“My kid needs algebra math help!”

From the mailbag:

"Dear Mama Bear,

My 14 year old did pretty poorly in Algebra.  What can I give him to help him learn?"


Mark from Brookyn

Dear MiB,

oOo, if there's anything that makes MamaBear's heart sing with joy and glee, it's Math!

Coffee too, mind you, but Math is just plain glorious!

Got a couple hours?  I could regale you with lots of ideas!

But I'll give you some simple ones first.

First, go to the Free Algebra Tutor Ms. Lindquist!  I used that a lot when introducing HD1 to Algebra.  It's quite barebones but very useful indeed!

Next, get thee hence to:

That should definitely help.

But does your kid even wonder why he has to learn algebra?

If so, point him to:

Remember though…

Giving resources, of course, isn't enough.

You have to follow up with him and make sure he's doing the work required!

And that means…

You need to go over the resources yourself and craft an algebra math learning/study program for your kid.

Sure, it might take some time and effort, but let me tell you…it's *definitely* worthwhile!

And if you'd like some video help…

And of course…


Thus speaks…MamaBear

Ed Helper Rocks

Have you ever wanted to give your kid some excellent academic enrichments?

If so, one of the best, all around resources is


During Camp Ling, I have been known to print out daily challenges in all aspects of academics, including Math, Latin, story-writing and much much more.

It's been now $19.97/year since, wow, gee….2002 or so?  Definitely well-worth it indeed.

Parent well,

Mama Bear

Math Stories Rock or Making Your Child Love Math

Y'know, one of the very best skills any child can possess these days is math.

And MamaBear ain't just talking 'bout memorizing rote mathematics!  Heck, that's sheer memory power and, while very good to internalize, doesn't begin to touch upon the *real* benefit to mathematics.

And that is…

Turning real-life stories into useful math.

What does MamaBear mean by that?

Simple!  Think to yourself the following adventure MamaBear had herself in her junior year at college.

"You're in a maze of twisty turning passages…."

"You're in the local market and see the customer ahead of you ordered 3 pairs of socks at $2.99 each.  You then notice that because her calculator was broken (I *did* say MamaBear experienced this in her college years, back when clerks used calculators…), the clerk was trying to figure out the amount owed with paper and pencil.

Possessing more mathematics than your typical sea sponge, you simply inform the clerk that the price is $8.97….and when faced with her amazement, you explain that $3 is one more cent than $2.99, and 3×3 is 9, so 3*2.99 would simply be $9 minus 3 cents, or $8.97.

Then you watch when said clerk utters in amazement…"My gosh, you must be a math major!"

True story, that.  :)

Anywhos!  It was stuff like that which led MamaBear to promise herself that *her* children would never be as idjut-like in math as she was, 'way back then.

So!  When her cubs were starting grammar school, MB ferreted out some rather tremendous learning resources on the Internet.

And one of them is:

What makes MB shiver in joy over this particular site is the focus on learning how to solve mathematical word problems.

After all, in the Eastern school of thought, applied math is taught right from the get-go with series like

Alas, MamaBear never did get her paws on that particular series; she had tried buying it at eBay but it never came thru.  Wah.

But back to MathStories – it has showcases goodies like:

Make a Table

Question: You save $3 on Monday. Each day after that you save twice as much as you saved the day before. If this pattern continues, how much would you save on Friday?



You need to know that you save $3 on Monday. Then you need to know that you always save twice as much as you find the day before.

2) PLAN:

How can you solve the problem?

You can make a table like the one below. List the amount of money you save each day. Remember to double the number each day.

Amount of Money Saved

You save $48 on Friday

Draw a picture:

Question: Laura has 3 green chips, 4 blue chips and 1 red chip in her bag. What fractional part of the bag of chips is green?



What do you need to find?

You need to find how many chips are in all. Then you need to find how many of the chips are green.

2) PLAN:

How can you solve the problem?

You can draw a picture to show the information. Then you can use the picture to find the answer.


Draw 8 chips.

3/8 of the chips are green.

and other great goodies to boot.

Thus, if you want to give your young cub a great start in mathematics, check out MathStories today.  It's definitely a great investment!  It costs $26 for a years' enrollment.

Parent well,