NEA Parents' Resources

Helping Your Child with Today’s Math

Math can be hard to add up – especially when you are trying to help your child solve equations at any level. This is a guide to surviving math class all over again: valuable tools to understand today’s mathematics and help you help your child succeed.

Learning Math Through Real-World Problems

When you visit your child’s math class, it may look different from what you remember. Teachers are focusing on problem-based mathematics to help your child understand how important math is and how it helps them solve everyday problems.

2 apples + 2 apples still equal 4 apples, and learning your multiplication tables is still important. But now you are likely to see your child solving real problems.  For example, second-graders might figure out how many apples they need for a classroom party, determine the cost to buy those apples, and compare how much money they need to have in the class money jar.

Preparing Math Students for the Future

Homework may look different from when you were in school and the amount of it may be different also. We know from research that students need activities and tasks that allow for a deeper understanding of math. These tasks may take longer to solve, so fewer problems are assigned. However, these problems will help students understand how integral math is in their lives and will continue to be in the workplace.

Business and industry leaders want collaborators, in addition to students who achieve success in an academic setting and have good communication skills. Even as students continue to work independently in the classroom, they’ll also work together with other students.

Helping Students Learn Math Outside the Classroom

Look for math any and everywhere with your child and ask questions to help them connect the dots. A few common scenarios are:

  • During a Football Game—is it possible for a team to score 22 points? How many ways can they do it? Is there an impossible score?
  • Driving to School—what does “miles per hour” mean? How does it help us know how long it will take us to get to school?
  • Buying a Product—is it more cost effective to lease or buy a car?
    Parents need resources to help students be successful. That’s why NEA provides support to help you empower your child’s curiosity about math outside the classroom. Adding math to daily life will encourage your child to build skills they can count on!

Parents need resources to help students be successful. That’s why NEA provides support to help you empower your child’s curiosity about math outside the classroom. Adding math to daily life will encourage your child to build skills they can count on!

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