Review New Material Together
As his assignments become more complicated, you might start to feel that your child's math homework is outpacing your comfort level. Continue to review math materials with him before class and supervise his homework, regardless of your confidence in your own skills. Instead of explaining new concepts, have him explain them to you. This will help him process and retain the information. If you are both confused, read the material and do your best to think it through and discuss it together. Go to sites like Khan Academy, IXL or XtraMath for extra assistance.
Help Your Child Learn How to Study
Help your child learn how to study effectively for math tests. This means working through problems, not just reading through them or skimming the review sheet. In elementary school, knowing the mechanics may be enough for some students. In middle school, many problems now have multiple steps and are best learned through repetition. The more problems your child practices, the more he'll internalize the various components. This increases speed and understanding so he can be better prepared to adjust the steps when required.
Shop for Bargains
Encourage your child to practice math by helping shop for bargains. Is a gallon of milk a better buy than a half gallon? What about a 16 oz. jar of peanut butter compared to the 12 oz. size? Have him divide the cost of bulk-packaged items by the number of single items to find the cost-per-item.
Review Materials Before Class
Sixth grade is a time of transition to middle school, when the comfort of a single teacher and classroom is replaced by a variety of classes and teachers. Sixth grade math is usually taught by a subject teacher instead of by a general-education teacher, as it was in elementary school. You can help promote your child’s success in 6th grade math by helping him understand both the content and the learning process. Review materials with him before class and continue to take an active role in supervising his homework.
Break Down Complicated Problems
Have your child discuss a problem that was easy for him and another that was difficult. Ask him to explain key features of the difficult problem to you. What did he find difficult? What was some of important information in the problem? Ask him to jot down any part of the problem that he still has questions about and ask him to share it with the teacher or a classmate the following day.
Encourage your child to be persistent whenever a problem seems difficult. This will help your child believe that everyone can learn math.
Highlight Math in Sports
Sports provide an engaging way of exploring a host of mathematical concepts, starting with basic addition. Any hard-core baseball fan knows that the game can’t truly be appreciated without an understanding of some essential statistics, like a player’s batting average and runs batted in. If your child is passionate about a sport, encourage him to explore it through math.
Play family games that help foster math skills. These include card games like Go Fish, which requires counting and sorting cards into sets, or board games like Monopoly.
Develop a Homework Routine
Help your child develop a consistent homework routine. Make sure that he not only reviews that was covered in school that day but also help him learn how to keep track of long-term assignments and plan ahead.