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Online Math tutoring 
By Lisa Williams 
September 24, 2000

My  Math Facts website provides a place where anyone who has a math question can be walked through that question, step by step, with an experienced guide. It does not matter if the person needing assistance is a teacher, a homeschooled mom who needs to understand the curriculum before teaching it to her children, a student who needs help with their homework or a homeschooled child working through their daily assignment. By using the email and the one-on-one chat program (humanclick) I can give live walk-throughs for any type of math problem from Kindergarten through College Level Algebra, including trigonometry. Because I don't know the  people who log on to the site, I need to be able to immediately answer their question and I can do this if I stick to basic math and any Algebra.

I have an AD degree in Mathematics and have been tutoring about 15 years. I have worked with children with learning disabilities and have been homeschooling my own and other peoples' children for 5 years now.

Following is an example of a student question submitted to me:

>Ok, here is what I have.

>52 goes into 323 6 times
>52 goes into 119 2 times
>52 goes into  156 3 times.
>Leaving 0 as a remainder.
>So my answer is 623  and i'm not sure where to put the decimal point.  But 
>the answer book says it is .06.     So I'm not sure what to do, I have
>it through several times.

My reply:

52 ( 3.2396 
      -3 12 
         - 104
          -  156
You bring the decimal point straight up into the answer and put the 0 there because 52 won't go into 32 so you have to divide 52 into 323 to start

Your book said to round to the hundredths place so .062 will round to .06 because the 2 in the thousandths place is less than 5 so it stays the same.

Here is a sample algebra problem I worked through with one student. We worked through this step by step. I only helped when they got stuck and made sure that they understood what I had done when I actually did it. I'm just summarizing here and leaving out their comments because it was done via the chat forum. It took a while for me to explain what things they had left out but the main problem was that they didn't understand what they were trying to do. When we checked the problem, unfortunately,  they thought their answer was wrong. The person needing my guidance already had it basically worked out, until they got to the step with -3b= 9b. Because  they didn't understand what to do at this point they discounted the possibility that the answer could be zero (0). So not having the usual set up really threw them off.

 -3(b-8) -5 = 9(b+2) + 1  1st multiply the -3 x b= -3b and then -3 x -8= 24 to get rid of the (brackets)  on left side of the equation.
-3b + 24 -5 = 9(b+2) + 1

Then same thing for the right side get rid of () 1st...           9 x b= 9b         9 x 2 = 18
-3b + 24 -5 = 9b + 18 + 1 
  Now add like terms on both sides of the
equation...    LS 24-5= 19   RS 18 +1 = 19
     -3b + 19 = 9b + 19 

Subtract 19 from both sides of the equation.
              -3b = 9b 

Add  3b to both sides of the equation. +3b  +3b 
                 0  = 12b 

Now divide both sides of the equation by 12 leaving  LS 0/12 = 0    RS 12b/12 = 1b
                  0 = b 

Now to check your answer. You replace every b in the original equation with 0 
 -3(0-8) -5 = 9(0+2) +1 
  Work inside the () 1st  LS 0-8= -8 
RS 0+2= 2
  -3(-8) -5  = 9(2) +1 
  Multiplication is next LS 3- x -8 = 24 
RS 9 x 2 = 18
          24 -5 = 18 +1 

Add the number on each side to see if both sides come out the same
                19= 19 
  Both sides come out the same so your
answer is correct. You just solved an Algebra problem! Well done!

I would also like to add that problems like this are in most basic algebra books and they are there to see if you are thinking through the steps correctly. If you aren't then you will be thrown off. People that write the curricula do this on purpose to test your abilities. 


Submitted by: Copyright© Lisa Williams I'm a homeschooling mom of 3 elementary school age children. I run a clowning business from my home (Jingles the clown), am pianist for a local church, teach a Sunday School class, teach piano, tutor basic math see Math tutoring and algebra online and I enjoy making people smile. Send a note to Lisa
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