Advanced Algebra {High School Math Update}


In an effort to keep everyone in the high school loop, I thought I’d share an update on what’s happening with E’s work this year. I’ve noticed that bloggers sometimes shy away from showcasing the homeschooled high schooler and I know that it is always encouraging to read about what other homeschool high schools look like. So, here goes:

E14 has been using Life of Fred exclusively for his math instruction for two years now. Before that, we’d done some Fractions and Decimals and Percents, but that was in conjunction with Math on the Level and the Fred Pre-algebra books all with the focus on preparing for algebra.

E14 began Algebra I half way or more through 7th grade using Saxon, but we began Beginning Algebra in 8th grade to see if that would be a better fit. Essentially, he was fatiguing when doing the chapters with 30 problems. It made sense to make the switch to see if we could increase accuracy and endurance by using Fred. We met with big success.

Fred accelerates concepts faster than the traditional algebra counterparts and E was performing with great accuracy very consistently. That’s a win!

So, he started Advanced Algebra last spring in March of 2012 when E was in 8th grade. Heading into February he has about 4 weeks to go until he completes Advanced Algebra and he’ll begin Geometry.

How does a math lesson work for this 9th grade Advanced Algebra student?

He reads each lesson on his own in the Home Companion and references the Fred text as it tells him to. Then he does the problem set. For those of you familiar with Fred, there are more problems at the higher levels. He does between 10-15 or more problems a day. My job is to check in with him and see how he did with the lesson and to check for the dreaded “show your work” format.

Right now he uses his Galaxy Player Real Calc app for a scientific calculator. I recognize that before he takes any college entrance exams, he will need to make friends with a graphing calculator. Mine is a bit old at this point so we’ll probably seek out something newer and more battery friendly than the TI-86 that I have.

What happens if there is a problem? Generally speaking I will help him by going through the problem and helping him to see where his mistake might be. If we can’t beast through it, then we bring Dan in. Usually that clears things right up and we can continue.

One of my favorite things about a family using Fred math is all the story sharing that happens around the table. High school Fred is no exception. E often shares funny stories about what’s happening in his Fred books and the younger kids can share too. We have a whole body of knowledge and story line to match which makes it a lot of fun. None of can wait till E takes Calculus and we find out why Fred is a 5yr teaching math at Kittens University!

Next up is Geometry and I’d better get that order in soon since he’ll be ready to begin in just a month!

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