At some point during high school, all parents hit the wall when it comes to teaching math. For some it is during Algebra, for others it is Geometry or Algebra 2. A friend of mine was having a problem with her daughter taking pre-calculus. After doing well on the first test, she had failed the second. She thought it might be the curriculum and was looking for advice on what to do.
A wise woman once said: “When it doesn’t work, stop using it.” Time to switch, if you ask me. First thing I suggest is going online to The Teaching Company, and getting either a video of Algebra 2 or calculus.
The next thing that I would do is purchase Teaching Textbooks, because it provides another way of explaining things. That same wise woman once said “Invest in your weaknesses” which right now is pre-calculus. The final thing I would do is ask your English speaking engineering friends if they can help. Please, tell me you have some friends that are engineers, right?? Ask them to spend a few moments just on this chapter, while you are waiting for the remaining curriculum to arrive. If that doesn’t work, you can try googling “Math Tutor” and see if you can make a phone call over the internet to an english speaking tutor. Try Collegeboard.org, or “High School Hub” or even Teaching Textbooks (once you order from them.)
No matter what, do NOT panic. Pre-calculus IS hard, and it’s worth the struggle. Once you have done this, you can do anything! This struggle will one day make a marvelous college application essay. And you know, Pre-calculus is already a VERY impressive accomplishment, so pursuing more will be “gravy”!! Keep at it, don’t panic. You can do it! Go team Go!
A little later, my friend developed a plan and I wanted to encourage her to implement it.
Do you remember when the kids were babies, and things would get really hard and miserable? One thing that helped me at THAT stage of life, was realizing that those things only tend to last for a week or two. I was never sure whether it was me adapting to them, or them adapting to me, but after two weeks the thing that freaked me out wasn’t freaking me anymore.
It’s like that will high school, too. In two weeks, this crisis will be over. Somehow, someway, it will have gotten better (not perfect perhaps, but no longer a crisis.) So hang in there! Maybe in two weeks, you will have moved to the next crisis, LOL!
You have some great, concrete, specific steps that you are working on. You have as many resources as anyone here in the states (SOME math help, not perfect math help, is really the norm.) You have a great, step-by-step plan. This is going to be OK. You are doing a great job!
I hear Bill Cosby on Oprah the other day, and he said something I loved. He said that parents are “love-givers” not “care-givers” and that it’s the LOVE that makes a difference. Here your daughter is at home, learning pre-calculus, and you really are invested in whether or not she knows the material because you LOVE her. She isn’t just forced to move on to the next topic, but you’re finding resources to help her understand. That, my friend, is why I never hesitate to give a 4.0 in a homeschool high school class. But really, if she were in ANY other learning environment, she would be moved forward in math whether she understood it or not. YOU are doing a GREAT job, because you love your daughter.
I wish I could help, but I’m a little rusty on pre-calculus!