Is teaching homeschool high school mathematics a problem?
By Wynne and Harriet Yoder (homeschool parents and owners at Lamp Post Homeschool)
Many homeschool parents have concerns about teaching upper level math at home. Sometimes this can be the deciding factor about whether to continue to homeschool in high school.
Don’t give up because math is a difficult subject for you. There are several ways to be successful at teaching homeschool high school math in order to keep on homeschooling through high school. Here are our suggestions:
Mathematics for the Academic Track
Traditional High School Math Curriculum
Some curriculum publishers offer traditional math curriculum. BJU Press Mathematics for grades 9 to 12 is a more traditional textbook approach. With Teacher’s Guides and tests you should be able to teach the different levels if you have a good background in math.
Choices for Saxon Homeschool Math
For most of the Saxon high school math, Homeschool Teacher Lesson and Test CDs will provide your student with instruction for every lesson. The instructor also shows how to work each problem in the text and the tests.
In addition, every level of Saxon Math from 54 and up now has a solution manual where the steps to solve the problems are shown. Worked-out solutions are sometimes what the homeschool parent needs to be able to teach high school math at home. I know it works for our family.
Ask Dr. Callahan
Ask Dr. Callahan offers DVD instruction for Geometry, Algebra 2 with Trigonometry, and Calculus. We carry the Harold Jacobs Geometry used in the Geometry course, as well as the Ask Dr. Callahan Geometry DVD.
Switched-On Schoolhouse from Alpha Omega is an interactive CD-ROM curriculum. Each SOS product can be used with up to five students. It is a Christ-centered curriculum that covers grade-level math for grades 3 to 12.
Mathematics Electives and Alternatives to the Academic Track
If your student needs math electives or needs to take a math course that is not necessarily on the academic track, there are other options.
Practical Accounting Fundamentals
Practical Accounting Fundamentals introduces your student to the basics of accounting.
Barron’s E-Z Series
Barron’s E-Z Series offers several different self-directed math books. Barron’s E-Z Business Math had three parts: Business Math Review, Personal Finance Math, and Applications of Business Math. Barron’s E-Z Bookkeeping covers basic bookkeeping topics. These are geared toward high school.
Barron’s E-Z Arithmetic is an excellent way to review basic arithmetic skills before moving on the Algebra. Use the chapter pre-tests to measure your student’s knowledge of each chapter topic. The results show which lessons can be skipped and which need to be done in order to master the material in the chapter. It’s is a good way to pinpoint problems or gaps in addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, percents, and decimals.
LIFEPAC Math Electives
BJU Press Consumer Math
The BJU Press Consumer Math is a one-year course for grades 11 to 12. It covers topics budgeting, banking, interest, savings accounts, credit cards, and more to prepare your student to make good personal financial decisions.
Key to Geometry and Key to Algebra
There are Key to Geometry and Key to Algebra which we like for two purposes. First if your student is not going to college and needs to meet the algebra or geometry requirements, then Key to Algebra and Key to Geometry will work. If your student is on the academic track for college, I recommend these courses as prep courses for algebra and geometry. If your student needs to review more basic math, Key to Math Series topics include Decimals, Percents, Fractions, Measurement, and Metric Measurement.
If your student needs help to learn math terms and formulas, you might like the Math Flippers®, a useful reference that fits in a 3-ring notebook. Access terms, definitions, and formulas to refresh your memory. There are Flippers for all the different levels of math including geometry, calculus, financial accounting and more.
Hire a Tutor
Hire a tutor to help the ones who need help. This has to be cheaper than private schooling! If funding is a problem, then check with friends and family. Maybe you can find a volunteer who would donate time and talent to help your student.
Homeschool Co-op Classes
Find or start a homeschool co-op that offers a math course.
Take Math Class at a Christian or Private School
Your local Christian school might let your students take their math class.
Take Math Class at a Public School
In Pennsylvania (and perhaps some other states), the public schools will allow homeschoolers to take one or two classes on a space available basis. It’s been helpful in certain situations. Math is a course that deals strictly with math and doesn’t typically get into controversial issues. Older students are usually more mature and have immunity against the “stupids”–doing dumb things because of peer pressure.
Some companies have videos or satellite instruction. Usually they are expensive and often leased for only one year’s use.