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Monday, August 31, 2015

Before paying for math programs, free websites may get students ready

"Expert offers options for parents to help kids in math." continues WCVB Boston.

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There are now more than a dozen after-school programs designed to help kids in math.
But before you sign up, experts say there are important questions to ask.

Dan is doing his algebra homework -- but it's not a school assignment.

It's from Kumon -- an extra math program he's been going to for the past five years.

“I feel a lot more self-confident. I can go into class and I can know what the teacher is saying,” Dan said.

Photo:  Anne Collins
Dr. Anne Collins is the director of math programs at Lesley University. She said while programs such as Kumon teach students computational skills, they may not be the best way to go.

“I think it's a waste of money and a waste of their time,” Collins said.

Collins said there are many more interesting ways for children to become more fluent with mathematics. She said to try to have them focus on problem solving and reasoning to develop their math fluency.

“There are a lot of fun type of activities that students can do especially with the web now where they're looking at developing their math fluency but they are doing it through problem solving,” she said.

But it may be hard to convince Kumon families who see the results.

“I do think it's worth it, especially at the elementary level,” said Dan’s mother, Irene Francesconi.

Resources: Free Math Enrichment Websites:
Arcademic Builders
Illuminations: Resources for Teaching Math
Greg Tang Math

Source: WCVB Boston