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Math Homework: What to Expect and Why IT Is Important

Parents across the country are starting to question the impact that math homework has on their children. This article discusses why math homework is important and what parents should expect to see in their children's assignments.

School boards around the country are beginning to place homework restrictions on K-12 grade public school teachers. These restrictions are being created in response to increasing instances of homework anxiety in students across the nation. However, before you approach your school board about creating similar restrictions, it is important to learn and understand the value of homework.

Math Homework

Math homework is any task assigned to students to complete outside of their math class, and is created to help students prepare to learn new mathematical concepts, practice ones that have already been introduced, and explore other math skills. These out-of-class assignments are help to reinforce the lessons a child is introduced during the school day.

Studies are finding a relationship between homework and student achievement in school. There has not been established a cause and effect relationship, but there is a strong correlation between the two traits. However, it is also acknowledged that these assignments are only effective when the math teacher takes time to prepare quality assignments that relate to the specific skills that students should be learning or practicing.

Too Much Math Homework?

Statements released by the National PTA and the National Education Association, kindergarten to third grade students should be assigned no more than 20 minutes total homework per day. Fourth to sixth graders should be assigned 20 to 40 minutes while seventh to twelfth grade teens have a varying recommended amount of homework per day depending on the difficulty of their courses. These figures are for all subjects combined, not just the mathematics course.

If your child is taking much longer than these recommended amounts of time on their homework, it could be for two reasons. Either your student's teachers are assigning too much homework or your child does not fully understand their assignments. If you are concerned that a teacher is overloading your child with homework then you should schedule an appointment to discuss this problem. If your child is struggling with their work due to a math skills gap then the answer may be outside tutoring. Busy families can help a child catch up with their peers through online tutoring. Tutoring centers that are located on the World Wide Web are professional and use the same proven methods as their conventional counterparts.

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Before you can advance to more complex levels of math (like algebra) you have to master the order of operations. Read on to learn the simple steps involved in completing ordered operations math problems. This article provides tips for working your way through math problems with several steps.

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What’s the Purpose of Homework?

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  • Homework teaches students responsibility.
  • Homework gives students an opportunity to practice and refine their skills.
  • We give homework because our parents demand it.
  • Our community equates homework with rigor.
  • Homework is a rite of passage.
  • design quality homework tasks;
  • differentiate homework tasks;
  • move from grading to checking;
  • decriminalize the grading of homework;
  • use completion strategies; and
  • establish homework support programs.
  • Always ask, “What learning will result from this homework assignment?” The goal of your instruction should be to design homework that results in meaningful learning.
  • Assign homework to help students deepen their understanding of content, practice skills in order to become faster or more proficient, or learn new content on a surface level.
  • Check that students are able to perform required skills and tasks independently before asking them to complete homework assignments.
  • When students return home, is there a safe and quite place for them to do their homework? I have talked to teachers who tell me they know for certain the home environments of their students are chaotic at best. Is it likely a student will be able to complete homework in such an environment? Is it possible for students to go to an after school program, possibly at the YMCA or a Boys and Girls Club. Assigning homework to students when you know the likelihood of them being able to complete the assignment through little fault of their own doesn’t seem fair to the learner.
  • Consider parents and guardians to be your allies when it comes to homework. Understand their constraints, and, when home circumstances present challenges, consider alternative approaches to support students as they complete homework assignments (e.g., before-or after-school programs, additional parent outreach).

what is homework math

Howard Pitler is a dynamic facilitator, speaker, and instructional coach with a proven record of success spanning four decades. With an extensive background in professional development, he works with schools and districts internationally and is a regular speaker at national, state, and district conferences and workshops.

Pitler is currently Associate Professor at Emporia State University in Kansas. Prior to that, he served for 19 years as an elementary and middle school principal in an urban setting. During his tenure, his elementary school was selected as an Apple Distinguished Program and named "One of the Top 100 Schools in America" by Redbook Magazine. His middle school was selected as "One of the Top 100 Wired Schools in America" by PC Magazine. He also served for 12 years as a senior director and chief program officer for McREL International, and he is currently serving on the Board of Colorado ASCD. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Apple Teacher, National Distinguished Principal, and Smithsonian Laureate.

He is a published book author and has written numerous magazine articles for  Educational Leadership ® magazine,  EdCircuit , and  Connected Educator , among others.

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WeBWorK is used successfully at over 700 colleges and universities from large research institutions to small teaching colleges. WeBWorK has been developed and maintained by mathematicians since 1994 always with the goal of providing the mathematical community with the most robust, flexible, and mathematically capable online homework system possible.

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Assigning More Meaningful Math Homework

A small set of problems or even one substantial problem can be enough to supplement classroom instruction.

Teen doing math homework

As a math teacher of more than 23 years, I have had the habit, almost like a muscle memory repetition, of assigning daily math homework for my middle school students. It wasn’t until recently that I paused to reflect, “Why am I assigning this?” The easy answer is, “My students need to practice to develop their skills.”

If I dig a bit deeper into the “why,” I wonder, “Are all of my students benefiting from this assignment? Did I assign an appropriate amount and level of problems? What resources do my students have or not have to be successful with this assignment? Is the assignment meaningful or busywork?”

Consider the following suggestions for making math homework more meaningful.

3 Ways to Create More Meaningful Math Homework

1. Think quality over quantity. The National Council for Teachers of Mathematics Homework page of tips for teachers suggests, “Only assign what’s necessary to augment instruction. If you can get sufficient information by assigning only five problems, then don’t assign fifty.”

Worksheets and problem sets from textbook publishers might contain dozens of problems that repeat the same concepts. It is OK to assign part of a page, such as “p. 34 #s 3, 5, and 17.” I tell my middle school students, “I handpicked these particular problems because they capture the objective of today’s lesson.” When students know that their teacher carefully “handpicked” a problem set, they might pay more attention to the condensed assignment because it was tailored for them.

Even one problem can be sufficient. Robert Kaplinsky, cofounder of Open Middle , routinely shares on X (formerly Twitter) single problems that are really engaging and give students a good chance to practice skills.

The depth and exploration that can come from one single problem can be richer than 20 routine problems. You might be surprised by how much depth can be inspired by a single problem.

2. Consider choice and variety. It’s unrealistic to create a personalized daily homework assignment for each student in your class. Student voice and choice can be applied to your preexisting assignments without your having to re-create the homework wheel.

Traditional assignments can be modified by offering students choice. This might look like “ Choose any five of these problems ,” or take this tip from educator Peter Liljedahl and designate problems as “mild, medium, or spicy” and let students pick their level for that assignment.

Offering homework level choice also promotes a culture of growth mindset through messaging like “You might choose mild problems for this lesson; however, tomorrow you might feel you’re ready for a medium level.” Level choice can vary day to day—your math level is not fixed.

Daily homework can also be spiced up by offering a variety of types of assignments. Consider assigning problems that go beyond providing a single number answer. Here are a few examples to get students thinking beyond just getting a particular problem right:

  • When simplifying (4 + 5) x 5 - 3, what is the first step?
  • When simplifying (4 + 5) x 5 - 3, Ali got the answer 18. What advice do you have for her?
  • Write your own order of operations problem with a solution of 42.

Check out these websites for even more creative ways to vary homework:

  • Three-Acts Math Tasks
  • Open Middle
  • Would You Rather Math

3. Remember, accountability doesn’t have to result in a grade. There is a major difference between assigning homework for a grade and assigning homework purely for practice. When a grade is the result of an assignment, the stakes get higher for the student.

In the February 2023 Washington Post article “ A deep dive into whether—and how—homework should be graded ,“ former teacher Rick Wormeli wrote, “When early attempts at mastery are not used against them, and accountability comes in the form of actually learning content, adolescents flourish.” If homework is truly for practice, this is an opportunity for students to make mistakes and take risks without the fear of a penalty.

Even if homework is graded as a completion grade, there are considerations of equity and meaningfulness of the practice.

Consider the following questions when deciding to give a completion grade for a homework assignment: Do all students have a home environment that is supportive of homework? Do some students have additional support, such as tutors or parents, to help them get the homework completed? Would students copy homework assignments from each other just to earn the completion grade?

If not grades, then how do we hold students accountable for practicing outside of class?

Student presentations and discussions are a way to check for understanding of an assignment and to let students know you expect them to attempt the problems. This might look like a debate in which students take sides on how to approach a problem . Alternatively, students could post their work on the board to share their strategies with the class or discuss their solutions in small groups. Communicating their mathematical thinking deepens their understanding .

