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]]>The post Skin – Grid appeared first on life over ego..

]]>The post Skin – Grid appeared first on life over ego..

]]>The post Skin – Grid appeared first on life over ego..

]]>The post Skin – Grid appeared first on life over ego..

]]>The post Skin – Grid appeared first on life over ego..

]]>The post 8 Questions to Consider When Teaching Algebra appeared first on life over ego..

]]>Teaching arithmetic is one thing but teaching Algebra can be scary for most parents who haven’t had to think about it for awhile. So before you give up on your current curriculum, consider these 8 questions about teaching Algebra and its importance. These came from an interview with Tom Clark from VideoText Interactive during the Curriculum 2.0 Online Homeschool Summit.

*Some of the links on my pages and posts are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own. *

Did you know that the word “Arithmetic” comes from the Greek word *arithmos* which means numbers? That’s all arithmetic is. It’s learning about numbers, how to operate them (add, subtract, etc.), and the relationships between them. It’s very concrete and easy to teach.

“Algebra,” which comes from the Arabic word *al-jabr*, means to reunite and put back together again. So if you think of the biggest equation that you can imagine, it will have an X in it. This means that something is missing. Now your job is to search the universe to find what’s missing. Bring it back and reunite it with the equation to make a true statement. It’s a completely different way of thinking.

I’ve had plenty of students that ask this question. I think the majority of them don’t really want to know the answer to that question. Their motivation in asking it is to avoid doing algebra. We do not want students to avoid Algebra or frankly, anything that has to do with math. We want to make sure that they are well prepared. Algebra is everywhere. There are many opportunities to apply it in business, accounting, science, and everyday living.

The problem with a majority of math curriculum is that their application problems aren’t really very realistic. However, you need these types of problems in order for students to see applications of it in a real sense, even if they don’t personally use it. But fact of the matter is that whether you’re going to use it directly now or in the future, the important thing is to make sure that students understand it.

We always think that if you have a good foundation in arithmetic, that you’ll be okay in Algebra. While some things arithmetic transfer to Algebra, there are things in arithmetic that you learn to do but will never be any good in Algebra, such as order of operations.

In order to prepare students for Algebra, we need them to completely reteach some things that work in arithmetic but will now be applied in an Algebra context. This involves having to understand how that arithmetic works, where it comes from, and why does it make sense. In elementary level you’re not really teaching algebraic equations but you need engage them in algebraic thinking. Otherwise, they’ll just be memorizing the steps to do the problem which has no staying power.

For example, when you divide fractions you turn the second one upside down. Why? If you simply do that in Algebra, it won’t make sense. You need to ask questions. What division even mean? Where does it come from? Why does it make sense to invert and multiply? Why would that even be part of the process? You want your students to be able to answer these types of questions. The key to working in higher level math is to learn to ask why and expect an answer.

When you have a student that tells you, “I understand,” what they’re telling you is, “I know how to do it.” That’s not understanding. To understand means to know what stands under, what supports, what are the underpinnings that make this problem make sense. Understanding becomes so important in the sense that now I can be more skillful in the things that I’m doing.

If you’re child makes careless errors which happens all the time, you really need to explore that fact that they might not understand what they’re doing. They might just be trying to memorize the steps and the mistake comes from not remembering what to do next. We learn by thinking about what we’re doing. If you think about when you were in school learning the state capitals, you were memorizing them to pass a test or quiz. But if you had learned the history behind each state capital and it’s importance, then you would probably remember it to this day.

Learning algebra is very much conceptual with a skill attached it. So the goal is to have students be skillful and so conceptually grounded that they can look back at their mistakes and figure out where it went wrong.

The only way a parent can really determine that their student has understood conceptually is to have them teach the lesson. The most powerful teaching tool in the world is to have to explain what you know to someone else. That’s the best way to truly know what you’re doing. Students need to have a sound understanding and be able to articulate and justify what they know. This is a skill that will serve them well when they get to college.

