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Math by Blain -- Frequently Asked Questions -- Part 3

What if I want to skip the class I assessed into?

You're hardly alone in your desire. There are many bodies laying on the altar of trying to outsmart the assessment. You see, math is a very incremental thing to learn -- you have to learn the foundational skills and concepts before you can learn the later skills and concepts. There are tricks along the way, but none that enable you to skip major concepts without paying a major penalty later when you have to learn the earlier concept and the one that depends upon it in the time you're supposed to be learning the later concept.

I can help you, but it may take quite a bit of time together to fill in that gap (several two hour sessions a week or more).

What if I'm an Ed major and I don't want to take Algebra?

You're hardly alone in this desire either. Many Ed majors don't want to take Algebra (or any other math, for that matter). If you're willing to face up to your math requirements (and you have them) and excel at them, you will have a competitive advantage over those who don't. Algebra is very helpful in learning problem solving strategies, which will be helpful in many parts of life, not to mention Math for Ed Majors and in teaching problem solving strategies to your students someday (which you will be required to do, incase that hadn't been made clear yet).

What if I'm not in a class but I really want to learn more math?

That's not a problem as far as I'm concerned. You will need to find a text to work from and we can work together on whatever basis works for both of us.

What if I'm not yet in college but I want help with my math?

Working with high-school students or graduates who aren't yet ready for college is fine with me. It can be very helpful in assessing into higher level math classes (and saving the time, tuition and, let's face it, spotty teaching you can find in lower division math classes). Just as importantly, it can help a lot to brush up on your earlier skills (hint: anything you ever hated doing before is almost certain to be required at a later point, so it'll be good to get those things under control when you're not under the gun in class). Also, please read this response, as it might apply to you.

What if I'm not yet in high school but I want help with my math?

This is fine too. I'm conversant with the levels of math being taught at middle school level as well. Also, please read this response, as it might apply to you.

What if I'm not yet in middle school but I want help with my math?

I have some strategies that can be very helpful with elementary students, where my focus will be on mastering basic skills before going forward with more advanced concepts. Also, please read this response, as it might apply to you.

What if I want math help for my child?

I'm happy to help you as I can. However, it's been my experience that, in some cases at least, the parent is more motivated for the child's success in math than the child is, and that leads frequently to frustration and disappointment as progress doesn't take place. Again, I'm a learning coach. I can provide some drill and practice and explanation (not to mention a fair amount of tricks that even some good math teachers don't know). But these things will not produce success by themselves. The student is still going to have to be doing the basic practice things pretty much every day.

What if Elvis really is alive?

Then I hope he's cut back on the donuts. And the drugs.