Education consultants Ashley Marlow and Katie Novak write in their Edutopia article “ Making Math Accessible for All Students ” (July 2022), “When students have opportunities to think, reason, explain, and model their thinking, they are more readily able to develop a deep understanding of mathematics beyond rote memorization. The goal is for all students to experience success in higher learning of mathematics—requiring those reasoning and sense-making skills and increasing engagement.”

The next time you’re planning your lessons and assignments, pause and reflect on the meaningfulness of the homework assignment. Could it be shorter but more in-depth? Can students have a choice in their work? Will students find value in doing the work even if it is not for a grade? You might find that students take more ownership and care in their homework if it’s more meaningful to them.

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Study Skills

Math homework: why is it so important.

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Math plays an essential role in life, whether we know it or not. From engineering and architecture to shopping and cooking, math is used every single day. 

Yet children and teenagers, when faced with the option to either do their math homework or watch TV, will most likely choose the latter. That’s quite understandable at their age! Yet they may not realize the benefits math homework provides – not only for their education but also for success in future endeavors. In fact, ninety-four percent of jobs use math in some way, shape or form. Here are five reasons why math homework is beneficial to all students.

1.Cultivates critical thinking skills

Down to its basics, math presents problems that engage our critical thinking skills. Math motivates students to make sense of problems using context and reasoning, creating a purposeful and fulfilling learning experience. In one particular study, researchers found that high school students, who focused more on memory and critical thinking, received higher PSAT scores than those who relied on their calculators more.

In applying their minds more than physical resources, students grow invaluable critical thinking skills and, consequently, achieve optimal results. Math homework trains students to do so, enriching their learning experience in discovering meaningful solutions through creative exploration.

2. Improves problem-solving skills

Math homework develops mental agility, combining both memory and logic towards solving problems. In regularly completing math homework, students strengthen their ability to retain large amounts of information to solve math problems. When they acquire and hone in on that ability, such can branch into other decisions in life! International foundation for education, UNESCO, stated that powerful mathematical skills are best established when applying problem-solving skills, becoming one of the most efficient methods to solve challenges outside of mathematics.

With this in mind, practicing problem-solving through math homework will become second nature for students to pinpoint criteria into making a thoughtful judgment. Their problem-solving ability, stemming from doing homework, will better prepare them in fulfilling the expectations of the workforce and a constantly evolving world.

3. Prepares you for exams

Successfully completing math homework on a regular basis indicates that students understand the materials covered in class. It’s reflected in their exams, as homework provides ease into solving the math presented. In fact, a study had shown that students, who completed their homework, displayed higher results on tests and grades than sixty-nine percent who didn’t. 

In becoming efficient at completing math homework, students gain more confidence in studying and passing their exams with flying colours. With that gained confidence, they become more knowledgeable and capable of the subject at hand. 

Think of it this way: math homework helps to strengthen knowledge in skills and study for careers a student might be interested in. Medical scientists, for example, utilize data calculations in testing out hypotheses to ensure safe doses of medicine. If they didn’t study well in school, would you trust the medicine they prescribe?

4. Promotes individual learning and self-discipline

Math homework encourages a motivated approach in independently solving problems, as only a fraction of the information taught in class is absorbed by students. Typically only fifty percent is retained, indicating that students must apply that information to cement their understanding. Through this process, students develop research skills, time management, and self-discipline in order to successfully complete their homework. 

In cementing an understanding through research avenues like afterschool programs and online help, students are able to collect and analyze data from reliable sources. They then use these sources to tailor their own path in solving math. Homework deadlines also motivate students to achieve optimal results within a reasonable time frame, learning to prioritize tasks and eliminating procrastination. Research from The High School Journal discovered that, in the study, students who spent at least 31 minutes reviewing their homework scored considerably higher on SAT-Mathematics than those who paid assignments no mind. 

Diligence in completing math homework reinforces initiative and time management – two characteristics many employers look for. With such skills, students are given leverage not only in the short term of school but in the long term of securing their ideal career.

5. Fosters pride in achievement

Despite the complexities students may face in math concepts, math itself is a universal language that typically has the right answer. When students use their memory, critical thinking, and research skills to solve a hard math problem, finding its answer instills pride and confidence within them. Then their personal responsibility in finding all the answers in their math homework is fulfilled, giving them a sense of accomplishment, a deeper understanding and a well-deserved pat on the back.

It’s like completing a puzzle with thousands of pieces. Once you put them all together, you can see the full picture, marveling at what your hard work has created.

Math homework is not only vital in excelling in education but in developing essential life skills like critical thinking, initiative, and responsibility. At MathProject , we motivate students to achieve those skills, instilling confidence in math with our uniquely designed curriculum . Empower your children with mathematical knowledge and excellence by contacting us today at 1-844-628-424, and book a free assessment ! For more information on MathProject’s math tutoring programs in Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville, visit ‘Our Programs’ page.

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Citations: Why Math Homework is Important – homeworkdoer.org Some Interesting Reasons Why You Should Like Math Homework – starttws.com If There Was No Homework: An Interesting Viewpoint – transatlanticstudies.org Why Is Homework Important – college-homework-help.org Is Homework Beneficial? – procon.org Math and Memory – psychologytoday.com 28 Jobs for Math Majors That Offer Awesome Opportunities – trade-schools.net Mathematica – mathematica.ca

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Is It Necessary To Do Math Homework?

Mathematics is one of the most important courses in every school curriculum. After a lengthy study, students are expected to be able to perform both simple and intricate math calculations. Teachers not only teach this subject during regular class hours but also give homework to help students improve their knowledge. Math homework is necessary for a variety of reasons.

These are some of them:

Memory and cognitive capacity are improved. It’s important to remember that whatever a teacher teaches in class only accounts for a small portion of what a student is required to know. As a result, the student’s individual learning efforts contribute a larger amount. In this situation, if a student intends to pursue further education at the college or university level, he or she must master the art of independent study. Students can recall what they learned during tests or in real-life applications if they perform things on their own. As a result, math homework improves a student’s memory and critical thinking skills.

Instill good habits and study skills. When teachers assign math homework to students at lower academic levels, they are attempting to instill in them the importance of learning independently. Students who finish homework in lower classes perform better in higher levels of learning, according to studies, because teachers in those institutions do not waste time tracking students down for their tasks.

Exam preparation is essential. Exams are an important part of the learning process in all educational institutions. Teachers and parents may not be able to determine a student’s strengths and weaknesses without them. When teachers assign math homework to pupils, they do so as a means of improving their skills and sharpening their knowledge in preparation for their exams. As a result, the more math homework a student can finish, the better prepared they will be for tests.

Develop research skills. Teachers do not expect students to remember all of the knowledge when they give them math assignments. The assignment of math homework allows pupils to conduct research. Data is a tool for generating critical judgments in modern times. The ability to acquire and analyze data from a variety of sources improves a student’s research abilities. Furthermore, thanks to current technology, students now have access to online tutors who can help them with their “do my math for me” requests. Because some students are embarrassed to raise questions in class, online tutors give them a place to ask questions and get help with their math homework.

Encourages pupils to go over their notes in class. Teachers frequently assign homework based on what they have covered in class. In this instance, students can complete their assignments quickly without having to hunt for additional sources of information. If students were not given homework, there is a good probability they would spend the entire evening wasting their time and never reviewing their classwork.

Allows parents to learn about what their children are learning in class. When it comes to the well-being of students, parents are crucial. It’s necessary to recognize that getting kids to school is an important element of their development. School assists youngsters in developing the core learning abilities they require. Teachers provide parents the opportunity to examine what their children are learning in class when they assign math homework. The parent has a responsibility to assist the child during the assessment procedure. It’s important to remember that when a parent assists their child with math homework, they’re not only helping them learn something new, but they’re also strengthening the link between the parent and the child.

Allows teachers to assess the effectiveness of their lessons. Teachers might use homework to determine whether the lessons and materials they are delivering in class are effective. It serves as a platform for them to learn. When a teacher offers a math assignment, and a major portion of the class fails, this indicates that the students did not understand what the teacher was teaching. As a result, the instructor is pushed to discover a simpler way to teach their students and ensure that they understand the topics.

