Spending time solving math problems at home helps reinforce skills learned at school.

Here are some ways you can help your child make the best use of time spent on math homework:

If the lesson is especially long or hard, help your child find ways to break it up. Set a timer for 20 or 30 minutes. When the time is up, take a break. Or have your child do part of the problems after school, part before dinner, and the rest after dinner.

Help your child avoid unnecessary work. For homework on a new skill, check the first three or four problems. That way, you can catch mistakes. Otherwise, your child might do the whole lesson wrong.

Sometimes, have your child teach you. Say, "Could you show me how to do long division?" As your child teaches you the process, she'll be reviewing it for herself.

Help your child set realistic goals. "I'm going to do all 35 problems in the next 10 minutes" is not realistic.

Always encourage your child's sense of accomplishment. Kids who feel good about themselves usually do better in school.

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