One of the best things you can do for your homeschooler to become a better mathematician is to ensure they show their math work. I will give you some examples(below) to illustrate my point but know this- if your child is showing little to no work in their practice they will not become proficient at math. A BIG part of teaching a student math is getting them to master excellent problem solving habits. Of course many students can do “ok” for a while by skipping steps, not being neat and organized however these poor math habits will catch up to them in a bad way.
Now you might be asking how much work should my child show? Well the answer is subjective and hard to answer so here are a few general guidelines to follow:
- Your homeschooler’s practice work should look like the example problems demonstrated by the teacher or textbook- examples should also be in their notes.
- Each step of the problem should be written on its own line
- You should be able to “read” and follow the solution they wrote
It’s up to you as a homeschool parent to ensure these standards. You may have a real battle to get your child to be neat and organized doing math- as a parent myself I understand. However, you must never give into sloppy work or practice with no supporting evidence of understanding as it will lead to major math problems. Lastly over the years I have been teaching math, sloppy work accounts for at least 50% of errors I have seen. So if you can correct any poor working habits that your child may have I can assure you their grades could increase as much as 50%.