Our 10 Best Homeschool Posts of 2013

It is so hard to believe that it is already the middle of January! Time really flies! To summarize our year of homeschooling in 2013, I thought I would share our best posts! We’ve posted on everything from a weather lesson to High School homeschooling and everything in between! Since, it’s easy to move on and forget exactly what we covered over time I thought it would be nice to have a little reminder! If you have an all time favorite post – I would love for you to vote for it in the comments below!

1) Pain Free Math for Homeschool Highschoolers

2) Homeschooling the Big Family – Just a Few Tips

3) Getting Your Students Writing

4) Using Games to Motivate

5) Top 6 Ways to Organize Your Homeschool

6) Learning History with Summer Exploration

7) Express Yourself

8) Writing for Early Learners

9) Making Independent Learners

10) Homeschool Sports and Special Needs

Teaching Highschool Math… it can be fun!

homeschool highschool mathI think everyone here already knows about my crazy stupid love for math. Yes, I admit it… I am a nerd. I love the “puzzle” that math affords, and I can always count on math to be black and white – solution or no solution. So, when it came time for me to start teaching my own children high school math subjects… it took on a new meaning. Though I had studied through calculus in high school, and had minored in math in college… it had been 12 years since I had done advanced math. I had to go back and study before I could teach them ANYTHING! It wasn’t pretty… at first.

Now that I’ve been through all that hairy scary math for my oldest daughter… it comes so much easier for the others. Yet, I know that the average homeschooler doesn’t love math enough to go back and study the course just ahead of their children. So, I’m here to tell you that there are other ways!! Teaching high school  math doesn’t have to be insanity. It can be a smooth process that gives your highschooler everything they need to meet the demands of future college courses. Since I began writing for Let’s Homeschool High School, I’ve been introduced to some amazing homeschool highschool curriculum and resources. You need to check their curriculum directory out for a very comprehensive listing of great cheap/free homeschooling resources.

However, knowing which ones are student friendly and those that have been tried and true can only be found through someone who has walked that road before us. Though I’ve not used every one of these curriculum, close friends of mine have and I am using their opinion in conjunction with my own.  I also want to preface by saying that though I love ABEKA for many subjects, highschool math is not their strong point. I have always used other types of math curriculum for my homeschool.

My all time favorite algebra curriculum is the Glencoe high school math series. This however, is a regular text book and must be taught by a teacher/parent. So, this is definitely not for the faint hearted, but the book covers everything that would be needed for basic algebra on up to what an advanced algebra math student might need. I started using this book simply because I was tutoring the neighborhood children and this is what the public schools were using.

For those who just can’t teach their highschoolers math. Aleks math is a great curriculum that works on mastery. The student masters a skill and then is able to move on to the next skill. There is also a way for highschoolers to log certain of these courses with ACE as college credit. This curriculum costs $20 a month but is pretty easy to work with and understand. The Aleks system doesn’t keep records beyond the course that your student is in currently. Make sure that you retrieve any necessary information prior to your student starting their next math course.

Another one of my favorites is the new Time4Learning highschool algebra curriculum. This has just been released this year, but I had a part in writing the curriculum map for Algebra I so, I know the details of what this course covers. It is definitely a comprehensive course and one that is presented in a fun and engaging manner. If your highschooler likes using the computer for courses, this is definitely a win/win for them.

I have friends that use the Saxon math for high school, and they love it. It has definitely been a great foundational tool for college math courses. It is very review oriented, just like the elementary Saxon math. Yet, it is challenging and covers everything necessary to meet college expectations.

Finding the right math course isn’t a walk in the park… but it is achievable. My advice, take time to review each of them and if possible let your student try them out. Sign up for any free trials that they offer and see what works for you!

Pain Free Math for Homeschool Highschoolers

curriculum directoryYes, I know you are wondering… homeschooling highschoolers(wow! lots of syllables in that!)? Sure, not many homeschoolers think that they can do it… but in reality it isn’t as difficult as it may seem. There are some tricks to helping your highschooler make the most of their college years. Though many enjoy science and history- math can be the real hold. Although, not every homeschool parent is cut out to teach their high school student high school math, there are websites and online tutorials that can really make the job a simple one.

For example, at Let’s Homeschool HighSchool they have a  homeschool highschool curriculum that contains all of the required subject areas for highschool. From this web page there are links to all kinds of great curriculum options. We use this curriculum directory religiously!

One of my all time favorite websites for helping me teach my children math and science is Khan Academy. This site covers almost all math topics for the high school level and some of the topics for Chemistry and Physics. Your student can simply search for a topic at their website, and a few videos will pop up. You then choose which one looks to fit your needs and a very concise reteaching of that concept is presented within the video. Most often it is enough to bring about true comprehension of the topic. Sometimes it is just the fact that someone else words the concept in a slightly different way. Whatever it is, it works.

Another great tool for high school math learning without a headache is the new Time4Learning High School component. They have all of the needed maths for highschool level learning, and each is presented with a video and interactive learning. These are high quality and fun! These are useful for the main core curriculum of your homeschool math.

Finally, I love using ALEKS math as a high school course if the student is wanting to take it for dual credit. You see, you can register and take an ALEKS course such as College Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Trigonometry, PreCalculus, and Statistics and when you finish you can transfer the course to ACE (American Council on Education) which will hold the credit until which time you are ready to transfer it to the college you student will attend. You just need to be sure to transfer the course and get confirmation from ACE before starting a new course with ALEKS. ALEKS does not keep records!