How to Help Your Kids with Their Math Homework

The challenge many parents face when it comes to helping their kids with math homework is that the methods of teaching have changed. It isn’t that math itself has changed, but the processes used to arrive at the correct solution can be many and varied. As long as a person obeys the rules of math, there could be several different ways of approaching the solution to a problem. When a student gets help from their parents, they might say, “That’s not how my teacher showed me to do it!”

This can be very frustrating for both you as the parent as well as your kids. So how do you get over this obstacle and be successful in helping your child with math homework? Here are some dos and don’ts that will help you successfully help your kids with their homework:

Don’t do this:

  1. Don’t ask your child how the teacher said to do the homework. This only shows your child you don’t know how to do it, plus if they could remember everything the teacher said, they wouldn’t need your help.
  2. Wait to contact the teacher. It’s good practice for your child to come ask you for help. Do as much as you can.
  3. Don’t give your child a note to take to school that says the homework isn’t done because he (and you!) don’t know how to do it. Make a concerted effort. If you need to contact, do it by email.

Do this:

  1. Start out positive and avoid stress and anxiety. Acknowledge your child’s accomplishments in math and especially on this particular assignment.
  2. Make sure you have all the tools you need. Do this by asking your child to get all of them ready ahead of time. Paper, pencils, calculators, books, etc.
  3. Ask your child to show you some examples. They can either be from the textbook or from your child’s class notes.
  4. Use the internet. You can often type in a math homework problem, especially the word problems, and find a suitable example on the internet. You might even find the problem completely solved, so all you have to do is explain the steps.’
  5. Have your child go through each step of the solution and explain it to you. This step will help them understand the process more clearly so they can do the next problem on their own.
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