AM Buffalo


STEPP program to help parents

Posted at 10:52 AM, Sep 04, 2020

UB Educational Opportunity Center has a really great free course to help you be a better parent teacher. Parents are going to have to support their kids so much more this school year. Don’t be overwhelmed. Back to school is really stressful this year for parents as well as kids. How is school going to look and, a lot of it is going online. If you are struggling to be a better teacher and you’re not a teacher, you’re a parent; well don’t worry. The University of Buffalo’s Educational Opportunity Center has a free online course you can take to help you help your kids with their online learning. They have created a program called STEPP program. It’s the strategies to educational preparation for parents, says Dr. Julius, Gregg Adams, executive director of Buffalo Educational Opportunity Center. They have created it based on conversations with their staff and some of the students that go there that are parents because their children have to learn remotely or hybrid which is a combination of learning at school and at home and they don’t feel comfortable with that. They feel nervous about it and they want to try the best they can to help their kids. So, this program is not making them teachers, not making them expert tutors but giving them a skill set. Dr. Adams says they are calling it a portfolio of skills.

The course is designed for parents of elementary school kids to help with time management, fostering your kid’s creativity and focus. It also helps you understand the curriculum so you can help your kids. Dr. Adams says they open up the conversation about common core. He goes on to say they don’t defend it or discuss common core other than to introduce individuals to the concept.

Their goal is to educate parents about what they need to do, give them some basic skills about child development, about attention and concentration, motivation and then at the end of this give them a series of resources they can use to support their kids.

Dr. Adams says one of the first things parents have to understand is that they really do have more skill sets than they believe, and they really need to reassure their kids. A lot of elementary students har about COVID-19 and the pandemic but they don’t know what that means or they are terrified that means a grandparent will die immediately or they are at risk so they need assurance. Taking the time to reassure your children, taking the time to take breaks with them. If they are doing homework don’t believe they have to sit down for two or three hours at a time, break it up, help them relax and try to have as much fun. He says he knows that sounds crazy but have as much fun as you can with them, encourage them to be creative, to want to do this as opposed to it’s a chore they have to do.

While there are certain eligibility criteria that qualifies you to take the free online course, Dr. Adams says not to worry too much about this. He goes on to say if you don’t meet the criteria they are willing to try and help you.