Posted by: degarcia | November 24, 2008

Parent Getting Involved

Parent Involvement Being involved in your child’s mathematical experience is a crucial element to their achievement. Although many parents are willing to get involved, they lack the mathematical “know how” of even knowing where to start. Here are a few ideas to get you actively involved in your child’s mathematic success.

Be Positive!

If you have negative attitudes about math, chances are your child will too. Help your child develop a “can do” attitude. Don’t be afraid to talk with your child about their struggles in math- although it may be difficult, hard work and endurance lead to success. Make sure that they know they are not alone in their struggles- it is normal to find math challenging.

Connect Math to Reality

Teachers are often approached by their students with the ongoing question, “When am I ever going to use this?” Parents should help their children to see that these concepts they are learning in school are pertinent to their lives. They can do this through participating in a variety of mathematical activities. For instance, give your child 10$ at the grocery store and have them buy ingredients for dinner, while staying under budget. Construct a weekly or daily schedule with your child to help them understand the concept of elapsed time. Cooking is a great way to incorporate fractions into daily life. Making a recipe smaller or larger is also great practice for manipulating fractions. Another suggestion is to open up a bank account with your child and help them to keep track of deposits and withdrawals.

Keep Expectations High

The traditional view of mathematics is that only certain students can really succeed. Many students believe that only the “gifted” can find success in math. Today, teachers are guided by the vision that all can succeed. You would never expect that your child won’t be able to read; the same should go for mathematics. The potential you see in your child plays an important role in their success in the future. Communicate your belief in your child with mathematics along with their other academic endeavors. Make sure that your child is being challenged, and is happy with their own progress.

Support Homework, Don’t Do It!

Homework can often become a source of contention in your home, which is an understandable situation. Be sure to keep your perspective and remember whose homework it is. If you immediately save your child from a question they don’t understand, they are learning that they can give up easily or that they need to seek help every time a challenging problem comes up. Try to see yourself as more of a guide than a teacher- your role should be to support but also to make your child responsible for their own work and their own learning.

Check out these websites for more support and ideas:


Monroe, E. E. (2008, December) Families and mathematics: Helping children succeed in, and enjoy, mathematics. The Foothill Breeze.



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