No parent left behind: Resources abound to help parents conquer math with their children

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Erika Salem, Utah
    Dec. 4, 2012 10:54 a.m.

    I wonder where, mathematically, I would be had these resources been available when I was in primary and secondary school. I was accelerated beginning in 3rd grade, which meant, essentially, teaching myself from a textbook with little to no guidance. By 10th grade, when I faced trigonometry with a student teacher whose Chinese accent was beyond my understanding, as was the new material, I gave up. No more high school math for me. Which meant repeating the same concepts I learned in high school when I went to college, then again years later when I went back to college to finish my degree. I aced it the second and third times through (because it was no longer new, just refreshed), but I could possibly have enjoyed it enough to pursue higher math.

  • Demisana South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 9:00 p.m.

    My kids were homeschooled up until around middle school. I made them read their lessons and do the work, only coming to me if they needed extra help, but basically they were self-taught, and had to correct every mistake after I graded their papers.

    They've excelled in math through AP Calculus for the oldest, and through 9th grade so far for the next, because they understand HOW to learn, how to read the textbooks, and are not dependent on the teacher to spoon feed it to them.

  • Cherilyn Eagar Holladay, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 2:15 p.m.

    When parents begin to understand that textbook publishers and consultants are involved in a big "scam" to keep themselves relevant by producing ridiculously complicated "new and improved" texts and pedagogy, they will once again be in charge of their children's learning.

    I suggest Saxon Math combined with Kumon Math (both written so the student can be self-taught) as a great combination.

    Parents, if your children do 100 computational problems a day using Kumon Math, which tests time against accuracy, they will be way ahead of what the public schools are doing.

    Teach them to read and to do the basic computations at home. Don't rely on the school.

    These new common core standards are an example of yet another "dumb down" in education. The Utah State Office of Education rejected our proposal to bring in one of the original common core standards writers who was critical of the new standards and who recognized the superior standards in Massachusetts. That's how invested the education bureaucracy is in continuing federal funds, which have only held Utah back.

  • PT Yea! Provo, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 1:23 p.m.

    Great article! I am passing it on to parents through PTA.
    I know there is a lot of concern about helping kids transition to the new state math standards and these resources will be helpful.
    Even more important are the signals that parents, and even some teachers, send that math is hard and to be avoided. Kids can focus and persist if they see their math homework as puzzles, mysteries, or games instead of "problems". We don't need to make it easier, or spoon feed them. But encourage them to work on it, find those helpful resources, and celebrate the wins.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 11:28 a.m.

    worf: Actually math has evolved since the fifties. Some is similar, but discrete mathematics, logic, number systems, vector and matrix algebra, have more emphasis in lowergrades now that they're so applicable to computational sciences (computers). Even geometry has changed, thanks to the advent of computers (no more slide-ruler). There are more advanced offerings at the High Schools now than when I was in HS. I have a daughter who will be doing 2nd year Calculus by her Sr. Year, my school offered an intro to Calculus, and I was a year behind that, and still considered a math geek. (Honestly, I don't see a huge benefit of being a couple years behind in math, as long as you keep at it. I felt the College environment was much more conducive to learning advanced math, than HS.)

    The main reasons I can't help my kid with Math is that they don't have textbooks... they have workbooks with lots of problems, but meager examples/explanations. This makes the student entirely dependent on the math teacher's method which may or may not be the only way to solve the given problem.

  • Older Mom Roswell, GA
    Dec. 3, 2012 8:29 a.m.

    Beleive me it gets worse, the older the child, the more complicated the math. Thankfully many universities offer help on the web. MIT has a calculus tutorial on UTube. My husband and I are both "math" people, however after 30+ years one tends to forget. When our son was in Calculus 3 he had to go find his own help. I can't even remember Calculus 1 to help my high school children, thankfully they have to have their brother help.

  • Yak_Herder Lehi, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 7:11 a.m.

    This statement was golden:

    "In our culture we tend to communicate that it's all about being smart — you've got it or don’t," Moore said. "In Eastern countries, it's very much about hard work and being persistent.”

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Dec. 2, 2012 10:41 p.m.

    Just use the teaching methods from the fifties, and sixties. Nothing hard about that. Math was much better understood then.