Mr. D Math Dennis DiNoia Homeschool High School online math courses

Homeschool High School Math Online (with Dennis DiNoia from Mr. D Math)

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A few years ago I won an Instagram giveaway that changed my daughter’s life. Ok, so maybe that’s a bit melodramatic. But that was how we were first introduced to Mr. D Math. My daughter is now such a huge fan that we’ve continued to purchase her online high school math courses from Mr. D Math! Emma has even been known to favorably compare Mr. D Math to Jane Austen, so you know it must be good.

What a delight to be able to chat with Mr. D (Dennis DiNoia) himself on this week’s Homeschool Conversations podcast episode! A big thank you to Mr. D Math for sponsoring this episode and post.

Be sure to check out all the other interviews in our Homeschool Conversations series!

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Mr. D Math Dennis DiNoia High School Homeschool Online Math Homeschool Conversations

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Try Mr. D Math Yourself!

Do you have a child who loves math but is out-pacing your own ability to teach them? Do you have a child struggling in math who needs personal instruction? Or are you, like I was, looking for outsourcing options that will continue to facilitate both a love of learning and a depth of knowledge? Check out all the options available at Mr. D Math today!

  • Preparing for Pre-Algebra
  • Pre-Algebra
  • Algebra I
  • Geometry
  • Algebra II
  • Pre-Calculus with Trigonometry
  • SAT Prep Bootcamp
  • ACT Prep Bootcamp
  • Consumer Math
  • Advanced Writing
  • Study Skills
  • College and Career Readiness
  • Flamenco Dance
  • Training Like an Olympic Runner
  • and MORE!

Who is Dennis DiNoia (aka Mr. D)

Dennis DiNoia has been immersed in education for over 30 years. He holds an M.A. in Education from the University of South Florida and has been a Florida State Certified Secondary Mathematics Teacher since 1988. Now, Mr. D works with students from around the world a variety of topics, including math, life skills, test prep, and more! He has a deep passion for helping connect educational concepts to everyday life and exposing students to endless possibility and potential for their futures! Through his classes, curriculum, speaking engagements, Mr. D Live team, and resources, Mr. D strives to provide families with empowering solutions and rich understanding for life!

Mr. D Math Dennis DiNoia High School Homeschool Online Math Homeschool Conversations

Watch my interview with Dennis DiNoia (Mr. D)

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Amy Sloan: Hello friends, today I am joined by Dennis DiNoia, known by his students, as Mr D. Thank you for joining with us today.

Dennis DiNoia: I’m so happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

Amy: Dennis has been immersed in education for over 30 years. He holds an MA in education from the University of South Florida and has been a Florida State certified secondary mathematics teacher since 1988. Now Mr D works with students from around the world on a variety of topics including math, and life skills and test prep and more. He has a deep passion for helping connect educational concepts to everyday life, and exposing students to endless possibility and potential for their futures, through his classes, curriculum, speaking engagements his team, and resources, Mr D strives to provide families with empowering solutions and rich understanding for life.

My daughter has actually been taking classes from you for a couple of years and is super excited that I’m chatting with you today so I might have to give her a sneak peek on this podcast episode.

Dennis: That’s so great. Good.

How Mr. D got started teaching math

Amy: To begin with could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your family and how you got started teaching math?

Dennis: You summed it up there. I backed into math; it wasn’t my first degree. My first degree was in business, and I realized very early on that the corporate world was not for me. I actually was working with a teenager through a youth group where I was a youth counselor way back in my early 20s, and was working with this young fellow and he said, “Hey do you think you could help me with my algebra?” I’m like, “Yes, I took algebra in college, I took it in high school. Sure, right?” We worked on it together and he said to me, “You explain this better than my teacher did.” I was like, “Oh, that’s cool.” I had so much fun doing it that I realized I think there’s a pathway here.

