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AoPS Intermediate Algebra


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#1 JoJosMom

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 05:43 PM

Which chapters tend to be the more difficult?  My daughter is taking the class, and it is helpful if I can give her advance warning of the tough stuff.  Thank you!



#2 Roadrunner

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 07:50 PM

I am no help, but may I ask how many homework problems are assigned per week? I am wondering if the lack of alcumus results in a different format for that class. We are getting ready to jump into it as well.

#3 JoJosMom

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 08:15 PM

The format is a little different; grading is based on challenge problems, participation, and writing problems.  DD is in the 4th week, and there have been 11-17 challenge problems and 1 writing problem each week (the first 2 weeks were review and Week 1 had the highest number of [easy-ish] problems.)  So far, so good, but we are taking AoPS one class at a time around here.  Completing the work takes waaaaay longer than AoPS says that it should (but that part is not new; it's just a real stretch for my daughter.)


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#4 lewelma

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 12:43 AM

Ds says if she has questions, to ask them. ๐Ÿ˜€ He is ready, and school holidays start on Friday so he will have more time. He says in the beginning it's not that difficult, but it ramps up!!
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#5 Lilaclady

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 06:58 AM

That was my dd's favorite class. I think different ones will be hard for different kids.
I think the tough ones for her were polynomials, conics - in the beginning, special cases of functions- chapter 15, and some of the advanced strategies- chapter 20.
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#6 JoJosMom

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 08:31 AM

Ds says if she has questions, to ask them. ๐Ÿ˜€ He is ready, and school holidays start on Friday so he will have more time. He says in the beginning it's not that difficult, but it ramps up!!

 

:laugh:  Oh, she will, Ruth!  I was just wondering which chapters I should expect to be especially ugly.  It helps to know in advance (I live a ways out of town; just popping into town for a bottle of wine is not an option, however desperate I might become!)



#7 JoJosMom

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 08:31 AM

That was my dd's favorite class. I think different ones will be hard for different kids.
I think the tough ones for her were polynomials, conics - in the beginning, special cases of functions- chapter 15, and some of the advanced strategies- chapter 20.

 

Thank you!



#8 Roadrunner

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 10:30 AM

That was my dd's favorite class. I think different ones will be hard for different kids.
I think the tough ones for her were polynomials, conics - in the beginning, special cases of functions- chapter 15, and some of the advanced strategies- chapter 20.

All four of the polynomial chapters?

#9 Lilaclady

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 02:03 PM

She grouped them together said it took a while but after she got it, it became easier. She had Deven Ware and felt it was her best class at AOPS.
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#10 JoJosMom

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 02:13 PM

She grouped them together said it took a while but after she got it, it became easier. She had Deven Ware and felt it was her best class at AOPS.

 

My daughter says that Deven Ware "embodies everything that is fun with AoPS!"  Unfortunately, he's not teaching this section; we're with another newbie.

 

Thank you for your insight.


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#11 Roadrunner

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 11:45 PM

Completing the work takes waaaaay longer than AoPS says that it should (but that part is not new; it's just a real stretch for my daughter.)


I realized they added "goals" tab so I went looking for pacing. They don't even factor in the textbook and that's the most time consuming part. ๐Ÿ˜

#12 JoJosMom

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 08:09 AM

I realized they added "goals" tab so I went looking for pacing. They don't even factor in the textbook and that's the most time consuming part. ๐Ÿ˜

 

DD does not and never has done any of the end of the chapter problems.  The online classes are meant to be stand-alone, with the textbook end-of-chapter problems only to be used for supplementation, if needed.  The "My Goals" tab does factor in class prep; it will show up as "Reading:  Week x."


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#13 Roadrunner

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 09:21 AM

DD does not and never has done any of the end of the chapter problems. The online classes are meant to be stand-alone, with the textbook end-of-chapter problems only to be used for supplementation, if needed. The "My Goals" tab does factor in class prep; it will show up as "Reading: Week x."


You are right. I take it back. They have reading assignments. In geometry it's all allocated in one day (which is how I missed it). They say several sections per day. DS takes one section per day usually.
We must be overdoing everything because we solve every problem in the boook, including endnof section summaries and challenges. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

#14 JoJosMom

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 09:28 AM

You are right. I take it back. They have reading assignments. In geometry it's all allocated in one day (which is how I missed it). They say several sections per day. DS takes one section per day usually.
We must be overdoing everything because we solve every problem in the boook, including endnof section summaries and challenges. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

 

:ohmy:

 

That would only work around here if we did just math.  All week.  And didn't eat. Or sleep.

