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Helping With (Ugh) Math Homework

When You Don't Like (Ugh) Math Yourself

 

Q. Helping my child with math homework is hell for me. I hated math in school, and now I see history repeating itself with my daughter. She hates it, too! But the fact that I didn't do well in math really cut me off from pursuing many good career options. She has to do better than I did! But she needs assistance, and I can see her confidence shrinking. Help!

 

Join the club. Or maybe the universe! There are lots and lots of parents in the same boat. But good news: there's lots and lots of help, too.

 

Consider these resources and ideas:

 

         Article, "Doing Mathematics With Your Child," Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education:

www.math.com/parents/articles/domath.html

 

  • Article with lesson plans for many easy at-home activities, "Helping Your Child Learn Math," www.math.com:

www.math.com/parents/articles/helpmath.html

 

  • The public library has math-based storybooks, math videos and computer software for check-out. Ask a librarian to show you, and explain what you're doing. There may be other resources, including how-to manuals, available.

 

  • Your school might consider sponsoring Math Nights twice a year or so, bringing parents and children together to school for math enrichment activities and fun.

 

  • Your school might also devise Math Backpacks, which are simply backpacks stuffed with subtraction exercises, pattern blocks, time-telling activities, measurement devices, and other sorts of grade-level organized activities for children and parents to do together.

 

  • Ask your child's teacher for ideas for materials and activities to do together, and ask for hints on how to tell when your child is getting bored or frustrated and so forth.

 

  • When you read the newspaper, circle or cut out uses of math in the sports section, stock reports, tax stories from City Hall and so forth, and use them to explain everyday math to your child.

 

  • Take your child grocery shopping with you and talk about prices, measurements, and how to use math to spot a good deal on your child's favorite treat; later, go over the receipt with your child and show how sales tax is computed and so forth.

 

 

Homework: There's more good information on parents helping their children with math homework, including pre-algebra, algebra and geometry skills, on:

 

www.math.com/parents/helpyourkids.html

 

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.ShowandTellforParents.com Homework 09 2008

 

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