How To Fail A Math Course In 6 Easy Steps

Ok, I must confess the title of this post should be, “things to avoid to ace your math class!” but I purposely titled the post to grab your attention as what I’m going to talk about is important! Students can fail a math course for a variety of reasons however [...]

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Common Core Math Watch Special Report 1

How much do you know about the new common core curriculum standards?  Well if you don’t know that much you need to get informed ASAP because it is changing everything in education.  So in an effort to help you sort out CC (common core) I’m starting this series of posts [...]

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Multiple Choice Math Questions The Best Place To Start

On multiple choice questions the best place to start is by looking at the answers.  Often times you can eliminate answers or pick up clues on how to select the correct answer by looking at your choices before reading the question.  Moreover, there may be times when you can use [...]

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Make Sure Your Homeschooler Does Not Make This Common Mistake

Recently I was working with a student and once again saw one of the most common mistakes made in algebra.  Actually it’s a mistake that has its roots when a student’s learns about basic fractions and specifically how to reduce or simplify them.  The mistake is a misconception on how [...]

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Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 What’s The Difference?

After your homeschooler finishes Pre-Algebra they will be taking Algebra 1.  Most students will notice that Algebra 1 goes over many of the topics that they learned in Pre-Algebra.  As such there might be a perception that Algebra 1 is just a little harder repeat of Pre-Algebra. 

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What Calculator Does Your Homeschooler Really Need?

Last week I purchased a TI-84 Plus calculator for my son.  He is taking both Pre-Calculus and AP Statistics.  His AP Stats teacher said it was a requirement to have a TI-84 for the course.  So being a good parent I went ahead and purchased the TI-84 ($120) and took [...]

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What Type Of Numbers Do We Use To Count Nothing?

One of the most basic abilities we have as humans is our ability to count.  We can visualize and see various number of objects in our physical world. 

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Make Your Homeschooler Show Work- Improve by 50%

One of the best things you can do for your homeschooler to become a better mathematician is to ensure they show their math work.  I will give you some examples(below) to illustrate my point but know this- if your child is showing little to no work in their practice they [...]

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Negative of a Negative Number – Let’s Deal With The Confusion

A common misunderstanding of students when they start learning how to work with positive and negative numbers is dealing with the negative of a negative situation (see below for an example).  So along with the rules to add, subtract, multiply and divide positive and negative numbers students also must know [...]

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Algebra 2 Factoring Skills- Does Your Homeschooler Have Them? Pop Quiz

One of the most important skills for high school level math is the ability to factor. Much of the factoring Algebra 1 and 2 students focus on is factoring polynomials. However there are many other non-polynomial expressions that we factor as well in algebra so it’s not only about polynomials [...]

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That Was Easy! An Easy Way to Add and Subtract Fractions

Oh yes the wonderful world of fractions!  Most students hate dealing with them but I have good news for those restless students!  I have a method that will make those “fraction haters” into crazed fraction loving math students!!  However my little secret method is only

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Polynomials -Understand The Little Things Before Mastering The Big Stuff

One of the biggest topics we study in algebra is polynomials.  Almost half of what your homeschooler will learn in algebra is focused on polynomials so it’s a good idea for us to really understand what one is.  I’m sure most of you out there have seen the word “polynomial” [...]

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The Best Book On Teaching I Ever Read! A MUST READ

Unless you have ever been a teacher you don’t realize how challenging it is.  It’s just like trying to explain what it’s like to be a parent with someone with no kids or explaining what combat is like to those that have never experienced it- unless you have done it [...]

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The Transitive Property And Why You Need To Know It

Mathematics is a language that is structured by many properties.  One property that students need to comprehend is the Transitive Property.  Before we go any further let’s review the actual property.

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Algebra For Technical School – How Much Do You Need To Know?

Before I became a math teacher I managed chemical production plant operations. Moreover before I worked in chemical plants I was a Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy managing naval power plants and other complex engineering/technical systems.  I say this only to gain your trust that I have a [...]

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Divide By Zero Just Try It

Can you divide a number by zero?  Answer: NO.  Now it’s easy to make the mistake of trying to divide a number by zero as sometimes we work with expressions that end up with a zero in the denominator.  However when this occurs ( zero as the denominator) we have [...]

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Fix Those Fractions!

What’s wrong with the fraction 1000/2000?  Well nothing technically or mathematically speaking however it’s not a simple number- why not just call it 1 / 2 it would save the extra effort of writing all those zeros.  In mathematics we always want to express numbers as simple as possible hence [...]

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Math Words – Do You Really Know What A Postulate Is?

Mathematics is a language of many words and symbols.  When studying Geometry we come across many new words and one of the most important is “postulate”.   As such I thought we can take a quick in-depth look into what a postulate is so your child can be clear about what [...]

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Can Your Child Handle Hard Numbers In Formulas?

Finding the slope of a line is a very important skill that all middle and high school students need to master.  In order to find the slope students follow a simple formula (see below) and simplify a fraction.  Many students can perform this task when the numbers involved are easy, [...]

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Algebra Inside Microsoft Office

Have you or your child used a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel? If so you have likely organized data into rows and columns like the example spreadsheet below.  As you may imagine there is a lot of value of using a spreadsheet program like Excel to manage a lot of [...]

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Engineering- How A Steam Plant Works

After completing my math degree I severed in the US Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer.  In one of my tours I served as an Engineering Power Plant Officer.  The job was very interesting and challenging and gave me an opportunity to use a lot of my analytical skills developed [...]

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A Little On Mean, Median And Mode

The mean, median and mode are all part of the basics of statistics.  Many students tend to confuse the respective terms so I thought I would speak on it with this post.  

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When Math Is Easy And Hard!

Much of mathematics involves memorizing rules and procedures.  Often times these procedures we learn are not very hard but because we have to memorize many steps and rules it’s easy to mix things up. One of the most common places I see students mix up basic rules to follow is [...]

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