 

Your child is a rock star. :thumbup1:



#15 Roadrunner

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 09:44 AM

:ohmy:

That would only work around here if we did just math. All week. And didn't eat. Or sleep.

Your child is a rock star. :thumbup1:


Our secret is a massive headstart. He will start the class once he is at least halfway throught the book. So we are waitin until January/February session. I never realized we were allowed to let the end of chapter problems slide. ๐Ÿ˜ž
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#16 JoJosMom

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 01:19 PM

Our secret is a massive headstart. He will start the class once he is at least halfway throught the book. So we are waitin until January/February session. I never realized we were allowed to let the end of chapter problems slide. ๐Ÿ˜ž

 

On the upside, he will be very well prepared and will know the material thoroughly!  :)


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#17 OlgaLA

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 03:34 PM

DD is on week 16, and the last two weeks were pretty hard for her. Of course, she first tries to do the challenge problems based only on what was discussed in class, if it fails, she complains that she doesn't know how to do it, at which point I ask if she read the book. Most of the time it helps :) We also don't do the book problems, simply because she barely manages to finish the challenge ones on time. Also, I feel like grading is tougher for this class compared to previous ones. Is it the level or our particular grader?
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#18 JoJosMom

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 03:42 PM

DD is on week 16, and the last two weeks were pretty hard for her. Of course, she first tries to do the challenge problems based only on what was discussed in class, if it fails, she complains that she doesn't know how to do it, at which point I ask if she read the book. Most of the time it helps :) We also don't do the book problems, simply because she barely manages to finish the challenge ones on time. Also, I feel like grading is tougher for this class compared to previous ones. Is it the level or our particular grader?

 

Okay, the bolded made me laugh out loud!  I finally convinced mine in Geometry that, you know, reading the material before class was a really good learning strategy!  :laugh:

 

And thank you for the heads up about Weeks 14 on.  It helps to know what's coming.

 

ETA:  I just noticed the grading component of your post.  We have found that grading of the writing problem can be a bit inconsistent and will vary quite a bit, depending upon the grader.  It's hard to figure out a pattern, though, as the graders change and are not identified. 

 

2nd Edit:  I don't think there's just one grader assigned to a class, which is why there can be inconsistency with grading even within a particular class. 


Edited by JoJosMom, 28 September 2017 - 03:49 PM.

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#19 OlgaLA

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 10:15 PM

I feel we have the same grader for most problems in this class, judging by the style of comments. It is not even that they are inconsistent, they are, and she gets decent grades, but the comments just sound... condescending somehow.



#20 JoJosMom

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 07:46 AM

I feel we have the same grader for most problems in this class, judging by the style of comments. It is not even that they are inconsistent, they are, and she gets decent grades, but the comments just sound... condescending somehow.

 

Honestly, that's something that I would address with AoPS.  The comments are meant to help the student learn; it shouldn't be something she has to gird herself to read, you know?  I have had a couple of experiences with AoPS staff in the past year that have been...disappointing.  I know that they are growing rapidly, but I hope that they continue to do so while maintaining high standards.


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#21 Roadrunner

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 11:30 AM

May I ask how the class is going?

#22 JoJosMom

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 01:18 PM

So far, so good. This is Week 18 for her (class on Thursday.) I agree with Olga, above; Week 16 was a bear. In fact, DD still has a WHOLE BUNCH of unfinished challenge problems from that week. Week 17 has not been as bad. The writing problems have mostly gone well, so long as she gets the answer correct. One thing that has helped is that she is actually posting questions on the class message board (Wow. Who knew that could be such a helpful strategy? Oh, wait! That's right: I DID. :glare: In other news, my short person is 15 and maturing at about the rate one would expect in a 15 year old! :laugh: :001_wub: ) DD also has an incredibly fabulous tutor without whom I don't HOW she would have worked through some of the hardest challenge problems and a few of the writing problems. He's a godsend, truly, because I am of no use whatsoever and there is no one in our very small, rural area qualified to help (at least that I could find.)

 

 


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#23 Roadrunner

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 01:44 PM

So far, so good. This is Week 18 for her (class on Thursday.) I agree with Olga, above; Week 16 was a bear. In fact, DD still has a WHOLE BUNCH of unfinished challenge problems from that week. Week 17 has not been as bad. The writing problems have mostly gone well, so long as she gets the answer correct. One thing that has helped is that she is actually posting questions on the class message board (Wow. Who knew that could be such a helpful strategy? Oh, wait! That's right: I DID. :glare: In other news, my short person is 15 and maturing at about the rate one would expect in a 15 year old! :laugh: :001_wub: ) DD also has an incredibly fabulous tutor without whom I don't HOW she would have worked through some of the hardest challenge problems and a few of the writing problems. He's a godsend, truly, because I am of no use whatsoever and there is no one in our very small, rural area qualified to help (at least that I could find.)



