Welcome to our monthly Spotlight on Five!
Math in the Homeschool
“I hate math!” is often heard in our home. Truth be told, it is NOT my children’s favorite subject as this year we are working through decimals and Algebra I. Whether we like it or not, we face mathematical situations every day, from balancing checkbooks and bank statements to doubling recipes, grocery shopping, or planning a garden. And for those of us DIYers, it’s pretty crucial to understand math when you build a home, add a room, or even paint the walls.
I’ve seen my daughter literally pool like melted chocolate under the kitchen table, tears spilling down her little cheeks over multiplication. My son can often be heard muttering and mumbling about equations with his head cradled in his hands, staring down at the mess of math problems on the scratch paper in front of him.
I, too, was once in their shoes, but I was in public school and didn’t want to wait after class or school to talk to my teacher; I had another class to get to before the bell rang. Tardiness was unacceptable, so I worked my way through high school math classes asking few questions, and because of that I struggled through Pre-Calculus in college.
Fast forward twenty-something years and my perceptions are much different. Do I like geometry? No, but I will get through it with the grace of God.
I love homeschooling. I get the opportunity to help my children through those tricky polynomials, absolute values, and decimals. As a mom and teacher, it’s my loving responsibility to live through math once again. Every. Single. Lesson. Along the way I watch the DVDs, tutorials, and online videos. I still struggle with some types of word problems, ellipses, and planes, but this time I share in my children’s joys, trials, and frustrations–because we’re all in it together. We struggle together, laugh together, and learn together. They see my imperfections and know they are not expected to be perfect either.
There is so much more to math than just facts and figures–life lessons, including these:
- In all things, pray and pray some more.
- No complaining or whining. Sometimes you just have to do it whether you like it or not.
- Perseverance. Try, try, and try again.
- Not one of us is perfect. It’s okay to get a problem wrong. The key is to focus on how to avoid the same mistake again.
- Relax; it’s just math. It won’t kill you or maim you, but it will make you smarter.
- We are not alone in this journey. We may get frustrated and want to throw the books out the door, but in the end we pick them up and continue . . . one problem at a time.
Math is essential to life in multiple ways, but so are the life lessons we continue to learn along the way in our homeschooling journey. It’s those life lessons that will help my children succeed, not just in math but in life.
Meredith Duke and her husband, Johnny, have homeschooled their two children since their oldest started kindergarten in 2004. God willing, they plan on schooling through high school. In addition to working as a Marketing Assistant for The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, Meredith is also the author of Shining Through the Grief: Memoirs of Emma’s Mom, her journal of how God carried them through the death of their newborn daughter in 2011. Johnny and Meredith’s desire is to bless with encouragement and hope other families who have lost a child. You can read more about her book and their journey at www.shineonbook.weebly.com.
Take a look below at this month’s resources for additional ideas. Be sure to let us know how you schedule math in your homeschool. Email Paul and Gena Suarez and share your story. We’d love to hear about it!
June Spotlight on Math!
Wings to Soar Online Academy
Wings to Soar Online Academy specializes in customizing learning for each student. Math is one area where adaptive technology can be especially effective to enhance student learning. Wings to Soar has chosen adaptive math programs such as Waza (K-1), Dreambox Learning (K-6), Wowzers (3rd-8th), Cabanga (5th-9th), and ALEKS (recommended for 7th-Pre-Calculus) where the computer adapts instruction creating an individualized learning path that keeps students constantly in the “just right” zone for learning.
The brain learns much more efficiently when it receives immediate feedback on whether or not a problem is correct and immediate targeted reteaching. An added bonus is that Mom doesn’t have to correct the math.
Wings to Soar Online Academy also has an Assessment and Remediation Tool to identify skill gaps and prescribe targeted remediation for 837 math and language arts skills that can supplement any program you are using.
Wings to Soar will be offering hands-on rental kits for 1st/2nd, 3rd/4th, and 5th/6th to supplement the online instruction or augment other math programs.
Math Mammoth offers affordable yet quality math worktexts and workbooks for grades 1-12, loved by parents, homeschoolers, and teachers. Did you know? Math Mammoth is included in Cathy Duffy’s 100 Top Picks!
- A complete curriculum for grades 1-6 (Light Blue Series);
- TOPICAL books for grades 1-7, with both instruction and exercises (Blue Series);
- Worksheets by grade for grades 3-8 (Golden Series);
- Worksheets by topic for grades 3-7 (Green Series);
- Make It Real Learning activity workbooks for grades 3-12 — highlighting how math is used in real life. These books are authored by Frank Wilson.
Home Math Academy
Saxon Math is one of the leaders in math curriculum choices, but it certainly helps to have an experienced guide before hitting the algebraic trails. Home Math Academy is more than just another option for Saxon math teaching videos.
Home Math Academy gives the student an opportunity to ask questions when the videos aren’t enough. Through personal online tutoring with the instructor, each student will be able to get the attention needed to succeed in math.
This fall, Home Math Academy is offering Saxon Algebra 1 and Saxon Algebra 2 and will be closing enrollment at 50 students so as to ensure each student will receive the individualized attention she deserves.
With Home Math Academy:
+ The student gets online videos-by-demand, breaking down each lesson into understandable steps.
+ Tests are scanned and emailed or sent by the postal service to Home Math Academy to be graded by the instructor.
+ The student can also schedule online tutoring sessions with the instructor to go over any areas she still needs help understanding. (No driving to the tutor’s house or cleaning yours for the tutor to come to you!)
Home Math Academy 678-447-6363
Math Relief Algebra
STOP THE BATTLE SCARS WITH OUR ALGEBRA COURSES
- No parent preparation needed
- Easy for students to follow and succeed
- High scores on SAT/ACT testing
- Affordable prices
- NO MORE TEARS!