Tips for Parents

Success in Mathematics

“In this complex world, it takes more than a good school to educate children. And it takes more than a good home. It takes these two major educational institutions working together.”
-Dorothy Rich, author of MegaSkills

Math is a subject that all students CAN learn and it will enhance their opportunities and their self-esteem later in life. The Power of Mathematics opens doors to new knowledge and understanding. Math is not hereditary – there is no math gene (at least I don’t know of any!). The worst thing any parent can tell their child is that they were “bad in math” and that they understand why they are having trouble. Do not make excuses for students. If you do, their expectations (and yours) cost some children their math education. Everyone needs math to understand the world around them and make sound decisions on the future using probability and statistics. Encourage your child. Expect nothing but the best! I realize that not everyone feels comfortable with their math skills and feel that they may not be the best person to help their child, however you might have a friend, neighbor, sibling, or relative to aid in your child’s successful progress in mathematics

The tough part of math is the practice required to learn it well. But, let’s put it in perspective… Would a basketball coach put a player on the floor that didn’t show up to practice? Is there any sport that does not require practice? Why should math be any different? Math takes practice – 30-45 minutes per night is not expecting too much (a basketball practice is often a couple of hours per afternoon!). In the preparation for life, math should have a high priority, right?

Technology is changing the job market. No longer will there be jobs for students without mathematical reasoning skills. Students will not only have to do math but they will also have to communicate math and work together to solve problems. Jobs are being redefined. Employers are looking for a new kind of employee. Once students reach the job market more and more of them will have to create their own job and market their own skills. Downsizing is beginning to make this a reality today.

Studies have indicated that children whose parents and/or other significant adults share in their formal education tend to do better in school. Some benefits that have been identified that measure parental involvement in education include:

  • Higher grades and test scores
  • Long term academic achievement
  • Positive attitudes and behavior

Students, family members, and teachers are all necessary links in a positive learning experience. Even the most caring and competent teacher needs support from parents and family members who will encourage children and teach them to value education. Parents and other family members are the most important teachers of their children. By nature, children are curious and want to learn. A parent’s attitudes and values about education are easily transferred to children by their actions and words. To ensure success in school, children need their parent’s support for school and non-school activities.

Children need and want their families to be involved in their lives. Looking to the future, employers will want employees who are willing to take on responsibility, learn new skills, and effectively communicate with their co-workers. Helping our children be successful in school today can improve their success in the world of work tomorrow.

Building Math Skills: Grade 6

Make mathematics part of your children’s daily life.

  • Play checkers, dominoes, concentration, scrabble, chess, and increasingly complex card games such as hearts, rummy, cribbage with your child. All involve problem solving and logic.
  • Ask your child to show you how he or she goes about solving a word problem in math. Steps in the process include:
    -Read the problem
    -What is the question/goal?
    -Find the facts.
    -Select a strategy.
    -Solve by showing the work.
    -Does the response make sense?
  • Ask your child to determine the best way to solve the daily problem of the day.
  • Help your child learn the vocabulary of mathematics.
  • Teach them how to do math in their head.

Resources

Online:

Personal resources:

  • Parents, relatives, friends

Effective and Efficient Web Searching

To find exactly what you’re looking for!

Search engines like Google and Yahoo are great tools to help you find information on the Web, but have you ever been frustrated when your number of hits is in the millions? The most efficient way to search the Internet is to type in the URL (Web address) if you know it. Otherwise, try some of these strategies for refining your search-

1. Be specific. Using capital letters, spaces and punctuation whenever possible and appropriate.
Example: John F. Kennedy

2. Use quotes when searching on more than one word. If you do not use quotes, some search engines will look for all occurrences of single words such as just “John” or “Kennedy.”
Example: “John F. Kennedy”

3. Use AND to connect two or more topics.
Example: “John F. Kennedy” AND speeches

4. Using a minus sign (-) ignores that term when searching.
Example: “John F. Kennedy”-speeches

5. Use the * (Wild Card) when your not sure of the spelling of a word or want to find all forms of a word.
Example: “John F. Kennedy” AND speech*