Helping Your Child With Homework
Helping with homework

    In helping your child learn, one goal is to assist them in figuring out as much as they can for themselves.  You can help by asking questions that guide or lead them, without telling what to do.

    Good questions and good listening will help your child make sense of mathematics, build self-confidence, and encourage mathematical thinking and communication.

    A good question opens up a problem and supports different ways of thinking about it.  Here are some questions you might try.  Please notice that none of them can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.”  By using these questions, you will be building on in-class experiences and contributing to your child’s success.

Questions You Can Ask When Getting Started

❐    What do you need to find out?
❐    What do you need to know?
❐    What information does the problem give you?
❐    How can you get the other information you need?
❐    Where can you begin?
❐    What terms do you understand or not understand?
❐    Have you solved similar problems that would help?

Questions You Can Ask While Working

❏    How can you organize the information?
❏    Can you make a drawing (model) to explain your thinking?
❏    Are other possibilities?
❏    What would happen if...?
❏    Can you describe an approach (strategy) you can use to solve this?
❏    What do you need to do next?
❏    Do you see any patterns or relationships that will help solve this?
❏    How does this relate to...?
❏    Can you make a prediction?
❏    What did you...?
❏    What assumptions are you making?

Questions You Can Ask When Reflecting About the Solution

❐    How do you know your solution (conclusion) is reasonable?
❐    How did you arrive at your answer?
❐    How can you convince me your answer makes sense?
❐    What did you try that did not work?
❐    Has the question been answered?
❐    Can the explanation be made clearer?

Questions You Can Ask When Responding
(Helping your child clarify and extend their thinking)

❏    Can you explain it in a different way?
❏    Is there another possibility or strategy that would work?
❏    Help me understand this part...
❏    How does the math in this problem relate to the mathematics in this unit?  In previous units?
❏    Are there any questions you want to ask your teacher?