Want to See Your Children Smile When Doing Math Homework?

Aug 3, 2023 | Littleton

Do your children whine and complain about their math homework? The frowns and complaints (and occasional slammed door) can really ruin an evening. Wouldn’t you like to see smiles instead? You can.

To start changing the negative vibe about math homework, have a conversation with your children about what is making them unhappy. That’s easier said than done. Kids have a hard time articulating why they are so unhappy. In fact, they might not even know why they get so frustrated doing math homework. Momentary frustration is a normal part of learning and not even a bad thing. Overwhelming and enduring frustration, however, will lead to a lack of math motivation.

To help you get to the root of your children’s frustration, it helps to have some conversation starters. Use these conversation starters to help your children think about math differently. Then you can change the negative vibe at math homework time and see your children smile again.

Conversation starters:
Ask: “Are you willing to spend time to truly understand the math concepts?” Discuss the learning process with your children. Learning takes significant time and effort. This may come as a surprise to children who have not had academic struggles before.
Ask: “Have you struggled with any math concepts before? What helped you succeed at those times?“
Remembering previous times when they had to overcome a difficulty will give them the confidence they can surmount this difficulty too. Help your children create a strategy for doing math homework, like starting with the easy problems. Having a strategy to problem solving reduces anxiety.
Ask: “What happens if you don’t finish this math homework correctly? What happens if you do finish this math homework correctly?”
Discuss likely worst case scenarios. Some kids exaggerate consequences of “failure,” which stresses them out. Other kids minimize consequences of failure, which decreases their effort.
Ask: “What can you do to improve the current learning environment?”
Discuss the importance of good study habits. Remind children to turn off electronics and study in a quiet place.
Ask: “Who is able to help you with this?”
Brainstorm about who has the knowledge, the patience, and the time to help with math homework. Family members are only sometimes a good resource to get help with math. At other times, family relationships fall apart when a family member tries to help with math homework. If you are going to try helping with math, try thinking of yourself as a math coach rather than a math teacher. Sometimes the best thing to do is just hire someone else to help with homework. 

One of the easiest ways to change a negative vibe at math homework time is to change physical and social environment where your children do homework. At Mathnasium of Littleton we work hard to create a pleasant, minimal-distraction zone for math work.  And our fabulous instructors have the skills necessary to help at all levels of math! Please make special arrangements for advanced algebra, trigonometry and calculus help. In addition to our regular, one-to-one math coaching, we offer private, one-on-one, tutoring for upper level math students. Call or text for more information (303)979-9077.