Mathematics

Family and School Partnerships and Supporting Math Achievement

by Elaine Neugebauer

Many parents find it challenging to support their children at home with math assignments. Gal and Stoudt (1995) suggested at least three reasons parent might not be involved in their children’s mathematics education. One, mathematics increases in complexity across grade levels. In addition, current content and methods being utilized in today’s classrooms may differ greatly from parents/families own experiences as learners. The third reason, may be the lack of awareness of resources available to parents and teachers on how to best collaborate to support students’ math achievement in the home.

What type of support, information and strategies can teachers share with parents to alleviate this challenge? Teachers can help by informing parent/families of the math curriculum for their child’s grade level and how math is taught to their child. With clear information, more families will feel more confident conversing about math at home, monitoring the completion of homework, and encouraging positive attitudes about math.

Another role parent and families can assume are partners in math instruction. As partners, they can provide resources to a math class by volunteering, tutoring, and identifying and sharing real world applications of math in the home, careers and community.

The first step in initiating or expanding opportunities to advance parent and family involvement in supporting students’ math achievement, is to assess current partnering practices at the grade, school or district levels. Based on results, plans can be developed to address the current need for increased or additional partnerships.

In conclusion, the following resources can provide assistance and direction for comprehensive, effective and efficient strategies to support planning for co-engagement supporting math instruction for students, teachers and families.

Resources:

LEA to LEA Family Engagement Webinar Series: Math Instruction to Support Student Success

Click here to view recorded Math Instruction to Support Student Success webinar

The Enhancing Family Engagement (EFE) Online Training Modules

The training modules by the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships developed by the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) contains a wealth of materials and resources designed to provide LEAs with “shelf-ready” training tools to support family engagement practices through a self-directed course of study.

Click here to view the Enhancing Family Engagement (EFE) Online Training Modules

Citations:

Gal, I., & Stoudt, A. (1995). Family achievement in mathematics. NCAL Connections. Phila¬delphia, PA: National Center on Adult Literacy, University of Pennsylvania.

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