This past year there have been a lot of curriculum changes, particularly in the area of math, as the country undergoes a fundamental shift in how it teaches mathematics. For parents who were not taught in this new way of thinking, these changes can be frustrating and even stymie their best efforts to help their children.
Of course, your homework help might not be particularly important to a child receiving all A’s. However, for a child, who was already struggling before the curriculum change, losing their parents’ homework assistance can push him/her over the edge academically.
Tutor, bane or benefit?
In light of these situations, it is perfectly normal to consider what outside resources you can pull for your child. After all, if both the help you and your child’s school is offering is not adequate, then it’s time to look outside.
That’s what Annika Shevela’s parents did, when as a third grader, she could still only do addition and subtraction with her fingers. By putting her in the Mathnasium, which remediated on basic skills that Annika had previously missed, she is now able to complete her multiplication facts, without her fingers. Progress!
Interestingly, her school district does not view getting outside help as worthwhile. A math curriculum developer for the school district stated, “We know what the goal is, and if they take the homework to a learning center, the person who’s working with them may not understand our end goal.” The problem was, Annika was not getting adequate assistance in school.
It’s certainly worth reading the full article here:
However, a secondary and important question is raised by such programs. Such programs are expensive, and it is true that there probably is a great deal of variability in the quality of tutors (Annika clearly got a good one!). Moreover, it increases a child’s “classroom time” yet further beyond the school day, meaning less time at home and to normal childhood pursuits. Is there another way? Is it possible for the parent to “catch up” to the job of teaching his/her own child, or is the only solution to gamble on a tutor?
The answer is you
Of course, you might have figured our answer by now, if you’ve been reading our blog for very long. We absolutely think you, as the parents, can and should take ownership over your child’s education! You don’t know the “new” ways of answering math problems on your child’s homework? Set up a meeting with your child’s teacher. You don’t even know where to begin to teach the skills your child has missed? We’d like to believe we can help you with that one. Instead of looking outside for a new teacher for your child, look outside for the training you need to become the best teacher possible.
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