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Frequently Asked Questions
What are your qualifications?
I have been a certified New Hampshire teacher since 1995, holding current New Hampshire endorsements in both Middle Grades (5-8) and Secondary (7-12) Mathematics. My B.A. in Mathematics and teacher’s training were completed at Keene State College. I have been tutoring since 1992, homeschooling since 1998, evaluating portfolios since 2003, and teaching online classes since 2014. That having been said, every person’s educational taste is different so, in the end, it’s up to you to decide if I’m the right fit for your student.
What makes your classes different?
On a practical level, I create well-organized online classrooms and right-brain-friendly class activities. I go out of my way to find the best resources, both inside and outside of the textbook. I use gamification strategies, create online escape rooms, and encourage student collaboration.
On a personal level, it’s just me : ) Simon Pegg once said that “Being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection. It means never having to play it cool about how much you like something.” And I love: God, Praying for One, My daughter, Learning, Teaching, Logic, Mathematics, Economics, Tabletop Games, and Escape Rooms*!
*play code: N4S-QXW-D75
Is my student ready for your class?
First, please pay close attention to any prerequisites listed in the course description. These are requirements. We’re homeschoolers, however, so the “grade level” listing is just a suggestion: ) Grade level information is intended to give you an idea of the workload and maturity expectations for students enrolled in the class. In 2018 I introduced “Ready Ratios” to help you more confidently choose your student’s course level. There is a downloadable PDF for each of my course descriptions that will help you decide just how ready your student is!
What is a "Flipped Classroom?"
Every “Flipped Classroom” is a little bit different! In my math and logic classes, it looks like this: Students should read the new week’s material before attending class. During class I introduce that material. We work with it in class and practice the “tricky bits.” We also review past material and make everything’s coming together. Over the course of the week, students use a variety of resources (textbooks, short pre-recorded mini-lectures, and/or Section Videos) to master each lesson as they work through the week’s studies. This allows students maximum flexibility — and redeems our class time for interactive pursuits rather than talking-head lectures : )
How can students reach out for help? Do you have office hours?
Yes! I’m a big fan of a Growth Mindset — that means that students need to be willing to make mistakes and learn from them : ) In order to support student learning, and answer their questions, I provide:
- FAQs – I assemble solutions to the most common student concerns and address them ahead of time for convenience and peace of mind.
- Contact Information – Students can email, text, or call me… and I answer ASAP!
- Office Hours – This year I’ve done away with the one-hour-per-week model. Instead of a single hour in which no students (or 10 students) randomly show up, I’ve instituted mini-meetups! I’ve carved out two hours per week, eight (8) 15-minute meetings, for students to schedule conveniently online.
My student just finished Algebra. Is Geometry next? Algebra2?
I generally recommend Algebra 1 then Geometry then Algebra 2 for most students. This give them a solid Geometry foundation before the SATs (or ACTs or CLTs) kick in. It also ensures that Algebra 2 is fresh in their mind before they jump into PreCalculus! A student who is motivated to accelerate their high school math classes, so as to fit in Calculus for example, can reasonably take Algebra 2 and Geometry at the same time : )
Why study logic?
Informal Logic: It’s vital that students understand the difference between an argument and a quarrel – it’s so much easier to play nice! Whether you’re a business executive at a sales meeting or a college student on social media, it is important to back up your opinion with good reasoning . . . not just emotion. Finally, it is important to recognize when others are attempting to manipulate you. Whether it’s advertising, internet “arguments,” or a predator, recognizing the unspoken lie is the beginning of choosing truth.
Formal Logic: Formal Logic, aka “Deductive Reasoning,” can be used to prove math theorems, structure computer code, refute manipulative politicians, craft winning arguments, interpret scripture, and solve mysteries! It’s a great math elective : )
How will students submit homework?
Each class has different homework submission policies, however your math student should be prepared to clearly scan multiple pages into a single PDF file. I do my best to minimize busy work and maximize the effectiveness of my feedback.
What kind of weekly workload will you be assigning in your math classes? How much time will it take?
A1: I generally assign each of my math classes 3 lessons per week, or perhaps 2 lessons plus a test : ) I do not assign every problem from every lesson — and I do not collect every homework problem that I assign. In Algebra 2 and Calculus, we will be using Math XL. These problems are great because they provide instant feedback. If a student studies effectively, they might complete 12-15 problems correctly in Math XL and be done! If they are stuck on a particular problem, they can rework (similar) problems until it “clicks”. The idea is that the homework assignment becomes not-too-big and not-too-little.
A2: How much time will it take your student to learn the course material? I just don’t know. Is your student a creative problem solver with a ton of grit and strong study skills? Does your student have undiagnosed ADHD and an extreme disinterest in learning? Did your student “complete” Algebra 1 with you talking them through every. single. problem?
Please note that I am talking about learning the course material, not completing homework or running through a checklist. Every student learns at a different rate — and that’s 100% OK. Your student might master the material with 1 hour of work each day. Another student might require 3 hours. Both of these timelines are fine : ) Learning math takes time and effort, but it’s worth it.
Personally, I had to work hard, long hours to do well in my high school mathematics courses — or any course, for that matter! I had to make some hard choices and give up some “high school” fun so that I could invest in the learning that would benefit me for the rest of my life.
