Is there a way to increase the number of problems Alcumus throws at kids? My son just completed the exponents section in under an hour and moved on to new a new section. Honestly, this kid has never encountered a negative exponent before, so I know for sure, he hasn't mastered this material. He did watch a video and then figured out the problems on his own. At the rate he is going, he will be done with all of preA alcumus long before we even manage to start the book. I want to achieve mastery, but I don't know what to do. Should I dump all the other math books and just into AoPS full force? Or should I go with original programming and complete all of SM 5B and JA and Beast 4C before letting him go into the preA book? I thought I had a plan, now I am not sure.
Posted Yesterday, 04:16 PM
We're doing every problem in the book, and Alcumus at the slowest possible rate. No, mastery will not be there. Normally, kids don't master any course the first pass through. It's the subsequent courses that review and build upon the previous years which develop mastery. AoPS Introduction to Algebra will repeat the concepts, as will the majority of the follow-on chapters in the pre-algebra book. If you plan to chase those with AoPS Intermediate Algebra and then AoPS Pre-Calculus, do you start to feel a little sense of security?
On the other hand, I really don't think Alcumus by itself will suffice, because it doesn't hit the theory quite like the book does. Your son will probably get by as well as any other kid taking pre-algebra, but that's probably not a proper goal for your child. Our DS8 (just had his b-day!) blows through the Alcumus problems at an alarming rate, as well, but not so much with the book -- he has needed the full two weeks for the early chapters. So, we do all the problems in the book and discuss the tougher ones in depth, just to drill in the theory, and only then do we allow him to do Alcumus.
In short, if you do all of both, you should be in fantastic shape. Just don't slow down - momentum is very important!
Posted Yesterday, 04:29 PM
I feel better.
I always wonder how solid all the material needs to be before moving on.
We want to take preA class online, so we started Alcumus as an "intro" so to speak while we work on typing skills in preparation. I thought it was going to be a lot more work.
Posted Yesterday, 05:26 PM
Posted Yesterday, 07:22 PM
Fwiw the other day I noticed a setting that increases the number of problems or amount of review or something - it was the last setting option, on the bottom.
Do you mean "high review rate" under settings? I have it on high, but still, very few problems per topic.
Posted Today, 08:55 AM
If he's doing well with Alcumus, why not just start the PreA book? If it's too much, you've got plenty of other things to pull out for breaks!
For us, JA was a really good bridge, but if he's finding it easy (particularly the last 3 chapters) then maybe he doesn't need a bridge, maybe he's ready to jump in!
We use Alcumus as a mastery test after she's covered the topic, because it throws more challenging problems at her. I feel like if she's done a section on a topic, and masters it on Alcumus, then it's actually understood, not just pattern-matched. It's hard to fake out Alcumus. But I agree that using it all by itself without covering the material in any other way is unlikely to lead to lasting mastery.
I know I shouldn't be giving math advice on this board!!! I have a totally different kid. And I don't want to stress anybody else out . . . but since I feel like you started JA because of my suggestion, I just wanted to say, just because it was so great for my kid doesn't mean it's necessary for yours!
And Shannon tells me I should have let her start AoPS last year. I kept hesitating and holding back, and she thinks she would have been fine with it sooner. Who knows. But you can always try, and go slow and throw other stuff in there for variety.
The path meanders, and there aren't walls on either side - you can always take side trails, KWIM? There's no one way to get there.