Unlocking Math Success for Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with the Blackwoods

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Unlocking Math Success for Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with the Blackwoods.

Unlocking Math Success for Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with the Blackwoods

Unlocking Math Success for Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with the Blackwoods

Many teens do not know that they can like math. In fact, they think they are supposed to hate math. This makes learning high school level math difficult. That is why we were so excited when we met the Blackwoods of Unlock Math! They have found ways to help teens unlock math success…and even like math!

Vicki met the Blackwoods online in the It’s Not That Hard to Homeschool High School Facebook group. (You should join that group, as well as 7SistersHomeschool Facebook group because there are so many folks there who are there to support homeschooling parents…and besides, it’s fun!) Unlock Math was sponsoring the group that month and Vicki was impressed with their neighborliness and their user-friendly curriculum. (As you know, we 7Sisters are all about user-friendly curriculum!)

Matthew and Alesia Blackwood teach teens how to like math at UnlockMath.com.

As you know, each state has different requirements for high school graduation. However, many states require at least three credits of Math. They usually include:

  • Algebra
  • Algebra II
  • Geometry

However, you also know that there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school, so teens may need to count other courses as part of their math credits. For instance, if a high schooler has special needs they might need:

  • Math Foundations
  • Practical Math
  • Pre-Algebra

On the other hand, if teens are college bound, they might need to add extra math courses like:

  • Pre-calculus
  • Calculus
  • Statistics

The Blackwoods are here to help!

Alesia and Matthew are both second generation homeschoolers, so they started talking about homeschooling before they were married.

Thus, they have been homeschooling their kids since they were born. One of the most important gifts they gave their kids, was to make math part of life and fun.

Alesia’s love of math started in her childhood. Also, she always wanted to be a teacher. As a high schooler she volunteered helping teach kids with special needs. Even when she thought briefly in college about being an engineer, her engineering professor suggested that she become a teacher- that her gifting for teaching was evident!

Alesia became a high school math teacher: from special needs through gifted. She helping teens enjoy getting from where they were to where they needed to be in their math skills.

After starting to homeschool their own children, Matthew and Alesia started Unlock Math to teach math in the ways that actually help teens learn and like math. They believe in a step-by-step, understandable way. They concentrate on helping teens truly know that they CAN do math.

Unlock Math really got started when Matthew and Alesia were a young married couple. Matthew would sometimes drop by her classes and was astonished at how engaged and excited her students were in Alesia’s math classes. He said, “I wish we could bottle your teaching and share with others.” And then came the opportunity to start a website!

What is special about Unlock Math?

Now, homeschool high schoolers can learn math in Unlock Math’s multi-sensory platform with virtual manipulatives and lots with of confidence-building practice and support. They learn in bite-sized chunks in a not-overwhelming process that helps them feel empowered to keep working and learning. They also make sure that they provide detailed solutions to questions so that teens can truly learn from their math lessons.

Not only that, but Matthew and Alesia make themselves available for personal online chat, emails or phone calls if a student gets stuck with a concept!

Unlock Math covers:

  • Math Foundations
  • Pre-Algebra
  • Algebra
  • Algebra II
  • Geometry
  • Pre-Calculus

They have found that as teens feel more confidence in their high-school level maths, they are less stressed (and more positive) in other areas.

Would your teens like to try Unlock Math? Click here for a free fourteen-day trial!

BTW- We have also interviewed Mr D Math and David Irving with College Ready Math. And don’t forget that one important math for all homeschool high schoolers is Financial Literacy- and, shameless plug, teens love learning true life-preparation, financial math skills in our interactive course.

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Help Struggling Learners Prepare for College Math, Interview with David Irving

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Help Struggling Learners Prepare for College Math, Interview with David Irving.

Help Struggling Learners Prepare for College Math, Interview with David Irving

Help Struggling Learners Prepare for College Math, Interview with David Irving

If you are like Vicki, high school math is not your favorite subject. Whether we like it or not, Algebra 1 and 2 and Geometry (at the least) are necessary for most homeschool high schoolers graduation requirements. Sometimes our teens do not like math OR are struggling learners so preparing for college math can be intimidating.

This week, Vicki is joined by David Irving of College Ready Math, who brings us some GOOD news: If your homeschool high schoolers can really get the concepts of Algebra down, they will have less trouble with the other courses. AND he has ideas on how to help struggling learners succeed.

So take a deep breath! There’s hope.

David Irving is the writer and publisher of the Parent’s Guide to Better Grades. David created this guide for parents of students in Title 1 schools in Chicago when he was single parenting a teen with ADHD. His son was struggling, so David began tutoring his son. He came up with some things that worked for his son, then later he and his new wife turned it into a guide which the schools snapped up and found success with.

David then brought the guides to schools in Detroit, Baltimore, Washington DC and New York City and trained tutors in the methods that worked. The tutors went into the schools, especially those who had lots of struggling students. Then his program spread to religious and independent private schools.

David Irving of College Ready Math

David Irving of College Ready Math. Photo used with permission.