Instead of checking your student’s work, give them the solution manual. Let them figure out their mistakes. Have them explain it to you. This gives them a chance to be an independent learner. They are personally responsible for their work, and they are able to articulate and justify everything that they did.

Textbooks were designed to teach the steps or the process of doing problems. They were not designed to teach. That’s a teacher’s job. Parents and even our math teachers have trouble with that now. Because they’re just picking up a book and teaching directly from that book. They’re not really teaching for understanding.

And if you look at most traditional math textbooks, it’s all taught by topics. So you’ll teach a topic one day and don’t really tie it in to what you learned yesterday or the day before. But math shouldn’t be taught this way.

Today's lesson is always a continuation of yesterday's lesson. And the things you learn today should help you with tomorrow's lesson and it continues on.Click To Tweet That is how math builds. You can’t master anything unless you continue to revisit it while building new concepts.Consider changing the program you are on. If it’s not working, seriously consider switching to something else. Students all learn differently. We need to set them up very early on to have a joy of learning. We all should still be constantly learning. There’s too much knowledge in this world to suddenly stop learning about it.

Whatever you’re using, always be orchestrating what the students are learning. Think very carefully and always teach “why?” And when your students tell you that they understand what they’re doing, then have them teach it back to you. Even if they falter or stutter in their explanations, they’re processing everything in their minds in order to put it all together.

After all of that and they’ve shown true understanding, then have them do some problems. It doesn’t need to be 50 problems. They probably only need maybe 5 to 10 problems and always show their work.

Don’t wait to assess their learning. Constantly quiz them on the things that they’ve learned. Don’t give them the quiz that same day of the lesson but give them review quizzes. And don’t look at their work. Some students get really creative with the way they get their answer and it’s not always the way that you taught them but it works for them. If there answer is wrong, mark it wrong. Have them figure out their mistakes and plead their case to get points back. They need to learn to take ownership of what they’re doing.

There are students who will say that they get it but are really only getting the process. The steps to doing the problem makes sense to them. And there are those students who say that they don’t get it. The process doesn’t make sense to them. These students generally claim that they’re not good with math. What’s really going is that these students are thinkers. They like things that make you think. You can’t just give them steps without giving them an explanation to why those steps work.

These students tell themselves all the time that they don’t get it. These same students end up thinking that they’re not capable of doing math. When in reality, they are so insightful but certain road blocks in their understanding have stopped them from being successful in math. These students especially need to be taught based on understanding.

I hope these 8 questions about teaching math has given you answers. I think the most important takeaway for me from this interview is to teach for understanding and to constantly be thinking why.

So I leave you with this. Don’t be so concerned about teaching math to your kids. Think about it as recognizing your child’s ability and help them realize what their potential can be. Let your kids teach you the math and just be satisfied with that.

All students can learn math. Are you as a parent comfortable with it? Be prepared to be learn math with your kids.

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]]>The post Top 10 Tips for Making Math Real to Students appeared first on life over ego..

]]>Making math real has always been a tall task. It’s difficult to even describe math because it’s such an abstract subject. I mean, how can you turn something so abstract to something real? Sharon Fisher from BJU Press emphasizes the value of math and teaching that value to our children and doing it through a Biblical worldview. This summary, from an interview with Sharon Fisher on the Curriculum 2.0 Online Homeschool Summit, will list out my top 10 essential tips for making math real to students.

*Some of the links on my pages and posts are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own. *

In an earlier post, I explained that math is a tool that we use every day. [Check out: Teach Math from a Christian Worldview: 5 Takeaways] While parents often look for Christian curriculum for every other subject, they’ll choose a secular one for math. However, if our goal is to help our kids to use all of their skills including math, then it is really important to include God in our math teaching. God has a lot to say about math. It is the language that He used to explain His creation. Sharon Fisher encourages parents to teach their children that math is valuable. By counting change correctly and measuring things correctly, we are serving God and honoring God by being good stewards of what He’s given.

