What is this “new” math all about? All you know is that each time your child brings home her math work, you cringe when she asks for help as you know it will lead to hours of looking online for math videos and a few tears as you both struggle to complete the assignment.
Let’s kick the drama to the curb and set you up for a low-stress homework session with 4 easy steps.
1. Embrace Your Past
You were taught math very differently, it was all procedure with chants such as, “Ours is not to reason why, just flip and multiply.” When you were doing fraction math, you just followed the procedure and may have never really grasped at a concrete level why you invert (or flip) a fraction and then multiply.
Common Core Math is based on the latest brain research as to how the brain really learns math. You feel frustrated and maybe a little stupid at times because you are working with concepts you haven’t had to consider before. That’s normal and I’ve been there too!
The secret to moving forward with common core math is to embrace your past. What do I mean by that? You did math before we had the internet with its millions of answers. If you didn’t understand, you flipped through a textbook and your parents did too! I want you to purchase an old used textbook and keep it close by during math sessions.
Use that textbook glossary and index! Read the text and jog your memory of how you did math. Pay attention to the most important section, hands-on math. This will broaden your understanding of common core math. I don’t know about you, but my teachers NEVER used those lessons, but that is where the concrete ideas of common core math come to life.
You can find used textbooks just about anywhere, I like Amazon best. Look for textbooks from McGraw-Hill, McDougal Littell, and Pearson.
2. Prepare Yo-self to End Homework Drama
In order for a child to be successful in learning, two areas must be considered. Emotions and the physical space. Research tells us that information that comes into the brain is first processed through the emotional part of your brain and then goes into the cognitive area next. Why do you need to care about this? That drama that circles around during homework time is actually inhibiting your child’s ability to absorb and retain the information. Preparing yourself and the space can be effective at combating drama.
One reason homework is so drama filled is your face. Yep! Research has also shown that tweens lose the ability to correctly read emotions in faces. As a result, they often mistake a wrinkled brow (whether it be out of curiosity or frustration or shock) as anger. They begin to get defensive and roll those eyes at you!
To combat this, try using Michelle Icard’s technique Botox Brow. Michelle is a mom and leader in parenting middle schoolers. Definitely check her out! View her technique below.
The more bland the space you are working in, the better! Research has shown that we are constantly scanning a room for action or stimuli, when placed in a room that has minimal things going on (no TV, dinner noise, music, dogs barking) students were more on task.
3. Warm Up
The brain needs a little warm up before switching gears into math. Even doing basic math helps your child’s brain get prepared for new information coming in. Practicing counting by 2s, 5s, 10s and such can help. Try doing some basic math fact practice with dice or playing cards. One of my favorites to play is pyramid solitaire. Check out my math warm up page for more ideas.
4. Get Help From Others
Sometimes you just need a different person to be the neutral party teaching your child! That’s where I come in. You can access my library of math videos and stop wasting time perusing YouTube for math solutions. As a certified teacher and trained in multisensory math, I have the knowledge and know-how to help your child get help now.
When you purchase access to any of my videos, you’ll gain access to a private Facebook group where you’ll have the ability to post questions. I’ll answer them in the “common core” way so you can get back to your busy family schedule. In addition to your purchase, you’ll get an hour credit of online tutoring with any of our preferred tutors.