Saturday, June 27, 2015

Guest Post: How to Learn Geometry by JK Mergens

I am thrilled with today's guest post.  Today's guest post is from JK Mergens  the author of the Learn Math Fast System.  JK visted us last summer here at Ohio Homeschool.   At the end of the post JK  gives us a code for to get $5 off. 

Scooby Doo and the gang are well known for solving mysteries.  Just by looking at the clues, Velma and Daphne could figure out the crook’s name even before they removed his mask.  Geometry is solved the same way.  Just by looking at the clues, you can figure out the size of an angle without using a protractor.  All you have to do is learn the clues.  In geometry, these clues are called Postulates and Theorems and you can easily learn them all by using five “Smart Cards” and Volume VII of the Learn Math Fast System.

What are “Smart Cards?”  They are full size pages that list all the rules (theorems and postulates) taught in each chapter of our high school geometry book along with a small drawing to help you recall each one.  Many theorems are written as an “If…then” statement.  For example, IF a shape has three sides, THEN it is a triangle.  When you switch around the “if” and the “then,” you get the converse statement; IF the shape is a triangle, THEN it has three sides.  That converse statement creates one more rule to memorize.   The “Smart Cards” combine these two types of statements to cut the work in half.  There are a few simple postulates that are rarely used in a formal proof, so those have been omitted from the Smart Cards to help streamline the number of “clues” you need to memorize.

In addition to the five Smart Cards, there are four Postulate Cards in the back pocket of the book.  These cards reinforce the most commonly used rules (Postulates) by highlighting them on their own card along with a unique drawing to help students visualize the “clues.”  Having these visuals nearby helps students retain all the clues they must learn in order to solve geometry problems. 



Typically, theorems are given a number, such as Theorem 3.1.  But that doesn’t help us learn the theorem; it just gives us one more thing to memorize.  The Learn Math Fast System doesn’t assign numbers to each rule.  Instead, they are organized into five categories:  Angles, Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Polygons, and Circles.  The five chapters in the book are organized the same way.  Each chapter thoroughly explains every theorem and postulate on the corresponding Smart Cards with lots of examples and illustrations.

Once you realize that every geometry problem is just a little mystery waiting to be solved, it doesn’t seem so scary.  Seeing the Theorems listed in categories makes it clear to see how many of them go together or are alike in some way, eliminating the amount of information that needs to be memorized.  All of these cards are included with every copy of The Learn Math Fast System, Volume 7 to help take the fear out of learning geometry.  Shaggy and the gang were always afraid of monsters that never really existed.  Once the mystery was solved, they realized there was nothing to be afraid of after all.  Geometry is the same way; it’s not a monster, it’s just a mystery that needs to be solved.

The promo code OHIO is valid for the rest of the year and it is worth $5 off any order. Expires December 31.2015.

JK Mergens is the author of the Learn Math Fast System, a series of six books that teach 1st - 11th grade math using the unique methods she created to teach her son.  JK has been married to Mick, her high school sweetheart, for almost thirty years.  Together they homeschooled their only son in the beautiful state of Washington.  Her articles have been published in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Red Deer’s Child Magazine, Edmonton’s Child Magazine, and in the June 2014 issue of the Washington State Homeschool Organization’s (WHO) Newsletter.  Her seventh book, High School Geometry, will be released later this year.  Please visit her website

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