My sons and I were looking for an online math class to take for high school. I started at “Time4Learning” but their demo doesn’t show me what the high school math looks like and it’s $30 a month per student. My second look was at Great Courses. They have video and texts for high school and I’ve bought their classes before for myself. Algebra 1 was $100, so I’d get it if I really thought they’d both be interested but I’m not even sure this would be the best way for them to learn.

I decided to try searching for online algebra classes and found a FREE one! I’ve watched the first couple videos and they seem to be in a decent order, easy to find and work through. We’re going to try it! It’s called Math Planet. They have Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry and practice tests for the SAT and ACT.

My younger son and I were watching a few of the first videos and he started to wonder about the “order of operations”. How did they come up with that order? Why that way and not another? Is there some reason for it? We searched for that as well and found this awesome article on Math Forum!

Algebra. Why do we have to learn this in high school? Being an unschooler, trying to live our lives without school, I have hard time just telling them they have to take the class because I did when I was in high school. I never really liked math in high school but when I took some electronics classes later in life I had to take Trigonometry and some Calculus. I fell in love with it because it was like playing a puzzle game and I could use a calculator for the numbers part that always stumped me. But I don’t use algebra now really. I don’t really need it other than solving for X. So why take it? Why is it suddenly so important to me? And why is it always something on the list of things you should learn? I’m planning on researching that more as well as taking algebra along with my sons to see if it is clearer to me now than it was back then. Can I see the meaning in it? We’ll see!

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