Ohhh, this is scary! I thought after emerging from polynomials the life would improve. I see week 16 is chapters 13, 14, and 15. So life gets worse? ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

DS refuses to wait on this course even though I have some reservations. And we also donโ€™t have a single person to turn to for help. ๐Ÿคญ

I have read before that kids would hang out in the online classroom and work together. We have never experienced it even though my kid has taken a bunch of courses.

#24 JoJosMom

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 02:25 PM

Ohhh, this is scary! I thought after emerging from polynomials the life would improve. I see week 16 is chapters 13, 14, and 15. So life gets worse? ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

DS refuses to wait on this course even though I have some reservations. And we also donโ€™t have a single person to turn to for help. ๐Ÿคญ

I have read before that kids would hang out in the online classroom and work together. We have never experienced it even though my kid has taken a bunch of courses.

 

DD did have a study buddy in Algebra B and one other course; it was awesome.

 

Week 16 was only chapter 13, btw. Week 17 was 14 and part of 15. Which means that this week is probably the ugly part of 15. :laugh: Except that there's more Chapter 15 in week 18, so that must be the really, really ugly part. I'm thinking Chapter 15 is wee tad difficult.  Oof.

 

Your son is still very young, Roadrunner. So long as he is okay with struggling and sometimes maybe not getting into the blue, I think it will be a good experience. And, truly, learning how to ask questions on the message board is VERY important (That is probably the takeaway from this class that I'm most pleased about.). So, if you know that he's going to be flying solo with the AoPS classes, it's probably better that he learn how to ask questions sooner rather than later.

 

I'll be thinking positive thoughts for him! :grouphug:


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#25 Roadrunner

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 02:29 PM

DD did have a study buddy in Algebra B and one other course; it was awesome.

Week 16 was only chapter 13, btw. Week 17 was 14 and part of 15. Which means that this week is probably the ugly part of 15. :laugh: Except that there's more Chapter 15 in week 18, so that must be the really, really ugly part. I'm thinking Chapter 15 is wee tad difficult. Oof.

Your son is still very young, Roadrunner. So long as he is okay with struggling and sometimes maybe not getting into the blue, I think it will be a good experience. And, truly, learning how to ask questions on the message board is VERY important (That is probably the takeaway from this class that I'm most pleased about.). So, if you know that he's going to be flying solo with the AoPS classes, it's probably better that he learn how to ask questions sooner rather than later.

I'll be thinking positive thoughts for him! :grouphug:

Off to look at chapter 15!

Edited by Roadrunner, 15 January 2018 - 04:52 PM.


#26 lewelma

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 06:03 PM

DD also has an incredibly fabulous tutor 

 

Aw. I'll tell him.  :001_smile: DS has really enjoyed your dd's wit. She even got her own line on his college applications.


Edited by lewelma, 15 January 2018 - 06:04 PM.

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#27 JoJosMom

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 06:10 PM

Aw. I'll tell him.  :001_smile: DS has really enjoyed your dd's wit. 

 

He really is awesome, Ruth. Honestly, he is so much better at "getting" Jo's questions than the AoPS readers. I don't think he's ever NOT understood her question and given just the right nudge in the right direction. On the boards, she frequently has to ask her questions repeatedly before she gets an answer that helps. She's really, really, REALLY missed him. And has gone on more than one tirade comparing the answers she gets on the AoPS site to K the Magnificent! :laugh: Now if he just wasn't so darned committed to going to college next year... :scared: 


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#28 JoJosMom

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 06:11 PM

Aw. I'll tell him.  :001_smile: DS has really enjoyed your dd's wit. She even got her own line on his college applications.

 

Oh, I would just LOOOOOOVE to hear about that edited part!



#29 lewelma

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 06:18 PM

Haha.  It took up one of his "Activities" slots on the Common App.  

 

Classified as Community Service: 

"I tutored students in person and online in proof-based olympiad mathematics, AoPS Geometry, and Algebra 2."  

 

He will continue to tutor next year from university, but will do it for pay. He plans to use what he has learned from working with your dd to be a better tutor.


Edited by lewelma, 15 January 2018 - 06:19 PM.

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#30 JoJosMom

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 06:24 PM

Haha.  It took up one of his "Activities" slots on the Common App.  

 

Classified as Community Service: 

"I tutored students in person and online in proof-based olympiad mathematics, AoPS Geometry, and Algebra 2."  

 

He will continue to tutor next year from university, but will do it for pay. He plans to use what he has learned from working with your dd to be a better tutor.

