As the high school years approached with our first child, I was very nervous about how I would manage her homeschool high school years. I was a top of the class student in high school and graduated with honors from college, but many years have passed and with that many things have been forgotten.
In Day One of this series I talked about How I Teach homeschool High School Reading and Language Arts. Today I am going to talk about how I homeschool high school math. Or maybe more appropriately how I found and picked a program that does it for me!
We are using Teaching Textbooks to homeschool high school math. We started out in elementary school using Singapore Math. Then we hit 6th grade. At this point the math became more difficult and I grew tired of trying to relearn everything so I could walk my daughter through it.
For 7th grade we switched from Singapore Math to Teaching Textbooks. You can read about our math journey in the January/February 2014 edition of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine (for FREE). Teaching Textbooks offered a much more student led, independent approach than what we were struggling though with Singapore Math. (You might also be interested in 5+ Reasons Teaching Textbooks Works for Struggling Math Students.)
What I Love About Teaching Textbooks:
- Computer based video lessons that are comprehensive and interactive
- Automated grading which means I don’t have to grade it myself!
- The ability to easily go back and review lessons where there was difficulty.
- The parent can log in to the grade book and delete lesson grades so the student can re-do troublesome lessons. (See story box below about our experience with this)
- Numerous practice problems to help you learn a concept before having to do the actual lesson problems. (This is great for a child who needs to see many of them worked out and who needs more than just one or two before moving on.)
How We Use Teaching Textbooks:
Math has always been a stress inducing subject for our daughter. After spending years fighting over it, switching programs, giving up, and worrying about how we are going to do this, we have finally settled in to using Teaching Textbooks. We have found that doing math first thing in the morning is the most ideal time. This way she wakes up fresh and rested with a clear mind to focus on the math. Once that is done she breathes a sigh of relief and moves on with the rest of her day.
During our daughter’s Algebra I year (8th grade for her), I noticed a trend in lower grades on her assignments (below 80%).While I do not expect straight A’s, I do believe a certain level of understanding can be tracked by having a higher correct completion rate on her math problems. Therefore when I see a trend of less than 80% (I usually go over her assignment sheets once every 3 weeks), I will write all those lesson numbers on a piece of paper. Then I go into Teaching Textbooks and delete the scores for those lessons.
Last year (8th grade Algebra I) she needed someone to sit with her and go over a few things. What was so fantastic is that after taking a step back and fixing the lessons where she had trouble, not only did she better understand those, but she had an easier time with the new lessons. Math is a series of building blocks, and if you don’t get one, then it can trip you up later in the process.
One might have heard that Teaching Textbooks is not as rigorous as other math programs and will not prepare your student for things like Calculus and the SATs. While we have not reached that point to test out those thoughts, my daughter does spend a great deal of time with older public school kids due to her many hours at gymnastics. What we have found is that she is well ahead of the game compared to her public school counterparts and had no trouble helping a friend with her Pre-Calculus homework.
Join me on a journey through How I Teach Homeschool High School:
Precursor: So You’re Scared to Homeschool High School
Day 2: How I Teach Homeschool High School Math