Parents and guardians may notice that the homework and instruction their child receives in mathematics is different from what they remember when they were students. This is because math instruction has evolved over the years to adapt to advancements in technology and science, to incorporate results of research on student achievement in math, and to address high remediation rates in college. Adults may notice that the sequence of math topics is different, that more time is being spent on topics, and that students are being challenged to learn new skills and content. The reason for this is to help students develop numeracy—a conceptual understanding of how numbers work. Numerate students have developed a strong foundation that will help them excel when they study algebra, geometry, and other higher mathematics.*
But how are parents and guardians supposed to support their child’s learning if they’re unfamiliar with the new ways of learning math?
Parents and guardians can still support their child’s learning in math. In California, local school districts determine the instructional program being used in the classroom. For this reason, parents and guardians should first meet with their child’s teacher to learn more about the instructional program for math being used and for advice for supporting their child’s learning.
There are also a number of freely available online resources for parents and guardians to learn more about the math of today and ways to support their child’s academic success:
- Common Core Math Explained in 3 Minutes
This article and video, produced by Vox.com, helps address many parent and community member concerns with Common Core math approaches. Unfortunately, the term "new math” is a misnomer; the math strategies suggested under Common Core have been employed in high-performing schools across the country for decades.
- Great Kids Milestones Math Videos
Milestones is a free online collection of videos aimed at helping parents and guardians understand grade-level expectations in kindergarten through grade five. On this page, find videos featuring students demonstrating what success looks like in math, grade by grade. View all of the videos on the Great Kids Milestones Web page.
- California Math Council For Families
Here you will find California Math Council (CMC)’s Math at Home booklets which provide brief, helpful information to parents and guardians including information about the Common Core and helping with math homework.
- California PTA Parent Resources
The California State PTA has made available many resources for parents to learn more about the CCSS and support their child's achievement of the standards. Resources include informational fliers, frequently asked questions, grade level parents' guides, links to additional resources, and articles of interest. The fliers and parents' guides are available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
- Mathematics Framework Chapters
Frameworks provide guidelines to schools and districts for implementing the state-adopted standards. The Mathematics Framework was adopted by the California State Board of Education on November 6, 2013, and is currently in the process of being edited for publication. However, at this time the chapters are available as PDFs in prepublication versions. Although the audience for the framework is teachers and administrators, parents and guardians may still find the grade-level chapters useful for learning more about what CCSS-aligned instruction should look like.
- Old Standards v. Common Core: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Math Expectations
"Understanding how the new standards will improve students’ math skills..."
View a comparison of math problems based on previous sets of standards to math problems based on the CCSSM to understand the greater focus by teachers and deeper knowledge by students called for in the new standards.
- Council of Great City Schools Parent Roadmaps to the Common Core Standards – Mathematics
The Council of the Great City Schools' parent roadmaps in mathematics provide guidance to parents and guardians about what their children will be learning and how they can support that learning from kindergarten through high school. These parent roadmaps for each grade level also provide three-year snapshots showing how selected standards progress from year to year so that students will be college and career ready upon their graduation from high school.
- Khan Academy Common Core Math
Here you will find interactive math problems aligned to every CCSSM. Students can work at their own pace through grade-level “missions” and track their progress through personalized dashboards. All problems are accompanied by step-by-step solutions specific to each problem. Successful completion of missions is charted on a progress report on the student’s dashboard while “coaches”—whether teachers, tutors, or parents/guardians—can see a student’s progress with access through a class code or coach ID. Learn more about these resources from Khan Academy founder, Sal Kahn, in this EdSurge article.
* For more information about math education today, please view the NCTM Family's Guide (PDF) and visit the CMC Informative Articles Web page.
Questions: Common Core Team | firstname.lastname@example.org | 916-319-0881
Last Reviewed: Monday, November 13, 2017
More in the Parent's section
Resources by Grade Level
The For Parents section is organized by grade level, so that parents can easily find resources and information most relevant to their child. Under each grade, you will find a detailed overview of the goals specific to that grade level, tables to help with homework and concepts for each unit, a Student Gallery of classroom projects and activities, Everyday Mathematics Family Letters in English and Spanish, as well as a compilation of Do-Anytime Activities to help supplement classroom activities.
Understanding Everyday Mathematics
This section provides answers to common questions parents have about the Everyday Mathematics curriculum. Here you can learn more about the rationale behind the Everyday Mathematics position on topics such as basic math facts and calculator use, in addition to tips on how to assist your child.
Helpful Links for Parents
The Parents Resources page links to dozens of online resources to help parents help their children. These links include online games, tutorials, simulations, and teaching tips.
Helpful Links for Students
The Student Resources page provides many useful resources for students, including links to interactive games, web-based virtual manipulatives and tutorials, quizzes, forums, and more.
Everyday Mathematics at Home
Everyday Mathematics at Home provides help with Home and Study Link problems, selected answers, vocabulary definitions, tutorials on algorithms, and games.