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Thursday, November 19, 2020

How do I teach High School math...when I failed it in High School


 I thought I would have my husband teach once we got to Algebra, but we haven’t had luck with that approach.   The few times we have waited until he got home to help explain a problem, it ends up not successful because:

a.) he is jumping into a scope and sequence without knowing the methods they have learned

b.) we forget in the bustle of the evening

c.) we want family time at night

d.) my boys learn best in the morning

Don’t get me wrong, I am not putting down any moms who have their husband help. I am sure that mine will need to once we get to some higher levels,  mostly because he LOVES math and I very much do not.  If he wants to help in a subject I don’t like, more power to him!  I just don’t want single moms, or moms whose husbands don’t want to teach, to think they can’t teach high school level math.

So how do I teach a subject I don't understand?  I search for people who do.


We have DVD math teacher in Math U See.  We have used this curriculum since my boys were in Kindergarten.  I was nervous about using it for high school, but have had great success!  We are halfway through Geometry with no plans of switching. When they were in younger grades I would watcht he DVD with them, read the manual, then teach them some practice lessons.  Once we got to high school math, they watch the lesson on their own, read the manful, then do their own homework.  All I have to do is grade!


You Tube Videos are a modern homeschool moms’ dream! During a hard week in Algebra we once watched three different You-Tube videos from three different teachers on the distributive property because the DVD lesson wasn't sinking in when they did their homework.  


I don't give final grades on homework, only mark for corrections.   I will mark what they got wrong on homework, but they have to fix it until they get it right. If they still can't see what they got wrong after they have tried to fix it a few ways, I let them see the teacher's manual to see how they got wrong. We pray through the frustrations, and not pushing them to move on until they master a concept is a key to Math U See. Some days it is HARD, and we all get frustrated, but this approach has built confidence and joy in learning. I do grade their tests, but for their final grade they also get a 100% for daily work since they do their homework until it is all correcr.


If all else fails, I use the photo-math app.  Seriously, if you have a high schooler taking math, get this app for yourself.  I don’t let them use it, unless all of the above has not helped, but when we needed it, it was a life saver. 

There has been plenty of years where we struggled, but learning isn’t learning without the struggle

Homeschool Moms, you can do this.  If I can do it, anyone can. 


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