As an educator my goal has always been to help students reach their greatest academic potential. One of the biggest adjustments I have had to make while staying at home is to let go somewhat of my children as they go to school and trust their academic development to their teachers. Now, this does not mean that I take a “hands-off” approach to their education, however it does mean that I cannot call their teacher everyday for a play-by-play of their progress.
One of the biggest struggles I had when teaching was making sure that the skills we worked on in class were reinforced at home. So when my daughter went to kindergarten, this is just what I intended to do. In order to do this I needed to know her strengths and weaknesses, and while I could give a general list, I wanted more details to be able to help.
Then came the homework night. Her assignment was simple: to practice her math addition and subtraction facts (0-5). She had been told she would be assessed on these facts at a later date. Now I know that when kids become frustrated they can hit a wall, and for my daughter things academically have always come naturally. So after dinner we took out the flash cards and began to practice. She did one, two, three and then bam! Just like that she completely melted down and there I was sitting there trying to figure out exactly what had happened. An hour and a half later I finally understood – she was under the impression she was going to be asked to “write every math equation and answer” (meaning she had to memorize them entirely not just know the answer) and she had just come to a problem that was a challenge for her.
After getting her calmed down and into bed, my educator mind started creating. Fun ways to practice these pesky facts, quick assessments to help me see where the struggles might come in so we could head them off with games and activities that practice these skills through play. A few quick Halloween themed games that practice counting on using the number grid (and familiarizing her with the number grid), a Subtraction Spiders quick math fact matching game, and so on. And guess what? It worked fabulously! Rather then sit down again to practice those facts in the same way, potentially opening things up for another meltdown, we sat down to play. And it was fun!
So I had fixed a problem in our home, and I knew I wasn’t the only parent who ever had to try to console an upset kiddo over homework they didn’t understand or found challenging. At this point I began using Teachers Pay Teachers to upload these activities I was creating for my own children in the hopes of helping teachers, parents, and children everywhere who might need some extra help on a skill here or there. This is how Curriculum Collection was born.