Oryx learning is an interactive learning platform that helps children in boosting their educational development by engaging them in different activities for learning and solving problems. It provides the option to teachers and parents of giving online homework and assignments with flexible deadlines for submission catering individual needs of learners. Teachers and parents have the option of assigning topics and skills in which their students or children need to strengthen. They can also view the progress report and identify the weak areas.

In a nutshell, math homework is important for students, instructors, and parents for a variety of reasons. It serves as a platform for parents to track their children’s development in school as well as a learning tool for kids and teachers. Contrary to what some stakeholders suggest, math homework is a crucial part of learning.

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10 Benefits of Personalized Learning

Understanding the ‘New Math’ Your Children Are Learning

Today’s math is more applied, and how students work the problem matters.

Understanding ‘New Math’

what is homework math

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The new way of teaching math is not an either/or situation, but rather a balance of understanding mathematical concepts and developing students’ ability to apply math procedures.

Remember the days when working a math problem resulted in a right or wrong answer, and parents had a basic grasp of how to help their children with math homework? Those days predated the Common Core math standards , which arrived in 2010 and put forward a central idea: Students should know why they arrived at an answer, and that is just as important as getting it right.

Thus “new math” was born, and teachers nationwide modified their methods in order to apply the federal standards to traditional mathematical practices, says Lynette Washington, a senior lead educator at Olney Charter High School in Philadelphia.

“What we expected then and now are different,” she says. “A traditional classroom was very procedure-based, where the teacher did all the lecturing and explaining in front of the class. The students took notes and followed procedures and routines. The students didn’t have a voice, and the math was very abstract.”

Common Core math procedures are much different because the teacher has become a facilitator. For example, there are eight mathematical practices , such as analyzing, approximating and grouping, embedded in lessons that help students gain a sense of the problems and then solve them, according to TeacherStep, an organization that provides education for teachers.

“Students are now asked to reason, quantify and give input about how they think,” Washington says. “We are asking students to collaborate, work with their peers and discuss situations. So, it’s no longer a scenario of ‘This is the answer and that’s it, let’s move on to the next section.’”

Common Core Math

Common Core math moves into educational lanes of literacy and visual cues, allowing students to read the problems and then make sense of them.

Jen Gleason, a senior educational consultant and associate director of service design for Teaching Matters, a New York-based professional development organization for teachers, says her organization has been helping educators implement Common Core standards since 2011.

Gleason says the new way of teaching math is not an either/or situation, but rather a balance of understanding mathematical concepts and developing students’ ability to apply math procedures.

“The new way of teaching math focuses on building students’ conceptual understanding so that they understand the ‘why’ of math, and what the underlying concepts are about the procedures they are learning,” she wrote in an email.

“Kids are now working toward using this deep, conceptual understanding to then apply the knowledge,” she says. “But this doesn’t mean there is no emphasis on fluency. There is still a heavy emphasis on kids being able to fluently apply algorithms.”

A New Math Language

Common Core puts an emphasis on how to solve problems, and experts say that comes with a new math language. “Friendly numbers,” “making 10s” and “landmark numbers” are just some of the new phrases students learn to dissect math problems.

Visuals can also help students understand a problem, show their thinking, reason with other students and grapple with more difficult concepts. At the elementary level, that can include math manipulatives, number lines, area models and math clipart.

Here are some examples of concepts that children are taught under Common Core standards, provided by Caroline Farkas, a former elementary school teacher and founder of Doodles and Digits, which provides online educational resources to make math more accessible.

  • Landmark Numbers . These are numbers that students are familiar with, such as 10, 25, 50 and 100. Students will change a number into a landmark number in order to solve a problem. For example, to add 123 and 50, students would turn the 123 into the “landmark number” 125 and then add 50 to get 175. They would then subtract 2 to make 173.
  • Friendly Numbers . These are similar to landmark numbers, but are numbers that end in zero, such as 10, 20, 50 and 100. The concept works much the same way. To add 18 and 25, for example, students would change the 18 to the “friendly number” 20. They would add 20 and 25 to get 45 and then subtract 2 to get 43.
  • Making 10s. This is a strategy typically used in lower elementary school. It can help students see the relationship between numbers and reinforce our base-10 number system. It is often accompanied by blocks or 10 frames on a grid to help students visualize the regrouping of numbers. The goal is to have students make a group of 10 in order to solve a problem. For example, to add 8 and 5, students would turn the 8 into a 10 by taking 2 from the 5. They could then easily see that 10 plus 3 (like 8 plus 5) equals 13.
  • Decomposing. Decomposing a number is breaking it down into parts (typically by place value in elementary school) in order to solve a problem. Decomposing can also be called “expanded form.” For example, the number 1,245 decomposed is 1000 + 200 + 40 + 5.

Of course, these are just examples. There are more concepts, from box multiplication to mental math. One that Farkas says is important for parents to remember as they navigate the world of new math with their children is known as a “growth mindset.”

“This is huge in math education,” she says. “It’s the idea that students believe they are able to develop good math skills through learning and growing. Many teachers teach it by telling students to add the word ‘yet’ at the end of the sentence. For example, instead of saying, ‘I don’t know how to solve this problem,’ change it into ‘I don’t know how to solve this problem – yet.’”

Five Resources for Parents

  • TeacherStep’s guide breaks down the Common Core’s eight mathematical practice standards.
  • Khan Academy offers free math classes in grades PK-12, as well as college-level courses.
  • Cuemath offers live online math classes.
  • Parents.com’s “new math” explainer offers video and visuals.
  • Understood offers nine “new math” problems and the methods to solve them.

Searching for a school? Explore our K-12 directory .

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Illustration of a boy leaning against a blackboard and a girl writing Math 55 on it with chalk.

Demystifying Math 55

By anastasia yefremova.

Few undergraduate level classes have the distinction of nation-wide recognition that Harvard University’s Math 55 has. Officially comprised of Mathematics 55A “Studies in Algebra and Group Theory” and Mathematics 55B “Studies in Real and Complex Analysis,” it is technically an introductory level course. It is also a veritable legend among high schoolers and college students alike, renowned as — allegedly — the hardest undergraduate math class in the country. It has been mentioned in books and articles, has its own Wikipedia page, and has been the subject of countless social media posts and videos.

Most recently, Harvard junior Mahad Khan created a TikTok video dedicated to Math 55 that has received over 360,000 views to date. His is only one of many — his older brother created one, too — but it has the distinction of an insider’s perspective. “I thought it would be interesting if I cleared up the misconceptions about Math 55,” Khan said. While he hadn’t taken the course himself, he wanted to go beyond its reputation. “I wanted to get a real perspective by interviewing a former student and current course assistant.”

Over the years, perception of Math 55 has become based less on the reality of the course itself and more on a cumulative collection of lore and somewhat sensationalist rumors. It’s tempting to get swept up in the thrill of hearsay but while there might be kernels of truth to some of the stories, many of them are outdated and taken out of context. At the end of the day, however, Math 55 is a class like any other. Below, we take a stab at busting some of the more well known and persistent myths about the class. Or, at the very least, offering an extra layer of clarity. 

Myth #1: Math 55 is only for high school math geniuses

Most articles or mentions of Math 55 refer to it as filled with math competition champions and genius-level wunderkinds. The class is supposedly legendary among high school math prodigies, who hear terrifying stories about it in their computer camps and at the International Math Olympiad. There are even rumors of a special test students have to take before they are even allowed into Math 55. But while familiarity with proof-based mathematics is considered a plus for those interested in the course, there is no prerequisite for competition or research experience. 

In fact students whose only exposure to advanced math has been through olympiads and summer research programs can have a harder time adjusting. Their approach to the material tends to be understandably more solitary and that can be a disadvantage for the level of collaboration higher level mathematics require. “It has become a lot more open to people with different backgrounds,” said Professor Denis Auroux , who teaches Math 55,. “Our slogan is, if you’re reasonably good at math, you love it, and you have lots of time to devote to it, then Math 55 is completely fine for you.” 

Also, there is no extra test to get into the class.

Myth #2: Just take a graduate class, instead

Math 55 is hard. Whether you’re just 55-curious, or a past or present student in the class, this is something everyone agrees on. The course condenses four years of math into two semesters, after all. “For the first semester, you work on linear and abstract algebra with a bit of representation theory,” said sophomore math concentrator Dora Woodruff. “The second semester is real and complex analysis, and a little bit of algebraic topology. That’s almost the whole undergraduate curriculum.” Woodruff — incidentally, the student Khan interviewed — took Math 55 as a freshman and returned her second year as a course assistant. She is intimately familiar with the course’s difficulty level.

