Not a Math Person? Use This Program

Not a Math Person? Use This Program


I want to share with you what parents have used to teach math. This program has been around for at least 12 years. It is computer based and not dependent on an internet connection. My favorite part, it doesn’t require that I have a math degree. It is Teaching Textbooks.

Have you heard of it? When I first was introduced to Teaching Textbooks it was at a small homeschool convention in Juneau, Alaska. I fell in love with the most important part of the program, the animated graphics. No, no that is not the most important part of Teaching Textbooks, I’m kidding but they graphics are engaging. The most important part was the program was not dependent on me, the parent for teaching. This doesn’t mean the parent does not participate, it means that you don’t have to be proficient in, let’s say, Geometry. The program is the teacher. Here are some of my favorite features:

  • Students can learn completely on their own!
  • There are step-by-step explanations. This part of TT was extremely helpful for my family.
  • It keeps a grade book for your student. (Yay, no grading!)
  • It incorporates real life problems into the program.
  • Again, I love the graphics.

Teaching Textbooks became one of our favorite programs in our homeschool group. There are others that are worth mentioning. such as Right Start Math and Math U See. These two programs work better when you start using them in the early grades.

Math U See uses videos and manipulative’s. This program is great to use within a family because it is easy to use in most homeschool approaches and the manipulative’s can be used again and again.

Right Start Math was wonderful for the short time we used the program. I’m not really sure why we stepped away from this program now. I used Level A which was when one of my sons was young. The games, the music, wow, it touched on all the learning styles in a fun way.

A great place to get detailed reviews is here at BUT overall the homeschool families I surveyed choose Teaching Textbooks.

Overall, Teaching Textbooks worked best especially for this homeschool teacher who is not a Math Person.  You don’t need to have a degree to homeschool with programs like these that are available to us.

FYI ~ Studies show that homeschooled students outperform public school students on standardized tests.

“What was I worried about?”

Are You Qualified To Homeschool?

Are You Qualified To Homeschool?


My kids working on a home school project.

Children that are homeschooled achieve higher test scores by 15 to 30% then their public school friends.  This includes homeschooled children with parents without a formal education and families that come from a variety of income ranges. *  

I think that is great news, right. Even after sharing the statistics with you, I know you are still not sure how you can homeschool your kids.  This thought might be plaguing you:


 “I don’t know enough fill in the blank

to homeschool my kids.”


“Don’t I have to have a degree or be certified to homeschool my kids?”  What would you say if I told you that anyone can homeschool their kids if they choose to? It’s true. Let’s take a look at the most popular statement (the one I have heard most often.)

“I don’t know enough MATH to homeschool my kids.”  Especially when it comes to higher level math such as Geometry, Trigonometry, and Calculus. I can relate to that. As a teenager, I was sick often and missed much of my high school years.  Talk about gaps in your education.  My illness left a big gap in math! Along with unsupportive teachers but that is another story.  How can we teach subjects that we believe we don not have enough knowledge in?


  • Purchase self-teaching curriculum for your homeschool student.  

  • Join a co-op that offers the subject you feel weak in.

  • Have a friend teach the subject.

  • Educate yourself.

  • Take a class at the local public school.


If this seems simple that’s because it is simple.  As homeschoolers today we have publishers beating down our doors with solutions to this very concern.  Another resource is the internet. With careful planning and a little research you will be on your way!

If you are still feeling unsure be watching for my next posts.  I believe I can help you with that.


Share what creative solutions you have come up with when you feel that you are lacking the knowledge.



How To Go To College Without SAT’s

How To Go To College Without SAT’s

” More than 900 four year colleges and universities do not use the SAT or ACT to admit a substantial number of bachelor degree applicants.”

 University of Washington



We home school because we want the best for our children.  Sometimes things upset our plans that we have created for our family and that might mean missing SAT testing.  With the outside world putting emphasis on testing, we succumb to thinking that taking the SAT is a HAVE TO. There are other options.  Let’s take a look.

My oldest son is on his college journey and he did not take the SAT or ACT.  We had to find a solution to what we thought might be an issue.


A majority of community colleges have agreements with the state colleges and universities on transfer students.  It is called a Direct Transfer Agreement. That is how he has planned his courses. He is attending South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, Washington.  It has been a simple process for him.  He filled out an application and I sent them his transcript.  He did take placement tests for Math and English and then he enrolled. He is across the country from us which makes it difficult to assist him on his path. Of course he has to keep his grades up and show University of Washington that he will be an assist to their campus. He is home schooled, of course he will. (smile)


What does this mean? Test-flexible allows prospective students to submit scores from exams other than the ACT or SAT, such as Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate results.  Test-optional  allows the applicant to submit SAT/ACT scores or not.  The school that has adopted this admission policy is looking at merit and accomplishments. Visit Fair Test for a list of colleges and universities that are Test Optional/Flexible.


