Practical Homework Help – Tips for Math
Most parents are just getting acquainted or still getting used to Common Core Math. While it is easy to get intimidated by and frustrated with new approaches, the fundamentals of math will always remain the same. Here is what I keep in mind when helping my own children with their math homework.
What Is It Saying?
With Common Core math, word problems are emphasized. Most of the time, children have difficulty understanding what is being stated in the scenario. Make sure they understand the math terms introduced in the unit of study by looking up definitions and examples in the math glossary. You can also help your children understand the math problem by drawing pictures, diagrams or graphs.
Practice Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills
After reading a math word problem, ask your child to paraphrase what is being asked and guide them to determine what math function(s) may be needed. Yes, that’s right. Allow them to discover that there may be more than one step required! Helping your children realize this is an important step in developing their critical thinking skills. Have your children work out their math process and “show their work” on a sheet of paper. This gives them a visual on what is happening with that math problem and gives them a record of what has been attempted. Hurray if your children get the right answer!
Emphasize Growth Mindset
What should you do if your child doesn’t get an answer or they still get the wrong answer after a bazillion tries? You leave it be. Let your child know that this is the process of learning and that they may still need a little more practice. Have your child bring evidence of their attempts to the teacher. This gives feedback to your child’s teacher to reteach and review a concept. Ask your child’s teacher if they also have recommended resources on how to extend math learning at home.
Wishing you much success!
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