You probably thought math would never change and that helping your kids with homework—at least their elementary-school math homework— would be a piece of cake. But, if you have a kid in one of those grades, he's probably learning "reform math" (also known as “inquiry-based math”), which is a lot different than what we learned in school. The goal is to make math more exciting, and the lessons more creative. So, instead of regurgitating facts back to the teacher, students reason their way through. It's an effort to do away with that "Why do I have to know this?" feeling you used to get after you did your math homework, which will get kids ready to compete in the global economy.
Plus: 20+ Ways to End Homework Hassles
The new math is great, but it might be hard for you to give homework help if the numbers look like a different language. We talked to teachers around the country about what the new math philosophies are like, so you'll know how to help your kid become a master of this new way of learning.
Plus: Is Too Much Homework Bad for Kids?
Do any of your kids learn reform math in school, or have you had experience with inquiry-based math?