We have seen these options advertised such as Southern New Hampshire University or Phoenix but we have been investigating Lumerit aka College Plus and so far they appear to be a great option.  They are home school friendly and affordable.  I know of at least one family that the program worked wonderfully for their son.  Since their experience the program has changed and improved.


If you thought you missed your opportunity for your child to take these test, you haven’t! From what I read, your future college graduate can take the SAT up until they are 21 years old. Go to to find testing dates and times for your area.

In summery your home school student has a few options.  They are:





Let me know what your experience has been without the SAT or ACT.  I would love to know.







A Way to Make Friends, Maybe Not

A Way to Make Friends, Maybe Not

“You’ll find boredom where there

is the absence of a good idea.”

Earl Nightingale



I have three sons.  Each one is unique but that is not a surprise.  But my two oldest, just 18  months apart, have close similarities.  My youngest is the child that stands apart from his brothers.


He is the one that has never wanted to go to public school.  He is also an introvert.  Yet I have sent him to take a couple of classes at the middle school.  He chose home economics and science.  After just 10 days he is asking me to please keep him home and here is why:


In both classes he has done what most home schoolers call “busy work”

He wonders if they will ever cook.

He wonders when they will “do” science.

The boy that sits with him is disruptive and distracting.

The science teacher likes to move the kids around but now he is sitting in the back which he doesn’t like.

Recently the kids in science became overly excited, in his opinion, when his new friend was playing with a class turtle.  “Hasn’t anyone touched a turtle?” he wondered.

Oh yes,


The kids take forever to read out loud.  

These things bother him (smile).

He is bored.  I wonder why the teachers teach this way?  We have been a part of a public school program in Olympia, Washington named Olympia Regional Learning Academy where all three of my kids loved the teachers and the classes.  The student’s enjoyed activities as soon as they walked in the class room.  But I really just enrolled him at the middle school to meet people so I wonder if I should bring him home?  


What are your thoughts?  Post below 🙂




Unschooling Math: A Cottage Business

Unschooling Math: A Cottage Business

I have already made it a point to say that I struggle with unschooling. so when my son wanted to sell his baked goods I was excited.  Ah ha, a homeschool opportunity.

Unschooling Math in Progress!

The world of mathematics danced around in my head.  The concepts we could cover, the “I told you so’s” that would be sung.  All the math that could be worked into this fun business.

He assumed we could just bake and go but I told him (mistake number one) we should ask my friend who sells baked goods from her home how she started.  I did ask her (notice the “I”) and she gave great suggestions and tips.  He tried to look up the information for our state but it wasn’t easy to find. Together we found the information and read it.  It read like it was something we couldn’t do as in an everyday business.  But we could test the waters.

Another friend of ours promotes a music festival, Hemlock Groove, where Oliver thought he could sell his baked goods.  When he asked if he could sell cookies the answer was a YES!

Let the math begin!  I asked Oliver if he would make a list of the items we would need to buy.  And let me tell you that my son does not like anyone to help him.  As far as he was concerned this was his project and it would be done his way.  So when “I” suggested we figure out how many cups were in a bag of flour, he jumped ship.  He was the boss not me.

“Can’t we buy what we usually get” he moaned.

I tried to ease him into the math by asking him how much money he was hoping to make.  Then I explained that you don’t want to under charge for your cookies and loose money.  That made sense but he had still lost his joy. We finally sat down and did the math.  It was fun.  I think he enjoyed the times that I made mistakes more then anything. He was back on board.

The two days we were at Hemlock Groove we discovered great music, kind folks and chocolate chips cookies are number one amongst music enthusiasts.  He didn’t reach his goal but he did learn about this market and how to sell to these folks.  He will get it down next time.

While I didn’t get to milk this for all those math opportunities I had hoped for he did see the need for it and learned how to use division and multiplication.  He also opened a savings account for his profits and can you believe it, he doesn’t want to spend his money like he did when his money is held by the Piggy Bank.

I would love to hear what kind of business your kid is into 🙂



An Unschooling Week

An Unschooling Week


I have always been in the practice of asking my boys what there plans are for the day and yielding to the seasons.  Monday was not IMG_20160308_142209any different.  My youngest son, Oliver, had wanted to go to the state park to play on the swings and have a picnic lunch.

