3 thoughts on “The Right Way to do Math Homework (or Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, etc…)

  • March 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Excellent point! Homework time can be easily wasted when students breeze through assignments and don’t follow these great steps. Particularly for math, homework is not just a test of “what students know” — it’s a critical part of the learning and application process!

    This exact methodology (practicing and analyzing mistakes before moving on) is also a key part of StraightAce, a math and English learning system we built for middle schoolers. Please check it out at http://www.straightace.com!

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  • May 27, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    I agree with everything in this article. It makes sense and it’s the way I studied as a kid. However when my son was having trouble with math in 8th grade and now my daughter in 5th I have had an ongoing and disappointing discussion with several teachers. They don’t always use the books. They don’t want the students going home with them. The send homework sheets instead. These sheets have do not provide answers that can be referred back to. When I asked the teachers why the answers weren’t provided and then pushed more (with negative result) for an personal email of the answers. (because I was afraid of helping them and doing it wrong with no way to check myself even). I was told that they won’t give the homework answers because they are afraid the students will cheat… IMO you can’t cheat on homework. It’s practice….do it don’t do it…you can only cheat on a test. How can this possibly make any sense to them and how can I trust my child’s education to someone who doesn’t even realize the value of being able to check your own work?????

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    • May 27, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      Yes, for whatever reasons I am seeing more teachers using worksheets instead of textbooks. I suggest parents go on Amazon and buy a used (inexpensive) textbook, so their kids have some examples to look at and some practice problems to do. I also love IXL.com for tons of extra practice problems and good explanations of wrong answers. The monthly subscription is inexpensive. I use IXL with my tutoring students all the time, to give them the extra drill they need.

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