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Three days a week, her son comes home with a math worksheet that reduces him to tears of frustration. He’s learning how to solve story problems. The questions ask not just for the solution, but also for a diagram and explanation about why he came to that solution.
It’s the latter part that befuddles Castle and her son. It can often take them two hours to finish a six-question assignment, if they can finish it at all. The assignments have led Castle’s son to say he hates math and have left Castle feeling helpless.
That’s where Bill Hanlon comes in. Hanlon is director of the Regional Professional Development Program of Southern Nevada, created by the Nevada Legislature to help train teachers. But he’s also providing education for parents — free classes to help them understand math the way their kids are learning it.
|Ciara Swenson uses a note book to help work out a math problem with
tutor Michael Christenson during a tutoring session in the Swenson’s
home Saturday, May 31, 2014. |
Photo: Las Vegas Sun
“The problem is that Common Core is teaching kids different ways to add and multiply and divide,” Hanlon said, referring to the new set of educational standards. “My goal is to teach parents the kids’ ways so they don’t get frustrated when helping their kids.”
Castle’s experience is not unusual. One of the most common concerns Clark County School Board member Stavan Corbett hears from parents is that they struggle to help their kids with homework. That issue creates a problem on two fronts — the kids lose confidence in learning and parents stop being engaged in education.
And math is often the subject creating that barrier.
Source: Las Vegas Sun