Maths and Sciences

My last name is not Newton or Euler. You won’t find my name on these lists of the top 10 scientists or  top 10 mathematicians. (Listverse looks like a pretty cool place!) I’m pretty good with basic math but when the topic turns to Algebra, I freeze. I’d like to blame it all on my 9th grade Algebra I teacher, but I honestly think she would’ve helped me figure it all out had I realized I could talk to her after class. Alas! I did not. And I fought my way through each successive math class and each science class that required anything that even remotely resembled a math equation during my time in high school.

I’m extremely thankful for all the people who have worked hard to provide online resources for those students who study at home and those students who take learning seriously and wish to excel at a subject. There are so many helpful apps, podcasts, videos on YouTube, and websites. Many of them cost, but some of them are completely free. Those are the people who get kudos from me. Without those free resources, I’d have to hire a tutor.

Here are some of our favorite resources for math and science help:

  • Mathisfun.com – great for worksheets, practice and math games on several grade levels *I looked for anything that had a fee but found none!
  • Yay Math – videos, classes, an app for Apple phones and tablets, 1-1 chat, this site offers so much for the high school math student! They also offer a course in geometry that is extremely affordable. *Mostly free*
  • Khan Academy – well known organization, YouTube videos, tons of subjects to choose from! All grade levels can access math help and they cover high school topics of all kinds. Be aware that many of the videos are somewhat dry, though I’ve heard several Geek Awesome references and examples to explain some concepts. *Free*
  • EnchantedLearning.com – worksheets on almost any topic you can think of, many of which are free; yearly membership is pretty affordable; the worksheets don’t usually take much ink. These are great for reinforcing a topic of study. *Many free items
  • CK-12 – follows common core, used by some public schools, downloadable pdf textbooks/teacher guides/answer guides/test and quiz packets, many topics covered *FREE* We are using the CK-12 textbooks for biology, life science, and health this year. We used the chemistry text 4 years ago and the site and books have really improved since then. The textbooks include links to videos, articles and topics for further investigation. What I like about using the CK-12 site is the ability to create a group for our homeschool. We can converse online. Since I work part-time,
  • CrashCourse – kid approved, quick videos that cover important pieces of topics, lots of topics! *Free
  • Life of Fred – small books, teaches math through literature, stories are engaging, exercises are excellent for busy/active students (in my opinion), affordable prices for the books, can be purchased as a set of books or singly. We first tried this curriculum last year. I truly believe it’s the right curriculum for us. It’s a bit harder for our youngest who is not a strong reader. I find reading the text to her works best and we can discuss it as we read if she has questions.  Available for all grade levels, even some college!

Don’t just take my word for any of these, though. I think every parent should preview any source before allowing their kids/students to use that source. It seems like common sense to me but I think a disclaimer is necessary here. We are a Christian family and many of the resources we use are from a secular standpoint. I feel that is necessary to give my children a well-rounded view of the ideas that are out there. I also feel that I’m not doing my job completely if I just teach them from one viewpoint and then toss them out into the world to discover there are tons more world-views. I suppose I’m a bit of an oddity…at least in my experience with many of the people I’ve met.

I hope these resources are helpful. We’ve enjoyed using them and I would love to spread the joy.

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One of the more detailed mandalas I worked on last year. Geometry probably played a part in this. I just know the tools came in handy! 🙂 – photo by Melody Kittles with help from Pixlr app

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