Take the Tears Out of Maths Homework
More tears are spilt over dining room tables between parents and children doing Maths homework than any other school subject.
So, what can you do differently to make sure that homework doesn’t turn into a daily nightmare?
Be clear about your role
You are the caring supportive parent and your child is the one who goes to school. The work is their
responsibility and your job is to be their biggest fan.
Don’t lose perspective
It is important for children to get the message that the worst thing that can happen is that they get the sums wrong – and that if they get the sums wrong the world will not end. If necessary, get the teacher to tell your child the same message.
Remember that the main purpose of homework is not to get it right, but rather to give feedback to the child and teacher about how much understanding has been achieved. The next step is really important – to find out what it is specifically that is not understood and to commit to practicing the correct
Three things you should always do
1 Do Maths homework first – the more tired you both are the worse it will get.
2 Have a light snack and juice/water before doing Maths homework – make sure you have one too!
3 Insist that their books/files are organised and that the examples of the work are written out clearly.
Three things you should not do
1 Tell your children that you couldn’t do Maths at school either – it will not make them feel better.
2 Tell them their teacher’s methods are wrong – they have to go to school tomorrow.
3 Do it for them – if you get it wrong, they will not trust you to help them again.
Maths homework is not a test of your intelligence so don’t take it as a personal challenge if you can’t do it. You don’t have anything to prove.
If you tend to get impatient, you should avoid being the one to help as impatience increases anxiety and causes thinking to close down.
- Mr Allen van Blerk (Principal)