Your child’s homework score is high or perhaps even 100%, but that doesn’t carry over to their grades on tests and quizzes.
This situation can be very frustrating and confusing. To both your child and you.
How can it be possible? How can your child do so well on homework and yet so poorly on tests?
Shouldn't your child's great homework performance indicate their high math level?
Unfortunately, that's not the case. Homework isn't a reflection of your child's math level. Here is why:
- this might shock you but getting 100% on homework doesn't mean your child actually solved all (or even most) of the problems correctly
- homework tends to be easier than tests
- homework often doesn't include all concepts that occur on tests
- homework doesn't have a time limit, and tests do
- homework is open-notes and tests aren't
Your child understands many problems, but has hard time solving them independently, especially under pressure (thus, low quiz and test scores). Some concepts are easy for them while others are very challenging.
When those challenging problems occur on the homework, your child can look through their notes, ask their friends for help or simply solve them incorrectly (and still get a full score, that's right).
On the other hand, when the challenging concepts occur on tests, your child gets confused and loses a lot of points. Homework doesn't teach math.
It simply reinforces the mistakes, and makes your child feel as though they are making progress. In reality, they aren't – which is apparent to you based on their test scores. Your child needs help bridging the gap between their homework and tests:
They need to learn how to solve problems independently.
They need to use deep learning to really understand math concepts. Not just those they get on the homework
but the whole variety, including special cases and challenging cases. Instead of simply completing homework for the grade, they need to use homework to actually learn.
Then, they need to expand on the homework, to tackle the concepts that are most challenging for them. They also need to strengthen their fundamentals, for success and confidence in their current and future math classes. And math fundamentals are, unfortunately, also not included in the homework.
Doing well on homework and struggling with tests makes many children lose their confidence very quickly. Putting in the effort with no results, over and over again, makes them very frustrated and discouraged.
Your child already struggles with independent solving, along with (likely) fundamental math concepts, and losing even more confidence is only adding to the problem.