SnappSchool a new startup compiling a weekly rundown of the Kindergarten to 6th-grade math curriculum for parents. The idea is that if parents understand more about what and how their children are learning, they can better support their children’s education.
Each digest contains a “quick refresher” about the topic, links to further resources and exercises, and a link to a news story or other information that connects the topic to the real world. SnappSchool hires certified teachers to write the digests, and they’re based on Common Core Standards thatall but five states use. Because the emails are not coordinated by your children’s specific teachers, however, they might be paced slightly ahead or behind their actual classroom lessons.
Parents simply sign up for the appropriate grade level to receive emails each week. The service is free for three weeks and then costs $7.99 to continue the year.
“To do long division, I don’t need the full lesson my fourth grader needs to get through it, but I do need a little reminder. It’s not something I do every day,” explains SnappSchool co-founder John Halloran. “At that level what often also happens is that there may be different ways of teaching things.” There are legs to the startup’s theory that more-involved parents beget better students.
A recent survey by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that parental involvement is linked to better student performance. “Just asking your child how was their school day and showing genuine interest in the learning that they are doing can have the same impact as hours of private tutoring,” Andreas Schleicher, who oversees OECD exams, told The New York Times.
SnappSchool’s first stab at connecting parents with classrooms was a product that allowed teachers to easily SMS or email the parents of students in their classes. It’s a good idea, but hard to monetize and dependent upon teacher initiative.
Halloran hopes that the new SnappSchool digests will give any parent the opportunity to connect with their children’s education, even if it’s just a matter of checking in once in a while. “Everybody asks, ‘what did you do in school today?,” and the kids never answer,” he says. “If you can ask, ‘I know you’re doing long division, how is that?,’ then it’s a little bit easier.”
Do you have school-aged children? Would you find a weekly digest of their curriculum helpful? Or would it just be another newsletter to ignore?