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 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, parent conferences, and assemblies impact teaching time. Throw in holiday parties and some parents pulling 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. Add it up, and 180 days of school time with various interruptions may actually lead to around 150 days of quality teaching time. This is roughly five months of quality teaching time throughout the calendar year.
In addition to challenges that cut into teaching time, regular vacation times each year 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, remembered, 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 help parents create maximum repetition opportunities to be sure key concepts taught in school are well understood and can be applied.
Where to start? Monitor the schoolwork coming home each day. Create an educational dialogue using Open-ended questions to assess what your child is learning and how well the material is understood. Use Follow-up questions to create additional challenges and dialogue to add to your child’s knowledge base. If needed, create further challenge and repetition opportunities to make sure critical concepts are confidently understood and can be applied in various ways. Using these skills will greatly enhance your child’s understanding of key concepts and help prepare 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 base, 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 knowledge and skillset forward.