|Math Classes and Tutoring|
"I never, in a million years, would have expected [my child] to learn what he did this year in Math! He loved being one of the Math 5 Kids!! The size of the class was so conducive to the pace and the material that was taught. The syllabus was very well organized. I loved the explanations and notes to parents. The ability to use our judgment for what parts and how much work on various weeks was a nice approach. Pauline really challenged the kids and I think [my child] met it in style. Pauline convinced [my child] that he has Math talent and now, he has confidence with the subject!" --Parent of a Math 5 student.
Contact me if you are interested.
Besides Algebra I, I am interested in offering additional classes, if there are enough students to make it viable.
In addition to group classes, I teach individual students. The advantage is that the student can progress at their own pace, taking into account comprehension of the material, family activities, illness, and so on.
I enjoy teaching motivated unschooled students who have limited experience with formal math. Instruction can be tailored to the students goals and interests, and can include either formal/traditional work, conceptual activities, or a combination of both.
In addition to classes, I offer tutoring to students who are studying math elsewhere. Tutoring can be on-going, or just one or two sessions to get past a difficult point.
References are available by request.
"This past 2009-2010 school year my 11-year old daughter participated in Pauline Harding's 6th/7th-grade math class in Brookhaven. We consider ourselves extraordinarily lucky to have found Pauline. [My daughter] came from a school where math skills were not emphasized and Pauline helped to transform her into a superior math student who *enjoys* doing math and feels completely confident in her abilities. I simply cannot recommend Pauline highly enough as a math teacher and mentor. I only wish I she had been there when I was in 6th Grade a half-century ago! :-)" --Parent of a Math 6/7 student
2011-2012 Homeschool Honors Algebra Class (8th/9th grade)
Algebra - The goal of this class is to give the students a solid foundation in algebra. After reviewing basic work with variables and solving linear equations, we will work with linear equations and inequalities, and systems of linear equations. We will work with exponential functions, as well as quadratic equations, functions, and inequalities, including the quadratic formula. We will learn to factor polynomials, and use this in solving equations. If time allows, we will work with rational equations and functions, and touch on trigonometric ratios. I consider this an "honors" class, suitable for students who have a good pre-algebra foundation, pick up math concepts fairly quickly, and are willing to do the homework consistantly.
Prerequisites - At a minimum, students should have worked through a pre-algebra program, preferably one that includes good conceptual understanding as well as the expected computational experience. As a reference point, some of the students will have worked through McDougal Littell's Pre-Algebra textbook. Students should have some experience with solving multi-step equations and inequalities. They should know the basics of how to substitute known values for variables in a formula, and to "plug and chug" to solve for the unknown. They should have had an introduction to plotting linear equations and finding the slope and equation of a line. They should have had an introduction to working with polynomials. We will review these things, build on them, and cover additional topics. I would be happy to talk to you about your student's prior experience, to see if this course is a good fit.
Focus: We will build upon good math habits (like showing your work), exercise our computational skills (no calculators!), and work on problem-solving strategies. We will emphasize understanding how you would really use these techniques in real-life situations. This class provide structure, deadlines, and standards, as well as regular contact with "math peers". Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning.
Atmosphere: Although we take the subject seriously, the classroom is fairly casual and low-key, and all but the shyest students should be comfortable. Because class size is small, there is a lot of back-and-forth dialog between the teacher and the students, and students are encouraged to ask questions. We have fun in class! I sometimes use internet activities to mix it up a bit, and sometimes we do physical activities to explain or remember various concepts. The class is taught from secular texts; because we stick to the subject, students from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds are unlikely to encounter anything objectionable. If it is important to you that your child's teacher hold particular religious beliefs, please feel free to discuss that with me in advance.
Schedule: The class will meet 2 days a week, Mondays and Thursdays, most likely from 10am-11:15am, at either my home in Brookhaven or a nearby location. We will meet from early September to late May. Now and again I may have to cancel or re-schedule class because of the needs of my family or other events - I will keep this to a minimum. We will take a break for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, and a spring break. The first class will be Thursday, September 15, 2011.
Homework: The material will be taught in class, and the students will have homework to practice what has been taught. Students will have homework assignments for Monday-Friday, including the days we have class. Students are expected to correct their own homework using the textbook answer key, and come to class prepared with questions about any difficulty they may have experienced with the homework exercises. Parents may, if desired, alter the homework assignments based on their assessment of the child's needs and their family's schedule.
Quizzes, Tests, and Grades: We use tests and quizzes as a learning tool, to help both teacher and student assess the student's comprehension and skill level. The goal is for each student to identify and work on their own personal areas in need of improvement. Tests and some quizzes will be taken at home, then handed in and graded by the teacher. Quarterly grades and/or a written assessment can be given if parents desire.
Textbook and Materials: I will provide the textbook, on loan. We will be using McDougal Littell's Algebra I, Equations, Applications, and Graphs. Several local public and private schools use this text (and others in the series) for their honors math classes. Though they are not widely used by homeschoolers, I have found this series has a good combination of new material and ongoing review, with very understandable examples. In addition, I have a lot of support materials designed to go along with these texts, which helps me tailor the work to suit the needs of the students, and vary it to keep things interesting. My students have been pleased with these texts; they especially like the review and summary at the end of every chapter.
Students will need to provide a folder (to keep handouts) and a graph-paper math notebook (for homework and notes). Graph paper notebooks are usually available at Staples at back-to-school time for $2-$3; you might want to get two because you will probably use up the first one.
Students should bring their notebook, folder, textbook, and 2 sharpened pencils to class each time.
Fees: Because my daughter will be in this class I am offering it at less than my usual fee. The cost is $5 per class, 2 classes per week. Fees can be paid weekly, monthly, or quarterly. I am very open to the possibility of barter arrangements, please discuss this with me if you are interested.
About The Teacher: I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech, including many classes in advanced math and computer science, and I have done some graduate work in Software Engineering at Widener University. I have taught both formal and informal homeschool math classes for the past eight years, including 5th grade, 6th grade, 7th grade, Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, and Geometry. I have done one-on-one tutoring for a number of students in subjects ranging from 5th grade or so through Calculus, on an on-going or as-needed basis. I have worked with several older unschoolers who had not previously done formal math work; I particularly enjoy working with these students. As a homeschool mom, I also do a significant amount of informal teaching of science, crafts, and other subjects to kids in homeschool co-ops. Most importantly, I love math!
Students from my previous 8th grade Algebra classes have tested out of Algebra for 9th grade at private high schools like Archmere and Salesianum.