The math your child brings home may look different from the math you remember doing as a child. How can you help if you don’t understand it? And if you do understand it, how can you guide him without just giving him the answer?

Here are some helpful tips to guide your child:

  • Go over the directions with her and find out what she does and doesn’t understand about the assignment.
  • Encourage him to find another math student he can call for help if he’s unclear about the assignment or wants to review a class lesson.
  • Ask her where she thinks she should begin.
  • Ask him if he can find information in his notes to solve the problem.
  • Ask if there is a similar problem in her textbook or one she did in class.
  • Suggest that he draw or make a model to explain his thinking.
  • Ask more guiding questions as she progresses, such as “What should you do next?” “Is this answer reasonable?” “Did you answer the question?” “Can you solve it another way?”
  • If he struggles to understand the subject matter or has trouble keeping up with the amount of homework assigned, ask his teacher for recommendations.
  • Suggest looking for homework help online. has math help for parents and students.
  • Remember to resist the temptation to do the homework for her.
  • The greatest impact on a child’s attitude about math is the parent’s attitude about math. Show an interest in math and point out to your child the many ways you use math in your everyday life. Help your child understand that every parent is a mathematician.

Next: How is your child’s school teaching math?