# Should Parents Help with Math Homework?

Oct 25, 2023I think we can all agree that math homework is important. The time that teachers have in a math class period is constrained. Just trying to take attendance, work in some kind of bellringer for review (which is also important) and check homework eats up a significant amount of class. It’s a challenge to then teach a new math lesson and work in some guided practice for students in the time that you have left. However, we can all also agree that for most math skills, the majority of students need to complete more than one problem on an exit ticket to achieve mastery. They need additional practice to solidify their ability to be successful on tests and also to retain knowledge of the skill. This is where assigning those homework problems can make such a big difference in their performance, and students will need support from parents at home - especially when they are confused or run into challenges solving a problem.

**Mixed Messages About Helping with Homework**

Unfortunately, the messages out there often create a lot of confusion for parents about whether or not they are *supposed *to be helping with math homework. These can come from sensational headlines in the media, like this article's advice: "*Perhaps the best advice for parents is to refrain as much as possible from being involved with their children’s math homework*." (*cringe*)

Sometimes though, even schools and teachers discourage and even flat out tell parents *not* to help their child in math. Other times, parents may not be getting this message directly but feel like they aren’t supposed to due to math textbooks or workbooks not being sent home along with homework, or not receiving enough guidance on *how* to help. This leaves parents feeling at best bewildered thinking *Kids are going to come home and need help with their homework, what am I supposed to do? Tell them not to do their homework if they don’t understand it? Let them do it wrong? *

This is frustrating because parents are such an important part of a child’s success, and we need them on board! We all know how busy everyone’s lives are and we accidentally may find ourselves saying, *Don’t stress about the math homework, it's no big deal, *but it IS a big deal! A student is going to be much more prepared for tests (*all* tests meaning chapter tests, benchmarks and state assessments), if they are able to get in meaningful practice on the skills through homework. So, what can teachers do to support parents in a way that can actually be helpful?

**Parent-Friendly Resources for Math Homework Help**

This is where we come in. Ignite Learning Company was founded by me (a teacher) and my co-founder (a parent struggling with helping her kid be successful in math) with a dream to help improve the math proficiency of students in grades 3rd-6th by providing useful, understandable tools and resources to the two most important groups of people in a student’s life: their teachers and parents. Everything that we develop has this core mission in mind.

Here's a roundup of parent-friendly math resources, including printable guides, skills practice, and more.

Email or print this out and send it home to your parents now and if you are a new teacher or new to a certain grade level, print it for yourself! These guides contain a comprehensive list of the math skills covered in each grade level written in a language that parents can understand along with example problems of skills that can be confusing.

__Free Grade Level Fractions Guides__

A great deal of math homework horror stories often contain a common underlying theme of fractions. These guides go deeper on the most significant and challenging fraction concepts for each grade level 3rd-6th. Inside, you will find guidance, explanations and step by step directions that aid in solving the most important and/or difficult to master fraction skills for each grade level. So when it comes time to crack open the unit on fractions, send them home as well!

Check out our free downloads page for even more similar resources that provide help with skills such as Word Problems, Multiplication Fact Strategies, Factors and Multiples and Expressions and Equations!

**Math Hero**

Our Math Hero Memberships are loaded with resources that can not only save you time in the classroom, but if purchased by a parent, can also provide them with the support they need to help at home with tutorial videos, skill guides, and step by step example problems with explanations. Trust me when I say it’s like the secret math weapon you’ve been looking for to tell parents about and they will thank you for it! Check out __Math Hero for Teachers__ and __Math Hero for Parents__ with a free trial membership today!

When I hear that parents are being told to stay out of it when it comes to helping their child in math, I literally cringe. As a teacher, I can understand why though. Many times a parent can become even more frustrated than the student if they don’t know *how* to help, and unfortunately those negative vibes translate over to students which doesn’t help the situation. We have to remember that they are not classroom teachers, and they didn’t learn all the new strategies we teach today and likely don’t remember the old ones like long division or how to subtract fraction with unlike denominators! That doesn’t mean that they can’t be one of your most valuable allies in helping students achieve proficiency in math!

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