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Calming Math Anxieties

Hi Lee,

Thanks for the e-mail. Even though I’m a few years away from high school yet I know it will come before I know it. I don’t know if you can offer any help but I thought I’d ask any way. My oldest is 11 and technically will be entering 6th grade next year which is middle school as you know, my concern is that I’m at a point where I no longer am comfortable or competent to teach him and was considering enrolling him in public school for math only. I can’t afford a tutor and I really don’t want him to suffer because of my lack of knowledge in this area. I was never a math wiz and it’s been a tough year for me helping him get through this year. My husband does two days a week and he grew up in a foreign country where they learned quite differently than here, so any tips you can offer would be helpful.

Thanks,
Sharyn

Hi Sharyn,

You will want to know that EVERYONE seems to lose it with math. I had calculus in college and *I* lost it in math after geometry. You’re definitely not out of the ordinary, as well as your in no way placing your child at a disadvantage. He will not suffer!


The 5 Corners of Homeschooling



You need to realize that our aim is to help our children learn how to learn. That means that in high school, you actually would like your children to study math (basically) by themselves. You can still offer an excellent education in math despite the fact you don’t know the content yourself. My son is extremely mathematical, and he figured out algebra 2, pre-calculus AS WELL AS calculus without  having any help from me at all! After a while, I didn’t even know what the symbols meant anymore! So really, no matter what level your child is at, it’s possible to learn math on their own.




It may help if you invest in curriculum created for homeschoolers. It will assume that the parents know nothing, and it’s often written to the student. For upper math, you can select a video curriculum such as Saxon with DIVE CDs, or Teaching Textbooks, or VideoText. These will make it possible for your student to continue learning at home, and learn specifically at their level, while still being taught from someone who understands the concepts.




Generally, it can really help to invest your financial resources in your weaker areas. If you recognize that math is your weak area, then I would focus your money there. Strength areas will often take care of themselves, not to mention can commonly be supplemented in the library or through other family activities. Weak areas are different – we don’t effortlessly find the opportunities in our weak areas the way that we do in our strength areas. So I would advise that you invest money on math curriculum first. I think Saxon with DIVE is the most moderately priced of the possibilities I mentioned earlier.




In several states and counties, part time enrollment is a possibility for upper math classes (as well as other subjects. )  These classes aren’t always a panacea, and you will need to think the issues through when you are contemplating part time enrollment. The biggest concern that I see with public school classes is the “conveyor belt” mentality. This means that, when your student gets going in the class, it goes along at the same rate as the majority of the students. Your student may be faster or slower than average and end up either bored or discouraged and lost. It’s an significant concern to consider. Thankfully, as the parent you will know what is most beneficial for your child.




I hope that thoroughly answers your question. Let me know if you need more help!


The 5 Corners of Homeschooling




Learn how to translate all those great homeschool high school classes into the words and numbers that colleges will understand.  Get the Total Transcript Solution.

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Comments 3

Guest - Nuez on Thursday, 06 October 2011 20:17

@ Courtney : Its Khanacademy.org ;not kahn

@ Courtney : Its Khanacademy.org ;not kahn:)
Guest - Courtney on Thursday, 06 October 2011 19:04

My daughter is in 6th/7th grade and is studying algebra through http://www.time4learning.com. There are also great (free) videos for advanced math on kahnacademy.org.

My daughter is in 6th/7th grade and is studying algebra through www.time4learning.com. There are also great (free) videos for advanced math on kahnacademy.org.
Guest - Michelle (website) on Thursday, 06 October 2011 16:08

I am loving the Thinkwell math program. They have a homeschool version and it is working GREAT for my daughter who doesn't love math. There are videos of an enthusiastic math professor to go with each lesson. It also includes exercises and tests. I can't say enough good things about this program. It is a year long subscription and can be purchased several times per year on Homeschool Buyer Co-op for half price. After you buy the subscription the year doesn't start until you sign on for the first time.

http://www.thinkwellhomeschool.com/

I am loving the Thinkwell math program. They have a homeschool version and it is working GREAT for my daughter who doesn't love math. There are videos of an enthusiastic math professor to go with each lesson. It also includes exercises and tests. I can't say enough good things about this program. It is a year long subscription and can be purchased several times per year on Homeschool Buyer Co-op for half price. After you buy the subscription the year doesn't start until you sign on for the first time. http://www.thinkwellhomeschool.com/
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