By Lewis Robinson
Determining where to send your child to high school can be a difficult thing to do. There are several reasons that this decision can be based on, and there are multiple options to choose from. Many parents are starting to homeschool their teenagers. Some parents, however, are not natural-born or college-educated teachers, and they worry about the best ways to teach their teens from home. Certain subjects offer more worry than others, and math tends to be one of the most stressful ones. Even if you didn’t like math when you were growing up, don’t let that stop you. It’s all about making math interesting – and yes, even fun. Here are five tips to help you teach math at home.
Playing games is one of the best ways to make learning enjoyable. Many students find it hard or boring to listen to a lesson being taught. Math games are a wonderful tool for reiterating facts, showing the importance of mathematics, and realizing that learning can be fun. Even well-known board games can be turned into teaching tools. For example, when teaching about money, Monopoly is helpful to learn about the importance of budgeting and how to make wise financial decisions. Sudoku is a game for those who enjoy number puzzles and using their analytical mind. Some games have been created specifically for teaching math categories like fractions, decimals, multiplication, as well as many others. These include apps like Quick Math Plus, Hands-On Equations, Mathemagics Mental Math Tricks, and DragonBox Algebra 12+.
When choosing to do school at home, it is important to find a curriculum that works best for you and your children. There are various resources that are available for purchase or rent. Doing your own research into each option is vital before picking one. Discover how your children learn and process and pick accordingly to that style. Some courses will go deeper and give students a challenge, while others only teach the basics and required facts. While all official curriculums provide the necessary information one needs to graduate, each one differs in its delivery and extra content. Some popular homeschool math curriculums are Saxon Math, Singapore Math, Harold Jacobs, and Math-U-See.
Most people cannot remember something they have only heard once. It is important to reiterate and practice new lessons learned. Homework may seem odd to do since you are homeschooled, but it is essential for mastering new problems. Hearing something once or twice, but never working to practice and master it, will not stick with most students. Doing extra worksheets, copying important facts, and using flashcards will help students remember what they have been taught in math at home. Taking time to do math-related projects outside of at-home learning helps establish a more permanent memory bank. A field trip to a science museum will enable teens to interact with hands-on exhibits that tie math and science together in unique and interesting ways. There may even be a math or STEM club that meets at your local library or community center.
Sometimes mathematics can be one of the most difficult classes for students. Many will struggle with the complex equations and distinct organization of numbers. Some will doubt the necessity of knowing these facts and solutions. It can be helpful to show your teens what jobs require these math skills. Accountants, bankers, and financial analysts use mathematics every day to do their jobs. Analytics is not only being used in the business world, but the sports universe is using statistics, percentages, and odds as well. You need a decent understanding of applied math for most skilled trades and medical professions. Architects take measurements and calculate square footage when designing buildings. Engineers and scientists use more advanced math like calculus. Even video game designers use geometry, trigonometry, and physics when creating virtual worlds to explore. The basics of math can be seen in everyday life, but showing students how the seemingly pointless information they are learning is essential for potential careers can inspire them to do their math at home.
Most homeschool parents are not certified teachers. Although you do your best to help your children learn, there may be some lessons you don’t understand and find difficult to explain – especially when your teens go beyond basic math drills and into more abstract concepts. If you have a teen in your household, as some of us do, you’ll know that their math homework is getting much more challenging and sometimes (we’ll admit it) frustrating. When it gets to the point that you are unable to help or clearly explain math at home, you may want to consider hiring a tutor. You may find one through an online site or the local county school system. Several styles of tutoring are available for hire as well as multiple levels of qualification. If your student is only struggling in certain areas, you could find someone who specializes in those categories of math. Those who need beginner’s level help may not need someone with great expertise; they may only require someone who can help them build a basic math foundation.
When it comes to homeschooling, teaching math at home can be scary for some parents. Taking time to incorporate some of these ideas can make it easier, all while ensuring your teen receives a proper math education.