Conquering Everyday Math woes
Friday, October 24, 2008
South suburban spotlight
Oak Lawn dad Jay Lurquin enjoys the things he does with his son Matthew—scouts, football, cooking—but when it comes to homework, it was anything but enjoyable. Matthew, a fourth-grader, struggles with homework, especially math.
"We have this thing called Everyday Math," says Lurquin. "Instead of having one way of doing math, there are six different ways the kids can come up with the answer. I was in advanced calculus in high school and I can’t figure out what they want these kids to do."
That leaves them both frustrated during homework time.
Lurquin says that he has had numerous conversations with teachers and while they try to help by sending home instructions and answers, math still seems to be more work than it should be and he worries his son will struggle with more traditional methods once he reaches middle and high school.
He has resorted to sitting with Matthew every day after school and together they figure out the problems. To help ease homework stress, Lurquin has set up a reward system making homework time fun for the both of them. "I line up M&Ms and for every math problem he tries ... he gets one M&M. If he gets it right, he gets two. Matthew doesn’t seem to mind homework as much now."