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wanting to hear from those of you who teach high school math classes for hsers

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I've been thinking about teaching high school math classes for homeschoolers in my home. I'd probably start with just algebra using Jacobs Algebra. If that went well, I'd probably add one level each year (so that I'd get to teach it to one of my own kids at least once before offering it as a class).


Have any of you done this before?


Any dire warnings or helpful hints?

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I taught algebra at our co-op one year using Jacobs. I had 7 or 8 students to start with. Four or five finished the year and, really, only two (that I remember) actually completed the course with an "A" or "B". I found it frustrating to teach only once a week because what would happen is that the kids would come to class on Wednesday, we would go over several lessons, they would not sit down to do their homework until the weekend or even the next Monday and by then they couldn't remember what we had gone over so they wouldn't complete the homework. For the most part the parents put them in the class because they didn't want to teach math or didn't feel capable of teaching math so they were not able to help. Like I said, I found it frustrating. I didn't teach math at co-op again for a few years after that. I taught Saxon 87 at our local public school charter a couple years ago and that was just as bad--again once a week. It really takes parent involvement to make sure the kids stay on top of their work because if they get behind it is very hard to catch up. As a teacher you have to keep the class moving along in order to finish the text in a year so there is pressure to keep going even if some kids aren't keeping up.


I hope this isn't too discouraging. It can be done! I'm just telling you my experience so you know what to watch out for. :-)

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I should have said that my plan was to make it a 2 day/week class, like M/W or Tu/Th. I figured if the class was 1.5-2 hours 2 days/week, that it would be similar to the way that college classes were set up. I can't see how 1 day/week would work at all for math.


I've also considered 1 day/week high school lab classes. I can see that working, because it would only the lab component.


I wanted to start with math though, because I wouldn't have supplies or equipment to order, just my own copy of the text we'd use. And I'd already own that because I wouldn't want to teach a group class with a book that I hadn't worked all the way through with one of my kids yet.


There is a guy in the area who teaches 1 day/week math classes using Saxon. I don't know how the kids could manage to absorb a whole week worth of lessons in one sitting, but he's been doing it for years.



I don't like Saxon and nobody offers high school math classes for hsers using anything other than Saxon, so I think that I could manage to get some students. I would be teaching from my home, so if it didn't work out, I wouldn't have any facility rental fees that I'd be stuck with.


I'd want smaller classes (especially at first) than he has. I don't think I'd want more than 5 or 6 in a class. I also figured I'd charge the same rate that he does, even though I'd have twice as much instructional time as he would. I'd also have just one location - my own home.

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That sounds very doable. One hour a week just wasn't enough, but 1 1/2-2 hours, twice a week should work great. My ds took a 1 1/2 hour lab once a week for biology last year. It worked very well because he did all the book work at home and just went to class for the lab. I would love to teach some math classes like you are doing but we are in a rural area and people just don't want to travel to class more than once a week. Also I don't feel I could devote that much time until my kids are gone.


I am not a Saxon fan either. When I taught that it was not my choice.:tongue_smilie: I had one child use Jacobs and one use Foerster for Algebra I and they were both good. We are using Jacobs Geom now and I like it as well. Good luck!


Michele T. in WA, aka

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I'm planning to wait until fall of next year to start this and I want to start with just one class at one level. So I'd be teaching algebra with a text that I'm already very familiar with from finishing it with my two older girls and I'd only be teaching class for 1.5-2 hours, 2x/week. That shouldn't be too bad. My lesson prep should be very easy.


At that point my youngest should be a 6th grader and I'm hoping that she'll be able to be a lot more independent than she is now. My other girls should be 9th and 11th graders.


I'd like to add one more level of classes each year that I teach.

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I taught high school Spanish for two years. The first year I had an hour at a once-a-week co-op. I taught a lot on paper, via email, via phone conferences, etc. By spring we were scheduling once a month on Sat mornings, but it was difficult for the kids and families. The next year I put my foot down, and told the co-op admin that I wanted to bring the kids in on Tuesdays at the same time as band met. I did not increase the price, as my kids were all continuing from the first year. So we went to T/Th for an hour each time. As soon as the math teachers heard that mine was to be a two-day/week class, they opted for the same thing. It made all the difference in the world to the success of both classes.



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Something I appreciated from some of my son's upper level course teachers was a daily assignment schedule. I know you could expect the student to be able to figure out on his own how to divide up the homework over the week, but it provided a bit more direction for my student and a "check" for me as I followed up on his co-op homework. It helped my student to understand how to structure his time for the week. We expect our little ones to learn from behavior they can model, right (like copywork)? A week's worth of homework broken down into four to five daily assignments helps our teens learn to pace their work.


If I am paying for a class, this is the kind of little "extra" that endears me to a teacher : )


Good luck, if you decide to go for it!

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