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.







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?

Creating a Joyful Day

Creating a Joyful Day

Experimenting with medium.
Experimenting with medium.

Every person is different, wouldn’t you agree.  With that, each child’s homeschool experience is different.  In our home, high school has been dedicated to focusing on the way he should go and building upon the areas that need firming up.  And today was a day of creation.

My son’s first project today was experimenting with letter’s in chalk.  I couldn’t tell you when or what inspired him to do this but in one moment he said he was cleaning his brothers old chalk board to discovering artful lettering.

The Floating Shelf
The Floating Shelf

Shortly after putting up the board he decided to finish the design project he began on Sunday.  To be fair this is not his idea but he did have to re-engineer the concept so that he could use what we had on hand.  What you see here is a shelf of video games that truly appears to be floating.

Wood Burning Experiment
Wood Burning Experiment

When we had a conversation about “things to do” this year I had mentioned wood carving.  We inventoried our supplies and I showed him the wood burner we had.  Remembering the wood burner that we had he set out to do another piece of art (so to speak).   He just keeps going.

If your like many of my friends you are probably wondering about his academic courses like History or Science. Those days happen. Just not today.  Today he is working on himself and nurturing his future.  I do believe he managed to squeeze in Algebra though.

Homeschool to College: An A.A. Degree?

Homeschool to College: An A.A. Degree?

Recently I had lunch with a friend.  We started talking about my thoughts on getting an A.A. degree at a junior college to make transferring into a university easier.  Here is her story.

Her daughter attended public school and participated in the program here in Washington called Running Start.  This is where you can earn credit for high school and earn credit for college.

Her daughter was accepted at Concordia University in Irvine, California.  Keep in mind she is a resident of Washington state.  She has her A.A. in hand.  She actually goes down to the university and is getting the tour of her dorm room when it somehow comes up that she will need to take some additional credits because while she does have an A.A. degree not all off those credits are transferable. WHAT!

The daughter ends up attending University of Washington without a problem.  Her A.A. accepted.  Hmmm . . .

In state sounds like a better idea.  But get this, she earns a degree in communications and is now working as a caregiver because she can not find a job.  Wow.

There is a lot to think about today isn’t there.  This young lady is saddled with student loans and is working for a job that pays close to minimum wage.  Which in Washington, our county, is $9.30.

This video is a little different but I liked his point of view and he brings up some good points.  It’s a bit long but his thoughts may resonate with you.


Any other insights?

Homeschool to College: The Preparing Stage

Homeschool to College: The Preparing Stage

In my recent post about transferring credits from junior college to university  it sounded like we had not prepared for these years.  We had and well, life just became a 50 foot wave that we just had to ride.  I didn’t think it would be fair if I didn’t share some of our first steps.  To be honest I didn’t get these ideas on my own. I have a great book written by Cafi Cohen titled  “And What About College”.

When my son was 13 years old we talked about colleges and universities that he was interested in.  At that time he had desired a future in entertainment.  We made a list of those schools and started to look at the requirements.

One school that is of particular interest had this information for freshman admissions:

USC considers applications from home-schooled students. To better understand a student’s preparation, we require two extra items in addition to the general requirements found in the Common App and USC Supplement. Home-schooled students must submit: 1) results from three SAT Subject tests, including one in mathematics; and 2) a dossier outlining the home school program. The dossier should include detailed syllabi of all courses, names of textbooks, names and applicable credentials of instructors, details of any assistance you are receiving or curriculum you are following through any public or private agency, and any additional information that may be helpful.

(Link to above)


This is excellent information to know!  “Keep good records” that’s what that is saying to me.  There are some great resources to help keep your records but a simple notebook with dividers has been  the easiest for me.

We also saw that some of the universities we were looking at  wanted college prep courses such as Speed Reading, SAT prep and any AP classes.   Even if you don’t think your son or daughter is looking at going to college I would at least take look at what is going on out there and defiantly keep records.  You know how it is, one day they don’t want to eat peas and when their grandma makes peas they love them and wonder why you never make them.