David then started on online company, College Ready Math, to prepare struggling math students to be successful for the mathematics they will face in high school and college. (David has heard from college advisors that sometimes the high school math that students learn do not prepare them well for college-level mathematics courses. They sometimes need to take some remedial math courses at the local community college to catch up. David wants to save some money and time by helping homeschool high schoolers be ready for those college math courses.

David says to concentrate on Algebra. Make sure all the gaps in learning are closed (make sure there is sufficient knowledge of all the Algebra concepts). That is what David’s College Ready math program is about: filling Algebra gaps.

If you homeschool high schooler is a struggling math learner, think about spending extra time on Algebra concepts.

In David’s online program (which is a supplement to the teen’s math text), student’s start with a pretest to determine what concepts need attention. (Or students can start at the beginning for a solid review.)

Here are things that teens need to be ready for college-level math:

  • Learn one concept per lesson.
  • Lessons should be short.
  • Work on mastery for each concept.
  • Learn by video and solving problems together.
  • Practice with repetition as often as necessary.
  • Include test prep for the placement test many teens must take in order to know which maths in college they need (Accuplacer).

David reminds us: If a teen needs to take remedial math courses in college, they do not get college credit for those courses. They do not get credit but they must pay for the courses. So why not make sure the math concepts are solid enough that they can do well on the college placement test.

For more on what colleges are looking for check out this interview with Murray State University’s Associate Provost, Dr. Renae Duncan and our tips at 7SistersHomeschool.

Here’s a thing to note: David’s College Ready Math program is mobile phone friendly. He has found that students who do not have internet bandwidth can still easily access the lessons on their phones.

Contact David Irving and College Ready Math and join Vicki and David for some encouragement for helping struggling learners prepare for college math.

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Help Struggling Learners Prepare for College Math, Interview with David Irving

 

 

 

How to Engage Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Teresa Wiedrick

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Engage Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Teresa Wiedrick.

How to Engage Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Teresa Wiedrick

How to Engage Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Teresa Wiedrick

One of the best gifts we can give our homeschool high schoolers is the gift of engagement in their educations. If teens feel interested or connected to their studies, true learning can take place. Vicki is joined this week to discuss ideas on how to engage our homeschool high schoolers with our new friend, Teresa Wiedrick, of Capturing the Charmed Life website and Homeschool Mama Self-care Podcast.

Teresa Wiedrick is a homeschool mom of four. She and her family live in Vancouver, Canada in a lovely wooded countryside. However, they have not been a stay-at-home all the time. With her adventurous physician husband, they have been around the world as far as small villages in the Arctic Circle and the Rift Valley in Africa.

She original found that she wanted to try homeschooling when she picked up the book, The Homeschooling Option by Lisa Rivera. Actually, she wanted to prove to herself that homeschooling was not a good idea- but actually found that it would be the best choice for her adventurous family. Homeschooling gave her high schoolers freedom, which led to curiosity and engaged students.

How do you engage your homeschool high schoolers in education?

Recognize your teens’ vision for their lives. Some teens are born knowing what they want to do with their lives. Those are the easy ones. They are automatically engaged in whatever they learn (as long as they can see how it applies to their vision.

Many teens do not know their vision for their lives yet. Start with helping your teens:

Teens engage better when they have  spent time  investing in their interests. -Teresa Wiedrick

Often their interests change over the high school years. That’s okay- even normal, so do not worry!

For instance, one of Teresa’s daughters wanted to go to medical but somehow shifted her interests to ballet. She is now in professional ballet training). During high school, Teresa helped her daughter explore her medical school interests (easily done by reading her father’s medical books and with whatever activities she could find that were interesting). She also took ballet lessons. Through high school she began to love ballet more and more and could only imaging herself at ballet school.

Help your teens find some independence

Watch out for the tendency to be a heavy equipment mom. (Don’t know what that is? Check out this Homeschool Highschool Podcast Episode.) Watch your teens push or yearn for some independence or develop unique personalities. Allow them to become who they need to be.

Do your own self-care so you can stay healthy and clear thinking

Teresa’s oldest who pushed the hardest for independence is well loved. However, she also is the type child who will exhauster her mom with all the pushing. Teresa found that she was so busy trying to make things work for her oldest that she had no time for self-care.

Teresa realized that she could not go on like that. She needed to have a set of self-care routines that kept her clear-headed. She wrote a book to help other homeschooling moms find time for self-care- each in their own unique way (after all, there’s not ONE right way to do self-care!)

Also, spend time introspecting (What am I feeling? What am I feeling that way? What am I going to do about it?). Spend time relearning your personality (Vicki and Teresa are big fans of the Enneagram. Check out the fun book The Road Back to You by Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile– a favorite with millennials, btw.

If you are not healthy and taking care of yourself, you cannot feel fully engaged. Teens catch at LOT by your role modeling!

You cannot make your teens’ lives perfect or make them into your image, but when you understand yourself and stay healthy you can let them become themselves. A teen who is allowed to be themselves have a lower bar to entry in engagement!

Join Vicki and Teresa for a pleasant discussion on homeschool moms, high schoolers and how to engage those high schoolers.

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  3. This will take you to iTunes and our own podcast page.
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  5. Click RATINGS AND REVIEW. (Please take a minute and do this. It helps others find us. Thanks!)
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How to Engage Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Teresa Wiedrick