View Full Version : How to make online course more interesting

11-04-2013, 06:36 AM
My daughter is taking Algebra I online through an online charter school. It's a canned curriculum, but it's much more interactive than just reading a textbook and working through questions which is what she was doing last year when she was in public school. She prefers this online course much more to that.

I'm not ready to give up on this course because I do think she needs the structure that it gives when she goes back to public school next year. So, my question is... how do I make it more interesting for her? How do I get her to buy into why she's learning what she's learning?

We're not unschoolers, though maybe that's an approach we need to try as she is so checked out of learning for the love of learning, but I'm worried about her getting to high school next year and having to reduplicate her efforts in algebra thusfar this year. I want her to develop some resilience as a learner - something that she and I both think public school has sucked out of her until this year!

11-05-2013, 05:27 PM
Does she have a hobby with which you could show her how algebra applies? Sewing, gardening, party planning, designing little machines, programming, entrepreneurship?

11-05-2013, 05:37 PM
Real World Algebra by Ed Zaccaro? Play Dragonbox on the iPad (I think there might be an android version now too...)? Jousting Armidillos?

11-14-2013, 09:34 PM
Dragon Box 12+ is lots of fun and is Android and iPad. You may want to watch some Khan Academy videos. Lots of them go through how to do the problem, then do it with a word problem that shows why you need to do that particular thing in the real world. Much better than the book I had as a kid!

11-15-2013, 09:35 AM
I recently discovered Math Playground, and it's different from other free math learning game sites we have used (the others are fun too) in that it has some truly challenging-yet-fascinating games that actually require real algebraic reasoning, not just quiz-format questions and answers. Here (http://www.mathplayground.com/XDetectives/XDetectives.html) is a game on that site, that requires algebraic logic, not rote. I really wish I had learned algebra this way, instead of the not-learning I received in school, of "memorize the procedures and execute them faithfully to produce an answer that means nothing to you anyway".

I hope that helps. I also am halfway through this book (http://www.amazon.com/Speed-Mathematics-Simplified-Dover-Books/dp/0486278875) on better ways to do arithmetic, that assist fast mental math and number sense, instead of bringing it all to a grinding halt.