So before I tell you the my top 10 tips for making math real to students, we need revisit the topic of a Christian worldview. Here are topics that you should look for when choosing curriculum, especially if Biblical worldview is important to you.

**Creation**– God made man in His image and gave him dominion over everything.**Fall**– Since Adam and Eve’s sin, this world has been broken. And that sin a major affect on us and how we think.**Redemption**– Using critical thinking can redeem the broken things of this world. For example, when disaster strikes, using your math skills by being good stewards and showing love to your neighbors can redeem that situation.**Jesus’ Second Coming**– Jesus is coming back again. He will make all things new.**Day-to-Day Lives**– How are we going to use math today? How are we going to use math to serve the Lord and to serve other people?

There are many ways to help your kids learn their math facts. But understanding the concept is more important. If a calculator is appropriate to solve the problem, then go ahead and use a calculator. This doesn’t mean you stop with the math facts. Keep working on it but don’t let a problem be frustrating just because of a math fact. Bottom line, the concept is what’s important.

The goal is to solve problems and to be able to use critical thinking skills.Click To TweetTry to fit math into your day-to-day activities. There’s cooking, clipping coupons, going to the store, staying healthy and fit, etc. Have hands-on opportunities for kids to measure. Kids need to try things. Homeschooling is a perfect place to let them make mistakes.

It can be so easy for us to lose our patience when teaching math. Even more so, when we’re trying to make math real. You can teach your kids fractions by baking a cake, but sometimes kids take forever to do things that you tell them to do. Don’t make them resent the fact that you’re making them do hard work. And don’t make them frustrated with it either. It’s important that they learn and are encouraged.

Tell your kids about what you do. Show them how you use math every day at work and how you can use it to serve God. Be hero to your kids. They need to see that you care about what you do and your application of math.

Let them make new drapes or a picnic table. Have them do something nice for their neighbors that require math. Allow them to make mistakes doing those things so they can realize what they’re doing wrong and problem solve their way to a solution.

Include math in your kids’ interests. Whether it be making clothes, animation, drawing, or cooking. When you include math in their interests, they end up learning something bigger than math facts. They won’d be frustrated with it because it’s something they like to do and can be successful in it. Share in your kids’ happiness.

Include food in your lessons as much as you can when it’s appropriate. Use M&M’s, Hershey bars, brownies, cake, etc. Make math fun.

Make that time with your kids enjoyable. If they’re successful with the concept, move on. If they’re struggling and frustrated, then take a break. Something their brains need time to rest just like ours. So let them think on it and take another stab at it the next day when they can be more positive.

Sometimes kids get down on themselves when they can’t do a problem right. So give them something that they’re really good at doing today. Math is something that God has given them and can use today in some way.

After teaching math for about 5 years, having a good teacher’s book is really important. It helps you explain the concept to your child. So when choosing a math curriculum, look through the teacher’s edition. Go through the table of contents and see what’s being covered through the year. Take your time, research, and ask a lot of questions.

You’re doing a good thing. Homeschooling is an investment in your child and is not a waste of time. Make math real to them. Remember, in all things, when we make mistakes or do things well, God gives grace. Just stick with it and give God the glory.

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]]>The post Building Confident Problem Solvers appeared first on life over ego..

]]>Building confident problem solvers is a goal that we all want to accomplish in our children. However, problem solving is not fun for most, especially when it comes in the form of word problems. This is why math can be such a struggle. So as parents and teachers how do we build confident problem solvers and help them succeed in math? In an interview from Steve Demme from Demme Learning, the makers of Math-U-See, explains how to teach math so your kids will understand and succeed. I’ve summarized the key points below.

*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.*

Students are mostly visual learners. Because of this, you need to have a visual component in your teaching that will play to their strengths. Students need to see and understand that math is concrete. math is real. We need to take it out of the abstract. This is why we use manipulatives which help them to understand the concept behind the abstract math.

