Helping Your Child

Families and Caregivers Make a Difference

The support of everyone in a child's life contributes to her/his success.

As a parent, you are your child's first mathematics teacher. In fact, you have probably been doing math together since your child was very young. Counting pictures on a page and singing songs helped your child learn about numbers and counting. Building with objects such as blocks and cardboard boxes exposed your child to geometric ideas such as shape, size and symmetry. Chores such as putting away the dishes and sorting laundry engaged your child in sorting and categorizing, which are important features of data analysis.

Once your child enters school, it is important to continue to support their growing understanding of mathematics. There are many different ways to help your child learn and appreciate mathematics, even if math was not your favorite subject in school. You can help your child by:

  • believing that s/he can successfully learn mathematics
  • expecting your child to work hard to learn mathematics
  • sharing how you use mathematics everyday
  • playing games that make learning fun and important
  • solving problems together and exploring different ways to solve the same problems
  • asking your child questions as s/he solves problems
  • examining why solutions are correct and incorrect
  • knowing how Investigations helps your child learn mathematics
  • supporting your child as s/he completes homework assignments

"One of the most significant things parents can do is to help their children understand the normalcy and the value of struggle in mathematics. Learning math ultimately comes down to one thing: the ability, and choice, to put one's brain around a problem--to stare past the confusion, and struggle forward rather than flee."

Sutton, S. (1998) Beyond homework help: Guiding our children to lasting math success. ENC Focus for Mathematics and Science Education: Family Involvement in Education, 5 (3).