Common Core Math

Common Core Math: What is a Parent to Do!
Posted on 05/19/2016

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics have been adopted by 43 states and the District of Columbia. The Standards are not the curriculum, but provide guidelines for schools to design curricula in order for students to develop complex problem-solving skills. In fact, the textbooks often only show one way to solve complex problems by teaching computation rather than how to learn the math and why the math works the way it does. Children need to develop a deeper understanding of the mathematical concepts and parents want to help their children learn how to do this.

Today’s teaching techniques and standards are very different from what parents may be familiar with from when they were in school. As the pressure continues to prepare our children for college and career we all want to be able to help our children at home, but do not always understand the “Why” or “How” behind these new standards.

There are, however, important and impactful ways for parents to help their children with math at home. Here are a few:

  1. Provide time and encouragement in mastering their basic math facts and operations to develop speed and accuracy.

  2. Make sense of real-world problems by solving problems using math in many environments and asking children to give reasoning behind their thought processes. Some simple ways to have children solve real-world problems is asking them to compare values of products, estimate the costs of different items based on costs per pound, estimate taxes, discounts, change, and tips at restaurants.

  3. The California Department of Education has information and a variety of resources for parents and guardians that explain mathematics instruction and provides suggestions for supporting their child’s academic success at

  4. The Council of the Great City Schools’ has put together parent roadmaps in mathematics to help parents support the learning in grades K-8 at

  5. An on-line interactive website to practice math aligned to every common core state standard measure (CCSSM) where children can work at their own pace through grade-level “missions” and track their progress through personalized dashboards at

  6. Resources and information for parents interested in learning more about Common Core assessments, including test guides and sample questions can be found at

  7. The Toolkit for Parents and Families is a collection of materials and resources that may help parents

  8. The National PTA Parent’s Guides for Student Success contains a suite of materials, including short guides explaining the changes in standards in both English and Spanish for grades K-8 and for high school by subject at

  9. KEY TO SUCCESS: A Complete Guide to Your Child’s Education will help parents with everything they need to know to help their child succeed in school. The website is designed in both English and Spanish at

For more information on the Common Core Standards in math go to