You’ve heard it before from parents: “I can’t help my child with math…I’m not good at it, either!” Remind your students’ parents that they don’t have to be mathematicians to help their children through math homework. Here are a few ways they can be effective:
Have children walk them through homework problems. Math is a subject in which it is easy to make careless mistakes. When children get answers wrong, parents should have them take them through the problems step by step.
Encourage writing down questions. If math becomes too advanced for Mom or Dad to help, parents can still serve as a sounding board and nudge their children to write down what exactly they don’t understand. Then, children can bring those questions to you for a more productive and focused conversation.
Ask about other strategies. In math, there are often multiple ways to do problems. Parents can offer alternatives if they have any they know well, but more effective would be to ask their children to share how else a problem might be solved and what they discovered when attempting the problem that way.
Use other examples. Parents can have their children go back to examples that teachers went over in class when struggling with homework. If a worksheet was based on problems covered in a textbook, it might be eye-opening for children to show parents how those problems worked and use them to figure out the ones they’re working on.
Suggest calling a classmate. Especially for middle and high school students, sometimes the best way to get help is to call a classmate. Parents should encourage this when it makes sense and their children feel comfortable doing so, as it can often be a quick way to get help.
As math becomes more difficult, many parents feel concerned when their children struggle because they’re not equipped to help. If you have a student who needs outside-the-classroom instruction and is also missing skills, refer them to Huntington. We’ll design a customized tutoring program to get them back on track, no matter what level of math their children are taking.