So why not just take an upper level undergraduate course to begin with or even one at a graduate level, if you’re really looking for a challenge? What justifies the existence of a class with the difficulty level of Math 55? One argument is that the course helps structure and systemize the knowledge with which many students come to Harvard. It gives them a firm background in preparation for the rest of their math education. Math 55 is difficult and it is purposefully structured that way as it’s meant to help students mature as mathematicians rather than as simple course takers.

But more importantly, “it’s just not true that Math 55 is at the level of a graduate class,” Auroux said. “It goes through several upper division undergraduate math classes with maybe a bit more advanced digressions into material here and there, but it sticks very close to what is taught in 100-level classes. The difference is we go through it at a faster pace, maybe with more challenging homework, and ideally as a community of people bringing our heads together.” 

A core goal of Math 55, according to Auroux, is to build a sense of community. Other schools might encourage advanced first-year students to take upper level undergraduate or even graduate classes, but Math 55 helps build a cohort of like-minded people who really like math, are good at it, and want to do a lot of it during their time at Harvard. That’s the experience Woodruff had, as well. “The community can be very strong,” she said. “You meet a lot of other people very interested in math and stay friends with them for the rest of college.”

Myth #3: Homework takes between 24 and 60 hours

Horror stories of endless homework are synonymous with the class. You’ll read or hear about “24 to 60 hours per week on homework” in almost every reference to Math 55. But one, there is a world of difference between 24 and 60 hours that is never explained, and two, this timeframe is quite misaligned with reality.

Auroux frequently sends out surveys to his students asking how long homework takes them and the average for most is closer to 15 hours a week. Those with more extensive prior math backgrounds can take as little as five to ten hours. The key factor is collaboration. “This class doesn’t lend itself to self-study,” Auroux stressed. Once they have thought about each problem set on their own, students are welcome and encouraged to talk to their friends and collaborate. “As soon as I see that something took over 30 hours I ask the student, do you know you’re supposed to be working with people and come ask me questions when you’re stuck?”

It is true that between reviewing lectures, digesting the material, and solving the problem sets, students usually end up devoting between 20 and 30 hours a week to the class. However, that includes the time dedicated to homework. So while students are discouraged from taking too many difficult classes and extracurriculars in the same semester as Math 55, they are also not expected to spend the time equivalent to a full-time job on their problem sets every week.

Myth #4: less than half of the class makes it to the second semester

Math 55 is just as infamous for its attrition rate as it is for its difficulty. Most sources like to cite the 1970 class, which began with 75 students and — between the advanced nature of the material and the time-constraints under which students had to work — ended with barely 20. Since then, the rumor has been that the Math 55 class shrinks by half its original size or more before the first semester is over. The reality is much less shocking and a bit more complicated.

Enrollment in this past fall semester’s Math 55A peaked at (ironically) 55 students. Well into the spring semester’s Math 55B, 47 students were still enrolled in the course. “On average, a drop of about 10-15 percent is much closer to what I would expect,” Auroux said. And those numbers become even more flexible if one takes into consideration the weeks math students have at the beginning of each semester to try out different classes and “shop” around before they have to commit to anything. This means students find their way in and out of Math 55 in a variety of ways over the course of the academic year.

According to Auroux, some students shop Math 55 in the fall and switch to the less intense Math 25 for the remainder of the semester. Others start out in Math 25 and, if not sufficiently challenged, switch to Math 55. Even people who end up in academia are not exempt from this. During his time as a student, our own Department of Mathematics’ Professor Emeritus Benedict Gross switched to the lower level Math 21 after two weeks in Math 55. In fact, those two weeks almost made him reconsider his desire to pursue mathematics. “By the beginning of sophomore year, I had decided to major in physics,” he recalled. “But during shopping period that fall, I walked past a math class taught by Andrew Gleason and stopped in to listen. It turned out to be Math 55.” He enrolled and by the end of the semester had found his vocation in mathematics.

All this means that Auroux sees student numbers vacillate up and down throughout the academic year. “There are about four or five students in this spring semester’s Math 55 that took Math 25 or even Math 22 in the fall, and they’re doing mostly fine,” he said. “It’s a lot of work, but I think they’re having a great time.”

Myth #5: 55-er culture is cult-y and exclusionary

Even though her experience with Math 55 was a positive one, Woodruff is very aware of the unhealthy culture the class has been rumored to cultivate. It’s easy for students to form exclusionary cliques that consist only of other Math 55 students, and some look down on anyone taking lower level math classes. But Woodruff also stressed that the instructors are very aware of this and actively take steps to curb that kind of toxic behavior. She said Auroux frequently brings up the importance of keeping the Math 55 community inclusive through Slack messages and lecture references.

Some students come to Harvard just for the opportunity to take Math 55. Some view enrolling in the class as proof of their mathematical gumption and competence. A Harvard Independent article called Math 55 the “premiere mathematical challenge for overachieving and…ridiculously mathy freshmen” and a piece in The Harvard Crimson referred to it as “a bit of a status thing as far as math majors here are concerned.” Over the years, the Harvard Department of Mathematics has taken steps to correct these assumptions. 

For one thing, neither the Math 55A nor the Math 55B official course descriptions boast the dubious honor of referring to it as “probably the most difficult undergraduate math class in the country” (don’t trust everything you read on Wikipedia). For another, “we’re trying to emphasize that there’s no magic to Math 55,” Auroux said. “It contains the same material as some of the other classes we have. People who take it are not intrinsically better or smarter than the ones who don’t.” 

Myth #6: You have to take Math 55 if you’re serious about going into academia

One reason math concentrators could feel pressured to enroll in Math 55 is because they view it as a prerequisite for a career in academia. It’s a sort of badge of honor and proof of their commitment to the field of mathematics. It is true that quite a few graduates of the course have gone on to pursue a career in mathematics. Woodruff herself believes that will be the most likely path for her, and several faculty members in our own Department of Mathematics took Math 55 during their days as Harvard freshmen.

“Several times in my research career when I understood something fundamental, I would realize that this was what Math 55 was trying to teach us,” Gross said. “It was an amazing introduction to the whole of mathematics and it was transformative for me.” In fact, Gross met Higgins Professor of Mathematics Joe Harris when they took the class together, forging a lifelong friendship. When they returned to Harvard as faculty, they took turns teaching Math 25 and Math 55. 

However, Auroux is quick to point out that while many graduates of the course do end up in academia, most professional mathematicians have likely never even heard of Math 55. “I would like to think that it’s a success story if people end up doing math, because the goal of Math 55 is to show students how beautiful math can be,” he said. “If they love it enough to go to grad school and become mathematicians, that’s wonderful. And if they want to take that math knowledge and do something else with their life, that’s just as wonderful.”

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, the 5 best homework help websites (free and paid).

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Other High School , General Education


Listen: we know homework isn’t fun, but it is a good way to reinforce the ideas and concepts you’ve learned in class. But what if you’re really struggling with your homework assignments? 

If you’ve looked online for a little extra help with your take-home assignments, you’ve probably stumbled across websites claiming to provide the homework help and answers students need to succeed . But can homework help sites really make a difference? And if so, which are the best homework help websites you can use? 

Below, we answer these questions and more about homework help websites–free and paid. We’ll go over: 

  • The basics of homework help websites 
  • The cost of homework help websites 
  • The five best homework websites out there 
  • The pros and cons of using these websites for homework help 
  • The line between “learning” and “cheating” when using online homework help 
  • Tips for getting the most out of a homework help website

So let’s get started! 


The Basics About Homework Help Websites–Free and Paid

Homework help websites are designed to help you complete your homework assignments, plain and simple. 

What Makes a Homework Help Site Worth Using

Most of the best sites allow users to ask questions and then provide an answer (or multiple possible answers) and explanation in seconds. In some instances, you can even send a photo of a particular assignment or problem instead of typing the whole thing out! 

Homework help sites also offer more than just help answering homework questions. Common services provided are Q&A with experts, educational videos, lectures, practice tests and quizzes, learning modules, math solving tools, and proofreading help. Homework help sites can also provide textbook solutions (i.e. answers to problems in tons of different textbooks your school might be using), one-on-one tutoring, and peer-to-peer platforms that allow you to discuss subjects you’re learning about with your fellow students. 

