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How Can I Help My Grandson With Math Homework?

By Allison Gardenswartz, Consulting Educator

Question:

My grandson is in fifth grade and I am struggling to help him with math homework. I'm 52 and frankly some of the work I have never seen before. How can I help him properly?

Answer:

Math today appears different than in the past and the process taught in school is certainly different.

Homework is meant to be an independent practice of topics taught and discussed in class. Your grandson should be able to complete the homework independently. If he is struggling and not sure how to do it, the teacher needs to be aware of this so that she can go over the lesson again in the classroom, if necessary. Sometimes the entire class will struggle with an assignment, and your feedback will let the teacher know that the instruction was not effective.

You can help your grandson by creating an appropriate study environment and allowing him the time and supplies needed. If he needs help with the content you should involve the classroom teacher.

You can use the teacher as a resource to guide you to an appropriate tutor if the teacher feels supplemental help is needed. Many times a teacher will be willing to work after school with a student and many times a little individual attention is all that is needed. Finally, you can try to determine what the struggle is that your grandson is having: perhaps by guiding him with some general question answering strategies you can work your way through the questions, even if the math is unfamiliar to you. Ask him to walk you through his process. Ask him what operation he thinks he needs to use. Ask him if his answer is logical. View How to Help With Math Homework for more suggestions.

Allison Gardenswartz is the founder of a San Diego tutoring center specializing in gifted and remedial learning and test preparation studies. An educator for over 15 years, Allison is an expert in identifying and enhancing the learning abilities of school-age children. Allison now fully devotes her time to parent education, consulting and college counseling. Allison has a teaching credential and has taught for several years in various public school systems. She has three children: Jacob, 11, Sofia, 7, and newly adopted Ryan, who is 3.

Advice from our experts is not a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment from a health-care provider or learning expert familiar with your unique situation. We recommend consulting a qualified professional if you have concerns about your child's condition.