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Parents Getting a Hand with Algebra

Posted: February 7, 2008 4:09 a.m.
Updated: April 9, 2008 2:02 a.m.
Help is on the way for parents who don't know the difference between linear and quadratic equations and who end up more confused than their kids when attempting to help them with algebra homework.

The College of the Canyons Community Education program is offering a new series of workshops designed to help parents and their kids work together to understand higher math concepts. Instructor Robert Kaplan came up with the idea for the Family Algebra Workshop Series after talking with parents who said they had trouble helping their kids with algebra homework because they didn't understand it themselves.
"For the most part, parents just drop off their kids with a tutor, but I think it's important for parents to have the opportunity to work in a guided and cooperative setting with their kids," Kaplan said.
A math teacher at Opportunities For Learning, Kaplan said he has noticed that kids' concept of algebra is very underdeveloped. His workshops help parents and their children flourish together, he said.
The first workshop is an introduction course for parents only, and the second workshop allows parents and children to explore fractions and other algebraic concepts together. The workshop for parents is scheduled for Feb. 13 and March 11.
Those who attend the Feb. 13 parent meeting attend the family workshop on Feb. 19 if they have students in grades 5-7, or on Feb. 21 if they have students in grades 8-12.
The March family workshops are March 17 for students in grades 5-7 and March 19 for grades 8-12. The classes are in the evening to accommodate most parents' schedules.
"Any parent with a child ranging in age from 10 to 16 years old can benefit from the workshops. They are designed to be a preventative measure for fifth or sixth graders before they start struggling, or to help kids who are already struggling to build concepts in a supportive and highly guided environment," Kaplan said. "The first session is basically for me to get the parent up to speed, then from there on in, they bring their child and they are in a more comfortable place."
The cost of the parenting workshop is $25 and includes up to two adults. The cost of the family workshop is $75 and includes one student and up to two adults. For information, or to sign up for a workshop, call the Community Education office at (661) 362-3300.


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