And best of all, nearly all of them offer their services 24/7, including tutoring! 

What You Should Should Look Out For

When it comes to homework help, there are lots–and we mean lots –of scam sites out there willing to prey on desperate students. Before you sign up for any service, make sure you read reviews to ensure you’re working with a legitimate company. 

A word to the wise: the more a company advertises help that veers into the territory of cheating, the more likely it is to be a scam. The best homework help websites are going to help you learn the concepts you’ll need to successfully complete your homework on your own. (We’ll go over the difference between “homework help” and “cheating” a little later!) 


You don't need a golden piggy bank to use homework help websites. Some provide low or no cost help for students like you!

How Expensive Are the Best Homework Help Websites?

First of all, just because a homework help site costs money doesn’t mean it’s a good service. Likewise, just because a homework help website is free doesn’t mean the help isn’t high quality. To find the best websites, you have to take a close look at the quality and types of information they provide! 

When it comes to paid homework help services, the prices vary pretty widely depending on the amount of services you want to subscribe to. Subscriptions can cost anywhere from $2 to $150 dollars per month, with the most expensive services offering several hours of one-on-one tutoring with a subject expert per month.

The 5 Best Homework Help Websites 

So, what is the best homework help website you can use? The answer is that it depends on what you need help with. 

The best homework help websites are the ones that are reliable and help you learn the material. They don’t just provide answers to homework questions–they actually help you learn the material. 

That’s why we’ve broken down our favorite websites into categories based on who they’re best for . For instance, the best website for people struggling with math might not work for someone who needs a little extra help with science, and vice versa. 

Keep reading to find the best homework help website for you! 

Best Free Homework Help Site: Khan Academy

  • Price: Free!
  • Best for: Practicing tough material 

Not only is Khan Academy free, but it’s full of information and can be personalized to suit your needs. When you set up your account , you choose which courses you need to study, and Khan Academy sets up a personal dashboard of instructional videos, practice exercises, and quizzes –with both correct and incorrect answer explanations–so you can learn at your own pace. 

As an added bonus, it covers more course topics than many other homework help sites, including several AP classes.

Runner Up: Brainly.com offers a free service that allows you to type in questions and get answers and explanations from experts. The downside is that you’re limited to two answers per question and have to watch ads. 

Best Paid Homework Help Site: Chegg

  • Price: $14.95 to $19.95 per month
  • Best for: 24/7 homework assistance  

This service has three main parts . The first is Chegg Study, which includes textbook solutions, Q&A with subject experts, flashcards, video explanations, a math solver, and writing help. The resources are thorough, and reviewers state that Chegg answers homework questions quickly and accurately no matter when you submit them.  

Chegg also offers textbook rentals for students who need access to textbooks outside of their classroom. Finally, Chegg offers Internship and Career Advice for students who are preparing to graduate and may need a little extra help with the transition out of high school. 

Another great feature Chegg provides is a selection of free articles geared towards helping with general life skills, like coping with stress and saving money. Chegg’s learning modules are comprehensive, and they feature solutions to the problems in tons of different textbooks in a wide variety of subjects. 

Runner Up: Bartleby offers basically the same services as Chegg for $14.99 per month. The reason it didn’t rank as the best is based on customer reviews that say user questions aren’t answered quite as quickly on this site as on Chegg. Otherwise, this is also a solid choice!


Best Site for Math Homework Help: Photomath

  • Price: Free (or $59.99 per year for premium services) 
  • Best for: Explaining solutions to math problems

This site allows you to t ake a picture of a math problem, and instantly pulls up a step-by-step solution, as well as a detailed explanation of the concept. Photomath also includes animated videos that break down mathematical concepts to help you better understand and remember them. 

The basic service is free, but for an additional fee you can get extra study tools and learn additional strategies for solving common math problems.

Runner Up: KhanAcademy offers in-depth tutorials that cover complex math topics for free, but you won’t get the same tailored help (and answers!) that Photomath offers. 

Best Site for English Homework Help: Princeton Review Academic Tutoring

  • Price: $40 to $153 per month, depending on how many hours of tutoring you want 
  • Best for: Comprehensive and personalized reading and writing help 

While sites like Grammarly and Sparknotes help you by either proofreading what you write via an algorithm or providing book summaries, Princeton Review’s tutors provide in-depth help with vocabulary, literature, essay writing and development, proofreading, and reading comprehension. And unlike other services, you’ll have the chance to work with a real person to get help. 

The best part is that you can get on-demand English (and ESL) tutoring from experts 24/7. That means you can get help whenever you need it, even if you’re pulling an all-nighter! 

This is by far the most expensive homework site on this list, so you’ll need to really think about what you need out of a homework help website before you commit. One added benefit is that the subscription covers over 80 other subjects, including AP classes, which can make it a good value if you need lots of help!  


Best Site for STEM Homework Help: Studypool

  • Best for: Science homework help
  • Price: Varies; you’ll pay for each question you submit

When it comes to science homework help, there aren’t a ton of great resources out there. The best of the bunch is Studypool, and while it has great reviews, there are some downsides as well. 

Let’s start with the good stuff. Studypool offers an interesting twist on the homework help formula. After you create a free account, you can submit your homework help questions, and tutors will submit bids to answer your questions. You’ll be able to select the tutor–and price point–that works for you, then you’ll pay to have your homework question answered. You can also pay a small fee to access notes, lectures, and other documents that top tutors have uploaded. 

The downside to Studypool is that the pricing is not transparent . There’s no way to plan for how much your homework help will cost, especially if you have lots of questions! Additionally, it’s not clear how tutors are selected, so you’ll need to be cautious when you choose who you’d like to answer your homework questions.  


What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Homework Help Sites?

Homework help websites can be a great resource if you’re struggling in a subject, or even if you just want to make sure that you’re really learning and understanding topics and ideas that you’re interested in. But, there are some possible drawbacks if you don’t use these sites responsibly. 

We’ll go over the good–and the not-so-good–aspects of getting online homework help below. 

3 Pros of Using Homework Help Websites 

First, let’s take a look at the benefits. 

#1: Better Grades Beyond Homework

This is a big one! Getting outside help with your studies can improve your understanding of concepts that you’re learning, which translates into better grades when you take tests or write essays. 

Remember: homework is designed to help reinforce the concepts you learned in class. If you just get easy answers without learning the material behind the problems, you may not have the tools you need to be successful on your class exams…or even standardized tests you’ll need to take for college. 

#2: Convenience

One of the main reasons that online homework help is appealing is because it’s flexible and convenient. You don’t have to go to a specific tutoring center while they’re open or stay after school to speak with your teacher. Instead, you can access helpful resources wherever you can access the internet, whenever you need them.

This is especially true if you tend to study at off hours because of your extracurriculars, work schedule, or family obligations. Sites that offer 24/7 tutoring can give you the extra help you need if you can’t access the free resources that are available at your school. 

#3: Variety

Not everyone learns the same way. Maybe you’re more of a visual learner, but your teacher mostly does lectures. Or maybe you learn best by listening and taking notes, but you’re expected to learn something just from reading the textbook . 

One of the best things about online homework help is that it comes in a variety of forms. The best homework help sites offer resources for all types of learners, including videos, practice activities, and even one-on-one discussions with real-life experts. 

This variety can also be a good thing if you just don’t really resonate with the way a concept is being explained (looking at you, math textbooks!).


Not so fast. There are cons to homework help websites, too. Get to know them below!

3 Cons of Using Homework Help Websites 

Now, let’s take a look at the drawbacks of online homework help. 

#1: Unreliable Info

This can be a real problem. In addition to all the really good homework help sites, there are a whole lot of disreputable or unreliable sites out there. The fact of the matter is that some homework help sites don’t necessarily hire people who are experts in the subjects they’re talking about. In those cases, you may not be getting the accurate, up-to-date, and thorough information you need.

Additionally, even the great sites may not be able to answer all of your homework questions. This is especially true if the site uses an algorithm or chatbot to help students…or if you’re enrolled in an advanced or college-level course. In these cases, working with your teacher or school-provided tutors are probably your best option. 

#2: No Clarification

This depends on the service you use, of course. But the majority of them provide free or low-cost help through pre-recorded videos. Watching videos or reading info online can definitely help you with your homework… but you can’t ask questions or get immediate feedback if you need it .

