"" -- A Homeschooler's Notebook Subscriber.
An interactive, FREE, twice-monthly ezine packed with great reader tips, reviews, & practical encouragement for homeschool families.


Some of Our Sponsors


Landry Academy

Math Mammoth

Great Homeschool Conventions

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

Resource Links

All About Spelling
Homeschooling ABCs
Upper Level Homeschool
FIRETIME Notebooking
FREE Funschool Units
Homeschooling Help
More Homeschooling Help
HS Gifted and Talented
Homeschool Country Life
Beloved Books & Audio



HIGH SCHOOL EDITION #4 - Math Choices!

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, May 25, 2009

                The Homeschooler's Notebook
       ***SPECIAL SERIES - High School Homeschooling***
   Vol. 10 No 39                          May 25, 2009                        
                      ISSN: 1536-2035                              
   Copyright (c) 2009 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net

  Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!

  If you like this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend!
  And please visit our sponsors!  They make it possible.

                  PLEASE VISIT OUR SPONSOR:

  The Perfect Book on Homeschool High School Transcripts...

  -- Synthesizes all of the expert advice into a straightforward
  guide to give you maximum flexibility...

  -- Includes samples every step of the way to show you how a
  transcript could grow and change over time...

  -- Enables you to include ALL your homeschool experiences, from
  curriculum-in-a-box to serendipitous learning...

  -- Explains grades and credits in a way that requires neither a
  mathematics degree nor a computing certificate...
  -- Helps you make a transcript to truly reflect your unique
  homeschool in a way that no standard software or accreditation
  agency could ever duplicate.

  Click below for the Perfect Book on Homeschool Transcripts!




  Notes from Heather
  -- Grateful Readers
  Feature Article
  -- Choosing Math Curriculum
  Helpful Tip for High School
  -- Video Math Explanations
  Readers Share
  -- Real Life Math and More
  Additional Notes
  -- Newsletter Archives
  -- Sponsorship Information
  -- Reprint Information
  -- Subscriber Information

       Notes from Heather

  I just love getting encouraging emails from readers! Here are
  a few I got just after sending our last high school issue. :-)


  "Hi Heather,
  I just wanted to express how much I appreciate the High School
  Editions of HS Notebook.  So many homeschoolers find the teen and
  high school years difficult, and having such a valuable resource
  to turn to again and again is a treasure for me.  I have forwarded
  it to others in my situation.  I always appreciate the newsletter,
  but I just wanted you to know how much encouragement and support
  a focused newsletter is for those of us in the trenches.  I love
  homeschooling my kids, but I have to admit that without support
  from my fellow homeschoolers and folks like you, the high school
  years would have been daunting at best.  Thank you again for all
  that you do to make our days a little brighter and to keep the
  focus on the important task we've undertaken as parents of
  today's teens." -- Tammy H.


  "Hi Heather!
  The information has been invaluable in the first few of the High
  School editions and has allowed me to stop having to breathe into
  a paper bag!  Thank you SO much!" -- Tina B.


  Do you have comments to share?  Please do!
  Send your emails to:  mailto:heather@familyclassroom.net

                       OUR SPONSOR

  The Homeschooler's Notebook Recommends the GOLD CLUB:

  "My low monthly fee 'Gold Care Club' is like a personal highschool
  support group. A FREE 30-day membership is available with the
  purchase of my e-book 'The Easy Truth About Homeschool Transcripts'.


  The Gold Care Club offers audio and video courses about highschool,
  priority email support, and a free 20 minute consultation EACH week.

  I'm convinced that homeschooling high school provides the best life
  preparation for our children and I look forward to PERSONALLY serving
  your family!" -- Lee Binz, The HomeScholar

  Try out your 30-day membership! Just visit this link and read all
  the wonderful testimonials!


  "Lee -- I love your stuff and will be telling others to check you
  out." -- Jeannie Fulbright, Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc.

  It is never too early to start planning the high school adventure!



       Feature Article

  Homeschool High School Math - Choosing Curriculum
    by Lee Binz


  The key to choosing a high school math program is recognizing that
  your preferences and learning style may not be the same as your
  teens.  They may learn differently, and require a different program
  than you would choose for yourself.

  Teenagers will sometimes have pet peeves and personality quirks
  that interfere with different textbooks and videos.  A teen may be
  so annoyed by a person on a video tutorial that it distracts them
  from learning.  What if they don’t like the teacher's accent?  Or
  they can't stand learning from a white board?  What if the imitation
  classroom setting drives them crazy?

