Search - Quix
Search - Content
Search - News Feeds
Search - Easy Blog
Search - Tags

Ooops! Not Done With Math!

Ooops! Not Done With Math!
What do you do when you just aren't done with math before the year is done? Let me give you a few options, and you can decide which is best for your situation.


One Book In One Year is Impossible

You could measure math credits by counting hours spent on math. Some moms know their child can't complete a whole level each year. For them it makes sense to embrace the way God made your child, and give math credits not by textbook, but by the number of hours worked. In other words, it your young person worked at math for 45 minutes to an hour a day, then give credit for math, 1 credit per year. The title of the class is extra important in this option. You don't imply that your child got farther in the textbook than actually accomplished. To clarify that, you can call the class Algebra 1A, for 1 credit, for a whole year of work, for the first half of the textbook. Then call the class Algebra 1B for 1 credit, for a whole year of work the following year, for the second half of the textbook.

One Book Completed In Random Intervals

You could decide to give credit based on the completion date of each textbook. Some parents know the child is just working on their own time-table, being successful while only slightly slower than the average bear. Sometimes families will do year-round schooling, with math completion dates occurring at random intervals throughout the year. For them, it makes more sense to just give the credit on the month and year when each textbook was completed. So for this situation, math classes on the transcript might look like this:

  • Pre-algebra, 1 credit, completed 06/2014

  • Algebra 1, 1 credit, completed 12/2015

  • Geometry, 1 credit, completed 09/2016


That way is sometimes easier, I think, because there is less to keep track of other than completion dates. This may not be a good choice if a child is FAR behind, while still working hard all day, because they get short-changed for all the work they did just to get 1/2 way through a textbook.

Measure by Semester,  Not by Year

You could decide to embrace the random start and stop time of your homeschool classes. Some parents prefer to give grades each semester, rather than each year, because the timing is just too difficult to figure out when each class begins and ends otherwise. If you do that, then each 1/2 textbook you can enter half the number of usual credits and give a grade. So on the semester system, a math book is still 1 credit, but each semester is 1/2 credit. I to have some transcript templates with semester grades available for you to look at, but templates are usually just by semester or by year. You can still add one class at a time that ends at the semester, if you like. This works well if your child starts and stops many classes at somewhat random intervals. Every 6 months, update the transcript with what was completed in the previous 6 months.

Over-Picky Parents Expecting Perfection

You may need to just lighten up, and your child can complete a math book per year. Other moms are just expecting more than a public school expects. In other words, expecting a child who struggles to complete every single problem in the book, from beginning to end isn't always the best choice. After all, a child only needs enough practice to learn, not all the practice problems that are provided in the universe. And homeschoolers don't need to complete all the chapters in every textbook, either. If you complete 75-80% of the curriculum, then it's done. So maybe Algebra 1 or Geometry will be done sooner than expected.
If you need more help, I have some math articles to encourage you!

9 Ways to Actually Get Math Done This Year
High School Math Without the Moaning


What do you think? Which method would you choose?



 
Continue reading
  1387 Hits
  2 Comments

What Is The Correct Math Sequence for High School?

What Is The Correct Math Sequence for High School?

So, a question many high school homeschool families ask when planning for teaching math is, what is the correct math sequence for high school? For most students, what comes first doesn't matter. The most important thing is that your child is learning math consistently each year.


There are two typical math sequences for high school :

Algebra 1 > Geometry > Algebra 2

OR

Algebra 1 > Algebra 2 > Geometry

Some textbooks follow one way, and some follow the other way. They all try to convince you their way is the right way!  Mathematically, it doesn't matter which one comes first, Geometry or Algebra 2, to be honest. However, your child might benefit if they take geometry before 11th grade, to prepare for the PSAT and SAT.

Continue reading
Recent Comments
Robin
Wonderful feedback, Cindi!! You are so very right. That's one of the awesome things about homeschooling. Lee will love reading ... Read More
Sunday, 06 October 2019 03:59
  15557 Hits
  8 Comments

Teaching Math the Right Way Tip #4

Teaching Math the Right Way Tip #4
Teaching Math the Right Way Tip #4

Choose the Correct Speed



Whatever level you are facing, teach math at their level, and continue moving forward. Complete one lesson every day, never miss a day. If your child understands a concept, skip the lesson and move on. It's extremely helpful with math-reluctant kids to include math during the summer, so they maintain their understanding.  If possible, do a math section during the summer, unless you are traveling.  Most kids lose 3 months’ worth of progress over each summer, and then they need 3 months of review each fall to catch up again.  You can see that doing math in the summer can REALLY speed things up!

Don’t go backward, trying to achieve the impossible "perfection" in math. Consider your own checkbook for a moment.  Like you, I have mastery over math, and I can add, subtract, multiply and divide as well as any 6th grader.  But my checkbook? I don't always exhibit perfection in math, and I regularly make math mistakes in my checkbook!  So if you are waiting for perfection before moving on, it will be frustrating to everyone in the long run.

What is required is that your student is reasonably successful in math, and understands it reasonably well.  Four years of math is required.  For some, that means a daily struggle over four years that will end in Algebra 1 at the end of high school. Sure, it's not optimal, but it does happen.  For other kids, four years of math can leave mom or dad in the dust, and the child pushes forward into calculus and differential equations.



