Challenges of Homeschooling High School: Math

This is a part of the series I am doing on overcoming challenges in homeschooling high school.  
The purpose behind these posts is to assure people that even if they do not feel confident in homeschooling some subjects in the formative high school years, there are still options other than enrolling them in a brick and mortar school.  Of course, you can always enroll your kids part time in the local public school or you could enroll in a charter school to get extra help.  And if you can afford it, you can enroll your homeschooler in an online program.  We, cannot afford it however, so I have had to come up with other options!  And here are some of the things I have discovered.

Sorry.  I got nothing for you.  Good luck with math.


Just kidding!  Honestly, though it can feel like math is the hardest thing to overcome for us.  I used to hate math and it wasn't until years of teaching it in the formative years that I began to see math as a puzzle.  A bit of adventure to solve.

The upper grades in math can be hard to teach if you are not very mathematical, however.  And even though I enjoy math more than I used to, I would hardly call myself qualified to teach high school mathematics.  

There are lots of programs out there and some are better than others.  It is a matter of finding what works for your student and you.  We use Saxon.  We have found that it is by far the best program and has far more resources to help you.  We have tried other programs and have always fallen behind.  Saxon is straightforward math and when we stick to it we always far exceed expectations.

One of the things that has really helped us in getting through the high school years is Khan Academy.  It is an extensive collection of videos teaching mathematical concepts.  I have heard of homeschoolers using this program solely for their students math and we did try this last year.  I think that it would only really work with someone who is very motivated and would be willing to really dedicate time to it everyday.  Since there aren't really chapters it isn't like you can easily track progress.  I created a teacher account and I can see what my students do.  But I found it hard to really track how well they were doing or how to really grade the progress.  So, if you use Khan Academy as your high school math program you and, more importantly, your student will need to be very motivated and organized.

If you do a more traditional approach to math, you can use Khan to help further explain difficult concepts.  Just search for the topic and voila!  Watch the video.  This has helped a lot over the years.

If you use Saxon, like us, I recommend the Art Reed series.  He gives the lesson for each section in the books.  There are also the DIVE cd's, but the Reed discs are cheaper and I find more thorough.  The Art Reed discs start at Saxon 8/7 and up.  You can find them on Rainbow Resource.

One more resource I want to share with you is really aimed for younger grades (K-8th) but can also be used for high schoolers for basic drills.  Sometimes we all need a little refresher for our math facts and AAA Math is a great place for this!  Just click on what you need practice on and there are little online facts drill that you can do. It will keep track of how many you got right (and wrong), so you can try and get better everyday.

Do you have any other resources you would like to share?  Please leave them in the comments!

I have received no compensations for the recommendations made in this post.  
They are solely my opinions.

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