As most parents know, the academic school year lasts 180 days.  There is a lot of history as to how this number was chosen.  Schools must hit this number each year or it could impact certifications and government funding among other issues.

That said, is your child truly getting 180 days of quality teaching time?  Let’s look.  Standardized Testing time may take 3-5 days during an academic year.  Shortened schedule days due to teacher meetings and other administration functions cut into quality teaching time. Teacher sick days and potentially, your child’s sick days impact quality teaching time. Students pop in and out of school for a variety of doctor appointments.  Fire drills, tornado drills, other safety drills, and assemblies impact teaching time.  Throw in holiday parties and parents pulling some kids out of school for vacations and you can see teaching time can be greatly reduced in a given school year.  This does not even consider all the issues that have occurred with COVID.

In addition to challenges that cut into teaching time, there are the regular vacation times each year that impact the continuity between what is taught, learned, and remembered.  Long weekends, holiday breaks, and the summer can cause regression with much of what was taught.

You can be rather certain that your child’s teacher will do all they can to make the most of quality teaching time.  That said, will there be enough repetition time in the typical class schedule to make certain all that is taught is truly understood and mastered by your child?

This is where Challenge your Child can help.  Repetition is a great teacher and Challenge your Child skills are set up to create maximum repetition opportunities. Open-ended questions will help you assess what your child knows or needs to learn.  Follow-up questions are set up to further challenge your child’s knowledge base or create teaching opportunities where you can add to your child’s knowledge and understanding of critical concepts. These two question types used together can create as many challenge and repetition opportunities as needed to help ensure what is taught in school is truly understood and can be applied in a variety of ways.

Where to start?  Monitor the schoolwork coming home each day.  Create an educational dialogue using Open-ended questions to assess what your child is being taught and how well the material is understood.  Use Follow-up questions to create additional challenges to make sure the concept being taught is well-understood and can be applied in a variety of situations.  If needed, create further challenge and repetition opportunities to make sure critical concepts are confidently understood and can be applied. Doing this will greatly enhance your child’s understanding and preparation for the challenges that will surely come in school. 

Students can never get enough repetition. Coaches often say “We will practice this skill or play until you can’t possibly get it wrong!” With this idea in mind, creating challenge and repetition opportunities is one area where parent involvement can have a major impact on a child’s knowledge, true understanding, and academic confidence.  Don’t let interruptions in class time or extended vacation time impact the quality of your child’s understanding.  Use the Challenge your Child skills to move your child’s skillset forward.

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