Monday, September 5, 2011

Help for Parents: Remembering Old Learning


When children reach high school (or earlier, depending on their gifts) parents may find themselves in the position of helping with some challenging homework.  If it has been twenty years since you took your last calculus class, you probably don’t remember everything.  Fortunately, if you learned it once you can relearn it even faster.  You just need to stay a step or two ahead of your child!

The following are some resources I recommend for helping adults recall old skills:

Forgotten Calculus by Barbara Lee Bleau, Ph.D.

Math is definitely a use-it-or-lose-it skill.  Even if you are an engineer, you may never have used a graphing calculator.  This book takes you through calculus again and also shows you how to use your child’s TI-84.  This is also a good reference book if you just need to remember a particular technique.

Physics: An Incremental Development by John H. Saxon, Jr.

If you need a refresher or need to relearn physics from scratch (e.g. a homeschool teacher who needs to learn physics in order to teach it) the Saxon approach may fill the bill.  Incremental means the material is presented in bite-sized pieces.  Saxon also integrates review of previous chapters into subsequent problem sets, so learning is reinforced instead of forgotten.

German in Review by Kimberly Sparks and Van Horn Vail

While you may retain some vocabulary from your German class, you may have forgotten those pesky declensions.  This book is intended for the adult who has taken several years of German, but has not practiced in years.  Awaken your sleeping language skills and help your child learn to enjoy German, too.

If you, the reader, have found a great resource in your own quest to remember old learning, please share in the comments section.  I’d like to know what you’ve found helpful, too.