Monday, November 17, 2008

I have become a math tutor again

Years ago when I was twelve I got a job tutoring in Algebra. It was fun. The job paid well. It was rewarding to be able to explain the principles.

Recently I’ve become a math tutor again. My oldest daughter is working her way through Algebra I with Saxon math. For most of the last eight years my oldest has been comfortable with math. When she got stuck, Janine could help her. Now as the level of difficulty has climbed this has changed. Janine still gets the concepts, but has trouble explaining in such a way that our oldest gets it.

Math is a really one big logic puzzle. There are a set of rules and problems. When you understand the rules and know how to look at the problems, the problems become much easier.

It has been fun tutoring again. I try to be careful to give enough help that my daughter can get to the solution on her own, but not so much that she arrives at the solution not understanding how she got there. Often I’ll work through a couple problems with my daughter going step by step. When it clicks she’ll whip through the rest really fast.

This morning my second daughter had a math question. She is doing Saxon 7/8. The lesson was on exponential notation. She was a bit confused. We worked through the problems and it clicked for her!

Homeschooling is great. Our daughters are getting an excellent education. But it is wonderful for those moments when you can see the light bulb go off as they master something new. I’m glad I’m there.


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2 comments:

That lady with 6 daughters said...

Very true, participating in that light-bulb moment is very gratifying, and I think it's important that families share those moments. great job. On a side note, math tutors make anywhere from $10-$40 an hour, if it's that much fun, you could put an ad on craigslist and make a few extra bucks.

Henry Cate said...

Thanks for the suggestion. I will explore the idea with my daughters and see if they have any interest in being math tutors.