Adult learner. Wanting to learn math

kmce

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Feb 13, 2017
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Hi, I do not have a math question, but I am hoping someone here might have an idea that could help me. I have been out of school for about 15 years now, and I remember nothing from math. But, now I would like to go back and try to relearn it, however I am not even sure where to start. I have been looking at Khan academy, but I am not sure if that covers all the topics that are in the general curriculum, and I am not sure if each topic is even covered in depth. I am hoping there is possibly a math teacher here that would be able to give me some advice.

I am really wanting to go all the way back to geometry, pre algebra, then move onto stuff that would be covered in high school.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

lev888

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Get some text books (library, ebay?) Start doing exercises - if you can do most of them proceed to the next topic, if there are difficulties, review the chapter, look up lessons on youtube (Khan academy, etc).
 

Subhotosh Khan

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1) Go to your community college - and take a "Mathematics placement" test. It does not cost any money - just your time.

2) Then according to the recommendation from the placement test - start taking classes. I suggest taking face-to-face classes - not online classes for your situation where some intense "hand-holding" may be required.
 

Dr.Peterson

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I considered giving the same advice as Subhotosh Khan, but there are some caveats.

One thing to be aware of with a placement test is that they will tend to place you in a class where you have a 50% chance of passing, or something like that. The placement recommendation will not reflect all the specific details that you do or do not know; you might be weak in a couple specific topics that are important, but be placed into a course that assumes you know them well. So if the results tell you such details, you might want to find books that review those weak topics first, before jumping into assembly-line education. (And if you do take courses, you should take full advantage of any tutoring they offer, which would be better able to fill in those gaps for you.)

Also, it's quite possible that courses there (even though they typically start with very basic elementary-level courses) will be designed to prepare you for subsequent courses, and may skip over some topics that you would wish they covered. For example, the community college where I teach and tutor doesn't have a course in high school geometry, but just touches on certain geometrical topics alongside arithmetic, algebra, and so on.

I also recommend focusing on an organized course (even if you do it yourself without a teacher) using a textbook, rather than using random videos. Khan academy may do fine, if you follow it as a course rather than just searching for videos on individual topics. I haven't looked at their scope to see if it would do everything you want. The important thing is that whatever you study should go from topic to topic in an orderly way, so that you can make sure you master one topic before moving on to others that depend on it.

I also agree that face-to-face courses, if possible, are valuable; online or computer-based courses can lack the human interface that most of us need, especially at the beginning.
 

Otis

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I would like to … relearn [math] … but I am not sure if [Khan Academy] covers [everything] in the general curriculum …
I think Khan Academy provides good refresher material for math courses (if one follows their structured plans). There are free online math texts available, too. I noticed some of your threads involve jumping between subjects. You'll save some time, by following a textbook or video sequence in order.

Curriculum varies from place to place (even within the same school district, sometimes), but most online course material presented in a structure form will cover the basics. You can find entire beginners courses prepared by colleges online, too. I'm not sure about the depth of instruction you seek, but I'd recommend refreshing/relearning basic skills first. Once you reach a point of confidence, then you could seek out deeper meanings in those parts that interest you.

If the goal is self-edification or recreation only, then you have lots of options. Avoid filling your plate right away; take your time, have fun. Cheers!

PS: Here' another video site you may find helpful.

😎
 

JeffM

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I like Khan Academy. The courses do cover most of what is covered in schools. I doubt, however, they are sufficient. Get some books (second-hand) that have exercises with answers. To learn math, you need to do problems, usually quite a few of them/
 

kmce

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Sorry I should have started off by saying in not in the US. But I will look and see if any places in my country do similar to these placement tests, it seems like a good idea. I have also been looking into textbooks to get for some extra help and problems to solve.
With Khan academy, I was planning on starting with basic geometry and working through each section, rather than picking and choosing (even if i remember how to do some of what is covered, I think going over the material again would be a good idea). So it would be basic geometry, then pre-algebra, algebra basics, algebra 1 etc etc.
 

JeffM

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Although historically geometry preceded algebra, modern presentations of geometry rely heavily on algebra. I'd start with algebra.
 

kmce

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Although historically geometry preceded algebra, modern presentations of geometry rely heavily on algebra. I'd start with algebra.
I was just going to go through the sections as they appear on Khan academy, so it is just very basic geometry first then pre-algebra. Would you still suggest algebra first. The only reason I ask is because I have started going through the basic geometry already. I have not done a lot of it, so changing just now would not be a huge deal.

The material covered in basic geometry is shown here https://www.khanacademy.org/math/basic-geo Would you say algebra is replied upon for the stuff covered there.
 

lev888

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The material covered in basic geometry is shown here https://www.khanacademy.org/math/basic-geo Would you say algebra is replied upon for the stuff covered there.
Yes - area, volume, perimeter, angles, Pythagorean theorem, etc, etc. Even if definitions appear "algebra-less" the exercises will have you solving equations for sure. I would recommend going through algebra first.
 

kmce

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Yes - area, volume, perimeter, angles, Pythagorean theorem, etc, etc. Even if definitions appear "algebra-less" the exercises will have you solving equations for sure. I would recommend going through algebra first.
Ok, ill move to pre-algebra first then. Thanks for the tip :)
 
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