  For these reasons, I suggest that parents give their children choices
  in math.  Choose some equally good, but different, math tutorials,
  and then allow the teen decide.  My son Kevin totally shocked me when
  he chose Saxon Math.  I hated the way Saxon looked.  I'm a visual
  learner -- and I wanted photos, pictures, and graphic illustrations.
  But my son loves numbers.  He liked Saxon because it had so many
  problems on each page -- with no pictures getting in the way.  Can
  you believe that?  Shocking!  I would have never thought that Saxon
  would be a fit for my family -- it would have never occurred to me!
  But I gave him the choice, he chose Saxon, and now he's in engineering
  and getting a minor in math!

  Here are some video samples for you to look at to help you compare
  choices with your teen.  Click on each link and open the video tutorial
  in each one to 'Algebra 1'.  Then compare them, compare them with
  your child, and allow your child to give feedback.  To us the differ-
  ences may not matter, but to the teenager it might.  Sometimes simply
  the choosing will provide 'ownership'.  They may (hopefully) be less
  likely to complain when they have chosen it for themselves.

  DIVE CDs coordinate with Saxon Math.  It is a Christian curriculum:

  Teaching Textbooks are very popular, and they demonstrate every
  problem in the book:

  VideoText has been around for years: http://videotext.com/sampler.htm

  Chalkdust: http://www.chalkdust.com/algone.html

  Abeka uses a classroom setting in their video:
  (Scroll down to Algebra 1)

  Aleks Math is computer-based program:  http://www.aleks.com/free_trial

  Math-U-See:  http://www.mathusee.com/demo.html

  Ask Dr. Callahan:  http://www.askdrcallahan.com/Products/algebra.html

  Not videos?  Here are two options for serious bibliophiles.  If your
  child loves literature and hates numbers, you may have success with
  these books:

  Life of Fred - many say it qualifies as a 'living book' or quality


  Algebra the Easy Way - a story that happens to be written by my son's
  economics mentor:


  There are so many math programs, I couldn't possibly list them all.
  I'm just providing a few here for you.  I hope that will help you
  find a math curriculum that perfectly fits your student.  Remember
  that it is about how your STUDENT will learn best.  It doesn't really
  matter how we, as the parent, learn best.


  Lee Binz, The HomeScholar, is an expert in helping parents homeschool
  high school.  Both her two boys earned full-tuition scholarships at
  their first choice university.

  Her e-book, "The Easy Truth About Homeschool Transcripts" will show
  you how to how to package that great education into an AMAZING
  transcript that will impress the colleges!



  ***A note from Heather:

  I'm going to add ONE more non-video book choice to Lee's list!
  They are 3 books written by Harold Jacobs titled simply "Elementary
  Algebra", "Geometry" and "Mathematics, A Human Endeavor".  They
  read like LIVING books, so if your child loves learning through
  literature, they will probably go nuts over the Jacobs books for
  math.  These texts have *never* been revised, so you are good with
  the original editions.  Unlike some textbooks that are revised
  almost yearly, the Harold Jacobs math books hold their resale
  value VERY well and are well worth the initial investment.

  Read the *25* 5-star reviews at Amazon to learn more!


  And you may also want to consider another video Algebra option --
  Uncle Dan's Algebra.  I've heard great things about him, too!



  Here are some comments received from readers of Lee's article:

  "This was probably one of the biggest challenges, especially with
  my youngest son, who will be high school age next year.

  He's an auditory learner and when he sees a HUGE textbook, he flips
  out and can't see the forest for the trees.  At the same time, he's
  brilliant at math.  I think that a lot of pictures (other than
  examples) just distract him.

  This year we've been using the Key to Algebra from 'Key to...'
  series and he's done SO well with it.  Since it's a thin booklet,
  it doesn't overwhelm him at all.  And I love the very inexpensive
  price tag!


  Thanks so much for all your great tips, Lee!" -- Diane


  "I remember when I found out I couldn't hand down my older child's
  curriculum to her sister.  I tried, and it bombed.  My younger
  daughter is currently doing very well with a curriculum I can't
  stand.  I add hands-on activities, and she's absolutely thriving.
  But I can't stand that curriculum.  It's perfect for Little Sis;
  I still hate it.  It was heartbreaking to pack up big sister's
  old books and sell them to fund little sister's curriculum.  I
  LOVED those books.

  I have to remind myself that it's just the same as the situation
  with jeans -- Big Sis can wear jeans, but jeans just don't fit
  Little Sis right -- so she has to wear slacks and sweatpants
  instead of Big Sis's hand-me-downs.  I love jeans.  I don't much
  like slacks or sweatpants.  But it's not about my personal
  preference, is it?" -- J.W.


