There comes a time when your student has to push the fast forward in the homeschool math department. Perhaps it’s a hard subject, or your child would rather be outdoors. It’s more pressing as your student approaches high school.

### Give a Math Placement Test

Find out what your student knows and what your student needs to learn with a math placement test.

• Here are some free math placement tests that we’ve used.
• Or search online to find lots of other free math placement tests.

Saxon Homeschool Math offers free tests to place your student in their program—if you haven’t ever used Saxon Math.

Alpha Omega Publications has free diagnostic tests for LIFEPAC Math and Horizons Math. Or you can buy the Switched-On Schoolhouse Diagnostic Tests.

### After the Math Placement Test

The purpose of giving the math placement test is to find out where your student is stumbling. Use the test results to help you see what areas of math need to be retaught and mastered by your student.

Now you’re ready to repair the math foundation. Most of the time, when a student is behind in math, it’s because some of the building blocks of math are missing.  Build a brick wall and leave out a few bricks here and there. The wall may look pretty good at first, but as the wall grows higher, it will collapse on itself. It works that way with math, too.

Start your student with the most basic concept he doesn’t understand and work from there. Fill in the gaps and make sure your student practices working math problems every day to build up speed. Go back as far as you need to. Your older student should pick it up faster this time. If there are learning difficulties, it may take more time and patience.

### Are Fractions, Decimals, and Percents Holding You Back?

After they master addition, subtraction, multiplication, and addition, students may struggle with fractions, decimals, and percents.

• We suggest using  Saxon Math 87 for a thorough review of arithmetic before your student moves on to algebra 1.  Using it with the Saxon Homeschool Teacher Lesson and Test Digital Subscription will also help your student. After completing that course, your student will be ready for Algebra 1.

If your student is college-bound, I still recommend doing a regular algebra 1 course after Saxon Math 87and taking as much high school math as possible. Geometry, algebra 2, pre-calculus, and trigonometry are important if your student intends to major in math, science, or engineering. For liberal arts, geometry, algebra 2, and statistics would be ok choices, but always check your college catalog!

Ok, I’m getting way ahead of you, but high school graduation comes faster than you expect. Planning ahead takes some of the worry out of the equation.

Whichever curriculum you use, the main focus is to help your child catch up in math by filling in the math gaps and laying a good foundation.

Hope this helps.

Blessings,
Harriet Yoder

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