U-Idaho Program to Support Post Falls Parents Helping Children with Math Homework
A University of Idaho program will help Post Falls parents crack the math books to gain confidence and assist their children in tackling homework assignments more methodically.
Post Falls is one of three Idaho communities in which U-Idaho’s science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, Education Research Initiative is launching innovative programs to elevate STEM education by focusing on students, parents and schools.
The programs are part of a five-year project funded by a $1.2 million Micron Foundation gift.
Led by Julie Amador, a U-Idaho curriculum and instruction professor based in Coeur d’Alene, the Post Falls program will focus on two practice standards: problem solving and modeling. Both are in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.
“Julie’s developing tutorial videos for parents on how to assist their kids with homework, utilizing the new common core standards,” said Susan Stauffer, a UI research associate who is assisting the project team.
Amador, who focuses on math education, proposed the videos after STEM Initiative surveys showed parents had limited time to help their children with homework.
The survey also found that 49 percent of Kootenai County parents, compared to 43 percent statewide, said their own math and science knowledge made it at least occasionally difficult to help their child with homework.
Amador advocates weaving math into everyday activities at home. In addition to the instructional information, pictures and video clips will show practical uses of math, such as how to help children calculate percent increase on gas station visits.
“We want to encourage parents to get involved,” Amador said. “Here’s how they can learn to help and to support their child.”
The complete video will be finished by August, ready for a fall release. Amador plans to announce the project throughout the region and provide access to the videos through an online link.
“Kids are in school 6-7 hours a day, and the rest is spent with parents,” Amador said. “The more parents understand math teachings, the more they’ll know how to support their children.”