I visited the local school board in a county in Florida (I’m from the Florida area) and sat down with them and I said, “If I was going to be a teacher, what do I need?” They said, “You just need a couple more math classes.” I said, “Okay, I thought I’d teach business because that was my background.” They said, “No, you have more math credits than anything else you could be a math teacher.” It just turned out back in the late ’80s there was a shortage for math teachers, and so they were anxious to get people in. I took the credits I needed, and next thing I knew I was in the classroom. That’s what got me started.

Then I decided as a public school teacher (I worked in the public schools for 13 years) it was time to move on. I moved on and I ran a tutoring company for a while, and the tutoring company was doing really, really well but it was still not quite my passion.

Then around 2008, Mr. D Math started, in 2010 we started recording videos, and here we are.

Amy: I love that story because it’s so unique and it shows that you just had something that you enjoyed and it started really more with relationship concerned about an individual student than necessarily like, “Oh, I’m going to go to school and be a math teacher.” Then through those twisted paths you ended up finding a passion.

Dennis: If my math teachers from my high school days knew this is where I was today they’d be like, “What?!”

[laughter]

I was interested in music when I was in high school. It turned out I was better at math than music so there we go.

Amy: All of us who have students in your classes are thankful for that.

How do we know when our student is ready to move into Algebra and beyond? What are the key math topics a student needs to firmly grasp before moving on to these high school level courses?

I wanted to talk to you a little bit about the general topic of high school math. I have so many questions that came my way when I said I was going to be chatting with somebody about high school math. One of the questions is where do we start, because with high school math we know it doesn’t actually just start in ninth grade or eighth grade. We’re laying a foundation for that math ahead of time.

A two-fold question, one, what are those key math topics that a student needs to have under their belt really understand before they move on to high school level math and how do we even know if they’re ready for algebra?

Dennis: It’s a great question. I have an answer, it’s an answer, I’ll say it that way. This is the one I like to use. If young people know their times tables – that’s one of the things that the earliest that you can have it and start practicing whether they’re doing it by skip counting or rote memorization whatever it is for them that they really discover their time tables, the earlier the better, because the older you get, the harder it is to memorize things – so if they can start out early that’s awesome.

Once they get the times tables done, and they can add, subtract, multiply, divide, and they can do that with integers or whole numbers, but then also do it with positive and negative numbers and work with fractions and decimals. They’re really ready for algebra right then. It’s mostly getting those basic skills done.

When students come to us, usually in middle school, they’ll start with our pre-algebra course. We’ll fill in some of the other gaps, we’ll fill in things like ratios and proportions and percents and some of the other things to help them get ready for an Algebra 1 course. Then we introduce them to things like graphing and they get to see what square roots are so they get a little sampling of what they’re going to see in algebra.

But really, when the basic skills are done and they’re ready to add, subtract, multiply, divide – and they can do that with fractions, decimals, positive or negative numbers – they’re really ready to step into the world of algebra.

Amy: That’s really encouraging I think for a lot of parents to hear because it can feel so intimidating. We want to make sure we’re setting our kids up for success and not everyone had a good high school math experience so there can be that intimidation factor. How do I know I’ve done enough? That’s not too complicated, we can all I think handle a bit of multiplication and division.

How can we continue to encourage our teens to think through why and how math works instead of just regurgitating information for a test?

One of the things I’ve noticed especially as a second-generation homeschooler is in those early years, a lot of homeschool parents they want to do things in these unique ways they’re out of the box thinkers, they’re really focusing on students understanding the whys, why do things work, why does this math equation work or whatever.

Then, high school years hit, and all of a sudden this very creative outside-the-box homeschool teacher is like, “Oh.” Gets all scared and goes right back to school at home, and just regurgitating facts. There’s something about that high school transcripts that makes us nervous. How can we avoid that and still encourage our teens to really understand what they’re doing, why things work, why math works, and how it works instead of just regurgitating information for a test?

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Dennis: I love that question. I want you to know that may be my favorite question that we’ll talk about today. I don’t know what the other ones are, but that is for sure so far my favorite. I’ll answer the question with a question. As a homeschool mom and for all the moms and dads out there that are listening right now, if you notice when you’re teaching, especially at the elementary, and you’re doing all these cool out of the box things and you’re really looking, have you ever noticed that when you’re teaching your young person something that it all of a sudden it makes sense to you, when it never made sense when you were in school?