#3: Potential For Scamming 

Like we mentioned earlier, there are a lot of homework help websites out there, and lots of them are scams. The review comments we read covered everything from outdated or wrong information, to misleading claims about the help provided, to not allowing people to cancel their service after signing up. 

No matter which site you choose to use, make sure you research and read reviews before you sign up–especially if it’s a paid service! 


When Does “Help” Become “Cheating”?

Admittedly, whether using homework help websites constitutes cheating is a bit of a grey area. For instance, is it “help” when a friend reads your essay for history class and corrects your grammar, or is it “cheating”? The truth is, not everyone agrees on when “help” crosses the line into “cheating .” When in doubt, it can be a good idea to check with your teacher to see what they think about a particular type of help you want to get. 

That said, a general rule of thumb to keep in mind is to make sure that the assignment you turn in for credit is authentically yours . It needs to demonstrate your own thoughts and your own current abilities. Remember: the point of every homework assignment is to 1) help you learn something, and 2) show what you’ve learned. 

So if a service answers questions or writes essays for you, there’s a good chance using it constitutes cheating. 

Here’s an example that might help clarify the difference for you. Brainstorming essay ideas with others or looking online for inspiration is “help” as long as you write the essay yourself. Having someone read it and give you feedback about what you need to change is also help, provided you’re the one that makes the changes later. 

But copying all or part of an essay you find online or having someone write (or rewrite) the whole thing for you would be “cheating.” The same is true for other subjects. Ultimately, if you’re not generating your own work or your own answers, it’s probably cheating.


5 Tips for Finding the Best Homework Help Websites for You

Now that you know some of our favorite homework help websites, free and paid, you can start doing some additional research on your own to decide which services might work best for you! Here are some top tips for choosing a homework help website. 

Tip 1: Decide How You Learn Best 

Before you decide which site or sites you’re going to use for homework help, y ou should figure out what kind of learning style works for you the most. Are you a visual learner? Then choose a site that uses lots of videos to help explain concepts. If you know you learn best by actually doing tasks, choose a site that provides lots of practice exercises.

Tip 2: Determine Which Subjects You Need Help With

Just because a homework help site is good overall doesn’t mean that it’s equally good for every subject. If you only need help in math, choose a site that specializes in that area. But if history is where you’re struggling, a site that specializes in math won’t be much help. So make sure to choose a site that you know provides high-quality help in the areas you need it most. 

Tip 3: Decide How Much One-On-One Help You Need 

This is really about cost-effectiveness. If you learn well on your own by reading and watching videos, a free site like Khan Academy is a good choice. But if you need actual tutoring, or to be able to ask questions and get personalized answers from experts, a paid site that provides that kind of service may be a better option.

Tip 4: Set a Budget 

If you decide you want to go with a paid homework help website, set a budget first . The prices for sites vary wildly, and the cost to use them can add up quick. 

Tip 5: Read the Reviews

Finally, it’s always a good idea to read actual reviews written by the people using these homework sites. You’ll learn the good, the bad, and the ugly of what the users’ experiences have been. This is especially true if you intend to subscribe to a paid service. You’ll want to make sure that users think it’s worth the price overall!


What’s Next?

If you want to get good grades on your homework, it’s a good idea to learn how to tackle it strategically. Our expert tips will help you get the most out of each assignment…and boost your grades in the process. 

Doing well on homework assignments is just one part of getting good grades. We’ll teach you everything you need to know about getting great grades in high school in this article. 

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what is homework math

5 Effective Homework Tips for Parents: A Guide to Help Your Child Excel in Math

  • The Dropkick Math Team
  • November 28, 2023

Welcome, parents! Dealing frequently with math homework can become quite a challenge for you and your child. But don’t worry! We’ve got the solutions to help you navigate this somewhat perplexing journey of numbers and variables, increasing your and your child’s skills and comfort with mathematics. In this article, we’ll share five practical and effective tips to make the homework process smoother and more productive.

Remember, the aim is not just to get the homework done, but to build a solid foundation of skills and understanding that will foster your child’s independence and creative problem-solving abilities. Homework can be an opportunity for learning, not merely a chore.

So, put on your learning hats, parents! It’s time to redefine the traditional approach and get the homework help you and your child need! 

The Importance Of Homework In Math Education

Homework plays a crucial role in improving your children’s academic performance, particularly in math. It serves as an extension of the day’s lesson, allowing them to practice and apply what they’ve learned. But how can you, as a parent, facilitate this learning process and make it more effective? Parents/guardians can help facilitate a child’s education in various ways, but today we will be focusing on our top 5 ways to help. 

1. Understanding Your Child’s Math Homework

Math can certainly be a perplexing subject. It’s entirely probable that your child’s math homework seems like an enigma wrapped in a riddle for you too. But don’t worry—you can still assist your child in this mind-training battleground. Here are some key points to keep in mind: 

  • Clarifying the Assignment: One of the first steps to helping your child with their math homework is to understand what the assignment asks. Go over the directions together and ask your child to explain the task to you in their own words. This could be just the thing to help them comprehend the problem better.
  • Identify Key Concepts: Try to identify the key math concepts in the homework. Whether it’s multiplication, fractions, or algebra, understanding these concepts can help provide the framework your child needs to solve the problems .
  • Use Available Resources: Textbooks, notes, and even online resources can be invaluable when trying to understand your child’s math homework. Use these whenever possible to fill in gaps in understanding and provide additional context or explanations.

Patience plays a vital role in this process. It’s absolutely normal for both you and your child to feel frustrated when things don’t seem to make sense at first. Remember, it’s more about fostering the lesson of persistence and problem-solving than just getting all the answers right in the homework. 

“The essence of mathematics is not to make simple things complicated, but to make complicated things simple,” said Stan Gudder, a renowned mathematician. So let’s strive to understand one numerical puzzle at a time together! 

2. Creating A Positive Study Environment

It’s crucial that your child has a conducive environment for learning . That said, creating a positive study environment is more than just having a quiet place for your kids to work. It’s about setting the tone, the mood, and the mindset for academic success. 

Tip 1: Keep Distractions at Bay  

All too often, homework time can be interrupted by distractions. Phones buzzing, TVs blaring, or siblings bickering can hinder concentration. Before your child gets to business, ensure their workspace is free from any potential distractions. The absence of interruptions allows for effective study time, improving the learning process. 

Tip 2: Organize the Study Space  

A clean, organized study space can significantly boost productivity. Clutter can be visually distracting and decrease concentration. Encourage your child to keep their workspace tidy and organized. An orderly workspace can make homework time less stressful and more productive. 

Tip 3: Equip the Study Space with Essential Supplies  

Having all the necessary study supplies close at hand is key to staying focused. Math homework often requires pencils, paper, rulers, calculators and other supplies. Keeping these items in their designated places can save your child precious time they would otherwise spend looking for them. 

Tip 4: Set a Regular Homework Schedule  

Consistency is vital when it comes to homework. Setting a regular homework time can create a routine, reducing the resistance to starting homework and increasing the chance that homework will be completed on time. Figure out a time that works best for your child and stick to it.

Remember, each child is different, and what works for one may not necessarily work for another. Your role as a parent is to provide support, encouragement, and a conducive learning environment .

3. Encouraging Independence In Math Homework

Try to remember that the ultimate goal of homework isn’t just proper problem-solving, but developing self-efficacy and skill independence. So how can you encourage this in your child while helping with their math homework? Let’s explore some strategies.

Gradual Release of Responsibility:

This instructional model works like a charm in encouraging your child to take ownership of their math homework. The strategy contains three phases – I do, We do, You do. Initially, you work on the problem, then you both work together on a similar problem, and finally, the child does it independently. It’s okay if they struggle a bit—it’s all part of the learning process. 

Socratic Questioning:

Rather than directly lending a hand when they’re stuck, try asking questions that can guide their thinking towards a solution. For example, “What do you think should be the first step to solve this problem?” or “Can you think about a similar problem we solved before?” This method encourages your child to reflect upon and utilize their knowledge and problem-solving skills , promoting independence. 

Demonstrate Persistence:

Show them that it’s okay to not understand something quickly. Share instances when you struggled with similar problems and how you worked persistently until you figured it out. This conveys a  positive attitude towards learning and illustrates that challenges can be overcome with determination and a positive mindset. 