The conversation we had while driving was interesting as usual.  Oliver always shares random bits of trivia, not trivia, that’s the wrong word.  Little bits of knowledge that he has discovered wandering YouTube.  You would be surprised what is available but that is for another time.

While he played by the lake he found a plant.  He said it could be an alien pod and then proceeded to try and yank it from ground.    Yes, I stopped him.  We starred at for a minute and thought about what kind of plant it could be.  We still haven’t figured it out.


That same day we bought seeds and soil to plant them in.  He has been watching the seeds sprout and was able to transplant some of the sprouts this week.


The following day Oliver got sick with a cold and slept most of the day.  With his sleep came a story about how the flu virus was defeated.  He believed he had a flu.


He is finally feeling better and obsessed VHS tapes.  All in all last week went well.

What was your unschooling week like?

I Don’t Like Deschooling

I Don’t Like Deschooling

It has been a couple of weeks since we began an unschooling home school life and I don’t like it.  What makes things difficult is my 17 year old wants to have a traditional schooling program but doesn’t want to put in the work.  Not to mention that in the past he has chosen to follow his own interest and now he want’s to squeeze himself into a traditional educational mold.  A mold that he continually resists.

My 11 year old is very happy!  I should be too.  I am focusing on things I have interest in but the part that I don’t like is the curriculum that keeps staring at me.  It gives me these looks of disappointment.  The grammar books has sat in my hands and the urge to tell my son that we should finish the book.  Okay, so I DID mention that to him.  I couldn’t help it.  He said he would and I left it on the kitchen table.  He hasn’t touched it and I am trying to be good about it.

This reminds me when you are trying to stop a bad habit like eating sugar.  You take it out of the house and through it in the trash.  You don’t leave it lying around.  I guess that is what I’ll have to do.  Pack it up and put it away.

How do you handle this?

Breaking the “SCHOOL” Habit

Breaking the “SCHOOL” Habit

This is like breaking a bad habit.  This idea that I have to dictate what the kids are going to do.  And to think that for our entire homeschool career I had already been a Go With the Flow kind of mom. So this should be easy, right?

It is called de-schooling I believe.  A time where you pretend you are on vacation. We did this in this in December.  Just enjoyed the Christmas spirit.  I will keep this in mind while I am busy with stuff and wondering what is going on upstairs.  It is driving me nuts!

Deschooling.  “We are on vacation”


Our First REAL Unschooling Day

Our First REAL Unschooling Day

I have been wanting to jump into unschooling since my discovery of home education.  Now my oldest has moved away to go to college, his brother is preparing himself to leave the nest and my youngest will be the one.  The one who get’s the freedom.  

Today our morning started off like most of our days.  I had the news on and was researching about the Presidential Election.  My little one (11 years old) saw what I was watching and said “I’m voting for Trump.” This lead into us searching for information on the internet about what  Trumps plans were.  We talked about the debates, socialism, things we liked and didn’t like.  My son who is still at home looked up socialism and countries that are.

It wasn’t to long until my youngest announced that it was Chinese New Year and that he wanted to make Chinese Lanterns.  I asked him why the Chinese celebrate New Years today and he proceeded to explained it to me.  He also said he would make a Chinese dragon and we should have Chinese food for dinner. And by the way the dragon is entirely his design idea.

Noah, the oldest, told me that he might take an astronomy class because he really is interested.  He happened to watch an our long lecture on YouTube that made him start thinking about this again.  In the past I  mentioned astronomy classes because he was always talking about what he learned about it.

For being my first day of really letting them lead it went well.  I can’t wait to see how this week goes.  What was your unschooling day like?

P.S.  Noah just helped me with grammar!  AND he was right.

How to Get Back to Your Routine

How to Get Back to Your Routine

It has almost been a month since the holidays have ended yet I am still on Christmas vacation.  I actually had not planned on taking a prolonged time off from home school but that’s just the way it has been.  I am really feeling that we should get back to our routine.

Personally I prefer to take small steps and tackle the most vital first.

  1. Have a written plan of action for the day.  I can’t say enough about writing things down.  This is key for me.
  2. Get the kids up at a reasonable time, not noon.  This has also been hard for me because I have been enjoying the extra quiet time.
  3. Make sure everyone eats breakfast.  That might sound odd except when you have a family that likes to make a meal just as soon as you start anything.
  4. Take your time with subjects.  Instead of jumping into a full day of subjects we linger and take our time.  (I prefer this way of homeschooling)
Waldorf Grade 3 Forms 

For my family it takes a good week to get back into the rhythm of our days.  What are some ways you get back to your routine?