TIP SHEET #9: What Parents Need to Do for Math Success
It’s a team effort: math homework is math practice.
- Read the material from the teacher of each class your teen is in. At the start of each school year, a ton of information comes home in binders and backpacks. Say: “What did you bring home that I should read?” Read it carefully, even though your teen may not offer it to you.
- Parents are instrumental for success in math – without even tackling the subject matter. Poor performance in a math class is usually not related to not understanding math. Not practicing with homework assignments or not correctly practicing for tests is more likely the problem.
- Ask to see their work every night. If you make it policy in your house for the math book and work to come home every night, you get a good grip on the amount and quality of math work. You won’t have to deal with: “We don’t have any homework tonight,” or “I forgot my book.”
- Don’t try to teach your teen the way you did it in school. Math teachers today are very picky about the process, the steps, and doing it their own way. Teens get frustrated and want to quit if you impose your old-school math learning on them.
- Consider a grade book at home to keep track of grades and points. Let your teen be in charge of this, and don’t hover. Match your log with the online grades from the teacher. This is a visual tool you can both see, and a sense of accomplishment grows as grades come in.
- If you have questions about how things are coming along, don’t hesitate to email the teacher. Phone calls are less effective, as the teacher is in front of students all day and can’t get to the phone. Email is much better.
- Take time with your teen every evening at the beginning of the school year, and you’ll pave the way for better grades and self-confidence in the future.
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