No, this is not a blog about how much I love geometry or how thankful I am for it. This is a blog about being thankful I NEVER have to discuss parallelograms, supplementary angles, complementary angles or pythagorean theorem ever again.
A year ago, we decided to have our youngest do math online. We based this decision on the fact that it would give her a little more time for information to sink in before going on to the next topic. She was receptive to the idea as math was her toughest subject and she often felt like her questions weren’t answered adequately in class. It sounded like a great idea and we inquired with the school about the process. They recommended a specific program (which shall go unnamed) and helped us to work out her school schedule appropriately.
Last August school began and so did our new adventure in online math. She had a late start every other morning so she could theoretically do math before going to school. What my hubby and I neglected to take into consideration was that the subject was Geometry and neither of us were particularly good at it. Actually, he is good at it, he just didn’t have the time to teach it to her because he has a full-time job. I, on the other hand, had the time but lacked the ability to actually teach geometry to my 9th grader. As soon as we began discussing angles, circles and all those damn letters, AB, CD, EF I started to have symptoms of PTSD from my own high school geometry class. That is when I remembered that I am horrible at math. I don’t know how I forgot. What was I thinking? I was thinking that the online curriculum would be self-explanatory. Not so. Their idea of a curriculum is to show two problems, one video of those exact same problems and then quiz you on material that may or may not have been covered by those two examples. Hmmm. Apparently, in order to complete geometry online you must inherently understand geometry and/or have someone who can actually teach it to you.
Side note: This is why our kids go to school. There are teachers there and they have been trained to actually teach our children hard stuff and let’s face it: Geometry is hard.
Unfortunately, by the time we figured out that homeschooling was not for us it was too late. We had two semesters of geometry to complete one way or another. So, I did things like read the material out loud to my daughter and show her the examples. Then I re-read it louder if she didn’t understand. She glared at me and told me that wasn’t helpful. A lot of it she understood…until she took the quiz. Then we would get dad to help us both learn geometry. This went on for months and every now and then her school counselor would inquire about our status. Still working on it. We also received friendly emails from the online school reminding us that we had only completed 30% of the course and how much time we had left.
Very close to the end of the school year we finally finished the first semester of geometry and we were all so happy…for about 30 seconds. Then we remembered we had another semester of geometry to complete before 10th grade began.
As luck would have it our oldest also graduated from college about this time and moved home. I am only slightly embarrassed to say that I begged, cried, and bribed her to teach our youngest the second semester of geometry. She happily agreed. About two weeks in she began to realize her mistake, but it was too late. She had a timeline and there was no going back. She took her frustration out by sending nasty emails to the online school letting them know how incompetent they were. I am pretty sure we have been banned from that university.
For two months they worked on math with the goal of finishing everything, but the final, before we left for vacation on July 21st. I only felt a little bad as I sipped my wine in the United Club as they finished the last chapter of geometry on a layover to Hawaii.
This week, Reese took her final and is now officially done with geometry. Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Amen!
And despite the fact that we are horrible homeschool teachers she actually has a reasonable understanding of geometry. She was also happy to report that she was the only one who knew what a parabola was in Algebra 2 yesterday because she had been honing her math skills all summer.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G