Note to parents
Many parents are challenged by the best way to support the academic success of their children as they make the journey from childhood to adolescence. They care deeply about their children's future but are not sure where to start and where to stop.
What should your role as a parent be as your child advances in his or her mathematics education? First, you should not expect yourself to act as teacher or tutor, although, if mathematics is your skill you may choose to support your child's learning. But, as learners enter adolescence, it may become important for them to establish their independence and to assert their personal responsibility for success. This is true for mathematics learning as well.
But there are two important ideas you can consistently share with your child. First, success in mathematics is a matter of effort, not a matter of natural ability: there is no "math gene." Second, effort usually but doesn't always work: it is persistence that is the key to success. And, for those times when your student needs a push to persevere, you may want to know that research conducted by Achieve (www.achieve.org) has made clear that, when students are surveyed two years after high-school graduation, 75% express the wish that they had worked harder and had been challenged more by the adults around them.