Helping kids with Common Core math

Tampa, Florida -- You may be scratching your head as you look at some of your kids' assignments when school starts back up soon.

Florida is rolling out its version of the Common Core standards, including several new ways to learn basic subjects. How can you help your kids with their homework, when their homework sometimes looks like nothing you've ever seen before?

"Do not panic," says Diane Rottensteiner, who leads a staff of tutors at the North Tampa Huntington Learning Center.

She says even if the problem looks like math, reading may be the key.

"Parents should be certain that students read well, that their comprehension is good," she said.

"If they don't understand the question, they're not going to be able to give the proper answer."

Breaking apart numbers. Front-end estimation. These are ideas that are part of the new Florida Standards.

That's our version of the Common Core standards, which were developed by most states to stop our kids from falling behind other countries.

Educators say one of the keys to the new Florida Standards is learning multiple, different ways to get to the same answer. Because of that, there may be times when you, as a parent, need to actually step back. Just telling them 5 times 2 is 10 because "that's the way it is" won't help them in class.

In that case, when they have to learn a specific technique, have them text their friends, look online, or reach out to a tutor to get help. And, Rottensteiner says, don't be afraid to ask their teacher for a hand.

"Have the student ask the teacher for help. That's the first source."

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