Do you offer tutoring? My student needs one-on-one instruction.
If your student is used to one-on-one instruction, they will need extensive parental support as they transition into a once-a-week class format. This is a great opportunity for your student to learn how to ask specific questions and advocate for themselves as needed! [See “How can students reach out for help?” above.] I do tutor students privately, and even have several students that I teach on an individual basis. As you can imagine, online classes through MyFunScience are much more cost effective than paying for my time on an hourly basis.
Copying the answer from the answer key isn’t really cheating… is it?
It is. It is passing off someone else’s knowledge and understanding as his own. When your student googles a test answer, that’s cheating. When he cut-and-pastes it into his test without crediting its source, that’s plagiarism. Academic honesty is taken very seriously.
My student uses a calculator on their phone/computer instead of a graphing calculator.
OK, this isn’t really a question : ) Unfortunately, it’s a statement I often get from parents after weeks of trying to figure out why a student is not making progress in their math class. Online calculators often allow your student to fake their understanding of math processes, while neglecting to build the foundational skills they will need to succeed in future math classes.
The work pace of my core math classes (Algebra 2, Geometry, and Calculus) assumes that your student owns, and is using, a suitable calculator. He is unlikely to be successful if he tries to “push through” without a calculator. Please see my Tech Policy for more information.
How can we support you? How can we stay up-to-date on your offerings?
Thanks so much for asking. Your prayers would be lovely! If you’ve had a good experience in one of my classes (or STEM Club) please tell your friends : ) You can use the following tools to keep up-to-date:
I have another question . . .
No problem! Please email me at through my contact form.
What happened to STEM Club?
Due to scheduling challenges, Mission: The Future STEM Club is unable to continue its monthly meetings during the 2019-2020 school year. Instead, we will be running three big, social STEM events for all My Fun Science students, no membership required.
About Bethany Barnosky
Bethany Barnosky is a master teacher and educational consultant who enjoys life in sunny southern New Hampshire. As a college student, she set aside her interest in the aerospace industry in order to raise her daughter and pursue her passion for teaching mathematics to young people. During her years as a teacher, Mrs. Barnosky has been honored to work with some of the best online instructors in the country – and teach students from all over the world!
As a double-certified math teacher, she provides tutoring, curriculum, portfolio, and transcript services to homeschoolers in and around New Hampshire. Mrs. Barnosky enjoys teaching, tabletop gaming, and general geekery. Widowed in 2013, Bethany has successfully graduated her daughter from both high school and college. Today she spends her days teaching, learning, and praying for opportunities to share God’s love with others.
Listen to Bethany's Podcast!
“Mainly, thanks so much for doing class. You made learning not only fun, but helpful and understandable. Not just: “Alright, let’s open up our textbooks too page…” You actually care about your students, and how they learn. That was neat to see in a teacher. – Informal Logic student
“My husband and I watched class last week with him and I have to say you are the most entertaining teacher we have ever experienced at Landry. I know the kids are going to have a great time and learn a lot. You find the perfect line for having a good time and finding them where they are and keeping them in check. We were impressed.” – Parent of Algebra 2 & Economics student
“Mrs. B is an amazing teacher. I came into Algebra 2 dreading it, because I had struggled through algebra 1 and geometry. While algebra 2 is still quite challenging, I feel like I am able to understand the material well because Mrs. B teaches it so well. She has many tips and tricks that make the material make more sense, and overall the system she uses to teach works amazing! Overall, I’ve done very well in Algebra 2, and I definitely accredit that to Mrs. B’s awesome teaching!” – Michael Dettlaff, Algebra 2 student
“As a side note, you have already relaxed my son by sharing your math experience — THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! Students needs to know that not everyone “gets it” the first time and many still have questions — so ASK! You rock!!!” – Parent
“I have enjoyed taking your class. . . Who would have thought that anyone would look forward to a math class? I’ve loved play Madlibs and Kahoot during class, as your way to “wake us up.” . . . You gave us lots of resources so that we could fully understand the concepts you were teaching us. You always made me fully understand and didn’t leave questions unanswered. . . . You have shown me different, and easier methods of doing the same thin, like using the Pythagorean Theorem instead of the distance formula. . . . You have made Geometry fun and easy for us all, by giving us fun things to study with, fun things during (class), and most of all, your positive outlook on such a hard subject.” – Geometry student
“I just got through taking the unit two test and I just want to say “thank you!” I am so thankful that you created a logic page on Quizlet. The repetition with vocabulary and rules of inference and replacement has been so helpful. I feel really good about this test. Again, thank you for being such a wonderful teacher. I am so glad I am able to take logic with you. You’re fabulous and I just want to say thank you for all your hard work and effort. I have learned so much and repetition has been my best friend. Thanks for everything, Mrs. Barnosky! And thank you for the time you spend working with your students.” – Formal Logic student
“My son Russell is really enjoying your class — thanks for your mentorship of these young men and women. It’s been the first time in a long time he is feeling positive and confident about math – I’m grateful for you and your encouragement. It’s been such a blessing to our family for him to enjoy math this year. Thank you!” – Parent of Algebra 2 Student