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Pre-Algebra: From Kid’s Stuff to the Good Stuff!

DESCRIPTION: A 2-semester course for middle-schoolers who have a good grasp on Arithmetic, and are preparing to move into Algebra.

Imagine a math class, taught by a young teacher who loves math, has a sense of humor, and who knows that the best answer to the question, “Why do we have to take Algebra I?” is not “So that you’ll be ready for Algebra II.” That’s what you’ll get in our new class, taught by James Pelham, 18 (assisted by Kay Pelham).

Not every society is great at everything, and the sad fact is that in our society, math is often taught by people who assume that kids will hate math, so they don’t try to present it as anything other than a drudgery that must simply be endured. But as it turns out, some grasp of math is not only necessary for math students in school, but for adults functioning in the real world. And most teachers understand that, of course–which is why math is a required subject.

What too few ever discover, however, is that math is a skill set and “mindware” that can help us to work some fascinating puzzles in this world, as well as to better understand how the world works in various ways. A good math education helps train the mind’s powers of analysis and problem-solving. When it’s taught well, math can be fun, fascinating, rewarding, and engaging—and it gives the well-rounded person an additional and useful perspective from which to better understand the world.

In Arithmetic, one learns how to count, add, subtract, multiply and divide. And in Algebra, one learns how to think about numbers and their uses in new ways. It’s not nearly as much about rote memorization as it is about understanding what all can be mathematically figured out based on the information we already have. In this course, James helps students to understand the basic strategies they will further develop in Algebra. So, we first make sure you have “the kid’s stuff” down, and we then help you start your journey into “the good stuff”!

Other Information

A Code of Conduct agreement is required for this course. This helps to ensure the positive environment in each class. This document is being updated and will be published this summer.

Tuesdays, 12:40 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The semester runs September 13, 2021 through December 6. (13 weeks)

The textbook for this course will be announced by August 1. We are weighing various options, and would love to hear if our enrollees have any preferences. Please contact us here to let us know.

You’ll need the following:

  • notebook with paper
  • pencils
  • 1/4″ grid graph paper (one pack)
  • 12″ ruler
  • calculator with exponents and root functions (Phone apps are fine.)

12 Maximum
5 Minimum

This course meets, as do all our courses, in the We, Montana! Great Room.

James Pelham, assisted by Kay Pelham

$100 for the full year. You may pay the whole $100 in advance, or $50 by September 1 and then $60 by the first day of class in January.


SKITS PERFORMANCE: May 6 & 7, 2021

At the We, Montana! Great Room. 5055 Jellison Road, Unit 7 C.


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We’ve been getting ready all semester, and now it’s almost show time! This semester’s final Skits performance is a witty joyride of a show, with something for everyone. Take a look at our program–which you can download (PDF) with a simple click just below!

Here are some fun shots from our shows over the last three years.

The Great Room seats 65 in general admission ($7 in advance, or $10 at the door), auditorium-styled seating (chairs and pews). Or you can reserve our exclusive booth for your party (of 1-4 people) for $50.

We think our family-friendly show is best suited for teens and adults, though kids as young as 6 or 7 would probably have a pretty good time!

We’re running the same show, two nights in a row. (Thursday, May 6, and Friday, May 7.) The house opens at 6:30 p.m., and the show’s at 7:00 p.m. It’ll be done by about 8:30.

When you purchase your tickets through PayPal below, please know that you don’t have to have a PayPal account. You can use your debit or credit card as you would for any other online purchase.

Tickets for Thursday, May 6th at 7:00 p.m.

General Admission7.00 USDGeneral seating, in chairs or pews.
Reserve the Booth50.00 USDReserve the whole booth, which seats up to four.
Your eTicket will be emailed after payment to your PayPal email address.

Tickets for Friday, May 7th at 7:00 p.m.

General Admission7.00 USDGeneral seating, in chairs or pews.
Sold OutReserve the Booth50.00 USDReserve the whole booth, which seats up to four.
Your eTicket will be emailed after payment to your PayPal email address.

In Search of Student Interns to Learn and Operate Sound and Lighting Equipment

As our program gets more and more sophisticated, we find ourselves in need of capable students to run our lighting and sound equipment. We’re offering a few FREE internships in hope of meeting this need. We’d like to have as many as four interns who could be trained by Jack and James Pelham during actual rehearsal times earlier in the day, and then to be available to run lights and sound during our Skits Workshop later in the afternoon, as well as at special events.


Ideally, we’d like two interns each for training during these rehearsal times:

Continue reading In Search of Student Interns to Learn and Operate Sound and Lighting Equipment

Coming Soon: Homeschool Glee Club!


Our first chorus (2018/2019 school year) was for ages 9 and up,
including parents–and was quite like our new Glee Club will be.

It’s been a crazy COVID year, but as soon as things calm down enough that sufficient numbers are ready to enroll, we’ll be starting a new choral ensemble, the Homeschool Glee Club! It’ll be much like our original chorus in the 2018/2019 school year. Here are the quick details:

Continue reading Coming Soon: Homeschool Glee Club!

Great Room Meeting. 26 April

Here’s an audio recording of today’s meeting about the future of the Great Room classes. You’ll have to sign up for a free account at buzzsprout to hear it. Sorry about that, but the file is too large to host at our website or on Facebook.

Chorus Auditions–Time is Running Out!

The start of the semester is fast approaching, and we really need to get the chorus enrollment squared away so that we know how many to expect, how much music to order, etc. I’ll have an open house this Saturday, August 3, from 9-11 a.m. (Skits Workshop Auditions are from 11 to 1 p.m., FYI). Anyone wanting to audition for chorus needs to let me know in advance, and we’ll do it during this open house time. I’ll also be hearing auditions for Intermediate Band during this time.

Please contact me to let me know you’re coming.

Website and Email Troubles

For the past couple of weeks, our web services have been intermittent. It’s up and running at the moment, but may well crash shortly, so I thought I’d send out this email while I can.

As soon as it seems to have been (really) resolved, I’ll send out another email to let you know.

Meanwhile, be advised that I have received several registrations through email in these past days, but I can’t respond to those emails when the system is down. No worries, though; I expect it to be resolved perhaps as early as tomorrow.

Thanks for your patience.


PARENTS: Need Your Help!

Hey, We, Montana! parents—-I need your help! As you know, we are taking an aggressive step forward for the Fall, so it’s forcing me to work both harder and smarter–as they say. If you’re willing, you can help make this easier for me in what may be a surprisingly simple way. It’s about communication. Please take a few minutes to read the following.

Continue reading PARENTS: Need Your Help!