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Mathematics Resources for Parents and Guardians

Information and resources for parents and guardians that explain mathematics instruction used today and provide suggestions for supporting their child’s academic success.

Parents and guardians may notice that the homework and instruction their child receives in mathematics is different from what they remember when they were students. This is because math instruction has evolved over the years to adapt to advancements in technology and science, to incorporate results of research on student achievement in math, and to address high remediation rates in college. Adults may notice that the sequence of math topics is different, that more time is being spent on topics, and that students are being challenged to learn new skills and content. The reason for this is to help students develop numeracy—a conceptual understanding of how numbers work. Numerate students have developed a strong foundation that will help them excel when they study algebra, geometry, and other higher mathematics.*

But how are parents and guardians supposed to support their child’s learning if they’re unfamiliar with the new ways of learning math?

Parents and guardians can still support their child’s learning in math. In California, local school districts determine the instructional program being used in the classroom. For this reason, parents and guardians should first meet with their child’s teacher to learn more about the instructional program for math being used and for advice for supporting their child’s learning.

There are also a number of freely available online resources for parents and guardians to learn more about the math of today and ways to support their child’s academic success:


  • Common Core Math Explained in 3 Minutes External link opens in new window or tab.
    This article and video, produced by, helps address many parent and community member concerns with Common Core math approaches. Unfortunately, the term "new math” is a misnomer; the math strategies suggested under Common Core have been employed in high-performing schools across the country for decades.
  • Great Kids Milestones Math Videos External link opens in new window or tab.
    Milestones is a free online collection of videos aimed at helping parents and guardians understand grade-level expectations in kindergarten through grade five. On this page, find videos featuring students demonstrating what success looks like in math, grade by grade. View all of the videos on the Great Kids Milestones External link opens in new window or tab. Web page.

California Resources

  • California Math Council For Families External link opens in new window or tab.
    Here you will find California Math Council (CMC)’s Math at Home booklets which provide brief, helpful information to parents and guardians including information about the Common Core and helping with math homework.
  • Parent/Guardian Overview Brochures (NEW Jan-2016)
    These brochures explain the CCSS to pa​rents/guardians, providing insights into what students will learn and highlighting progression through the grade levels.
  • California PTA Parent Resources External link opens in new window or tab.
    The California State PTA has made available many resources for parents to learn more about the CCSS and support their child's achievement of the standards. Resources include informational fliers, frequently asked questions, grade level parents' guides, links to additional resources, and articles of interest. The fliers and parents' guides are available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
  • Mathematics Framework Chapters
    Frameworks provide guidelines to schools and districts for implementing the state-adopted standards. The Mathematics Framework was adopted by the California State Board of Education on November 6, 2013, and is currently in the process of being edited for publication. However, at this time the chapters are available as PDFs in prepublication versions. Although the audience for the framework is teachers and administrators, parents and guardians may still find the grade-level chapters useful for learning more about what CCSS-aligned instruction should look like.

National Resources

  • Council of Great City Schools Parent Roadmaps to the Common Core Standards – Mathematics External link opens in new window or tab.
    The Council of the Great City Schools' parent roadmaps in mathematics provide guidance to parents and guardians about what their children will be learning and how they can support that learning from kindergarten through high school. These parent roadmaps for each grade level also provide three-year snapshots showing how selected standards progress from year to year so that students will be college and career ready upon their graduation from high school.
  • Khan Academy Common Core Math External link opens in new window or tab.
    Here you will find interactive math problems aligned to every CCSSM. Students can work at their own pace through grade-level “missions” and track their progress through personalized dashboards. All problems are accompanied by step-by-step solutions specific to each problem. Successful completion of missions is charted on a progress report on the student’s dashboard while “coaches”—whether teachers, tutors, or parents/guardians—can see a student’s progress with access through a class code or coach ID. Learn more about these resources from Khan Academy founder, Sal Kahn, in this EdSurge article External link opens in new window or tab..
  • Homework Help Desk External link opens in new window or tab.
    Be A Learning Hero External link opens in new window or tab. has partnered with other organizations to create the Homework Help Desk. With the CCSS, children are learning new concepts and strategies in the classroom. That means parents are learning them, too. The goal of the Homework Help Desk is to equip parents with the knowledge and support they need to help their children with homework assignments.

* For more information about math education today, please view the NCTM Family's Guide External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) and visit the CMC Informative Articles External link opens in new window or tab. Web page.

Questions:   Common Core Team | | 916-319-0490
Last Reviewed: Monday, March 7, 2016
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