Mathematics

Mathematics

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There are three main reasons to learn Mathematics:

1) Problem Solving

Mathematics is really just a form of philosophy; given some basic definitions and ideas, students must learn how to apply rules, manipulate data, and perceive relationships between concepts.  All of these things are part of the greater art of problem solving, necessary for virtually every discipline.  Therefore, by studying mathematics carefully, students learn how to study and perceive nearly everything else in life.

2) Academic Performance

Mathematics is, of course, a core class in every school in the nation.  While academic performance is not the ultimate meaning of life, it is surely an important part of students’ preparation for their futures.  Even beyond grades themselves, an advanced knowledge of mathematics allows students to test out of college classes, saving them a significant amount of time and money.

3) Daily Life

Mathematics is a core subject for a reason – it is essential for everyday life.  Simple arithmetic, of course, is used in paying bills, grocery shopping, and so on.  But even the more advanced topics have their place in life.  For instance, I once greatly increased the profit of a company I run on the side by using calculus to figure out a specific variable in how we purchase product, which certainly made me appreciate my former studies!

Mathematics is definitional, conceptual, and relational.

The Overall Goal

This is a tricky subject to teach.  It’s easy to simply have students memorize lists of formulas or teach them to work specific kinds of problems.  However, this is neither the heart nor the depth behind mathematics.  I want my students to learn the definitional (which is necessary for discussing ideas), the conceptual (that is, core concepts behind what we learn), and the relational (that is, how definitions and concepts come together to create mathematics itself).

Going Deep

Ultimately, I teach the essentials of what they need and then work with them to figure out remaining concepts on their own.  For example – we don’t just memorize the formula for the area of a circle.  We take a circle, cut it up into pieces, and work with it until the student can create that formula all on their own.  It is an unbelievably more effective approach, and it creates a student who can tackle problems on their own instead of needing answers given at every step.

Having Fun

What I’ve found in teaching mathematics (and every topic, really) is that students enjoy learning to a much greater extent when they feel a sense of discovery.  Memorizing formulas is not discovery, it’s just repetition.  So we go deep and we work hard. We laugh, we make jokes, we make fun of our mistakes.  And, when it’s all over, my students know that they have learned not just mathematics but a character that isn’t afraid of hard work and careful thinking.

Mathematics tends to have a varied curriculum:

1) Your Textbook

Most of the students I work with in math are already involved in a mathematics class and therefore already have an assigned math book – in such cases, we generally use the book they’re already working in.  In such cases I usually purchase the same book for myself so I can better prepare the lessons for that student.

2) A New Textbook

That being said, there are specific cases where students are either working beyond their math class, have a serious issue with the assigned textbook, or would just prefer to use something different.  In those cases, I am prepared to give you some options on the best textbooks available in each subject.

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No Strings Attached

After experiencing the first free lesson, you are under no obligation to continue. Though, of course, I hope you’ll want to do so!

What We Will Accomplish

In the first hour, I usually introduce students to what mathematics is really all about – definitions, concepts, and relationships.  If those are understood, then any individual topic or problem becomes a much more simple matter.  From there, we discuss a basic introduction to the math subject they are working in and get to know the student’s current issues or fears on the subject.

The Bottom Line

I would love to hear from you and see how I can help your student(s) learn.  I can come to your home (especially if you’re near Osceola, WI or Anoka, MN) at a time that works for you and see how we can work together. You can send me a message here: Contact Me.