These Patterned Blocks Set from Learning Resources are perfect for counting, patterns, and discovery of shapes and shapes within shapes.

Place value has always been a very important topic especially in the early grades. If your children are struggling in math, most of the time it’s because they don’t have a clear understanding of place value. Place Value Rods and Place Value Disks help to make this concept concrete and real.

MathLink Cubes has always been staple in most classrooms. Not only does it help with fine motor skills but also counting, patterns, place value, shapes, adding, subtracting, multiplying, etc.

Do your student learn better by writing things over and over or be seeing it over and over or by hearing it over and over? When you teach, you should consider your students’ learning styles. You need to teach to their strengths but also their weaknesses. Try to include building, writing and hearing in your teaching.

Good problem solvers not only master the facts, formulas, and algorithms but also understand the concept behind them. If you have younger children, ask an older student to teach them. Sometimes when you have to teach it somebody else, you understand it better. This is because you have to anticipate a lot of questions.

Where do you start? Are you willing to learn math along with your students? Those who are willing to learn alongside their kids usually do fine with teaching their kids. If you want your kids to be successful and confident in their problem solving skills, you need to start based on what they know. Math builds on each concept. If you have any holes, it’ll come back and bite you. So in order to be build confident problem solvers, start where they are most comfortable and work at their pace.

Nobody knows a child better than a parent and nobody loves a child more than a parent. Real teaching takes place between you and your child. And if your child hits a wall, stop.

All children start at a different place and work at a different pace. When you know the place to start and the pace to work at, then you allow the struggling learners to move a little slower and the gifted learners to move a little quicker. There’s a lot of hope when a parent comes alongside a child.

*Just a quick note. In the early elementary years, you shouldn’t spend more than 20 minutes on math. You teach the lesson. Bring out the manipulatives and work with them until you’ve hit a light bulb moment. Then do some practice pages until you’ve mastered the new concept. Review and take a test. Don’t be in a hurry to finish. If you need to go back and do it again after the test, then do it.*

Why do we teach math? It’s important to understand the big picture when building confident problem solvers. We study math not to take tests. We study math, so that we can apply it to the real world. So be consistent in asking yourself, “When was the last time you used math? Be real specific.” The answer will surprise you.

You use math in everything. If you want to take Chemistry, you’ll need Algebra II. For Physics, you’ll need Trigonometry. But before Algebra II and Trigonometry, you’ll need Algebra I. Math is a foreign language. Once you understand one part, it opens up other parts, other classes. And the more math you have, the more opportunities you will receive. Math is used in every field.

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]]>The post Teach Math from a Christian Worldview: 5 Takeaways appeared first on life over ego..

]]>I had two struggles when I was a Christian school math teacher–how can I convince these students that math is a very important subject and how can I teach math from a Biblical worldview. It is truth that most of the students that learn Algebra or Trigonometry will never use it after high school. So often we answer the question of “Where are we going to use math in real life” with “You are going to need it to get into college.” After listening to this interview from Katherine Loop of Masterbooks, I finally understand that the importance of a Christian Worldview in teaching math.

Math is just facts right? We’ve been taught since kindergarten on up that 1+1=2. This is fact. But how we approach that fact and use it, can be explained in our worldview. There’s a reason to all these mathematical facts and processes. When you have a worldly worldview, then you’ll see math as just a subject that only mathematicians and scientists can understand. They’re the only ones that actually use it.

But if you see math from a Christian worldview, then you'll see that all the numbers and x's and y's are really describing God's creation.Click To TweetI think this is partly why some kids struggle to understand math. They see scientists and mathematicians as special people. Most of those who struggle truly believe that they are not math people. But that is the wrong way of looking at it. When students look at the numbers, they should be looking at God.

