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  • Writer's pictureMarek Swistun

Helping our Children with Homework

Having put all our mental energy into raising our children and furthering our careers, it’s no surprise that when our kids return from school with some seemingly tricky Maths homework which causes them (and consequently you) some upset, we sometimes have to shrug our shoulders and hope the penny drops for them in their next lesson. This need not be the case. This article from Oxford Mathematics Tuition provides a concise step-by-step guide on how you and your child can succeed together in solving those seemingly impossible homework questions.

Father helping his son with his homework
Where do we look for help when we don't know the answers ourselves?

The internet is packed with resources; some great, some not so great. We have therefore have compiled a checklist of how to help you find the best resources out there.

Step One – YouTube Tutorial

The easiest and quickest way to find a very well explained concept is to use YouTube. Search for the title of the homework (for example, ‘Adding Fractions’) and pick the video with the most views to ensure you are not spending your time searching through videos that are hard to follow. These videos have had the most views for a very good reason – they’re the best!

You will find these videos are very short and to-the-point, usually lasting no longer than 5 mins (depending on the topic). They will usually also include a practice question with a worked solution, allowing you to put your new-found knowledge to the test.

Admittedly, you may not always get on with the explanation found in your first choice of video, but I bet the second one you click will fill in the gaps.

You will very quickly find a channel you get on well with and that consistently works for you and your child. Subscribe to it, ready for the next troublesome homework!

Step Two – Doing the Homework

Homework worksheets will nearly always gradually increase in ‘difficulty’ from section to section. The tricker questions will contain a feature that involves one extra step before it then

calls upon exactly the same process as the previous section. If you get stuck, guess what – refer back to YouTube and search for the homework title plus the feature that has you both stumped, for example ‘Adding fractions with different bottom numbers’. With the clever algorithms used by search engines, there is no need for you to know all the jargon, it will know what you mean and as a result, you will learn that, for example, the bottom number of a fraction is called the denominator (try it now!)

Most of the time, you won’t need to use multiple videos – the good ones cover all bases.

Step 3 – Checking Your Answers

Teachers often use homework sheets appearing at the top or near the top of search results, eg. ‘Adding Fractions Homework Sheet’. These will most of the time be accompanied by an

answer sheet on the last page, which the teacher has not provided (for obvious reasons). It’s not cheating to search for the worksheet on Google pictures and to use the answers to check your work and correct your mistakes. It's also sometimes helpful to check that you got the right answer after completing the first question of each section; that way you can avoid completing the whole section only to find out at the end that you have been making the same mistake throughout.

That’s it! It really is simple. There is a wealth of free help available to us all through the incredible medium that is the internet.

Make use of our experience and be sure to visit our Resources page for the most well-explained, effective resources we’ve found after years of research – all completely free, with no sign-up.

This article was compiled by Marek Swistun, Head Tutor at ‘Oxford Mathematics Tuition’. Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by customers. Click here to see our reviews. OMT are proud to offer exceptional Maths Tuition at a reasonable, accessible price.

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