Easy and Practical Tips to Help Your Children With Their Math Homework

It doesn’t matter what level of school your child is currently enrolled in, it’s always a good idea to get them thinking about math. The reality is that if they want to go on to further education and a great career, a solid background in math is going to be absolutely crucial. You can help them get there by really taking the time to help them with their math homework. You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to pull this off, as they are likely to already have some sort of grasp of what they are doing in class. Here are a few tips that you can use to help tutor your child with their math homework:

  1. Teach the basics first – you have to be able to walk before you can run, so make sure that your child understands the basics of math, as this will help them when they progress to more complex subjects. Flash cards are a great way to achieve this goal.
  2. Neat numbers – mathematical equations can be confusing enough without making them impossible to read. Try to make sure that your child writes down numbers and equations neatly, as this often makes them a little easier to see and understand.
  3. Master before moving on – make sure that your child fully grasps the problem they are working on before moving on to the next math problem.
  4. Get interactive – having your face stuck in a text book can be more than a little dull, so try to make learning fun by using object around the house that can be used to help solve math problems.
  5. Ask for a little more – ask your child to answer a few extra questions when they are doing their homework assignments. Going that extra mile will help ensure that they really do understand the mathematical concepts they are being taught.
  6. Test them regularly – when you are out and about with your child, pose them some questions to see how quickly they answer. For example, if you are grocery shopping and see a price has been marked down, ask them to quickly tell you how much the difference is between the old price and the new.
  7. Make time to study – try to get in the habit of studying at the same time every day, making sure it is at a time when you have no other commitments and can commit all the time to your child.
  8. Maintain a steady pace – don’t try to rush your child ahead, even if you are sure they are ready to move to the next level. Maintain a steady pace and always take time to recap what they have already learned.
  9. Keep at it – if your child is having a particularly difficult time with a particular concept, stick with it until they finally get it.
  10. Encourage – always be sure to praise your child for a job well done. Math can be tough for a young mind, so encourage them every step of the way.

If you have tried to really get involved with your child’s math homework, but still find that they are struggling, it might be time to consider a math tutor. You might just be surprised at how affordable math tutoring is, and you may be even more surprised at the great results your child will be able to achieve.

10 Practical Tips For IEP Preparation

As a special education advocate and a special education attorney, I am frequently asked for advice on how to prepare for an IEP. Preparation is key even if attendance by the Parent includes having an advocate present.

Here is a top 10 list to consider in preparing for your IEP:

1. Notice: Make sure you’ve received ample notice from the school district about who is attending the IEP and make sure you have provided notice about who you are inviting. Also, notify the District of your intention to audio record the IEP meeting at least 24 hours in advance.

2. Preparation of Documents: Prepare a document list in chronological order from earliest year to latest year of all relevant documents in a binder that you will bring. Behind the list, include the documents. These documents should go back at least 3 years in time and include past IEP’s, classwork, notes from teachers and other educators, previous assessments and other relevant information for the IEP team to know. This will help you track progress and make sure the team has all the information necessary. Ask the school district for a copy of any and all relevant documents prior to the IEP team meeting and add this to your list.

3. Prepare Agenda Items: It’s never a good idea to surprise the IEP team with ideas at the meeting itself. Put together a brief list of items you would like the team to review and submit it to the appropriate school district representative in advance of the meeting. This should be done in writing.

4. Advocates: Consider bringing an advocate even if it’s someone like a family member. Often times this person can be seen as less adversarial and can help take the emotion out of the process so that focus is on your child. However, if there has been a stalemate on an issue, consider whether you require a special education attorney or special education advocate.

5. Ask for a draft of the IEP if possible: Often the District’s IEP team members have met prior to the IEP to discuss a draft IEP. It’s often a good idea to ask for a copy of this draft IEP in advance so that you can review it prior to the IEP team meeting and prepare your input.

6. Change your thinking about the IEP: Parents of special education students often feel that the IEP is a venting session. A good IEP is really a listening session. Be prepared to listen to the District’s team members even if you don’t agree. You can always provide your comments to the IEP even after the meeting concludes and have these written comments attached to the IEP document itself.

7. Review: If placement or other services, such as behavior therapy, speech therapy or occupational therapy, are going to be considered at your child’s IEP, you should have an opportunity to talk to the providers and/or review the proposed placement in advance of the IEP meeting. This will give you a much better idea of whether the offers of placement or services are appropriate. This also contributes to your ability as a parent to give informed consent.

8. The Law: It’s always helpful to familiarize yourself with key phrases of the law but don’t come across as a legal bully. The IDEA, the federal law which govern special education and especially the IEP process, is supposed to be accessible to parents but the reality is it is a complex set of laws which is impacted by too many laws, cases, rules and guidance opinions for the lay person to understand.

9. Make sure you prepare questions: Do come with questions which have been prepared.

10. Know Your Child and Respect the Fact that Others Know Your Child Too: It’s critical to know that you may have a viewpoint about your child which is critical to the IEP team. However, teachers and other educators also have something helpful to provide to the IEP team as well as they spend time with your child. Considering their viewpoints doesn’t mean you have to agree.

The above list is not comprehensive and should not be construed as legal advice but it is an important list to consider when preparing for an IEP.