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How Will I Teach Algebra? Homeschooling with Learning Differences

Please know, although I received this product for free and was compensated for my time, these opinions are 100% my own. Thank you so much for your continued support of my family. 

How will I teach my child higher level math?”

It’s something that comes up with my homeschool mom friends all the time.

Or “What happens when we get to high school math?

And “I barely made it through geometry myself – much less feel comfortable teaching it.”

We have been dreading it for years.

Add to this the fact that my 13-year old son has learning differences that make some subjects extremely challenging (read algebra), and you have me firmly in denial, wishing that we could go back to using math manipulatives and practicing the times tables.

How Will I Teach Algebra-

How Will I Teach Algebra?

My son is not alone in this. Temple Grandin often shares her struggles with higher level math classes. In fact, algebra was a requirement that nearly kept her from moving on to higher level education.

I know my son is at the age to move into more complex math. I know that he aspires to attend college on some level, and that it will require high school math courses.

So this year, we are taking the plunge, thanks in no small part to Mr. D Math.

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Mr. D is actually Dennis DiNoia, a former high school math teacher. 10 years ago, Mr. D left the public school system to develop an online curriculum for all levels of high-school math, from pre-algebra to pre-calculus.

What is interesting about his approach, is that he teaches students to understand math as a language – and language is something my son not only understands, but excels in.

He is down to earth, and teaches problem solving skills in a way that are not just specific to the math course, but also translate to everyday life.

Although there is a self-paced online class, I signed my son up for the Pre-Alebra online virtual class session on Tuesdays. I wanted him to get used to the idea of having a time commitment, as well as observe how he interacted with Mr.D, and the other kids in the online classroom.

He began classes this summer, as part of a trial run. This video is a sample of what we have had access to with this program.

What I Loved About Mr. D Math

Mr. D

The classes themselves were very well done. Mr. D is engaging and funny. The kids LOVE him. (Incidentally, I got a chance to meet him in person in June, and I have to say I can see why. He is warm, friendly and funny, with a dedication to teaching that is palpable.)

My son thinks he is “cool” which is high praise around here. It also means he is willing to listen to him in ways that would never be possible with his “not-so-cool” momma.

The Support

My son began to fall behind relatively quickly – again, algebra and a child on the autism spectrum can be a tough match. Not only was Mr. D available for help and questions anytime throughout the week, he also made suggestions on how we could slow down the curriculum a bit. This has allowed my son to progress at his own pace, and actually make progress with the concepts.

Flexibility For Learning Differences

In addition to being on the spectrum, my son also has generalized anxiety disorder. At one point, I felt like the required quizzes were causing more stress than either one of us really needed. Again, I reached out to Mr. D and he agreed that we should only complete them when necessary, with me instead verbally checking in with my son to confirm his understanding of the material.

How Will I Teach Algebra- (1)

Mr. D Math has options for all higher level learners. His classes include:

Pre-Algebra

Algebra

Geomerty

Algebra II

Pre-Calculus

SAT/ACT Math Bootcamps

With Mr.D math, our kids can interact with a teacher (that is not us – WIN) and other students. They can begin to establish study skills that mimic those needed in a college setting. They have access to technology that makes sense to them.

I love sharing this option with you,because it solves so many problems that we face in homeschooling our older children – especially those with learning differences.

 

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