Making sense of your child’s math homework

12/14/2015

The Florida Standards will make our children critical thinkers and better prepared for the future. However the transition to higher standards for local students, teachers and parents can be challenging at times.  As a parent, I experience on a first-hand basis the positives and, at times, challenging math homework assignments. When I’m not so sure if we’re doing math homework correctly, I ultimately browse the internet searching for terms such as “doubles plus one.” I also communicate with my son’s first grade teacher by asking for extra resources or explanations.

It’s easy to use the phrase, “Back in my day” when discussing how to solve a math problem with adults and children alike. However, completing homework assignments with your child requires every parent to understand the terms, logic and reasoning behind solving word problems and drawing pictures to depict the answer. To help my son, I’ve committed to learning the new concepts to finding the correct math answers. I’ve also signed up for a future Parent Academy course on the subject matter as well.

When I’m stumped on a math problem — I let my son know! Moms and Dads don’t always have the right answer. We take a quick break so that I can research the terms and gain a better understanding of the math problems. After I’ve found homework help on DuvalSchools.org or handouts provided by his teacher, we continue working on the homework assignment.

Last month, I was extremely grateful to see a handout placed in my son’s communication folder. It read: Elementary Math Parent Homework Helpline.

The helpline began on November 3 on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-8 p.m. Parents can participate online or by phone (571) 392-7703, Pin: 731439616412. Certified teachers are able to assist with solving problems and discussing mathematical questions and issues children are learning in class.

As a parent of a first grader, I would encourage every parent and guardian to be open to learning new concepts to helping their child complete their homework assignments.

Take advantage of the parent engagement workshops hosted at your child’s school or another school. Last month, I attended a one hour Ready to Learn Workshop organized by WJCT at Merrill Road Elementary. It was a joy hearing children explain what they believed would happen next as the facilitator read the book in the cafeteria room of about 15 parents, children and teachers. My son was given a free book, Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco that we added to his home library. As a parent I learned different techniques such as pausing to ask a question and making connections to our life and the literature. There’s plenty of resources available to parents and guardians — take advantage of those at the district-level and those hosted by community partners such as WJCT for your child!

 

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