Parenting 101: Helping your child with math
Q. My son is in third grade, and math is truly challenging for both of us this year. I am amazed at some of the assignments he has for homework. Math was never one of my favorite subjects and I feel like I am in elementary school all over again. When I try to help him with his homework, he tells me that I’m doing it wrong, and that his teacher does it differently. Can you please share with me some resources that will help me help my child?
A: There are several resources you can turn to for help. Ask your child’s teacher how math is being taught, so that you can reinforce at home what your son is learning in school instead of adding to his confusion by approaching it differently. If your schedule does not allow you to come early for school drop-off or talk with your child’s teacher after pick-up time in the afternoon, call the school to arrange a time to meet or e-mail the teacher.
Family Connections has a family liaison in every elementary school in the CH-UH School District and a parent resource center stocked with items you can borrow to support your child’s learning. The family liaison can provide suggestions for learning activities using simple household items. Family Connections also offers various school-based programs throughout the year. Call your child’s school or Family Connections (216-321-0079) to set up a time to talk with your family liaison.
Several websites provide useful information for parents who are uncomfortable with the so-called new math. These online resources offer videos explaining and demonstrating math strategies in a way that can be helpful to children and parents alike. Some websites provide interactive opportunities for children to practice important skills. Ask the Family Connections liaison at your child’s school for recommendations that fit your child's specific needs.
Charniece Holmes is a school connections coordinator with Family Connections. Her children are in college, but she remembers the joys and challenges of being a working parent with school-age children.