We’ve always viewed math as this neutral subject which is why we separate it into its own little bubble. But we need to change our perspective and see that math is not neutral. Then we’d realize that when we teach math, we’re either giving glory to God or to the numbers or to man. Colossians 1:16 tells us that ALL things were created by Him. Sure, man developed symbols for math but those symbols describe ideas and quantities that God created and is sustaining. He is holding all things together.

Jeremiah 33:25-26 says that if you just look around, there’s ordinances and consistencies that show God is faithful. Math is a way to describe those consistencies. So when you have all this in mind while teaching, then you’re really beholding God’s glory in display. Math can be trusted, and it works because God can be trusted. And all these properties that we teach are true. And no matter what, 1+1 will always equal 2. Nothing’s going to change that. God determined all of these to be true.

If your children are not taught that math works because God created it and He is faithful, then they are left with a faulty worldview that just gives the glory to men or the math itself. Math’s very existence points us to God. It doesn’t make sense apart from God. Every time a child solves a math problem and sees it work in the real world, it’s because God is faithfully keeping His promises and can be trusted. So where are you giving the glory for math?

The problem with math is that it isn’t always intuitively obvious how something can be applied. So we have to think of math as a toolbox. It has tools that come in different shapes and sizes. If you think about all the tools in your toolbox, you have some like the screwdriver, which are simple and you know how it applies. That’s like addition. Addition is simple and easy to apply. But there are other tools, that are not so obvious in their applications. You can study that tool and spend a lot of time figuring out how to use that tool.

It’s the same with math. Take Algebra for example. You don’t exactly know how you can really use it at first. But as you’re studying to be an engineer or a mathematician, then the applications become really obvious. Our children need to be shown that the things they’re learning in math are real life tools that help us accomplish the work that God has given us to do. We need to take the math out of the textbooks and into the real world.

If you look at a sunflower, you can see that the seeds are arranged into two spirals. When you count the number of seeds in those spirals, you will see that the ratio between the two spirals is approximately the same for any sunflower. This enables the most number of seeds to fit in the sunflower head. Math helps us see this.

The law of gravity in Algebra uses letters as placeholders for the force of gravity and the mass of two objects. The letters are used to represent the relationship so that we are not tied to a specific situation. We can use letters and manipulate them knowing that because God’s faithfulness is holding things together. We learn math because of this fact.

There are many more examples that we can draw from that show that we use math everyday. God created such a complex universe that it’s hard not to see it if you teach math with a Christian worldview.

Math builds on itself. Sometimes when students struggle in math, it’s because they didn’t understand something earlier on. If you just learn to memorize the facts and the steps without really understanding it, then it will eventually catch up. Of course, knowing the facts and steps is important, but understanding it helps you see the math as a way of describing God’s creation.

At the very beginning, when your child is learning how to count, how to write numbers, teach them that this number is a symbol we use to represent one, two, etc. But there’s also different ways to show the number. That is men using their God-given abilities to describe God’s creation.

When they get older, you teach the rules and the memorization. This can be done using manipulatives or flash cards. Then they reach Algebra, where they use letters as placeholders to stand for quantity and use it to record real life relationships.

Teaching with understanding is explaining why that concept is the way it is and why does it work the way it does. The more you can show to your child that math isn’t just some random thing that we try to get them to memorize, then that will help them retain the information and help them see God’s creation.

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]]>The post 5 Essential Plugins for Bloggers appeared first on life over ego..

]]>It’s safe to say that as a new blogger, there is an awful lot to think about. Before you even write your first post there’s so much to do; choosing a hosting provider and platform, setting up social media accounts, planning your content – the list can be as long as your arm. Luckily, there are some nifty pieces of software that can help take the hassle out of a lot of aspects. All hail the humble plugin! What is a plugin, you may ask? Simply put, a plugin is a piece of code that allows your blog to do something it couldn’t do by itself. There are thousands to choose from, and some are absolutely invaluable as a blogger. Here are 5 essential plugins I use that are loved by bloggers all around the world:

Embedding ads into your blog is probably the easiest way to passively make revenue from your website. It works very simply; all you need to do is create an account with AdSense and link your payment account. AdSense will give you a piece of code which can be inserted pretty much wherever you like in your blog. Once the code is inserted in the header or sidebar, for example, it will show ads to your site’s visitors in that position. You are then paid for clicks on the ads shown. Simple!

