Homework Tips for Parents
1. Show a positive attitude towards mathematics
• Children will pick up on negative feelings about mathematics.
• Encourage efforts and accomplishments – persistence and working through problems are valuable life skills.
• Make math real; show connections between mathematics and your daily life.
• Have fun. Puzzles, board games, websites, and brainteasers can provide opportunities for the whole family to have fun together while experiencing mathematics.
2. Create a supportive work environment
• Provide a quiet work area for the child, with appropriate furniture and lighting.
• Supply the required materials, such as pencils, a ruler, etc.
3. Guide and support. Don’t teach.
• Remember, it is your child’s homework. Resist the temptation to do the work for your child.
• Set high standards by encouraging your child to do his or her best on each activity.
• Encourage responsibility by providing a homework tracking sheet that your child can use to record and check off homework assignments.
4. Ask questions. Be a supportive listener.
Explanations can give children a starting point and can often help them figure out a problem or reinforce a concept. Here are some sample questions:
• What is the problem?
• What do you know that may help you with the problem?
• What do you need to know?
• Where do you think you should begin?
• How can you show your work?
• Do you think your plan is working?
• What have you done so far?
• Where can you get help?
• Does your answer make sense?
• Is there another way to solve this problem?
5. Keep lines of communication open
• Note down any questions or comments as they come up.
• Contact your child’s teacher to discuss your concerns.
• Ask for literature or websites with more information on specific topics or on elementary mathematics in general.