Why not apply that same idea to the high schoolers?

I’m going to take a guess that probably for you Algebra 2 is not something you want to go back and learn again. For most of us, when the kids get high school, trying to go back and remember all of that is difficult. You learned it, you forgot it, and now you’re trying to remember it again so it gets tough. Then you’re trying to explain it, your young person doesn’t learn the way you do, and it doesn’t go well.

We always encourage students to do this, and we actually do this in our test prep courses. One of the best ways that we have students understand working with upper-level math is to teach someone else. We asked them to go back and teach their parents, teach their friends, teach their brothers, teach their sisters.

If you’re going to let them do their own thing, like they’re doing one of our programs where if they’re doing a live class and then they have work to do after that, or if they’re doing our self-paced class it’s very self-directed for them. At the end of the time that they finish a section, what do they do?

The best thing to do is to schedule time between, maybe every day, every other day, whatever works, but then meet with them and have them teach you about what they’re learning about.

What that does for you is it lets you know how it’s going. What it does for them, which is much more important, is it gives them an opportunity to start making some connections because when they start to explain it, just like you’ve noticed as you’re teaching, when you explain it you understand the different levels of relationship. Mastery starts to happen. The same thing happens for young people. Let them teach you what they’re learning.

Here’s a little hot tip about that: in the beginning it may not go very well, but hang in there, it gets better.

Amy: If at first it seems a little awkward, push through the awkward stage because what teen doesn’t want to be able to correct their mom and tell them how things work? [laughs]

Dennis: Absolutely. Teenagers are grumpy so you’re going to have a grumpy teenager who doesn’t want to do it. That’s the last thing they want to do, and they’re going to be explaining it to you, and it’s awkward for them. Teenage years are already awkward so now we’re asking them to do something that’s even more awkward.

The hardest part I think for parents is to not try to jump in and save them. Let them sort it out; they really will, and it’s interesting to watch them do that. Even if they stand there for 30 seconds and they have nothing to say because they’re sorting it out for themselves. That’s a good thing.

Amy: Last year my oldest son was in pre-calculus. I was teaching it myself, and there were so many times when we would get to something and it had been years since I had studied this stuff, I didn’t remember it. He doesn’t understand it. To be able to come into it as a parent, to have to be humble enough to say, “I don’t know either, but we can figure this out together.” I think that can also be really valuable where your teen sees that it’s okay for it to be hard. It’s okay if you don’t get it right away, that process, you’re not doing something wrong. You’re modeling for them how to deal with a challenging topic.

Dennis: Absolutely. That is brilliant. Absolutely. That is great. Sometimes discovering it together is great because there’s even, you might see something, they’ll see something. By the time you put it together, you get something even bigger than what either one of you thought you’d start out with. That’s really awesome.

Mr. D Math Dennis DiNoia High School Homeschool Online Math Homeschool Conversations

How far does a homeschool high schooler need to go in math, especially if they aren’t university bound?

Amy: There was a really common question that came up again. I mentioned earlier, I asked on social media what questions people had about high school math. There was one that was just really common. I’m actually going to read two questions and then ask for your perspective on this, one follower asked, if my kids aren’t university bound, how much math do we really need? Algebra is our requirement. I’m thinking some personal finance type math, do they need more than that?

Another mom asked, one of the things I think about is how do I assess how far my kid needs to go with math? How do I tell when a kid just needs to be done with algebra and some practical math, and when a kid needs to push on through to higher math, especially if their goals or future aspirations are unclear, how can I keep my child’s options open? Give them the skills they need while at the same time respecting who they are as an individual. This was such a common question. I’m really eager to hear your perspective on this.

Dennis: One thing, unfortunately, and I say this “unfortunately” because it is unfortunate. It depends on what your state says is needed for graduation. That would be the first thing, like what is it that you have to do?

Typically there’s Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2. Some states will require four math credits and other states more than that. Not more than that, but something different.

What do you do? That’s the first thing is find out what’s required in your state.

Then the second thing from there, once you fulfill those requirements, if there’s still additional math credits or math credits or math courses to take, then if the young person does know what they’re interested in they’re interested in a field that even if it’s a trade field, you’d be amazed to find out how much math is involved in people that go into trade industries like landscaping and plumbing and people that do those that get into those kinds of fields, which actually pay really well.

That’s a great field to get into, but getting there, find someone in the industry and ask them and you can say, “Hey, I’m interested in your field and I have this one more math credit to take or another math class to take. What would you recommend? What do you think would really help me prepare for what I’m interested in doing?”

Then look from there. If young people don’t know what they’re interested in, one thing is maybe even do like a little career interest survey with them, find out the fields that it seems are appropriate for what they’re interested in and the things that they like to do.

We do that with young people. We have a whole survey that we do with them and we have a college and career readiness class that really is that it’s whether you’re going to college or you’re going to go into the career into your work world what that looks like.

We’re always surprised to find out how often the students that have come into the class and say, “I don’t know what I want to do in my life.” By the time the class is over, they do, because we let them explore and find out what was important to you and then start interviewing like, find people in that field and find people that are able to say, “This is the math courses that I think you should take.”

All the math courses have a little different flavor to them. Geometry was not my favorite course when I was a high school student. In fact, it was towards the bottom of my favorite courses as a high school student. When I started teaching Geometry years later, one of the things I really got out of Geometry was the ability to think in a way that allowed me to solve problems, but to do it where it wasn’t in like an algebra, it’s step-by-step you go from this step to this step, you want to do this, you want to do that and you get your answer and Geometry is not really like that.

In geometry you see where you’re starting, you know where you’re ending, and you have to figure out how to get there.

I think if any young person is going to be an attorney, take geometry, because it teaches you how to present an argument, which is really great. That’s why we do proofs with young people. It’s not that I think that they’re going to remember the Side, Side, Side Postulate for triangle congruence. That’s probably not going to stick with them, but they’ll learn how to create a proof and how to present it and how to present your argument. I don’t mean argue in the sense of like you’re arguing where you’re butting heads, but argument where you’re trying to be able to say what it is you’re trying to say, and it’s a valid progression in what you’re speaking.

For it really comes down to what’s important. For some people, if you’re headed in the business route, definitely a financial course, we just put together a consumer math course that we have for students now and it’s all project based. There’s not tests and things like that in there, but it’s really more about them discovering things that are out there in the world. Everything from check writing, we put a time management section in there and goal setting for students in there because that’s important for them. It does show up in the world.

Then they’re working on how to finance a car and balancing a checkbook and all the other different things that are in there that you typically see from a consumer math course, and working with recipes and conversion factors and all those good things. It’s all in there and so I think it mostly comes down to what are young people interested in and finding out from them, what do they really like to do? Then starting to look at what math courses would supplement that and would give them something that they need so that one day they have the skills they need.

Amy: I love that perspective too, to go and talk to people in the field, whether it’s a plumber or a lawyer or a businessman or whatever, and to find out from those people. That also teaches your students to be able to take that initiative, have that awkward conversation, trying to ask somebody about the math.

I also really love what you said, that things like geometry have value beyond whether that student’s ever going to remember those postulates and theorems, but it’s really training them how to think and how to analyze information, which is going to apply no matter if they’re in a math field long-term or not. I think that really goes along with the next question I had for you because I’m sure there are parents listening have had the experience with their students saying, but when am I ever going to use this?

Mr. D Math Dennis DiNoia High School Homeschool Online Math Homeschool Conversations

How to reply to the high school math question, “When will I ever use this math?”

Dennis: Are you ready? Here comes the answer:  You may not. That’s actually the answer to the question. I don’t know if you’re going to use it or not. If you start looking at that, again, you can go online and research it and find out who uses these kinds of things. Unfortunately, we make up answers to try to answer that question, but the real truth is we don’t know. You may use it, but you may not use it.

Here’s the great thing. When I was 16 years old, there were two things that I wanted to do more than anything. Actually, there was three, there was a third one.

The first one was I wanted to play baseball. The second one was, I was a musician. I was a trumpet player and I also was pretty good back in the day. I still play a little bit now and then.

The third one was I wanted to run a business. If you notice, when I was a teen, being a math educator was not on my list, nowhere near it. Thing changed along the way, so I do run a business. It just happens to be, I work in the business of education now, which is really great.

I think one of the things for young people is that they may say, “When am I ever going to use this,” and the answer is, right now we don’t know. But it’s actually a valid answer because most people, when they’re 16 or 17 years old, oftentimes they don’t know what they’re going to be doing with their life. We really can’t say, maybe we will be, maybe we won’t be, but here’s where we are.

Amy: Definitely. I always tell my kids, I don’t care if you’re going to use this or not. It’s just cool to learn about!

Dennis: Absolutely, so much of it is! We actually added to our courses for students that want to take that honors perspective. We have them go into the course and every chapter we pick one section out of the chapter. We tell them, go find out where this shows up and people use this in “the real world.”

I think that’s a weird phrase to use because if that’s the real world, then that must mean everything else we’re doing is a pretend world. It just seems funny to be doing school in a pretend world. I always tell people it’s in the world outside of a math class. Where do you find this and where does it show up? We have them write about it and actually go out and find out different work that’s out there where these things can be applied. We get the greatest responses from students and we have them write about it and tell us what they found out and what they discovered.

It’s great for them because they can start to see for themselves. Actually, these things do show up. Even if they find out that something may not be the career path that they’re going into, they can have an appreciation for those who are going into that field and they can say, “Oh, wow. I know you must have learned about this, this, and this.” Which I think is great.

Is it too late to encourage a love of math in our teen?

Amy: Definitely. I have one more question that came up and this was a mom who was pretty vulnerable and she admitted she hadn’t done a very good job instilling a love of math up until now. She wondered is it too late? If there’s a homeschool parent who has a teen who just doesn’t seem like they could care less about math? Is it too late to inspire them to at least respect math if not to love it?

Dennis: It’s definitely not too late. We get students – the only reason I’m going to say this is because our students tell us – they let us know, “I used to hate math” and now we get the response of, “Now I don’t hate it anymore.” Some of them get to, “Now I actually like it.” Some of them are like, “Now I love it.” We find that a lot of times it’s just for a young person they’re hating it because they haven’t found a way that fits to the way they learn, or it hasn’t been explained in a way that makes sense to them. Once they get that, they’re ready to go. I think it’s not too late. Not at all.

Amy: Oh, that’s an encouragement, I know. My daughter, as I mentioned earlier, loved your Geometry class last year and is taking Algebra 2 this year. She had a different perspective than you did as a teen. She actually loved Geometry and is not necessarily a huge fan of Algebra, but even if she doesn’t care for the content as much this year, she still was really enjoying your classes. Last year she did a little video for a challenge you guys had going on and she compared you favorably to Jane Austen, which you know for her literary heart is a very high compliment.

Dennis: I remember that video. That was awesome. That’s funny. That’s actually how we find out a lot about how it’s going for students. We do a contest every February and we asked the students to make a quick one-minute video, tell us what’s working for you about the course and the program. We make it a big contest and givea way prizes, but really for us it’s how do we learn about how it’s going for them? If there’s something not working there, they’re not shy. They tell us that too. It’s really great because that’s how we find out how it’s going. That’s often how we find out, “I used to hate math and now here I am.”  

Mr. D Math Dennis DiNoia High School Homeschool Online Math Homeschool Conversations

How are Mr. D Math Online High School Courses set up?

Amy: Definitely. Could you talk to anyone who’s not familiar with the way Mr. D math is set up online? How do you run your courses online and how does the way you approach these math topics maybe differ from other high school math programs?

Dennis: Our courses are set up in two ways.

One is the students can do their own pace, because sometimes people are into all kinds of different things and their schedules are the way they are, right? You can start the course whenever it works for you and end the course when it works for you.

We also do what we call live classes, and our live classes start in August and run through May. We meet the students once a week. In the live classes, what we do is we spend some time laying out for them what to expect during the week. It’s a little bit more like a college experience in a way because you have that one class and you’re going to see more than just one section outlined for you.

It’s a lot of participation during that class. We ask the kids a lot of questions and for most of the students it’s fun because we want to keep it so that they’re engaged and interacting with us as the instructors. Then they go back and all of the same videos that are in the self-paced course are still there for them as well. They meet with the live class, they go back, they’ve got additional videos and additional support.

We really encourage the students when they’re doing practice problems to be the ones that check the work themselves.

Then moms and dads are more like an accountability coach to be able to check in with them and see how they’re doing, which is why we ask the students to teach the parents. That way, you know right away how it’s going.

That’s one of the things that I found when I was in college when I was struggling in a calculus course. They didn’t have the internet back then. I went to the local bookstore and I just bought as many calculus books as I could find. By the way it was a used bookstore, one of those for college students. I laid them all out and I kept looking for examples of the problem I was working on in my own course. What I found was that I learned like that, that was so helpful for me to see something worked out and then I could do it myself.

For our students, we tried to address as many learning styles as possible, one being they needed to see it. They needed to see it all worked out. They can go to the videos and they can watch the videos. They can hear it, they can start practicing with it.

Then for others, they need to talk to people. We set up help sessions for the students to come to and we’ll do those three days a week where the students can come in and they can come in wherever they are in their course. They can come in and ask a question and they can email us anytime.

We have this amazing young person that works for us and he did all of our courses all the way from pre-algebra all the way through pre-calculus. He’s a senior in college now and he likes math more than I do. There’s no question about it. He’s getting his degree in math and physics, the double major, it’s just crazy.

He still has time to work with us, which is really awesome. What he does is he logs in, and this is amazing, but he logs in every day, six days a week, Monday through Saturday from 9:00 AM Eastern to 9:00 PM Eastern time, and he answers students’ questions and emails. Our students that ask a question, people always ask us, “how do you do that so fast,” because we’re actually checking all day long and seeing what questions people have. On Sunday he doesn’t start till five.

He gets a little break on Sunday, but for him to log in at nine o’clock check what there is to do, he logs out and comes back at 10 and then if he does have a class for him in his own college experience, he might be away for a couple of hours and then he comes back and does it. He’s been working with us that way now for two years. When he finally realized that he was like, he goes, “I was going to go be a math professor.” He said, “But I think I want to stay with you guys.” I said, “That’s great, because we’re keeping you.”

For us it’s about communicating with students. I think that’s one thing that we do is we make sure that we get back to students quickly. Parents tell us that all the time, it’s like when they email us as they’re always like, how did you do that so fast and get back to us.

I think that what we try to do is to address all the different learning styles and that has had us have some success in being able to have students have success. That’s really what it’s all about.

Amy: That’s definitely been something we’ve noticed with Emma being able to send an email and to get a question or pop into one of the live sessions. She does the self-paced course because she likes to get ahead and work at her own pace. To know that she has that live tutoring session available or live help session is always just nice for me to know that’s in our back pocket too. If she gets stuck on something or I don’t have time to help her. It’s pretty great. I know Mr. D math is now more, much more than math. What are some of the other courses that you guys offer?

Other Online High School Courses from Mr. D Math

Dennis: We have three levels of American sign language now, and we have the consumer math is a new course. Oh, okay. You know what, your audience is going to be the first people to hear this. This is really exciting. We’ve been piloting this year and we’re going to launch it for next year. We have what’s called a preparing for pre-algebra class. It’s like a pre-pre-algebra class. We’ll have a live version of that. We’ll have a self-paced version of that. We’ve been getting the course developed this year. We’ve brought on a new teacher who is just perfect for that age group.

She’s been helping develop the materials. She’s just awesome. She sent me one of her recordings and she said, “Hey, would you do me a favor?” She goes, “I let the recording run a little too long at the end. Could you just edit it out?” I was like, sure. I’m listening to it. The young people that run there, there’s two boys that stayed on with her and they were just having so much fun. I know about all that was going on in their life. They were so excited and one of them into Legoland. It was just great, but you could just tell it was like this natural, just great relationship between her and her students. It was great.

We’re going to have that available next year. We’re really excited about that. We have a partnership with a group out of Orlando, Florida that does a computer programming course. We have that. We have a study skills course we just launched. This is really cool. We just launched training like an Olympic runner. He’s trained Olympic athletes in the past. He works with people that are going to want to be Olympic athletes. He put a course together and we have that online. My own kids got involved in the game and we have my son is a flamenco dancer, he also was learning the guitar in the Spanish flamenco world. We put together two courses that teach flamenco dance and flamenco guitar. Those are like entry-level courses. We’ve got even a YouTuber class that we just started. Always new things coming in.

What’s really great is that the courses that people have come from either our former students who went on to college and they wanted to create their own courses or we have people that are parents. Our computer programming guys, their daughter was in our math class. Then we started talking and they’re like, well, how are your classes set up? This is what we do. It was like a great partnership that we could create with them. We try to keep it in the family. It’s been good so far.

Amy: That is fantastic. Last year, my son and I were able to peek in at one of your ACT Prep courses as well. I think Mr. H taught that one and I thought those were just fantastic, really teaching students how to approach these tasks without feeling intimidated. Just learn the strategies for test taking and things like that. Every class I’ve seen is super impressive. There’s just about anything you might want to know.

Dennis: The other course that we have and so there the ACT and SAT prep has been awesome, but the other course that we have that for me is probably become one of my favorite courses to work with is our college and career readiness class and that class does everything. It’s similar to the consumer math class, but it’s really giving students a chance to really look at what they’re up to. We actually have guest speakers come in.

We have a college professor that joins us every time and he’s an online college professor and he’s just so great. He and I have been friends for a really long time. We’ve had people come in from the company EA Sports. We had a whole software development team come in and these were all young people, by saying young people they’re probably in their late 20s or so, but it was great because the students were all interested in what kinds of video games were they into. They got to talk about everything that they do, and so the students got to see, wait a minute, these guys are professional people, but they still act like kids. It’s like they have this amazing job.

They were working with Fortune 500 kinds of companies in the software that they’re developing. It’s been great, the kinds of people that we can come in with and we teach them in that course, we work with them on the stock market and how the stock market works and why you need to save money and what it looks like to have a portfolio that you can have and how to invest and invest wisely. That kind of course is great.

We’re always been more focused on what are you interested in, college track, career track and then how to research a college and how to find out what the college is interested in and the dynamics and the demographics of the college. You can find out what’s right for you. I love that course. That’s become a favorite.

Amy: Then you’re really coming alongside them. As a homeschool mom you think, “I’m the parent, I’m the homeschool teacher, and now in high school I’m also like having to figure out all this college and future stuff,” so to know that you have somebody in your corner who can come alongside and help through that process is really helpful.

High School Math and ACT Prep Mr. D Math

What is Dennis DiNoia reading lately?

I am asking each of my guests this question this season and that’s just, what are you personally reading lately?

Dennis: I have this one book that we actually use in our college and career readiness class. We use excerpts out of the book. I ended up reading this almost all year long, it’s called Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. If you haven’t read that, actually what’s cool about it is it was written a really long time ago. The copyright is expired, so you can download it on the internet. You can see the whole book right online. It’s awesome. I probably read that book more times than any other book, so that would be what I’m working on right now.

Amy: That sounds great. I’ll have to check that out and I’ll definitely include a link to that in the show notes.

Find Mr. D Math Online

Mr. D thank you so much for joining us today and where can people find you on the internet?

Dennis: Oh, mrdmath.com and that’s M-D-R M-A-T-H.com.

Amy: Fantastic. I will have that linked up as well as lists of all the courses we talked about today over in the show notes for this episode at humilityanddoxology.com.

Check out all the other interviews in my Homeschool Conversations series!

Homeschool Conversations Video Interviews


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