 

Will he be tutoring online or in-person at school?  Because we would LOVE to keep him. Heck, we'd be more than happy to pay now. Truth be told, I am dreading the thought of AoPS without backup for Jo. But she really doesn't want to give it up. Urgh.



#31 lewelma

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 06:37 PM

I'm not sure what he plans for his tutoring at university.  I doubt he has thought it through at all! But he is committed to 5 hours a week of community service this year both with your dd and by teaching his olympiad math class at the local school. He likes the lack of pressure that comes from not doing it for pay this year.  And he is learning a TON about how to teach, present, encourage, etc.  Very valuable experience.


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#32 crazyforlatin

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 11:22 PM

That's actually a really great idea as community service. We're having a hard time filling this requirement in case we apply to high school since all places DD would like to volunteer as a tutor have an age and grade requirement. And she prefers to work with AoPS.

May I ask how this is done? Is it through Skype? And does the student just ask questions during the meeting or are the questions first sent to the tutor?

#33 lewelma

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 01:38 AM

That's actually a really great idea as community service. We're having a hard time filling this requirement in case we apply to high school since all places DD would like to volunteer as a tutor have an age and grade requirement. And she prefers to work with AoPS.

May I ask how this is done? Is it through Skype? And does the student just ask questions during the meeting or are the questions first sent to the tutor?

 

DS likes to have the questions before they meet because then he can solve the problems first, and while solving them, think of the different types of hints he might give. They have pretty much organized it themselves.  At first, JoJosMom's DD would send DS her questions by email and then DS would give hints.  But it ended up being too slow a process.  There is a time zone problem (16 hours!) which meant that if DS's hint was not big enough then the turn around for another hint could be 48 hours.  And sometimes, DS would get the email, solve the problem, figure out the hint, plan to write it up at the end of the day when he had some time, and promptly forget to email back.  So they switched it to Saturday mornings (for us) for 2-3 hours or until the questions were done. They use google chat I think. And they really do chat, and giggle, and send jokes, while doing their maths. DS solves the first problem before class, and then just works ahead during the morning, coming up with hints for the next problems.  If things are taking a while (these are hard problems after all), he just works on some of his own maths while he is waiting for any additional questions. This gives him a sense of camaraderie while doing his own work which he quite likes (he gets a little ping sound when she writes him).  His main concern at this point is that he might be giving too big a hint for certain questions, not giving JoJosMom's DD a chance to spend hours mulling over a problem.  I'm not involved at all so I don't actually know how they have worked that out.  All I know is that DS really enjoys his time on Saturday mornings. I feel like he is working out all the bugs in his style so that when he tutors for pay he will already have many hours under his belt, have recommendations, and have the confidence to know he can do it and feel good about charging.  It was only after doing on-line and in person tutoring for almost a year that he approached the local school to start teaching a proof-based olympiad math class. So the tutoring has been a stepping stone to the next level. And at Math Camp last week he got some amazing feedback from the professors that his presentation style was extremely clear. He has been working to improve his explanations for 3-5 hours a week for 1.5 years, and apparently this effort shows.


Edited by lewelma, 16 January 2018 - 01:52 AM.

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#34 JoJosMom

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 10:03 AM

DS likes to have the questions before they meet because then he can solve the problems first, and while solving them, think of the different types of hints he might give. They have pretty much organized it themselves.  At first, JoJosMom's DD would send DS her questions by email and then DS would give hints.  But it ended up being too slow a process.  There is a time zone problem (16 hours!) which meant that if DS's hint was not big enough then the turn around for another hint could be 48 hours.  And sometimes, DS would get the email, solve the problem, figure out the hint, plan to write it up at the end of the day when he had some time, and promptly forget to email back.  So they switched it to Saturday mornings (for us) for 2-3 hours or until the questions were done. They use google chat I think. And they really do chat, and giggle, and send jokes, while doing their maths. DS solves the first problem before class, and then just works ahead during the morning, coming up with hints for the next problems.  If things are taking a while (these are hard problems after all), he just works on some of his own maths while he is waiting for any additional questions. This gives him a sense of camaraderie while doing his own work which he quite likes (he gets a little ping sound when she writes him).  His main concern at this point is that he might be giving too big a hint for certain questions, not giving JoJosMom's DD a chance to spend hours mulling over a problem.  I'm not involved at all so I don't actually know how they have worked that out.  All I know is that DS really enjoys his time on Saturday mornings. I feel like he is working out all the bugs in his style so that when he tutors for pay he will already have many hours under his belt, have recommendations, and have the confidence to know he can do it and feel good about charging.  It was only after doing on-line and in person tutoring for almost a year that he approached the local school to start teaching a proof-based olympiad math class. So the tutoring has been a stepping stone to the next level. And at Math Camp last week he got some amazing feedback from the professors that his presentation style was extremely clear. He has been working to improve his explanations for 3-5 hours a week for 1.5 years, and apparently this effort shows.

