It’s not uncommon for children to ask their parents for help with their math homework. But what they may fail to understand is that their parents may have had similar problems with math, and even if they didn’t, it’s been a long time since they’ve calculated equations using fractions, integers and polynomials.
For those parents who desperately need some math help in order to help their children, Barrhead Community Adult Learning is running a weekly “parent math night” over Zoom until June 2021.
Kimberly Barabas, learning and literacy co-ordinator for Barrhead Community Adult Learning, said they know that many parents lose the math skills they learned after Grade 5 due to lack of use. Also, many parents themselves had anxiety about math as a child, possibly because of incompatibility with teachers or a difficult school environment.
“And now their children are at home, and their children are asking them for help. And they can’t (give it),” she said.
To that end, this program is open to those parents who have questions about Grade 10 and below math and would like to get answers from an actual math instructor.
“If there’s something your child is working on right now and you can’t help them with it, bring it. We’ll help you learn so you can help them learn,” Barabas said.
The first parent math night took place on Jan. 5 and will continue to be held on Tuesday nights over Zoom from 6-8 p.m. (Participants who have never used Zoom will be walked through the process of signing up and dialing into a Zoom meeting.)
Any parent wanting to take part can reach out to Barrhead Adult Community Learning via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (780) 674-9643.
There is a $10 registration fee to help offset the costs of the program. It should be stressed that this fee covers participation in the parent math night right up until the end of the program.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the need for such a program because many students are learning from home, Barabas said she has had the idea for the past two years now, but she couldn’t find the right instructor.
But now circumstances have changed and they have a “super-awesome” instructor in place, she said. Barabas noted that if the program proves popular, they may expand it to multiple nights
As well, she suggested that they may create instructional videos that will be open to registered participants on subjects like algebra, geometry and more.
"That’s on our to-do list, depending on what happens,” she said.
On a final note, Barrhead Community Adult Learning is an offshoot of the Blue Heron Support Services Association. More details about their mandate and programs can be found at their website.