common core curriculumYou might hear teachers talking about the “Common Core Curriculum” or perhaps you’ve heard it discussed on the evening news. But, what exactly does “Common Core” mean, how will it impact your child’s education – and how does quality child care/preschool contribute to your child’s future potential?

Common Core Curriculum

First, some definitions. Here are key facts provided by the State Impact website that help to explain what Common Core really means:

  • “Common Core is a set of expectations for what students should know and be able to do in math and English at each grade level.”
  • These standards were developed by teachers, and language and math experts, among others.
  • “Ohio is one of 45 states that fully adopted the Common Core” with Ohio doing so in June 2010 (which was the earliest time in which a state could do so).
  • In the 2014-2015 school year, “Ohio will switch to a new system of standardized tests aligned to the Common Core.” These replace current standardized tests and will be given on computers.

You can find more information at Ohio’s State Board of Education site.

What this means for your preschooler

Education Week took an in-depth look at what Common Core means for preschoolers who are just on the brink of beginning their formal education. Here, we highlight two important concepts for parents.

Balance is key: Common Core standards focus on increasing “academic rigor”; but, with young children, this must be balanced with their developmental needs, which requires that high value is placed on “play, the arts, social skills, and integrated instruction.”

One way to solve that – and it’s a method that we at Horizon embrace – is to engage children in games and play that supports content found in Common Core standards.

Assessing young children’s performance is challenging: Head Start Executive Director Yasmina Vinci shares that her organization doesn’t lay out rigid academic requirements for young students because progress is irregular at younger ages.

One recommendation that we support: whenever standards are discussed for preschoolers, professionals in early childhood development should get a voice so that, again, balance is achieved. And, as Common Core standards are implemented throughout K-12, educational professionals will be monitoring and analyzing results, and tweaks to the standards are always possible.

What parents can do to help

Take advantage of opportunities to engage your children in fun games that have learning components to them. Here are preschool math games provided by, such as: also provides fun reading games for your preschoolers, such as:

Also take advantage of programs and resources found at your public library and consider workbooks such as the Let’s Get Ready for Preschool Common-Core 256-Page Bind-Up Workbook.

If you’re looking for a quality affordable preschool/child care program that provides the types of educational programs that help prepare your child for K-12, contact the Horizon Education Center in your neighborhood.