Inside: The real secret to Teaching Algebra in Homeschool.

I’m a liar.

What is worse? Getting caught by my 9th grader.

Now, I never meant to lie, **most surely** I did not.

…

What if we focus on character

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Inside: The real secret to Teaching Algebra in Homeschool.

I’m a liar.

What is worse? Getting caught by my 9th grader.

Now, I never meant to lie, **most surely** I did not.

…

Today, as I tried to explain “lesson 5.2 of linear functions”, (gag) to my son Isaac, I realized I **forgot to duct tape** the younger boys.

**Crocodile tears are big. Crocodile tears are ugly.**

I remember the day my son cried huge crocodile tears because **he had already spent two hours “doing math”** and still wasn’t done.

We had just made the big jump to homeschool and he was not thriving.

Why?

“I know I am explaining these concepts to you, so why can’t you “pound out the lesson” in two seconds flat.”

I really expected too much from my son.

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Don’t get me wrong, expectations are great.

I am the queen of setting the bar high for my sons. But I was missing something critical.

It turned out, he had made it all the way to 5th grade without mastering his math facts.

* *

After eating a big helping of guilty pie, we began working on fundamentals of math.

(Click here for a 25 Minute Video Filled with Ideas to help you teach math)

You can teach a 13-year-old a math concept **in a day** that they “should have learned” at an earlier age.

So don’t panic if you suddenly realize they missed something.

Simply identify the goal and create a learning strategy.

** **

**Discover your child’s way of learning.**

I had to come face to face with that fact that my son learned differently than I do. His brain is wired differently. Math facts need to be memorized. Sorry. No way around this one.

Actually, they need to be over-memorized.

Practice over, and over, and over again.

**Examine your Own Math Mentality**

- Do you hate math?
- Do you voice that to your children?
- Does math confuse you?
- Do you say things like, “I never could do math well,” rather than, “Hmmm, I do not remember how to do this right now, I guess my brain gets to exercise!”
- Many homeschoolers do not feel qualified to teach math, that’s OK.
- Instead learn it together! Discover the power of “yet”.

Purpose to Speak Positively about Math

- “Math is everywhere!”
- “I’m glad I know how to add because that means I know _____.”
- “I like the challenge of math!”

You get the idea.

**Get Help if you really Do Not Understand**

- When you hit a math wall and simply cannot solve it in order to explain it to your child, seek help. Tell your student you need to have someone explain it to you. Affirm that there is always someone who is willing to help if you are humble enough to ask. Our kids need to see us ask for help! Here is a great online help for you and your kids.

**Related:** Some Practical Math Resources

- Use Flash Cards
- Learn Fact Families Kids need to master facts as related groups.
- Creative Practice
- dry eraser markers on windows and mirrors
- sidewalk chalk
- pudding:)
- writing on sandpaper
- using magnetic numbers on fridge
- saying facts while playing ball, dancing, or rolling
- Math Fact Games
- Manipulatives

Use anything from blocks and pattern tiles, Legos, Cheerios, M&M’s, and play games.

“You grab 5 and I’ll give you 12 more, how many?”

“If I make 4 groups of 3, how many will there be all together?”

“Here are handfuls of snacks… divide them into 6 separate zip-lock baggies evenly.”

Tip:Give kids time to explore manipulatives without giving them guidelines. I always let my kids “play” with new manipulatives a week or two before I use them in a lesson.

**Sources of Math Frustration:**

Sometimes it’s them… but sometimes it’s us.

Curriculum causes so many issues.

We feel our kids need to “get it” and be able to move forward from concept to concept.

**Page 27 means nothing.** It’s like expecting a child to read a book but they only know 11 letters and sounds of the alphabet.

Remember curriculum is a tool,

not the goal.*Establish a clear math goal (or set of goals) for your student and use the curriculum to help you get there. That may mean you skip pages, even chapters of the book!

Relief: There are only 3 types of math for most kids to master by high school:

- Arithmetic- number sense
- Algebra- equations
- Geometry- triangles, angles, etc

Comparing your kids to mine, hers or theirs.

Asking, “Shouldn’t my child be at grade level?” (This is a futile question…)

I feel like a failure because **I barely can complete the fourth-grade math book** without an answer key!

Guilt binds us.

We need to release it.

**Curriculum doesn’t teach our kids.
We teach our kids and sometimes we may even a use curriculum.**

**More ideas:**

- Count everything.

- Work on facts daily.

- Print a bunch of math fact drill sheets and do timed drills (if they at least tolerate them I have one child that drills devastate. for some reason a timed drill shuts his brain down.)

- Do Car math: Ask math fact questions while running errands

- Bake

- Measure things with rulers, measuring tapes, straws, bananas

- Go to the store and pretend (or really buy) as many things as possible with $100.

Lastly, it is important to remember that not all of our kids are destined to be mathematicians.

That’s OK.

But everyone really needs to know their basic math facts inside out.

Focus on the basics and build your math program around fundamentals. Don’t rush your young children.

If they master their facts they will be well ahead of their peers in the end and you can help avoid those crocodile tears.

**Preview of the Heart of Homeschooling God’s Way** Master Class.

We need to STOP measuring success by grades, achievements, awards, and worksheets.