Creating Meaningful Home-to-School Connections
Three ways to treat and cure your parental FoMA using DreamBox
“FoMO” is officially a word now, at least according to the good folks at Miriam Webster. For those who don’t know what it means, it’s sort of social media shorthand for a 21st century phenomenon known as “fear of missing out.” If you’re the parent or guardian of a K-8 student, don’t worry about it. You’re too busy to experience FoMO. But, you may suffer from something far more diabolical: FoMA.
You won’t find FoMA in the dictionary (yet), because we just we made it up. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have it. FoMA is fear of math assignments. It’s that paralyzing anxiety that parents and guardians of elementary school-aged children experience when their kids ask for help with their math homework. If you’ve recoiled in horror at the sight of a take-home math worksheet, you may have FoMA. And, you’re not alone.
We joke, but math anxiety is real. And the truth is math looks very different today than it did when you were in school. Whether you yourself struggled with numbers as a student certainly plays a factor in how you feel about fraction division today. But, even parents who aced Algebra are intimidated by “the new math.” Still, as the adults in the room, we as parents (and even we as teachers) often feel like we have to have all the answers—and when we don’t, we panic. Please don’t.
Study after study confirms that students who have parents that are involved in their education tend to have higher attendance rates, better social skills, and are more likely to graduate. That’s why DreamBox is committed to supporting parents like you who want to be involved in their children’s education. And, you don’t have to be a mathematician with all the answers to play an active role. Here are three ways you can leverage DreamBox to overcome FoMA and have deeper conversations with your child and their teacher about what they’re learning in school:
- The DreamBox Parent Dashboard
If your child has a DreamBox Learning account through their school, you can easily set up access to the Parent Dashboard, if you have a computer or iPad at home. The Parent Dashboard provides a detailed current view of your child’s academic progress. It’s set up similar to the dashboard your child’s teacher uses, so you get to see what the teacher sees. This not only makes it easier for you understand how your child is learning and progressing, but it empowers you to have more informed discussions with the teacher and to better advocate on your child’s behalf. From the Parent Dashboard, you can also view reporting and see how well your child is working in the lessons.
- DreamBox Student Progress Emails
DreamBox automatically emails you whenever your student achieves a significant academic milestone. This detailed correspondence offers congratulations, explains the math topic your child has just mastered, and suggests strategies and activities you as a parent can use at home to reinforce what they’ve learned at school. Some emails even include a Certificate of Achievement. And, because knowledge is built most effectively when concepts are presented regularly, DreamBox reminds you to encourage your child to play two or more times per week for at least 15 minutes.
- The DreamBox Family Hub
From the DreamBox Dashboard you can access the Family Hub, a great resource for motivational materials—including calendars, math journals, posters, and more—that we encourage you to download and print to help your child set goals and track progress at home. Resources are available in both English and Spanish for students in all grades.
At DreamBox, we believe family involvement is vital to a student’s success in school. We hope the aforementioned tools empower the parents of DreamBox users to play a more active role in homework, goal setting, and other curriculum-related activities—and to overcome their FoMA for good. #FoMA J
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