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Parenting: Your Child’s Success in Math | Parenting

Parenting: Your Child’s Success in Math

Parenting: Your Child’s Success in Math

Parenting: Your Child’s Success in Math

Parenting: Your Child’s Success in Math - Math is in the news and many are feeling concerned about the disappointing Canadian results from the last ten years of education. Kathryn Blaze Carlson summarized the concerns in her article: Math Wars: The division over how to improve test scores. Elizabeth Renzetti responded with : Math-obsessed parents should sit back, relax and count to 10 .

Ms. Renzetti reminds us that our parents weren’t helping us with our homework and that today’s parents need to wrap their heads around their “Math Anxiety” and take a breather.

There is no question that many parents feel panicked about the steadily decreasing abilities of Canadian students to do math. Our question is,

    Are Panic and Relaxation the only two options or is there something in the middle that can help our kids?”

Parenting Power believes that there is a middle ground, a way to Parent with a Plan around our children’s math problems.

So we will jump on board with Ms. Renzetti and say, yes don’t get completely caught up in a panic about your child’s math because that won’t help anybody. And we’ll also say – there is some parental responsibility required here. Not necessarily about what “isn’t happening” at school, but what needs to be happening in the home.

Not everything can happen at school (although, it would be nice if the techniques being used were successful in teaching our kids math that will get them through their lives and their advanced education.) Let’s stop laying blame and take some responsibility.

As a parent, this is what you can do to support your child’s math learning:

Know your child’s strengths and weaknesses as a learner – this means more than looking at report card marks once a semester. It means engaging in dialogue with your child on a regular basis (in the car, at the dinner table) discussing what happened in math today.

Hold your child accountable for homework – don’t just leave it to them and the computer that lists their assignments. In Elementary School, set guidelines around homework. Kids aren’t born knowing how to organize themselves; they need to be taught so create a place and a time for homework to happen. Once you know that they can handle it, you can back off but don’t just hope that they figure it out.

Talk math with your kids – not necessarily Plato, calculus or theory (although please do if you actually know that stuff.) Have them calculate the GST on the next chocolate bar they buy. Teach them to determine the tip at a restaurant. Get them estimating the amount of time it will take to get ready for the hockey practice – when should they start packing their bags and making a snack? Bake cookies and double a recipe, Drill Times Tables in the car on the way to hockey practice. This is math – REAL LIFE MATH.

Parenting, Ultimately, we can sit back and blame the other guy for our kids’ failings, or we can set our own kids up for success.

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