This plugin really helps you to improve your ranking on search engines such as Google. It allows you to set a focus keyword for your blog post and analyses every aspect to give you tips on how to improve your SEO ranking.

This plugin collects data on your blog’s visitors. It can be really useful in helping you figure out who your audience is and where they’re coming from. It collects information such as when your users visit your site, what country they’re from, what sites they’re being referred from and what devices they use to access your site. Although this information is collected anonymously, it’s important to state that you use google analytics in your site’s privacy policy!

If you don’t want to lose all your hard work, it’s super important to regularly back up your site. There are a few different plugin options for this, but I use BackWPup. This will do complete backups of your site so if the worst was to happen, you can easily restore it. There are so many reasons a site can crash, a lot of which are totally out of our control, which is why it’s so important to regularly backup your blog. Using a plugin to do this makes life a million times easier and also means you don’t have to rely on your own memory so much.

Disqus allows readers to comment on your blog posts with ease. They can create an account with disqus so they don’t have to fill in their details every time they want to comment. This can help your engagement massively, as it means your readers can post comments quickly and with ease.

There are tons of different plugins you can use to enhance your blog, but these 5 essential plugins, especially for bloggers, are a great combination to start with and will help you get the most from your website!

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]]>The post 4 Things You Should Know Before Starting a Blog appeared first on life over ego..

]]>Starting a new blog can feel like a bit of a minefield – there’s a LOT of information to take in and, to be honest, it can all feel very confusing. But it’s important to remember this is completely natural. Every blogger was in the same position when they started out. I, for one, know how overwhelming it can all seem. So here are 4 super important things you should know in your new blogging venture:

Blogging is highly romanticized, especially on social media, but the reality is very different. Don’t get me wrong. It’s amazing and can be highly rewarding, but it’s also a grind. There will likely be a lot of posts you write which you love, but that attract little to no views, and that can absolutely suck. What’s important to remember is that this doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong. People only showcase the best bits of blogging online, which can leave you feeling like you’re failing. This is absolutely not the case – there are thousands of others in exactly the same position. Keep grinding, and you *will* see results. It may take a long time, but that’s totally normal and OK.

You can’t rely on search engines alone to direct people to your blog. If you want to gain readers and a loyal following, social media is one of the best tools there is (and it’s mostly free!) A lot of bloggers swear by Pinterest for directing traffic. If you want to get serious about Pinterest, apps like Tailwind can be invaluable. There are also plenty of courses out there on which you can learn how to navigate the platform like a pro. If you want to create a visual portfolio, Instagram is incredible. However, Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media you like, all have their benefits.

Especially from the older generation. This can be incredibly frustrating. A lot of people wrongly perceive blogging as an ‘easy route’ or something ‘youngsters’ do to get out of ‘real work’. This is because, as mentioned in above, people generally only see the glamorous side of blogging on social media. What they don’t realise is that this is about 0.1% of bloggers, and even they only show what they want the world to see.

The reality of blogging is very different and requires a lot of hard work and resilience.Click To Tweet When you’re working tirelessly and dealing with putting all the work in and getting nothing in return, it can be really hard when people comment on blogging as if it’s easy or ‘not real work’. Just remember that it usually doesn’t come from a place of nastiness. It’s just a lack of understanding. You do you and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is absolutely vital to understand when starting a blog. It dictates how your blog post ranks on search engines like google. Luckily, there are plugins that can help you with this. I use Yoast SEO, which analyses how good your post’s SEO is and gives you simple tips on how to improve this. Easy ways to improve SEO include setting a focus keyword and using it the right amount of times, adding internal or external links to your post and setting a meta description of the correct length.

