I have been teaching math, algebra, and geometry to middle and high school students for several years. I used basic math all my career as an architect, am comfortable with it, and have learned quite a bit about different ways students process math problems in their heads. With each student I try to work with the methods that work with that particular student.
I base my understanding of US history in my knowledge of world history and see the US as a great experiment against most of the rest of the past. Men took the opportunity of beginning a new country to develop a new society. The choices made, and the forces felt, are determining the outcome, and shaping current events. I find the details fascinating, and discuss them with my wife, who teaches US History. It all makes sense, in context.
Elementary math can be fun, and lead to more advanced ideas. I have worked with arithmetic in my career as an architect, and with students learning math in school. I like to use games and puzzles to review math facts and make using math fun. I have had some success with this method with boys who've had very difficult and incomplete educations.
The mechanics of writing sentences are important for the writer to focus thinking, and for the reader, to make understanding easier. Good English is a tool and also a way of presenting yourself, just as clothes tell others who you are or how you want to be seen. I favor direct simple sentences that allow for complicating or explanatory clauses or phrases to fine tune the meaning. The rules are only for getting to good writing, not the goal.
I majored in English Literature in College, with a minor in Italian Literature. I taught college English writing and lit for a year, and recently also high school English as a long-term substitute for the last quarter of a year. I wrote reports professionally for ten years, and am a great appreciator of good prose in literature and in the history books I read for fun. I do think that reading a lot is a prerequisite for being able to write well, and that writing is a path to clear thinking.
Learning to solve problems is different from learning basic math facts. Problem solving can be fun but it requires seeing a pattern in a problem, or figuring out which pattern is the most helpful to solve the problem. Most problems involve some kind of relationship or ratio, usually expressed as an equation. Learning to manipulate equations, to change them around so they are still true but more helpful, is a big step in math and in life
Each SAT question is a kind of puzzle, and the reading section asks for a specific kind of attention to the pieces of writing, not just normal reading. Solving the puzzle means using the text and the questions together to find the right answer. Each must be read carefully and slowly, to get the meaning of the sentences and to find the clues. It doesn't take long but it does take a strong focus on the specific question. That focus can be taught and learned, making this part of the SAT relatively painless.
The keys to writing SAT essays are understanding the question, and building an answer. The answer has to work with the question, and show some thought about both content and structure. The answer has to begin, have a middle, and an ending just like the school essays, but it has to be written under more time pressure. It can be done, and be expressive, and be a success. Making up the pieces or ideas, then putting them together to make an answer, is a skill that can be learned.
I am very familiar with many aspects of ancient history, having lived in Rome for three years, and having traveled a lot. I study current events and understand them better because I know some of the causes and backgrounds that shape our world today. My wife teaches history and we discuss the news almost every day. My background in architecture has given me an understanding of how technology influences culture; I lived in Europe for six years and saw the destruction of WWII and the reconstruction afterwards.
I have always liked reading, and have a good feel for English, my major in college. I used to write reports in business, noting my observations of construction projects for the sponsors. Knowing some foreign languages has also helped me think about sentences and how to put them together so the idea is clear and the writing says what it needs to.