Your Score Is 12 out of 24

Your Child’s Current Situation.

Your child is putting in the effort. They are getting great homework scores, yet they do really poorly on tests. It’s heartbreaking to see them push through the homework assignments, and even complete them, day in and day out, just to bomb on tests. It makes your child feel “stupid” and less than other children who get better scores. They feel discouraged. And rightly so! What’s the point of doing the work, trying, figuring out math problems, if at the end they still do poorly? Tests are as much as 80% of your child’s grade while homework is only 10-15%. What is the point of spending time and effort working on the 15% if your tests scores end up being so low?

You Are Shocked And Confused.

It makes no sense to you! Shouldn’t high (or even perfect!) homework scores translate to high test scores? And what is this difference caused by? Is it caused by your child’s test anxiety? Do they shut down during tests or blank out?

What You Want For Your Child

First of all, you don’t want them to be discouraged, frustrated and feel less-of, especially since they are doing their best and really putting in the effort. You want them to get the results for their hard work. You want them to do well in math. Eventually, you want them to aim for an A. With more advanced math classes and college on the horizon, you want to set them up for success.

The Challenges

Why homework doesn’t translate onto high test scores and progress.

The purpose of homework is very simple: to give your child the necessary exposure and practice to master the material.
But does homework really make your child progress and learn?

Progress isn’t a one-step thing. It is a multi-step process that is based on feedback, understanding the mistakes, repetition, and gradually increasing the independence, and level of complexity.

Homework is simply a random set of problems to solve, with a random amount of repetition (often way too much, sometimes not nearly enough), without gradual increase in complexity and without feedback.
Homework often brings more confusion than progress, doesn’t provide any feedback to improve based on, and is often a massive waste of time.

Your child’s goal should be to understand problems, not just solve them. They have to use their mistakes and feedback as stepping stones.

Learning process:
Understand the concept
Understand the method
Solve problems
Get feedback and understand
the mistakes
Fix mistakes
Repeat solving problems

Why 3 most common types of homework don’t help your child learn.

Completion – is the style where the teacher checks if your child completed the homework. Important: the teacher doesn’t check if your child’s solutions are correct or even make sense.
The problem: This style of homework doesn’t answer your child’s questions, doesn’t correct their mistakes, doesn’t clarify confusions and doesn’t help your child progress through more and more complex problems. It is missing every step of the learning process, it doesn’t allow your child to learn anything.

Correctness – is the style where the teacher checks if the your child’s solutions are correct.
The problem: It doesn’t help your child understand their mistakes and it doesn’t teach your child how to find them or correct them. It also doesn’t answer your child’s questions and doesn’t challenge your child to learn deeper, explore more and think analytically.

Self-checked – is the style where the teacher shares the answers (or even solutions) with the students and they are expected to check their own homework.
The problem: It assumes your child actually checks their homework – which begs the question: if it’s not required, do they actually check it? It gives your child the means to check their homework but doesn’t teach them how to check it. It also doesn’t help them understand how to correct it. Knowing that the answer is incorrect is far from knowing how to get the correct answer.

Disconnect Between Homework And Tests

Environment and circumstances.

Homework and tests are completely different experiences. Your child can do homework while watching Netflix, chatting with their friends, taking breaks when they want to, sipping on their favorite drink and playing with their dog. Tests are restricted and timed. Your child can’t use their phone. They have to stay focused for the entirety of the test and, at some point, people start finishing the test, which only adds to the stress. The difference in the environment and pressure makes some students who otherwise do really well, really struggle during tests.

Level of difficulty

Often times, especially in AP and Honors classes, teachers give generic homework from the book. No special cases, no hard problems. However, they add challenging problems on tests. Sometimes problems they didn’t have time to cover in class. We consider that unfair, but unfortunately it happens. It means that no matter how well your child does on homework, they may still encounter problems that they have never seen before on the test.

Your Score is 12 / 24

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