[Feature photo (above) by woodleywonderworks. (CC BY 2.0 via Flickr)]

A frequently-asked question on homeschooling forums is, “Are my children working at grade level? What do they need to know?”

The Council of the Great City Schools has published a handy 6-page pdf summary of first grade math concepts, with suggestions for how parents can support their children’s learning:

Whether you are a radical unschooler or passionately devoted to your textbook — or, like me, somewhere in between — you can help your children toward these grade-level goals by encouraging them to view mathematics as mental play. Don’t think of the standards as a “to do” list, but as your guide to an adventure of exploration. The key to learning math is to see it the mathematician’s way, as a game of playing with ideas.

The following are excerpts from the roadmap document, along with links to related posts from the past eight years of playing with math on this blog…

In grade one, students will work with whole numbers and place value — including grouping numbers into tens and ones as they learn to add and subtract up through 20. Students will also use charts, tables, and diagrams to solve problems.

Activities in these areas will include:

• Measuring the lengths of objects using a shorter object as a unit of length.
• Putting objects in order from longest to shortest or shortest to longest.
• Organizing objects into categories and comparing the number of objects in different categories.

Tip: Be sure to leave plenty of time for fun stuff, like this Land or Water? game.

## Helping Your Child Learn Math

• Have your child create story problems to represent addition, subtraction, and comparisons. For example, “I have seven pennies. My brother has five pennies. How many pennies does he need to have the same number as I have?”

[Photo by glenngould. (CC BY 2.0 via Flickr)]

“The way we taught students in the past simply does not prepare them for the higher demands of college and careers today and in the future. Your school and schools throughout the country are working to improve teaching and learning to ensure that all children will graduate high school with the skills they need to be successful.

“In mathematics, this means three major changes. Teachers will concentrate on teaching a more focused set of major math concepts and skills. This will allow students time to master key math concepts and skills in a more organized way throughout the year and from one grade to the next. It will also call for teachers to use rich and challenging math content and to engage students in solving real-world problems in order to inspire greater interest in mathematics.”

Council of the Great City Schools
Parent Roadmaps to the Common Core Standards- Mathematics