 

Oh, PLEASE tell that dear boy that she spends PLENTY of time struggling. No worries there! :glare:

 

And for others who may be reading this thread, I would HIGHLY recommend tutoring as a volunteer experience; it most certainly does NOT have to be at the AoPS level. Our library offers tutoring services. My DD has been tutoring a little girl in reading for almost 2 years now (and the tutoring has expanded to basic support across all subjects) and she picked up a 6th grade math student in October. Aside from helping out with the preschoolers at church, tutoring is the highlight of her week. I would highly recommend the experience. If your library is not as fabulous as ours (and I must admit, we have an amazingly fabulous library), you might want to check out small private schools who may not have the resources available to offer separate one-on-one instruction. :thumbup1:


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#35 crazyforlatin

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 03:13 PM

Thanks Ruth and JJM, those are excellent ideas. Our library won't allow kids under 14 to tutor and most of the local private schools require 9th grade and upwards. Maybe I'll post on the Logic Board to ask for a kid :). Would that be weird? DD finished up pre-a, algebra, and geometry, and is working through Int. algebra. I love the idea of going on google chat or skype chat so that she can still do her own math yet help someone else. It certainly doesn't have to be AoPS since I do own alternative books, but I'm not sure how to tutor if the kids don't own the same books. Typing out problems seem inefficient. 


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#36 Roadrunner

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 12:01 PM

Is it just us or did anybody find nested sums in the sequences chapter difficult? We seem to be having more trouble here than we did with polynomials.

Edited by Roadrunner, 17 January 2018 - 01:05 PM.


#37 kiana

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 12:08 PM

Thanks Ruth and JJM, those are excellent ideas. Our library won't allow kids under 14 to tutor and most of the local private schools require 9th grade and upwards. Maybe I'll post on the Logic Board to ask for a kid :). Would that be weird? DD finished up pre-a, algebra, and geometry, and is working through Int. algebra. I love the idea of going on google chat or skype chat so that she can still do her own math yet help someone else. It certainly doesn't have to be AoPS since I do own alternative books, but I'm not sure how to tutor if the kids don't own the same books. Typing out problems seem inefficient. 

 

Cell phone shots are one way I tutor my students through e-mail. This is nice because you can see exactly what they wrote and point out things like "do you see there where you wrote cube root of x and then at the next step you wrote 3 square root of x?"


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#38 Lilaclady

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 12:15 PM

You can look up some not for profit tutoring centers. My dd volunteers at an after school tutoring place for ESL students and they allow kids 8 and up with an adult to volunteer and 12 up to volunteer by themselves. She helps them with homework but typically itโ€™s math and Lang arts. You can also see if there are local kids in the homeschool group who will appreciate being tutored.
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#39 JoJosMom

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 12:38 PM

Is it just us or did anybody find nestled sums in the sequences chapter difficult? We seem to be having more trouble here than we did with polynomials.

 

I just asked DD and she had no issues with that section in the class. She has not worked through the book problems, though. If you would like, she would be happy to try to help your son.


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#40 Roadrunner

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 12:57 PM

I just asked DD and she had no issues with that section in the class. She has not worked through the book problems, though. If you would like, she would be happy to try to help your son.


We made it through, thank you, but it was so tough here. It seems to me this kid finds odd things difficult. Polynomials werenโ€™t too bad until we got to the last several sections. And then I was not sure we were going to make it through. We did. But this seems to be the story here. Randomly hitting stuff that just stupefies out of nowhere. Chapter 10 went great until whaaaat? Nested whaaat? ๐Ÿ˜‚

Edited by Roadrunner, 17 January 2018 - 01:05 PM.

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#41 kiana

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 12:59 PM

We made it through, thank you, but it was so tough here. It seems to me this kid finds odd things difficult. Polynomials werenโ€™t too bad until we got to the last several sections. And then I was not sure we were going to make it through. We did. But this seems to be the story here. Randomly hitting stuff that just stupefies out of nowhere. Chapter 10 went great until whaaaat? Nestled whaaat? ๐Ÿ˜‚

 

Just to make sure I'm not missing out on something ... is your post autocorrecting nested? 



#42 Roadrunner

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 01:04 PM

Just to make sure I'm not missing out on something ... is your post autocorrecting nested?

Yes ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