By: Rachel Dosant
Remember how to simplify 2x plus 3x minus 5x plus 4?
If you found that ninth-grade algebra equation difficult to solve, imagine the struggles you might face helping a child or younger sibling with math homework.
Humber College has started a one-day workshop where questions like “how to solve for the value of y”, can be made easier to answer.
Chad Manning, coordinator of the Math and Writing Centre at Humber College, said the idea was raised two years ago by Paul Ward, who is the Director of Professional and Continuing Education.
“Paul has seen the opportunity to help parents better tutor their children especially in math where lots of children struggle,” said Manning
The math workshop helps parents or anyone interested in learning math skills and techniques to better help students in grades three to grade nine, focusing on topics like
geometry, number senses, pattering, algebra and data management.
“Parents will participate in activities and will solve math problems in a group setting as opposed to individually. They will practice tutoring each other on those questions as well at
the end of the workshop.
“There have been discussions around how nervous and willing parents are to do math,” Manning said. “The pilot that ran the parents that did show up and did express interest in it were very eager
for the math portion and so we really boosted the math compared to what was in there,”
Math for Moms and Dads is open not only to parents but anyone interested who may be lacking the skills to solve math problems.
“A lot of parents haven’t taken or used grade 12 math specifically. With the earlier grades, parents can help easily but other topics start to get into more math that is easier to learn in school, but easy to forget when you have been out of school for so many years, so the content is a big thing,” Manning said.
He also said he has pitched the idea to have a follow up workshop teaching parents a variety of more difficult grade 8 and high school math topics.
“The big reason why I do this is parents aren’t familiar with math as a lot of people aren’t and with math being as stigmatized as it is even back then a lot of people would stop
taking math as soon as they could. Lots of kids stop taking math in grade 11, and these days lots of people are shocked back into it; in college and university because it is needed
in many fields like biology, police foundations taught her at Humber,” Chad Manning said.
Vivi Tsoukalas, Continuing Education program assistant said there has been quite a bit of interest from parents wanting to enroll in the workshop as they feel they could get a clearer understanding of the strategies to use to better tutor their children.