Math! We all need it. A few of us love it, many of us tolerate it, and some of us despise it. In today’s podcast, we have an interesting and insightful conversation with author and speaker Kathryn Gomes. Kathryn is the author of Apologia’s elementary math curriculum and second-generation homeschooling mother of three who surprised herself by falling in love with math!
In this episode, you will learn about teaching methods that will help you and your students discover your inner math enthusiast. You’ll gain insight into Kathryn’s tips and tricks for homeschooling parents and you’ll hear about the secret weapon that both Kathryn and Trish use for inspiring their kids to enjoy math.
Kathryn shares about her own rocky start with math and imparts inspiring information about her early career and how her experiences led her to discover the “secret formula” for a strong understanding of math. If math is a struggle in your homeschool, you are sure to find what you need to help you and your students discover the beauty and excitement that can be found in math. Look for Kathryn on Facebook @kathrynmgomes, at Apologia.com, and, on her preferred social media platform, Instagram at @homeschoolmathmom.
Meet The Guest
Kathryn is the author of the Apologia math series Exploring Creation with Mathematics. A homeschooled student herself, Kathryn (Bell) Gomes holds an M. Ed. in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh. She has taught math to homeschooled students for thirteen years and is very familiar with the challenges of learning math at home.
Kathryn spent three years teaching mathematics in inner-city Philadelphia through Teach for America. She then taught in the most ethnically diverse high school in Pennsylvania. During this time, Kathryn designed Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 curricula for English Language Learners. Now one of her great passions is improving mathematics education for homeschoolers by increasing rigor while still maintaining the creativity and free-thinking that she enjoyed in her schooling.
Show notes are below.
This episode is sponsored by Apologia. We are HUGE fans of Apologia and we both have used this curriculum throughout our homeschool journeys. This series is literally our favorite science series offered in the homeschool arena. We encourage you to spend a few minutes visiting their site to see why. Or visit our website to see the many articles we have written about it.
Quotes from Kathryn Gomes
10:55 If you can get your footing underneath you and go back to where you got lost and have math taught to you systematically, clearly, with hands-on examples, with real-life application, it is so rich. It’s like when you put together a puzzle except it’s like a much bigger puzzle. I get so excited. It wasn’t until college when I saw “Oh! This all fits together. It’s all connected and it’s really kind of unbelievable that math even works.
[Math is] like a foreign language…. If you can get that fluency and see the connections it’s not just satisfying, it’s actually beautiful.
If you can build some of the higher math systematically and without leaving gaps it is so cool! It is just so cool how it fits together, how you can solve problems, and that it does work. We can fly people to outer space because we use math equations and they’ve proved true. It is really kind of amazing!
In homeschooling you can make changes quickly. You can learn that there is a better way to teach something and you can just pivot because you are the captain of the ship.
When I sat down to write Apologia’s math curriculum, I got to sit down with a blank notebook and think about Homeschooling, about what that looks like. What would the best program for homeschoolers look like? What would be the ideal way for parents to teach their kids and then incorporate that all in.
It was great to be able to write a curriculum that is specifically for homeschoolers. Tailored to the needs of homeschoolers and to the strengths of homeschooling. That was wonderful!
I have found that there is a certain way kids learn best and if we take the time, and as homeschoolers we can because we get to make so many of the decisions, to develop a curriculum or purchase a curriculum that follows that, the results are amazing.
Math can be so fun and engaging and hands on. It doesn’t have to be what it was for you as a parent. You can teach it well, even if you didn’t learn it well the first time.
I love for families to be able to use the same program with really different kids and have it work well just because I think it would bless them.
My mom taught me that kids can move at different paces but they go through the same progression of ideas. So if you have the concrete, pictoral, abstract progression that we’ve used in Apologia math, it works well for all kids.
Links to resources mentioned in the podcast and other important links
How to make homeschool fun!!
- Believe in Unicorns Coloring Book: 50+ Beautiful Mythical Unicorn Coloring Pages.
- Diamond Painting Kits for Adults, Teens or Tweens
- Our game recommendations on Amazon on how to make homeschool fun!
- Homeschool Road Trips and you can find us on our Facebook Page and Group
- Fun Printable Site: Only Passionate Curiosity
- Our snarky irreverent view of homeschooling: Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers