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Best money we've ever spent in our homeschool.

— Homeschooling mom from the Midwest
describing two of our online courses



Tools for understanding mathAlgebra I

Tools for understanding math

Algebra is the study of mathematical relationships. Its study is considered to be essential for learning advanced mathematics, science, or engineering, as well as for such applications as medicine and economics.

When studying algebra, students substitute letters — or symbols — for numbers. Working through algebra involves using logic. For some students, thinking abstractly is a new skill — one that will be strengthened by the demands of algebra.

Absolute valueIn studying algebra, students learn to perceive the relationships the symbols have with one another. By omitting numbers and, instead, using symbols, students strengthen their understanding of two things:

  • the rules that govern the manipulation of numbers;
  • the relationships among values expressed as equalities (in equations) or inequalities.

Many algebra courses emphasize the mechanics of solving problems: first do this; then do that... — In our online courses, we aim to teach an understanding of the why: why certain relationships exist; why we solve problems the way we do.

Class agenda

Text to purchase

Students in Algebra I will need the following items currently available only from the website of their publisher, VideoText Interactive:

  • Algebra Module A WorkText
  • Algebra Module B WorkText
  • Algebra Module C WorkText
  • Algebra Module A Solutions Manual
  • Algebra Module B Solutions Manual
  • Algebra Module C Solutions Manual

You can purchase all these materials here:

During class, we address a variety of math concepts, and to keep students engaged and motivated, we use a variety of instructional tools and methods, such as games and competitions. Students solve problems with the help of the teacher, and once the concept is understood, homework is assigned to reinforce the learning.

Homework usually requires 3 hours per week. There will be periodic quizzes and both a mid-term and a final test.

Topics covered

Among the topics explored in Algebra I:

  • The language of math.
  • Solving for one, two, and three variables.
  • Linear functions, including graphing.
  • Scientific notation.
  • Polynomials.
  • The feared word problems — students will learn how to approach them systematically and solve them successfully.

About the instructor

Monica Kiehnle-Benitez is a homeschooling mom with a degree in Industrial Engineering; she worked for seven years at a manufacturer of control instruments and accessories for electrical transformers. She is currently working toward her master's degree in applied physics.
     Monica began homeschooling with the aim of imparting to her children both a love of learning and a deep understanding of all content. Monica brings those values to her teaching of math and science at HS College-Bound, and she eschews, for instance, superficial and rote learning.
     Monica also teaches online courses in Algebra II and Honors Physics.


Incoming students will sit for an initial assessment to ensure the suitability of this course for the student's level.

Incoming students should be comfortable with operations using fractions, decimals, and percents. They should also know how to find least common multiple and greatest common factor. They should be familiar with place value, as well as associative, distributive, and commutative properties.

All sessions live & interactive
Students attend
three classes per week
Instructor: Monica Kiehnle
For information on Monica, see here.
To contact the instructor, click here.

Our approach to ...


All too often high school mathematics divides students into those who are "good" at math and those who aren't. — Not at HS College-Bound: Our classes will engage even the most reluctant budding mathematician.

Least common denominator

Math at HS College-Bound is designed to build skills applicable to science as well as those found on standardized tests. In addition, our content is aimed at demystifying seemingly advanced topics while bringing real meaning to the concepts covered in traditional high school math. As a result, math features prominently among our liveliest, most engaging classes. Math is explored actively, with a spirit of genuine intellectual curiosity. Rather than rote learning resulting on one "right" way to solve problems, students share ideas and approaches while investigating real-world math through word problems. Our content is aimed at helping students think mathematically and develop logical reasoning skills.

  • Homework and classwork require the student to apply mathematical reasoning to solve problems — the same skills necessary for answering questions on standardized tests.
  • Homework problems require students to apply concepts that include previously learned content; students build their math vocabulary and learn to speak in the language of mathematics — a skill foundational to the physical sciences.


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