Teaching Tips - Math
Why You Can Teach Math
Math is one subject that scares a lot of home schooling parents, especially as their children get older. Usually this is because the parents didn't do well in math when they were in school.
The main problem with math, is that math is a very "sequential" subject. The new material always depends heavily on what you were taught before. If you have a problem (i.e. if you miss a few things because of sickness, a bad teacher, or other problems in a particular school year), you have to go back and "fix" the problem, or you will have difficulty understanding things after that point.
If this happened to you, even only a few times during all the years you were in school, the chances of you having done well in math, were minimal.
Many people have a problem at some point, in school. Then they end up trying to learn the previous material and the current material at the same time. Normally this means they learn it more poorly, they struggle a lot with it, and don't learn the current material fully. Then the next material is difficult, too. Then they conclude they are poor at math.
In my family, when someone had a problem with math at school, they were helped at home until they got caught up. We all got very good at math, and this is why. It was also because of the effectiveness of one-on-one tutoring, just like when we are home schooling our children.
Also, having helped adults who were "supposedly poor" at math, I know that their ability is usually not the problem. They just weren't taught every thing they needed, to do it well.
Just because you found math difficult at school, doesn't mean you can't teach math to your children. And if you are starting off with the lower grades, you probably know most of that math by now, anyway. Get good materials, and learn the few details you missed, as you go through it with your child (also, go over it the day before you teach it, and you should be fine).
And, check out our high end math teaching tips, on this site. Many of these tips are not even used in schools yet (to be fair to teachers, some of these would be more difficult to implement in a classroom environment, with lots of children, but home schoolers don't have that limitation).
Combine these tips with a good curriculum, lots of determination from you, lots of love, and getting the occasional outside help if you need it, and you will build a great math foundation in your child, that will serve them well, as they advance to more challenging math, and through out their adult life.
You may also want to read our article "If You Did Poorly in Math."
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