Homeschooling With The Math Translator
During my 20+ years as a math educator, I have had the opportunity to teach at grade levels from middle school to college, with the community college level being my primary focus. I work almost exclusively with courses designed for non-math majors and my expertise is in teaching students who arrive at college underprepared for math at the college level. I am confident that my courses can prepare your child to enter college with their math placement scores at the college level.
Why should I homeschool with The Math Translator?
The most common platforms for online instruction these days are Learning Management Systems (LMS). A LMS is a software program that provides online homework and walks students through homework problems if they struggle with a problem. These platforms are good in theory, but from my years of teaching in the online format I have learned that LMS programs don't actually translate into success for the student. I have found two main issues with the LMS programs that decrease their efficacy.
The first problem is that LMS programs generally do not provide comprehensive instruction. If they provide videos, they are generally short "snippet" videos. Snippet videos do not provide enough background for a student to fully comprehend the concepts. There is a reason that class periods are an hour long! The second issue I have found with LMS programs is that the act of doing homework on a computer is fundamentally different than doing homework on paper. There is something about writing on paper that is crucial for the process of learning mathematics.
Homeschooling in Math
The Math Translator provides a high-quality alternative to LMS programs
A few years ago I removed all of my online classes from LMS programs and instead recreated the face to face environment in the online setting and my success rates soared! The traditional method of learning mathematics really is the best format for learning this subject. That format involves comprehensive instruction from a qualified instructor, the student actively participating in the instruction by taking notes, the student applying what they learn by doing homework by hand with a pencil and paper out of a book and not on a computer program, and then assessments that test what the student has learned. The Math Translator courses are structured to provide all of these elements in a straight forward and user friendly model that provides a much needed alternative to the LMS programs currently available on the market.
How can I use The Math Translator courses to homeschool my child in math?
The Math Translator courses are best used as a direct replacement for the instruction received at a brick and mortar school. Enrollment can happen at anytime and proceed at any pace that is comfortable for the student. Take a few moments to listen to Melissa speak about how The Math Translator courses work.
Students watch the video lessons and take notes as they would if they were in class in person.
Students do the suggested homework exercises listed on each lesson page. The homework is done out of the free online OpenStax™ math textbooks. Students can check their answers on the homework problems in the answer key of the OpenStax book and if they have questions they can reference the homework support videos posted on each lesson page.
At the end of each chapter, students study for the test by doing the assigned review exercises out of the OpenStax book. They may check their answers in the answer key of the book.
When students are ready, they do the assigned exercises on the Practice Test provided in the OpenStax textbook. Students, or parents, can then grade the test using the "Practice Test Answer Keys" posted on the courses homepage.
If you wish to have a more detailed look at how The Math Translator courses work beyond what is contained in the "How It Works" video above, please feel free to watch the full orientation video below.
How do I know which course to place my child in?
Proper placement is important for your student's success in these courses. Typically students will progress through math in this order: Prealgebra > Elementary Algebra (Algebra I) > Intermediate Algebra (Algebra II) > One of these courses: College Algebra, Algebra and Trigonometry, or Precalculus (please see the flow diagram below for more information on this). The two areas of entry into The Math Transaltor courses where there is typically some uncertainty as to which course to take is at the juncture between Prealgebra and Elementary Algebra, and Intermediate Algebra and one of the college level courses. Please use the following placement exams to decide placement in those courses. If you are still uncertain as to where to place your child, feel free to contact me for assistance in the process.
For more detailed information on each course, please see the Courses page.
Placement Test - Level I
Use this placement test to decide between the Prealgebra and Elementary Algebra courses.
Please download the test and follow the directions.
Placement Test - Level II
Use this placement test to decide between the Elementary Algebra and Intermediate Algebra courses.
Placement Test - Level III
Use this placement test to decide between Intermediate Algebra and one of the following courses: College Algebra, Algebra and Trigonometry, or Precalculus.
Placement Test - Level III.pdf
What sequence of classes should my child follow?
Below is a flow diagram that depicts the best order in which to complete The Math Translator courses. For more detailed information on each course, please see the Courses page.
Next choose one of the following courses based on student interest in mathematics and intended major in college
For students not intending to major in math or science in college
For students that are uncertain if they will major in math or science in college
For students that are certain they will major in math or science in college