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Questions about our classes?
How do I decide what class my child should register for?
Sometimes home educated students do not keep a traditional school calendar and may not be finished with a course in time to start the next course in August. The best advice in this regard is to consider the student's foundational understanding of mathematics. It is much better to have a student who has completed one less math class in high school with a high level of success than to have a student who has completed more classes but at a much less successful level. And, there is always an option to double up on coursework if the student is willing to make math a main focus for this school year. (See "What if my student is behind in math" below.)
Do these classes cover enough material by meeting only twice a week?
By covering a new section each class period, our syllabus covers almost an entire textbook. Your student will still be working on math every day. On the three days that we do not meet, two should be spent working on homework and the third day will require time to complete the quiz or test for that week. Based on this guidelline, the student will be engaged in their mathematics coursework five times per week.
What if my student can not attend all of the classes?
Classes are recorded and can be viewed on a computer or a smart phone. We have students who have schedule conflicts who are very successful watching one of the classes as a recording each week. Even students who are present in class often watch the recording for assistance with homework problems.
Why do you use these textbooks?
The Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, and Geometry classes use Glencoe textbooks. This publisher was chosen because of the extensive amount of extra practice available to the students. Some practice is in print form, which the teacher will give out as needed, and some of it is online and can be accessed by your student at any time. There will be plenty of opportunity for your child to gain confidence in their mastery of the material. The Algebra II and Pre-Calculus courses use Addison Wesley textbooks by Margaret Lial. These books were chosen because of the excellent word problems and the well-written text and example problems. The Calculus classes use a book written by James Stewart, which includes all of the necessary concepts to prepare for the AP exam. We have compared the scope and sequence of these books to ensure that they fit together and will provide our students with an excellent mathematical foundation for college level classes.
How much are the textbooks and where will I purchase them?
Textbooks can be purchased inexpensively online. We have chosen older editions so that they are not cost prohibitive. We also help our current students to match up with next year's students to sell their books without using a middle-man.
How will the teacher know if the students are mastering the concepts?
During class, students submit answers to the teachers using the chat feature of the classroom. That allows the teacher to know how many students are understanding the material that is being taught. And, because it is a private chat, the students can ask questions without feeling intimidated by not knowing the answers. In addition, each week students will be given an assessment. Quizzes are generally due on Fridays and tests on Sundays. Parents email the teacher with the student assessment attached as a PDF. Quizzes are graded and returned within 24 hours and tests are returned within 3 days so that both the student and the parent know immediately whether the recent material has been mastered.
What about homework?
Teachers assign homework after each class period and students are expected to complete the assignment before the next class. Most of the time, the odd problems are assigned and students are expected to check their own answers and try to correct the problems that they miss. Teachers begin each class by asking the students to send a private chat with the problem numbers that they had difficulty with, and then those problems are worked and explained during class. When even problems are assigned and either an answer key is sent to the parent, or the teacher goes over those answers at the beginning of the next class. So, we do not collect or grade homework. Instead, we use the weekly assessments to monitor the students' mastery of the concept.
Can students take Algebra II before taking Geometry?
Here are the things to consider:
1. If your student has a strong understanding of Algebra I and has the maturity to think abstractly, then we recommend they take Geometry as their next course. Geometry requires both a prior mastery of Algebra I skills and the ability to solve proofs using logical thinking. We will provide you with a Geometry pre-test for any student who has not come through HSML's Algebra I to help you decide whether Geometry is the best fit for them. After Geometry, these students would take Algebra II and then would have the option of either of our Pre-Calculus courses, depending on their intended college major.
2. If your student does not have a strong background in Algebra I, or if they have not mentally begun to think abstractly, it is still possible that they could take Geometry next. However, both student and parent need to be aware that the homework will take extra time to complete and the proofs may be particularly frustrating.
3. If, either because of the results of the pre-test or because of a parent's decision, you would like to register for Algebra II after Algebra I, it will allow the student to continue mastering the concepts of Algebra before changing topics. That would prepare the student for Geometry the following year and then we recommend Pre-Calculus for non-STEM majors as their 4th math credit.
It is worth mentioning that if a student plans to pursue a STEM major in college (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), it is strongly advisable to take Algebra I, Geometry, and then Algebra II so that a student goes straight from Algebra II into Pre-Calculus with Trig.
Questions about whether this is right for your family?
What if my student is behind in math?
If your student has completed Algebra I but you do not feel the concepts have been mastered, it is an option to register for both Algebra I and Geometry. This is a great option for a student who needs to be more solid on the foundational skills of Algebra I but wants to make more progress in mathematics coursework. With this option, there are two tuition payments, but there is only one registration payment per student. If your student has completed Algebra I and have solidly mastered the concepts, it is an option to register for both Geometry and Algebra II. This is a great option for a student who for whatever reason needs to complete multiply math credits in one year. With this option, there are two tuition payments, but there is only one registration payment per student.
How much time is required by the student each week?
Each student is expected to spend time working on math five days each week (two days in class, two days working on the assignment from class, and one day completing the quiz or test of the week.) The amount of time each day will vary based on the student and based on the class level. However, it is reasonable to assume that anywhere between 30 minutes and 1.5 hours will be required to complete each homework assignment.
What is required from the parent?
Each week, the parent will receive the quiz or test in their email and print it for the student. The parent will proctor the quiz or test and then return it to the teacher. Depending on the student, it may be necessary for the parent to help ensure that the student attends class, gives his/her full attention to the teacher during class, and completes homework between classes. (But we'll answer the homework questions!)
What can I expect from the teacher?
High School Math Live teachers adhere to a high standard of professionalism both in the communication of mathematical principles and in the relationships with the students and the parents. We grade and return quizzes and tests very quickly and we include parents on every email that we send to the students. We have a very strong group of teachers and I believe that you will find that they exceed your expectations as we partner with you for your child's mathematical success!