Celebrate Efforts, Not Just Outcomes:

The best kind of encouragement comes from acknowledging your child’s strife, not just their triumphs. Make it a point to celebrate their hard work, dedication, and progress, even if they didn’t get the answer exactly right. Making an effort is the first key to success. 

Remember, it’s less about getting it right every single time and more about cultivating a positive attitude toward math homework. As parents, you are an essential part of the equation. So, make sure you’re leading by example, framing struggles as opportunities to learn, and always fostering a love for math.

4. Setting Realistic Homework Expectations

Let’s face it – we all want our children to excel in school, especially in subjects like math, which lay the groundwork for many future career paths. However, it’s essential to set realistic expectations when it comes to your child’s math homework. Here’s how: 

Understand the purpose of homework 

The primary objective of homework is to reinforce what your child learns at school each day. Remember that math is a subject that builds on previous knowledge, and homework presents a unique opportunity for your child to practice and consolidate their understanding. It’s less about getting all the answers right and more about learning from the process.

Be realistic about your child’s abilities 

Every child is unique and progresses at their own pace. Comparing your child’s academic performance with other children may lead to unnecessary stress and frustration. Celebrate the small victories, like mastering a challenging concept or improving in a test score , instead of focusing only on the mistakes. 

Establish manageable goals 

Large, overwhelming tasks can seem daunting, especially to young children. Break down the homework into manageable chunks. This makes the work seem less intimidating, and your child will feel a sense of accomplishment as they complete each section. For instance, if your child has a long list of math problems to solve, you might have them work on 5 problems at a time with short breaks in between. 

Manage time effectively 

Homework is a child’s responsibility. While it’s okay to help, avoid the temptation to do the work for them. Instead, help them plan how much time they need to devote to their homework to keep things manageable. A regular, consistent homework schedule can prevent last-minute rush and reduce homework-related stress. 

Remember, the goal is to improve over time, not to achieve perfection overnight. By setting realistic expectations and helping your child develop good study habits , you’re guiding them towards long-term success in math – and beyond.

5. Using Everyday Examples To Reinforce Math Concepts

One of the best ways to aid your child in their math homework is to incorporate it into their day-to-day life. As math is all around us , this can make the subject more relatable and less intimidating. Let’s explore a few ways you can do this. 

  • Supermarket Sum: When you’re grocery shopping with your child, ask them to add up the prices or calculate discounts. This helps reinforce addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills.
  • Recipe Ratios: Baking or cooking together is an excellent way to bring fractions and ratios to life. You can ask your child to double the recipe or reduce it to half.
  • Sports Statistics: If your child is a sports enthusiast, use that interest to stress the importance of math. Explain how batting averages, distances, and scores are calculated.
  • Travel Time: On the way to school or during long car trips, challenge them to guess the time arrival based on current speed and distance. This strengthens their number sense and grasp of multiplication and division.

By integrating these types of activities into everyday life , your child will see how math applies to real-world situations. When they understand why the skills they are learning are essential, they will feel more motivated to succeed in their math homework. 

Utilizing Online Resources For Extra Practice

It’s no secret that technology is a major part of our lives today . Your child no doubt interacts with it on a daily basis, so why not use it as a useful tool for math homework? A multitude of online resources exist that cater to varying learning styles, making it possible to find the perfect study aid for your child. 

It’s important to remember that each child is unique and will likely learn best with a method tailored to their particular style, pace, and interests . Be patient, take the time to try out different resources, and see what works best for your child. It may be a process of trial and error, but the benefit of understanding and mastering their math homework is a reward in itself. 

However, remember that online resources should be used to supplement, not replace, the learning that takes place in the classroom. It’s essential to maintain a balance between digital and traditional learning methods. Engaging with your child as they work through their math homework is fundamental to developing their understanding and building their confidence in the subject. 

Remember, the goal of homework isn’t to get all the answers right, but to foster a learning mindset and develop lifelong problem-solving skills. Utilizing online resources can provide extra practice and reinforce concepts learned in class, making math homework a more productive and less stressful experience for both of you.

In conclusion, as a parent, you are a vital part of your child’s education. Assisting them with their math homework can be both rewarding and challenging. Understanding the role of homework in learning, having a good grasp of your child’s assignments, and creating an encouraging study space can make the process smoother and build your children’s confidence. Cultivating your child’s independence fosters their lifelong learning skills. Furthermore, setting achievable goals, managing time wisely, and bringing math into everyday life can significantly enhance their learning experience. Online tools can be invaluable resources for extra practice. Remember, your patience and unwavering support can do wonders in helping your child succeed in math.

For more information about our math help services and how you can help your child with their math homework, sign up for our bulletin today ! Our education experts will provide weekly inspiration and help for parents who are struggling to help their children in mathematics.

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Answered Problems By Math Tutors

A soccer coach wants to know how many hours a week his players spend training at home. He has 20 players and he decides to ask the first 4 players to arrive at Monday's soccer practice how many hours they spend training per week. He then calculated that they spend an average of 10 hour per week. Therefore, he assumed that all the players train 10 hours per week. Is this an example of a simple random sample? 

A No, because each student did not have an equal chance of being selected. 

B Yes, because each student had an equal chance of being selected. 

C No, because he did not sample every soccer player. 

D Yes, the minimum number of students sampled need to be four for it to be a simple random sample. 

The figure shows the graph of f. 

(b) Which of the cx-values A, B, C, D, E, F and G appear to be inflection points of f? 

The diagram shows two rectangles, A and B. 

All measurements are in centimetres. 

The area of rectangle A is equal to the area of rectangle B. 

Find an expression for y in terms of w. 

George's page contains twice as many typed words as Bill's page and Bill's page contains 50 fewer words than Charlie's page. If each person can type 60 words per minute, after one minute, the difference between twice the number of words on Bill's page and the number of words on Charlie's page is 210. How many words did Bill's page contain initially?

 Bill's page initially contained        words. 

Simplify 2sin(5x)cos(3x) - sin(2x) to one an expression containing one trigonometric function. Then graph the original function and your simplified version to verify they are identical. Enclose arguments of functions in parentheses. For example, sin(2x). 


A health psychologist was interested in the effects of vitamin supplements on the immune system. Three groups of adults were exposed (in a highly ethical way) to the cold virus; one group took no supplements for a week before exposure, another had vitamin C supplements, and a third had multivitamins (excluding C). The severity of the cold was measured as a percentage (0% = not contracted, 100% very severe symptoms). The psychologist also measured the number of cigarettes that each person smoked per day, as smoking suppresses the immune system. The psychologist was interested in the differences in the severity of the illnesses across different vitamin groups accounting for cigarette usage. What technique should be used to analyse these data? 

A. Two-way repeated-measures ANOVA 

B. Two-way independent ANOVA 

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Second-grader’s impossible math homework question leaves parents stumped: ‘help this mama out’.

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I’ll be the first to admit that math isn’t my strongest subject.

I’d even go as far as saying I’m pretty much innumerate (illiterate but for numbers – not a real word but go with it.) 

With that being said, as a full-grown adult, I thought I would be able to figure out the ‘impossible’ year two maths question that’s doing the rounds on the internet right now. 

But I was wrong. So, so wrong. 

It turns out, I’m not in the minority here. Hundreds of fellow adults were also scratching their heads trying to solve the task, which has been deemed ‘unsolvable’ by many. 

yellow piece of paper with writing on it

“Please help this mama out!”

It all started when a mom shared her child’s homework question to the  r/askmath  Reddit. 

The question starts off by referencing a previous equation that read: “200 + 60 + 9 = 269.”

Seems simple, right?

But here’s where it gets tricky.

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The next question encourages students to “stretch your thinking” by writing another addition equation.

It instructed: “The equation must have a 1-, a 2- and a 3-digit addend and use all of these digits.”

The digits in question included; 6, 6, 2, 2, 8, 8, 0, 0 and 0.

The mom shared a photo of the question next to some working out that’s been scribbled out. She captioned the post: “Second-grade math question that we can’t figure out. The teacher asked for an answer as well that included the numbers. I am so stuck!! This is probably so easy, but after an hour I’m at my wits’ end! Second grade!!!”

She added: “Please help this mama out.”

“This is year two homework?!”

People then rushed to the comments to give the equation a crack and share their thoughts on the question as a whole. 

“Fasten your seatbelts… we’re going from ‘Are you smarter than a fifth grader?’ to ‘Are you smarter than a second grader?'” one user quipped.

