Do you ever wonder how you could possibly help your child learn math at home? This post is a first in a series on strategies you can implement at home to help your child learn math.

Immediate Feedback Strategies

“Numerous studies indicate that feedback is most effective when it is given immediately, rather than a few days, weeks, or months down the line.”

Have you ever spent a lot of time doing something incorrectly only wishing you would have known much sooner? Yeah, me too and lots of students feel the same way. The following tools can be used to give your child immediate feedback while working on math at home.

1.  Calculator

Many of us use calculators to perform math in our daily lives. Teach your child how to use the calculator you have at home. While doing homework, sit with your child and show them how to use the calculator to check their work as they go. Is there an incorrect answer? Help them learn how to review their own work to find their mistake.

2.  Google

Did you know that Google will graph equations for you? Just type the word “graph” and the equation into the search bar. Voila, a graph appears. When students are expected to graph equations for homework, they can check their work using Google.

Another great tip, If you and your child are not sure how to answer a math homework question, type the question into the search bar. You may find that someone has worked the problem out before. Review their strategy and try it out for yourself.

3.  Practice Websites

There are many websites that provide math problems and solutions. These websites can be used to teach students math concepts, or they can be used to practice concepts for an upcoming test. Just search for the topic being studied and you will have practice problems and answers at your fingertips. Teach your child how to try the problem on their own before looking at the answer.

Here are just a few of my favorite sites:

IXL (Practice problems and solutions organized by topic and grade)

Khan Academy (Instructions videos, practice problems, and solutions organized by topic)

Math is Fun (Instructional examples and practice problems organized by topic)

4.  Textbook

Did you know that many math textbooks have the answers to all of the odd problems in the back of the book? If your child is not sure if they are doing their homework correctly, have them try a few odd numbered problems and check their answer in the back of the book. If they are not getting the right answer, teach them how to read their textbook examples. Ask them to test the example’s strategy on their own homework problem.

5. Multiple Strategies

Many math problems have more than one possible way to get the correct answer. Ask your child if they know another strategy. Help them use their second strategy to check their answer. Did they get the same answer using a different strategy? It is likely they did it correctly.

Each of these 5 tools can help your child get the immediate feedback they need to learn new math concepts. Even better, you are helping them learn how to learn! Students that monitor their own understanding tend to do better in school.

Have you tried any of these tools? Tell me about it in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!

Angela Culley
Strategies to Help Your Child Learn Math – Immediate Feedback
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