How to help your child review Math
For parents looking for ways to improve their child's math learning at home
Here are some suggestions for how your child could receive support at home and supplement their math studies. This list is non-exhaustive and may be updated later:
💻 IXL Website
- 📘 IXL Saxon Math Skill Plan for a Textbook you already have (Click here for a list of textbooks that IXL supports)
- IXL also has skill plans that are related to our class lessons.
- For each Saxon lesson, IXL has at least one skill recommendation for students to practice.
- Here is a URL to the Skill Plans for Saxon: Click here for a list of textbooks that IXL supports
- 🩺 IXL Diagnostic (https://www.ixl.com/diagnostic):
- This tool helps students receive individual support plans, and extra practice in the areas where they need it.
- I recommend students spend about 10 to 15 minutes each week answering questions in the diagnostic assessment (you can start the assesment by clicking the green “step into the arena” button).
- As students answer questions, the IXL diagnostic will start to identify the needs of that student and begin recommending specific skills to help students improve. Below is a screenshot of what IXL has so far for an example student:
- The picture also shows that they have recommended skills already available to try, and they just need to click on them to see what they are.
- If students make a mistake on IXL, encourage/remind students to read the explanations (they are provided at the bottom of the IXL question) which is kind of like a mini-tutoring session for the students and it can be done at their own pace. For example,
🎓 Khan Academy
- This is a website that students and their parents can create a free account and have access to a variety of different practice materials.
- Khan Academy organizes the math content by grade levels and skills, or students can search for specific topics to focus on.
- There are video lessons, practice questions, quizzes, and more to give students more exposure from a unique perspective. This website may require help from parents to navigate.
- Link: https://www.khanacademy.org/math
Parent Help at Home
- Spending time with your child as they work on the child’s Math homework can be a tremendous help. Being there when they have questions and helping him look back to the textbook explanations of concepts and the examples. Review the concepts they may have difficulty with are effective ways to support him and practice good learning habits. It is important to guide the child and ask them to explain why or how they have come up with an answer.
- Checking homework with your child after they complete it. If the child can work independently, parents can then check the child’s answers afterwards, if they are comfortable with the content. Ask your child to explain the child’s answers and the child’s thinking, or have him teach you, which can help strengthen the child’s connection and understanding to the content.
- Some parents have looked ahead and completed the homework assignments themselves ahead of time, and then checked with their child after the student completed it on their own. This requires more time, which I know can be difficult, but it has had a strong impact on those students to help them stay motivated knowing mom and dad are right there along the way too.
- Review students’ tests and quizzes with them. Go over the questions with mistakes,
- If students make a mistake on IXL, encourage/remind students to read the explanations (they are provided at the bottom of the IXL question) which is kind of like a mini-tutoring session for the students and it can be done at their own pace.
- This is a math game that was immensely popular with children!
- It is kind of like an RPG / Pokemon-esque style game that randomly prompts children to do math questions in a similar style to IXL.
📙 Workbooks, like Math Olympiads
- These have been popular tools for some of the higher achieving students at school. These can be useful in building a student’s problem-solving skills with challenge questions and provide different approaches to new concepts.
- Many students use these types of books to prepare for math competitions and have enjoyed learning with them. Here is an example of one of the books students have enjoyed in the past:
There are many suggestions and you don't need to overwhelm yourself by trying all of them. Try one or two and see which of them the child enjoys the most, so that they are motivated to try their best.