A second critiqued the question, saying: “Okay but what the heck is this supposed to teach the kids? Guess and check?”

“Yeah, that is not something I would expect very many second graders to get. But then again, that is the ‘Stretch your thinking’ question for this worksheet,” mentioned a third user.

A fourth then made the point, “The unnecessary hyphens after the one and two kinda makes the question confusing, especially for a child.”

“What the hell are addends?” someone else asked, echoing everyone’s thoughts. 

“I’m assuming your kid was taught what addends were before this homework was given? So they should have been able to at least explain that part considering that, from the comments, most people don’t have a clue what those are,” someone replied. 

So, you’re probably dying to know the answer by now. And, thankfully, a smart cookie in the comments was able to help out. 

Apparently, it was as simple as just recreating a similar formula to the previous answer. 

“800 + 60 + 2 = 862,” wrote the user. 

The OP praised them, saying, “Why did you make it look so easy?! We were about to start WWIII over here and you just whipped it out like the obvious answer that it is. Thank you for saving my tired brain and also my child’s teacher from a very worded email. You win hero of the day!”

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MathPix solves various complex problems with ease. It's the world's smartest math solver for algebra, graphing, calculus, and more! MathPix gives you unlimited access to math solutions that can help you understand complex concepts. Simply point your camera and snap a photo or type your math homework question for step-by-step answers. MathPix covers all levels of math, including Arithmetic, Algebra, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, and more. MathPix will be your mathematical lifesaver - finish your homework faster, prepare better for tests, and make getting those high grades less stressful. Key Features: ► Take a photo of your math problem in a snap; it's easy to use and efficient. ► Recognize math problems quickly and accurately. The homework solver is like a teacher on the spot. ► Use canvas tools to write your own problem on the phone and get the results step-by-step. ► Get detailed step-by-step solutions for solving math problems to understand better. ► Keep historical solving records and review them at any time. ► Covered topics: Algebra, Function, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus, Statistics and data analysis, Matrix, Logic. ► Get expert assistance on math homework assignments from the AI Math Tutor. ► Enhance your skills with brain training and tailored math courses for both students and pros. ► Ask any math question to your private AI Math Tutor and get an answer instantly. Note: The free version may have limitations. Privacy Policy: https://loopmobile.me/privacy.html Terms of use: https://loopmobile.me/tos.html

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    Khan Academy is a nonprofit organization that provides free online courses, lessons, and practice in various subjects for learners of all ages. Whether you want to learn math, science, arts, humanities, or more, Khan Academy has something for you. Explore the world of knowledge and join millions of students and teachers who use Khan Academy to achieve their learning goals.

  6. What's the Right Amount of Homework?

    February 23, 2018 Many teachers and parents believe that homework helps students build study skills and review concepts learned in class. Others see homework as disruptive and unnecessary, leading to burnout and turning kids off to school.

  7. What's the Purpose of Homework?

    a Howard Pitler Curriculum If you walk into a typical teachers' workroom and ask the question, "What's the purpose of homework?" you'll likely find that most teachers have a definite opinion. Homework teaches students responsibility. Homework gives students an opportunity to practice and refine their skills.

  8. WeBWorK

    WeBWorK is an open-source online homework system for math and science courses. WeBWorK is supported by the MAA and the NSF and comes with a National Problem Library (NPL) of over 20,000 homework problems. Problems in the NPL target most lower division undergraduate math courses and some advanced courses.

  9. More Meaningful Math Homework

    3 Ways to Create More Meaningful Math Homework. 1. Think quality over quantity. The National Council for Teachers of Mathematics Homework page of tips for teachers suggests, "Only assign what's necessary to augment instruction. If you can get sufficient information by assigning only five problems, then don't assign fifty.". Worksheets ...

  10. The Benefits of Doing Math Homework

    Math homework encourages a motivated approach in independently solving problems, as only a fraction of the information taught in class is absorbed by students. Typically only fifty percent is retained, indicating that students must apply that information to cement their understanding. Through this process, students develop research skills, time ...

  11. Free and clear online algebra help!

    Purplemath's "Homework Guidelines for Mathematics" will give you a leg up, explaining in clear terms what your math teacher is looking for. The Guidelines link to examples of common errors, and demonstrate techniques that your instructors will love! In addition, students who get in the habit of explaining themselves clearly in their homework ...

  12. Algebra 1

    The Algebra 1 course, often taught in the 9th grade, covers Linear equations, inequalities, functions, and graphs; Systems of equations and inequalities; Extension of the concept of a function; Exponential models; and Quadratic equations, functions, and graphs. Khan Academy's Algebra 1 course is built to deliver a comprehensive, illuminating, engaging, and Common Core aligned experience!

  13. Is It Necessary To Do Math Homework?

    Math homework is necessary for a variety of reasons. Memory and cognitive capacity are improved. It's important to remember that whatever a teacher teaches in class only accounts for a small portion of what a student is required to know. As a result, the student's individual learning efforts contribute a larger amount.

  14. Understanding the 'New Math' Your Children Are Learning

    A New Math Language. Common Core puts an emphasis on how to solve problems, and experts say that comes with a new math language. "Friendly numbers," "making 10s" and "landmark numbers ...

  15. Effective Practices for Homework

    Practice (e.g., after the teacher has directly taught a math algorithm in class, the homework is to complete several problems requiring use of that algorithm). Preparation (e.g., pre-reading or looking over a new unit of study in a text for the next class meeting). Study (e.g., reviewing content to prepare for a test).

  16. What Is MyMathLab? (And How to Use It!)

    MyMathLab is an interactive online learning system made by Pearson. The MyMathLab resources correspond with the physical mathematics textbooks that are also created by Pearson. The MyMathLab curriculum ranges from elementary mathematics all the way to advanced college-level math courses including calculus, STEM courses, and teacher training.

  17. Demystifying Math 55

    Myth #1: Math 55 is only for high school math geniuses. Most articles or mentions of Math 55 refer to it as filled with math competition champions and genius-level wunderkinds. The class is supposedly legendary among high school math prodigies, who hear terrifying stories about it in their computer camps and at the International Math Olympiad.

  18. 9 "new math" problems and methods

    Box multiplication is a method of breaking numbers down into digit values. In a table, the numbers are broken down by value and multiplied separately. After each number has been multiplied, the total values are added together. This method can be helpful for kids who have trouble with traditional multiplication using larger numbers.

  19. DoYourMath.com

    On-line math problem solver that will solve and explain your math homework step-by-step.

  20. The 5 Best Homework Help Websites (Free and Paid!)

    Homework help websites are designed to help you complete your homework assignments, plain and simple. What Makes a Homework Help Site Worth Using Most of the best sites allow users to ask questions and then provide an answer (or multiple possible answers) and explanation in seconds.

  21. Learn about homework help and build your child's confidence

    1. Understanding Your Child's Math Homework. Math can certainly be a perplexing subject. It's entirely probable that your child's math homework seems like an enigma wrapped in a riddle for you too. But don't worry—you can still assist your child in this mind-training battleground. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  22. CameraMath

    This math homework app helps you get accurate, instant, and step-by-step solutions to your math homework problems of all levels. It stands out by tackling tough word problems and the most complex math questions. Still struggling with math homework? Talk to CameraMath's handpicked, elite math tutors online 24/7. Why Use CameraMath Homework App

  23. Internet stumped by impossible second grade math question

    The next question encourages students to "stretch your thinking" by writing another addition equation. It instructed: "The equation must have a 1-, a 2- and a 3-digit addend and use all of ...

  24. Solved A company is increasing production of math-brain

    Math; Calculus; Calculus questions and answers; A company is increasing production of math-brain protein bars at a rate of 400 cases per day. All cases produced can be sold. The daily demand function is given by p(x) = 30 − x/200 w here x is the number of cases produced and sold, and p is in dollars.

  25. Mathway

    Free math problem solver answers your homework questions with step-by-step explanations. Mathway. Visit Mathway on the web. Start 7-day free trial on the app. ... We are here to assist you with your math questions. You will need to get assistance from your school if you are having problems entering the answers into your online assignment.

  26. ‎MathPix

    MathPix will be your mathematical lifesaver - finish your homework faster, prepare better for tests, and make getting those high grades less stressful. Key Features: Take a photo of your math problem in a snap; it's easy to use and efficient. Recognize math problems quickly and accurately. The homework solver is like a teacher on the spot.