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Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling

Financial Literacy: Free Resources
Category: Math
Tags: financial literacy personal finance

Here are some free personal finance courses and resources. Scroll to the bottom of this post for some free, downloadable readers about money

Cash CourseSign up for free financial education courses.

Next Gen Personal Finance: Offers a free set of online lessons covering personal finance basics. The curriculum, published by the non-profit Center for Financial Capability, is presented in a series of units that include text and video resources, and activities.

Practical Money SkillsFeatures teachers guides and activities on money management for grades K - 12. Lessons for the earliest learners introduce money (what it is and how to earn it), then moves on to such topics as savings, loans, credit, budgeting and investing. There are 22 lessons for high school. 

CompareCards.comThis credit card comparison site has free lessons for middle school and high school students on the basics of credit, credit cards and investing.

BanzaiThis site teaches key concepts in personal finance by presenting students with a number of real life scenarios. Tasks to be completed include paying rent, understanding your paycheck (taxes withheld, direct deposit, gross and net income), budgeting for gas, groceries and other expenses. Three versions are offered: Banzai Junior (aged 8–12); Banzai Teen, (aged 13–18); and Banzai Plus (aged 16 and up).

Personal Finance Textbook

PDF Textbook Chapters:

Personal Finance Student and Teacher Resources from the OK Department of Education; includes free lessons and teacher guides

Financial Football: Players gain yards and score touchdowns by correctly answering financial questions. There are three age levels to choose from: Rookie (ages 11–14), Pro (ages 14–18) or Hall of Fame (ages 18+). For each age group, there are downloadable lesson guides with discussion questions, activities, quizzes and other exercises. Combined with the game, this seems like something that might work well in a group setting or homeschool co-op.

Live "Stock" AdventureA savings and investing game to download, played with a standard deck of cards.

Saving and Investing for Students - U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission PDF e-book


History of Money and Banking


High School Math Resource Roundup
Category: Math
Tags: geometry online high school geometry geometry online book algebra calculus

The following is a list of full math courses, online and free: 

Beginning and Intermediate Algebratextbook, workbook and solutions manual; there are also videos by topic

Algebra 1SAS Curriculum Pathways

Beginning AlgebraSaylor Academy.

Algebra and GeometryHippocampus

Algebra 1 Modules: From NY State Education Dept.

Algebra 1 OnlineHenrico County Public Schools

Algebra 2 OnlineHenrico County Public Schools

Geometry OnlineHenrico County Public Schools

Algebra 1, 2, GeometryMath Planet

Algebra 1 and 2Open High School of Utah

Calculus 1: Mooculus.

Georgia Virtual LearningThis site has a number of online high school math courses that can be accessed for free.

Curriki Courses: 

Algebra 1: This is a full course, broken into modules, so you can use it in its entirety, or just the parts you want. The course includes lesson plans, with links to related Khan Academy videos, worksheets and assessments with their answer keys, and each unit ends with a real-world project.

GeometryThe course is modular, so it can be used to supplement an existing Geometry program, or serve as the main curriculum. It's project-based, emphasizing real-world examples, such as using Geometry to create architectural designs for an apartment or house, or designing a floor plan that maximizes open space and natural light.

CalculusCovers Limits & Continuity, Derivatives, Applications of Derivatives, Integrals, and Applications of Integrals. Includes links to workbooks and videos.

Math Video Library: Visit for video tutorials in Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Calculus.

(If you know of any other free math courses, please list in the comment section).

Fractions, Decimals, Percents, Ratios, Proportions
Category: Math
Tags: multiplying fractions how to multiply fractions multiplying fractions with whole numbers multiplying fractions worksheets

Several years ago, when my son and I were working on multiplying fractions, we were doing some work with multiplying a whole number by a fraction, specifically a proper fraction, where the numerator is less than the denominator. The example was 5/8 x 12, and the focus of the lesson was supposed to be that in order to multiply a fraction and a whole number, you change the whole number into its equivalent improper fraction, in this case, 12/1, then solve. (Cross cancel, multiply the numerators, multiply the denominators, get your answer).

Okay, so he had no problems with the process. What did bother him was when he got the answer and saw that it was less than what he started with.  At first, this didn’t make sense to him because, as he put it, “Doesn’t multiplication mean more?” 

So we talked about it, and with a little more contemplation:  

  • he understood that, yes, when you multiply whole numbers, you get more (except when one of the factors is 1 or 0
  • he remembered that when you multiply by 1 (which is like multiplying by a fraction with the same numerator and denominator) the number stays the same
  • by Jove, he then realized that when you multiply by a fraction that’s less than 1, you’re taking less than 1 of what you started with, so the answer is smaller.
  • he then extended the thinking a bit more by relating that when you multiply by an improper fraction (where the numerator is bigger than the denominator) you’re multiplying by more than 1, so the answer would be bigger

Now, I realize this example demonstrates a rudimentary understanding of numbers, but, to me, this also illustrates a problem I think kids can run into when it comes to learning math: the difference between knowing how to perform the steps of a particular process versus understanding why an answer does or does not make sense. Sometimes, we can learn a process mechanically without thinking about what we're doing in concrete terms. Maybe the pondering comes later – or maybe it never comes at all.

I suspect this may be one reason why kids that do great in basic math and pre-algebra seemingly hit a brick wall when they get to Algebra.  Could it be because when studying Algebra, you may learn to mechanically follow steps to solve complex equations without really comprehending the underlying logic? Or maybe some kids never get a good enough grasp of the basics to sufficiently tackle “higher math?” 

I’m not sure where the breakdown occurs, but I do know that some people have a great facility with numbers (I am, unfortunately, not one of these people), while others may struggle all their lives with math, and others are somewhere in between. Is the facility with numbers from having been taught well, a result of some innate trait, a combination?  How do you determine if your child has a sufficient understanding of math principles? Do you assess with worksheets and tests or use another method? Please leave a comment. And, if you need some free resources for learning fractions, decimals, percents, ratios and proportions, take a look at these:

MathMammoth: videos and worksheets on a variety of fraction topics

Fraction Video Tutorialson reading, writing and reducing fractions

Math Games, Videos, Worksheetson fractions, decimals, and percentages

Dining OutHere are free activities you can use for a co-op or group. Get the kids working with fractions, decimals and percents by figuring tax, tips and discounts when ordering food at restaurants.

Fraction Worksheets and Printables

Math AnticsFree videos with access to some free worsheets.

Yummy Math:  This site stands out from many on the Web, in that it focuses on relating math to real life. There’s more emphasis on concepts and critical thinking than on memorization of steps. For more on the YummyMath philosophy, read this post.

Math SnacksShort animations and games for teaching math concepts in grades 3 - 8. Includes accompanying worksheets (with answer keys).

And for additional math resources, visit our math page.



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