We’ve been rocking through this homeschool thing for a few years here. Like, 9. Or 10. I don’t know how to count kindergarden. Anyway, it’s been a while. Since starting, I’ve seen SO MANY families stop homeschooling. Some are by choice and plan. Others have been overwhelmed by life’s circumstances. Some I know have quit because they were concerned they couldn’t keep up with their kid’s increasing academic needs. Math and science seem to strike the most fear in this category.
There are a ton of products on the market for upper level math. Some are student driven, some computer based, some spiral, some conceptual… For us, we love Saxon. I love that it’s old school, reliable, proven, spiral, and so many kids I know who have used it have gone on to very math and science heavy college majors. Like… medicine and chemical engineer… with no issues. I like that. And I can teach it.
One thing that makes teaching it A BREEZE (really), are the Art Reed dvds. I know – there are a million Saxon teaching dvd programs out there and it’s hard to tell which ones to drop the cash on. Let me say, we LOVE Art Reed and his dvds.
I bought ours at Christian Book:
They do not include the books, TM, etc. Just the dvds.
For each lesson in the text there is a dvd lesson. The best practice would be to have your student read the lesson, then watch the dvd. I will admit (shamefully hanging my head here…) that from Algebra 1/2 through half of Algebra 2 Big has read… oh… 5 lessons. She’s killing math. Mr. Reed is that good.
So, how long are the lessons? Short. Very short. Over 10 minutes we sort of whine about a “long” video. Here’s a sample from Algebra 1/2…
What do the lessons look like? Well, it’s Mr. Reed teaching math. With a white board. And an Albert Einstein cut out, which we love and call “Uncle Al’. And occasionally a MEGA huge calculator cut out. Mr. Reed explains the concept, runs through 2-3 samples, and calls it done. Nothing fancy. No time wasting. I love it. The kids love it.
Other things I love about Mr. Reed:
1. He doesn’t use the lesson’s sample probems. If we need reinforcement, we can (and have) used those. That’s super helpful because I also have the solutions for those… Sweet.
2. He gives great tips in the lessons. Not “cheats” but more “how to think math”. Love that.
3. He’s very funny. Not in a goofy way – more British funny. The kids love his sense of humor.
4. He’ll take your emails iof you have problems. Seriously. That’s amazing.
5. He wrote my DD a letter. She had to write a letter for an English assignement, so she wrote him a letter. It was great. He was so gracious and wrote her back. He’s a rock star in our house.
There you have it. High school math you don’t need to fear. It’s not “easy” but Mr. Reed makes it totally approachable and do-able. He’s great. The DVDs are great. I highly recommend them!