Above all, remember that it’s OK to feel overwhelmed and it’s OK to not have everything figured out. Blogging is a vocation in which you’re constantly learning and improving, so don’t feel pressured to know everything right from the get-go.

Keep grinding, ignore disheartening comments and trust the process!

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]]>The post How to Teach Math to Someone Who Just Doesn’t Get It appeared first on life over ego..

]]>Fact is that most people either really love math or really hate math. You’re children are either one or the other. But when you have one who just doesn’t get it, then teaching math can cause a lot of unhappiness and even cause you to doubt your abilities. You might feel like a failure because you can’t help your child in this area of his/her education. But once you realized that it’s not your fault and that your child is just not an abstract thinker, then you can figure out a way to teach math that will help them succeed in life.

The biggest problem in teaching a child who just doesn’t get math is the conflict. Oftentimes when kids struggle with a subject, math, science or even language arts, we push them to understand it. This leads to them putting up a wall against us and hurting our relationship with them. Homeschooling is all about relationships. And what I’ve learned in all my years of teaching is that you can’t teach someone who doesn’t want to learn or who has shut you out.

Keep your relationship. It's so much more important than any academic subject. Click To TweetStart praying before each lesson. This is a good reminder to be patient, stay calm and take a breath. By doing this, you are letting God in to your homeschool [see 3 Important Facts to Know Before Starting Your Homeschool]. This also lets your child know that you care about them and their understanding of the lesson. Prayer encourages them.

In order to do this, you have to know your kids better than anyone else. You have to know when they need to be pushed or when they are doing the best they can. Know what makes them tick, how they think and learn. It’s really important to not push them past what they can handle. If you need to take a break, then do it. Anytime you get impatient or frustrated, apologize. This will keep their hearts open to your teaching and the pressure off of them and you. Just find what works for you child and go with that.

All your child can probably handle is the basics. Then they can use a calculator to figure out what is else needed. But sometimes the struggles your child encounters is because he/she never understood the basic facts. So if you need to, go back to basic addition and subtraction. Then work from there. Work as slow as you need to until the facts have been mastered.

In math, it should never be about getting through the book that year. It should always be about mastery. And the thing about homeschooling is that you have the freedom to not stay on track and focus on mastery. So if you need to take two years to get through a math book, then so be it. Remember math topics build on one another. You don’t want to encounter the same struggles year after year (that’s what happens in traditional schools). So focus on the foundational principles of math when your kids are young. Giving them a strong foundation and mastery will help them do better as they get into higher math.

Know that your kids all learn differently. They all learn at different speeds. Some are at different stages mentally and are limited in their ability to process math skills. By setting unrealistic expectations, you’re setting yourself up for disappointments and frustrations. So when you teach math to someone who just doesn’t get it, don’t try to push through with a curriculum just because you have to finish. That will only frustrate you and frustrate your kids. Bad attitudes are contagious. If you have a bad attitude while teaching your kids, how do you think your kids will feel?

TIP 1: Review! Drilling consistently will help in mastery. It’s very important to review every single day.

TIP 2: Do all the problems. If you child is struggling then they need more practice. Give them this opportunity to fully understand the concept before moving on to the next one.

TIP 3: Make math fun. Differentiate your lessons every once in a while. Instead of doing flashcards for facts review, do a math game on the computer or a file folder game. Mixing things up will keep your lessons fresh and interesting.

TIP 4: Find curriculum that works for you as a parent. Consider how your child learns but also know your abilities. If you’re overwhelmed with trying to teach ALL your children at the same time, then find something that teaches a lot of it for you such as Teaching Textbooks.

TIP 5: Give feedback. This is very important if you want your child to succeed. They need know that they are doing something wrong. And the sooner they know, the easier it is to for them to find their mistake and correct it.

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