A high-quality mathematics program is essential for all students and provides every student with the opportunity to choose among the full range of future career paths. Most people used to believe that success in mathematics was the province of a talented few. We now know that all students are capable of learning rigorous mathematics and learning it well, and all are capable of learning far more than is currently expected. Proficiency in most of mathematics is not an innate characteristic; it is achieved through persistence, effort, and practice on the part of students and rigorous and effective instruction on the part of teachers.
We also know that students must be introduced to math concepts early and skills must be reinforced often. Basic, or computational and procedural, skills are those skills that all students should learn to use routinely and automatically, such as addition and subtraction and multiplication times tables. Students should practice basic skills sufficiently and frequently enough to commit them to memory.
Math is not a subject where there is only one way to learn or one way to get to the correct answers! Parents may choose any number of ways to support their students: direct instruction, explicit teaching, knowledge-based, discovery-learning, investigatory, inquiry based, problem solving-based, guided discovery, set-theory-based, traditional, progressive, or other methods.
The goal in mathematics education is for students to:
§ Develop fluency in basic computational skills.
§ Develop an understanding of mathematical concepts.
§ Become mathematical problem solvers who can recognize and solve routine problems readily and can find ways to reach a solution or goal where no routine path is apparent.
§ Communicate precisely about quantities, logical relationships, and unknown values through the use of signs, symbols, models, graphs, and mathematical terms.
§ Reason mathematically by gathering data, analyzing evidence, and building arguments to support or refute hypotheses.
§ Make connections among mathematical ideas and between mathematics and other disciplines.
Your ES can help you decide on an appropriate math curriculum for your student based on his or her learning styles and the method of teaching you prefer to use. We have standard textbooks available, but also recommend Chalkdust and Math-U-See as good hands-on curricula. We also have an on-line math support program, ALEKS.