  "The one thing that I have learned, homeschooling 4 kids (grades
  4-12) is that it is OK to not use something you bought or have.
  Being able to 'walk away' from a text is hard -- I felt I needed
  to use it because I bought it -- wrong!!!  Recognizing that a book
  or style of learning does not work for a certian kid is a wonderful
  thing.  Acting on that and trying something else is even better!"
  -- Lara

      Helpful Tips

  Math Video Sites


  "Hi there -- For all of you that have trouble with higher math,
  this site provides individual lessons via YouTube.com and even
  has college subjects and SAT prep."  http://khanacademy.org/


  "Hello -- I have created a website with over 4,000 videos of my
  students and me working problems from basic mathematics through
  calculus.  The reaction to the site has been overwhelming positive.
  The address is http://www.mathtv.com -- the videos are free.

  We are getting ready to launch a series of online textbooks that
  will be available at a significantly lower cost than the current
  textbooks." -- Pat M.


  Do you have an idea, experience, or tip to share?  Please write!
  Send to:  mailto:HN-ideas@familyclassroom.net

      Readers Share

  "Regarding the reader question answered in the May 4th issue on
  math diligence problems with the reader's son --

  There were some great answers but I didn't see this one.

  How about finding opportunities to observe and experience WHY it
  is important to get the answers to math problems correct from

  I would suggest:

  Building projects  -  Measure Twice Cut Once - There is a video
  (Franklin Films), but I mean hands-on work.  There are many ways
  to follow this through.

  -- Do-it-yourself projects that he could get involved in at home,
  like a father/son project or a treehouse

  -- Helping a neighbor

  -- Habitat for Humanity projects

  -- Drama - building theater sets

  -- Shipbuilding - make your own or just find out about and observe

  -- Drafting - architectural drawing - there are some curricula in
  this area for homeschoolers.  Try Timberdoodle or Rainbow Resources.

  -- An internship or work with a mentor on real life projects

  -- An aerospace or other type camp - something to build interest
  in science/math related fields of occupation

  -- Trips to science museums or volunteering in such a place

  -- A bit of volunteer work in an accounting or other office where
  detail is important

  -- Have him help you with your accounts or business -- or better
  yet, set up his own business and business bank account

  Holistically speaking, any project or endeavor which requires
  attention to detail will assist in gaining better attention in
  other areas as well, for example, math computation.

  It is the very best if you can follow the person's interests in
  your choice of these endeavors, but they are valuable experiences
  even when not his idea or choice or when approached as a family

  We all want to know HOW things work and WHY they matter -- and
  real life teaches us these things.

  Just a thought!" -- Michele

     Ask YOUR Question

  Do you have a question about homeschooling high school?

  Send it to mailto:HN-questions@familyclassroom.net and we'll see
  if we can help you out in a future issue!

     Need Immediate Help?

  Visit our Homeschool Encouragement Center!  This is a live 24/7
  'chat' area where you can talk live to our homeschool counselors
  by typing in a box.  When you get there, just introduce yourself
  and let them know that Heather sent you!

  This ultra-safe chat is supervised by experienced moms who are
  there to serve and share their wisdom... or just offer a listening
  ear and encouragement.



  There are opportunities for you to be a sponsor of this
  newsletter. If you are interested, drop an e-mail to
  heather@familyclassroom.net with "Notebook Sponsorship"
  as the subject. We'll send you some information on how to
  reach our audience of over 15,000 homeschooling parents!


  All contributed articles are printed with the author's prior
  consent. It is assumed that any questions, tips or replies to
  questions may be reprinted. All letters become the property of
  the "Homeschooler's Notebook". [Occasionally your contribution
  may have to be edited for space.]

  Again, I welcome you to the group!  Feel free to send any
  contributions to mailto:HN-articles@familyclassroom.net or

  We also sponsor an incredible site with over 1,500 pages of helps!


  No part of this newsletter (except subscription information
  below) may be copied and/or displayed in digital format online
  (for instance, on a website or blog) without EXPRESS permission
  from the editor.  Individuals may, however, forward the newsletter
  IN ITS ENTIRETY to *individual* friends (not email groups).  For
  reprints in paper publications (homeschool support group newsletters,
  etc.) please send your request to:  mailto:Heather@FamilyClassroom.net


Next - Worm Farm Fun, Lego Challenge, Help for a Seven Year Old
Previous - Personal Notes, Pajama School, Advice for Dyslexia

     Site content copyright individual contributors and FamilyClassroom.net 2001-2011 - Digital duplication expressly prohibited.
Privacy Policy | Advertise