Parenting for Academic Success: A Curriculum for Families Learning English
is a 12–unit curriculum designed for parents who are non–native speakers of English. Its goals are two–fold:
- To develop the English language skills of parents.
- To increase the ability of parents to support the language and literacy development of their children in kindergarten through grade three.
The curriculum has two components—a set of Parent Workbooks for all 12 units and a comprehensive Teacher’s Resource Manual. The organizational framework for each unit follows the stages of a lesson: Review/Warm–Up, Introduction, Presentation and Practice, Assessment, Evaluation, and Application.
Each lesson in the Parent Workbooks includes:
- Activities to support the language development of parents.
- Content knowledge development for parents to support their child’s learning.
- Activities for parents to take home and do with their child.
Each unit in the Teacher’s Resource Manual provides:
- The Unit Overview, which identifies a unit goal and offers background information and research on the unit’s topic.
- The Lesson Plans, which identify a goal, parenting skills and language skills objectives, and suggested procedures for facilitating activities in the corresponding Parent Workbook.
- The Teacher Resources Section, which provides references, suggestions for further reading, reproducible masters for activities that require separate handouts for parents, and reproducible Parent Surveys in English and Spanish.
Parenting for Academic Success is designed for adult education and parent education and has ties to several documents that guide adult educators. The following describes how this curriculum relates to those documents.
The National Reporting System (NRS; www.nrsweb.org), through a document used by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), identifies proficiency levels for adult learners in English as a Second Language (ESL) and in Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs. Parenting for Academic Success is targeted to adult ESL learners at the high beginning and intermediate proficiency levels as described in the NRS document. The NRS document also correlates the scores on several different tests to the various proficiency levels.
Equipped for the Future (EFF) is a set of standards developed by the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL; www.nifl.gov). The standards are organized by three major adult roles—family member, worker and citizen. Parenting for Academic Success focuses on the adult role of family member (parent); however, the skills parents
practice also are applicable to worker and citizen roles. For example, applying effective reading strategies is as applicable to the worker and citizen roles as it is to the family member role.
The Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS; www.CASAS.org) is a set of competencies organized by topics (e.g., health, employment) and assessments designed to measure the attainment of those competencies. Many states use CASAS to report learner gains. Because Parenting for Academic Success focuses
on parental support of children’s language and literacy development, the majority of the objectives come from the content area of “Learning to Learn.” For example, through the take–home activities, parents develop personal responsibility and skill in evaluating outcomes.
The Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS; wdr.doleta.gov/SCANS), a document developed by the United States Department of Labor, identifies skills that employers expect competent workers to have. The types of activities designed for parents in Parenting for Academic Success develop skills identified in the SCANS document. For example, pair and small group work develop the ability of learners to work effectively with others; reflection activities develop thinking skills; and take–home activities develop skills in using resources wisely and in acquiring and evaluating information.
Parenting for Academic Success simultaneously builds parents’ English language skills as they learn strategies to support their child’s language and literacy development. Parents learn and practice new concepts in the classroom, then transfer their learning home with take–home activities that help their child prepare for and succeed in school.
The curriculum focuses on three parenting skill areas:
- Home Language and Culture (Units 2 & 3)
- School and Culture (Units 4 & 5)
- Language and Literacy Development (Units 6-11)
Unit 1 offers teachers the opportunity to introduce the curriculum to parents and focus them on the goals of the
program. Unit 12 provides an opportunity for parents to celebrate their accomplishments.
Sample pages are available for download above.
Parenting for Academic Success was developed and funded by the following organizations who are at the forefront of the literacy and language fields:
- The National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) is
recognized worldwide as the leader in family literacy development. NCFL works with educators and community builders through an array of services to design and sustain programs that meet the most urgent educational needs of disadvantaged families.
Parenting for Academic Success was developed by NCFL in collaboration with the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) and K. Lynn Savage, Educational Consultant.
NCFL provides training that can enhance the delivery of Parenting for Academic Success: A Curriculum for Families Learning English. For more information, call (502) 584-1133 or visit www.famlit.org.
- Verizon Communications provided funding for the development of Parenting for Academic Success and supports NCFL and its Hispanic Family Learning Institute. Verizon’s support of the literacy cause includes Verizon Literacy Campus, a free online resource, at www.literacycampus.org.