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Common Core math tips for parents
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2014 10:23 AM

Implementation of the Common Core State Standards required participating states to find new aligned curricula. As such, much of the work students now do is different than the methods their parents used, and this is especially true when it comes to math. Parents want to understand Common Core math in order to help their kids do homework, but for many families, that's a challenge. In fact, according to The Washington Post, elementary school teacher Melissa Palermo said most parents of the students she teaches come in and tell her they didn't learn math the way their kids are.

"The toughest part is the homework part because parents, it's so hard for them," Palermo told the source. "A lot of parents, they doubt themselves because there are all these models and things they've never seen before."

Fortunately, Common Core math doesn't have to be confounding or frustrating for parents. With a few strategies and resources, adults can pick up the skills they need to help their children succeed in schools following the Common Core.

Schedule time for a lesson
Email your child's teacher to schedule a time to meet. This can be during parent-teacher conferences or another day altogether. At your meeting, have the teacher explain the basics of the math your child is learning. This quick training session can help you gain the knowledge you need to help your child. 

Or, you can ask your child to teach you. People learn from teaching, so letting your child give you a Common Core math lesson will help both of you better understand class material. Ask your child what he or she learned that day, and have him or her explain it to you. Examples are especially helpful.

Use online resources
The Internet is a great tool for finding Common Core math resources. Some, such as the Common Core website, will detail what the math Standards entail. Others will provide you with explanations and examples of curriculum your child might use. For instance, you can watch videos that explain the area model for multiplication. When learning, you may consider taking notes to help you solidify the knowledge you're gaining. You can even complete online quizzes and print math workbooks that you and your child can use.

Meet with other parents
Chances are, you aren't the only parent in your child's class who is struggling to understand the new math. Consider creating a study group of sorts for you and other parents. You can all discuss the homework and help each other grasp the foreign math concepts.