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!
Continue reading
  777 Hits
  0 Comments

Geometry before or after Algebra 2?

Geometry before or after Algebra 2?
Karen on Facebook needed some guidance about math.
"I would like opinions on the pros and cons of these sequences: (Algebra 1 -Geometry- Algebra 2) versus. (Algebra 1-Algebra 2- Geometry). Your thoughts?" ~ Karen


It's best to complete geometry, or at least start it, before the PSAT (when possible). For that reason, I prefer geometry first. Geometry is also a nice review of Algebra 1, so you spend a year getting those Alg 1 concepts all stuck in your brain good and tight before moving on to Algebra 2.  That's another reason I prefer geometry first. But you know, there is some logic in going Algebra 1 then Algebra 2, because it's just a continuation after all. My preference is just a preference, and other people suggest going the other route. We used Jacob's Geometry, by the way, and it was wonderful.

This blog post may help explain it: What is the Correct Math Sequence in High School?



I am now the Seattle Homeschool Examiner.  You can read my homeschool articles here.
Continue reading
Recent Comments
Lee Binz
Upper level math classes can really go in any order, often it depends on the curriculum. Here's another blog posts that can help: ... Read More
Thursday, 30 May 2019 21:32
  2555 Hits
  6 Comments

Homeschool High School - Math is Fundamental

Homeschool High School - Math is Fundamental
Math is a fundamental skill required for college and to attract employers. My friend Don is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Seattle Pacific University.   He shares some great insights about the importance of teaching math in high school.
“Math requirements vary by school. You don’t necessarily have to have extra math to get into a college, but you do need it to be well educated. Upper level math can train your mind. Math is a good discipline, and teaches problem solving in a variety of subjects, beyond math."


Math is an excellent way to learn real-life skills critical to getting a  good job.  Employers want problem-solving skills, determination,persistence, and hard work.  They want job-seakers who will strive until they solve a problem and get the job done.  They want workers who know what it's like to work hard.  These soft skills aren't taught by teachers, by they can be learned through pursuing math and keeping children challenged with their subjects.
“Societal expectations have a lot to do with math achievement. I met a Japanese student going into business, and he actually apologized for ONLY having two years of calculus. In the US, our math expectations are so much lower than the rest of the world. We project those low expectations onto kids even from the grade school level; telling them that math is so hard and it’s no fun. That promotes a negative view of math. It is a cultural issue that trains children to think ‘I can’t do this.’ The only real solution is a cultural shift in the perception of math."

Colleges are looking for students that have the best math preparation possible for that student.  It doesn't mean you have to teach calculus to every child, but it does mean they want you to work conscientiously on math every year.

Don't let your own weaknesses in math cause frustration in your children. Not all of us are gourmet cooks, but we can still hand our child a cookbook.  Treat math in a matter-of-fact way, without conveying your own anxiety.  You can explain that your child needs to learn how to learn math on their own, with great video tutorials, without telling them it's your anxiety that gets in the way of  teaching it yourself.
“Math is fundamental to science and engineering. Right now many of our country’s science and engineering professionals are nearing retirement, yet there are few up-and-coming students able to take those jobs. There are too few people with the math skills necessary to take those jobs. Foreign technical workers are taking those technical jobs, because there are simply too few US students who can do the work. For example, right now there is a deficit of aerospace engineers, and they can’t find people to fill those jobs for defense contracts."

Because there is a deficit of engineers, and fundamental math skills may be lacking in public school graduates, homeschoolers have the advantage.  We can provide the math students need to succeed.  Our children can earn grants and scholarships for college based on their math preparation.
“Math is fundamental for all students going into engineering sciences. I have had many students over the years who want to go into engineering but stumble on the math. They may have made good engineers, but they couldn’t take the math. Because this is such a large national problem, the government is working on solutions. Grant money from US government and corporations is promoting science and math curriculum and providing hands-on curriculum for math and science. There needs to be a revolution on how science is taught in grade school and middle school. Portray math as fun and exciting! It can be done!”

Thanks go to Don Peter, M.S., P.E., Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Seattle Pacific University for helping me with this blog post.  Don and his wife JoAnn homeschooled their two daughters for many years. Don used Saxon math and multi-sensory games for a supplement. His family used unit studies for science. He made it clear that his children were required to complete science and math study, and even required his girls to complete calculus for high school graduation.

To encourage a love of math in the younger grades, as Don Peter recommends, I used the book Family Math. It is filled with fun math games and activities for grades K-8. We played math games frequently during the week, and my children loved it!  In middle school I used the book Family Math for Middle School, and Patty Paper Geometry.  In the upper levels, I tried to encourage the love of math using Teaching Company lectures like "Calculus Made Clear" and others.

If you have identified that math is a weak area in your homeschool, you may enjoy my blog post called "First Things First" which will teach you how to prioritize math.  For more help with math, see my article "For the Love of Math"



Read to what others are saying about The HomeScholar Gold Care Club!
Continue reading
  762 Hits
  0 Comments

More Encouraging Posts

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31
  • 32
  • 33
  • 34
  • 35
  • 36
  • 37
  • 38
  • 39
  • 40
  • 41
  • 42
  • 43
  • 44
  • 45
  • 46
  • 47
  • 48
  • 49
  • 50
  • 51
  • 52
  • 53
  • 54
  • 55
  • 56
  • 57