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Math and Family Support
I'm adding this page to my web site because I believe that family involvement makes a difference with success in math class. There are several things that I can advise all parents to consider and then I provide some advice that varies depending on your situation.
Every parent should:
- Spend some time with their child during math homework (especially watching videos)
- Hold children accountable for the understanding of math concepts. Ask them some questions about their homework or classwork, they should be able to answer.
- Be paranoid when a child says that they get everything prior to the test and then repeatedly perform poorly on tests. This situation requires diagnosis (and merely accepting "test anxiety" is not the best answer). Bring your child in to meet with the teacher, go through previous test questions and discuss test preparation strategies. We all have an issue with objectivity. Students that perform poorly on tests should be coming in for extra help. Also, for students working in groups, they should regularly share their work with others and they should be looking at other students' work as well.
When a student has a history of difficulty in math class:
- Students need more support from the family than ever
- Students should not be condemned for failure, but instead should be praised for effort
- Parents and teachers should hold students accountable for putting in the effort required to improve the situation even if the improvement is only slight. It's the habits the student learns that are much more beneficial than the topics they are learning.
When a student is not putting in their full effort:
Some students require that their parents be an advocate. They're shy, they have low math self-esteem. They need all the support they can get. On the other hand, some students just don't put in the required effort to succeed. They put extra curricular activities as a higher priority above academics. If a student needs to put in more effort and just doesn't, there's a life lesson that needs to be learned. Here's a video I ran across that discusses this issue:
Should you let your child fail?
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