read aloud to your child above his or her own reading level.
It is so important for building knowledge and vocabulary. Select books that build on your child’s interests. We like to go for chapter books like The Magic Treehouse. Our kids love how creative and imaginative these books are, while still trying to find the answer to the problem and mystery!

Ps- start this at a young age with your children that will soon be learning Common Core.
reading with mom

5- When reading to your child, try to choose a balance of fiction and nonfiction.
Pleasure reading and reading for information don’t have
to be mutually exclusive. Build your child’s curiosity and explore new topics. Just because your child loves to read about superheroes doesn’t mean that you can’t read about tornados tonight. Open their mind to new things!

Source for a lot of the info today came from a partnership with



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Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. These are great tips and my 8 year old daughter will be happy to know that Minecraft is good…LOL!

    My only problem with CC is that our children are going to spend all this time learning the CC, only to have it completely change again in a couple years. One of the reasons I left teaching is because I got tired of learning an entirely new curriculum, only to have it change again once I finally felt like I knew it front to back. I’m not necessarily against common curriculum, I’m against the fact that it’s the new “Big Thing” but then in a couple years there will be another new “Big Thing”.

    Sorry, didn’t mean to turn this into a vent…I guess I get a little carried away when talking about these things 🙂

    1. That’s exactly right. If we could stick with it, it could work wonders, but they keep changing things, making it so much harder in the long run.