All posts tagged math

Does Anyone Ever Like Algebra? Do You Ever Use It?

Published September 18, 2014 by Angela

These are two of the many questions Erin is asking me as we are going through her algebra every day. I have to laugh, because I used to absolutely hate math. But I have had to take so many progressively difficult math classes in college that I actually now enjoy the challenge of working out a math problem.

But no, I did not tell her that she may never use algebra outside of school 🙂

It will all make sense at some point, I am just not sure yet what that point is for her.

Anyone Else Feel Like This?

Published March 25, 2014 by Angela  

I have been dealing with this common core math teaching issue for a couple years. My 9 year old is doing basic math problems in such a manner that I cannot help her. I literally cannot help her. I have taken numerous math-based college classes, I have 2 college degrees, working on my 3rd, and I cannot help her.

Honestly, it pisses me off a bit. OK, a lot. She is not going to be taught how to write in cursive (other than by me), and she is processing a basic math problem that can be done in a couple steps in 20+ steps.

How exactly are we helping our children’s education? How are they learning to be successful? Much like the father in the above link points out, if anyone tried to do their job by completing math in this manner, they would be fired. No employer wants you doing a 3-step process in 108 steps. 108 steps!

Check out the link, and let me know what kind of ridiculous public school teaching/learning situations you are dealing with!


Online School for Homeschool

Published March 6, 2014 by Angela

It’s about that time; I will begin the enrollment process for my homeschooler so she can do 8th grade in an online environment.

I almost feel like I am giving up, passing the buck, putting the responsibility on someone else. Yeah, I probably am. But with everything I have tried for the past 7+ months, I cannot seem to find what is needed to motivate Erin to be excited about learning. She used to love school (before the bullying issues) and she does really well with some of her homeschooling. World History is a breeze; math, not so much. Reading stories and doing book reports? Piece of cake. Science, ehh, she could take it or leave it.

I think something more structured, with a set schedule and hard and fast deadlines will help her stay on pace. Obviously I cannot do anything to reward or punish her enough to make her want to do her work consistently. I realize that homeschooling is generally a more laid back type of learning environment (I mean that in the best way possible), but unfortunately, I have the personality of schedules, time frames, and deadlines. This is still an environment I am trying to adjust to.

Having experience with online learning for numerous years, I do think she will do well with this.

Have you done online learning, and what did you think about it?


We’ve lost our Motivation

Published October 13, 2013 by Angela

Maybe it’s the weather, since the days are getting shorter. It seems like it is always dark out now, and as much as Erin has lost her interest in getting her homeschooling work done, I am starting to lose my desire to keep her ahead of the game. I think it is time to switch things up a bit. She keeps getting further and further behind, and I need to get her back on track. I have to say she is doing extremely well, she just seems to be bored now. Hence, field trips and science experiments.

I explained to her today about STEM and its importance from my perspective for my girls. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathmatics are important for everyone, but also a male-dominated area generally in school and work. I want my girls to be comfortable with match and science, and also enjoy it!

So, I will be investigating some science experiments that I can get her going on, besides the rotting “Bob the Chicken” that is still in his bag and box, decaying on top of my refrigerator. He’s due for a change of salt mixture tomorrow, and I am going to ask Erin to do it tomorrow while I am doing things elsewhere. He really, really stinks and it’s a bit more than I can stand 🙂

Do you have any great motivators that work for you and yours when you get into a slump?

Well That Explains A Lot!

Published September 17, 2013 by Angela

For over two weeks I have been struggling to get my 12 year old to want to work on her Science homework. Even though both my 21 and 15 year old said “Mom, we didn’t do this stuff until High School” I said “It came with the 7th grade curriculum.” Lo-and-behold, after digging around on the internet where I ordered her books, her Science book is for 14-18 year olds, 9th grade school level. Now I didn’t buy her the easiest set they had, because she really is quite bright, but I certainly did NOT order the hardest set they had that would justify this book. All the other books in the set are age and grade appropriate for a 12 year old 7th grader. So today I get to go to the only local place I have that sells home school books and hope to find some type of Science books that she can work from. I did get quite the smile this morning though when I told her to just skip her science hour 🙂

I don’t think she realizes that this just gives her more time today to study for her math test! I will get the hang of this homeschooling thing yet, hopefully before she graduates 🙂

Calculators or no?

Published September 6, 2013 by Angela

I am finding myself (OK, putting myself) in a dilemma about whether or not I should let my 7th grader use a calculator for her homeschooled math. I know the public schools definitely allow it in high school, and I believe in middle school as well. I know I wouldn’t have gotten through all of my math and accounting classes for my Associates and Bachelors degrees without a calculator.

She hasn’t asked, but I reviewed her pre-test comprehension skills to see what pace she is at. Any mistakes were fairly simple ones that will take just some practice. As the book goes on, the work gets much harder.

Does anyone have any advice on if they do or don’t use a calculator, and why? I will be honest and say it is likely at some point in the near future I will be giving her my calculator. I also feel at some point as her math advances in future grades it will not be possible to solve math problems without a scientific calculator. Any thoughts on if I am cheating her out of a learning experience if I let her use a calculator?