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SO many Pre-Algebra choices...Pre-Alg overload!


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#1 Sweetpea3829

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 12:55 PM

DS11 is finishing Beast 5, after having completed Singapore 5 last year.  He would technically be a 5th grader, but I have him as a 6th grader.  

 

He is math intuitive and has always excelled in all areas of math.  I purchased AOPS Pre-Alg last spring, anticipating he would start it this winter.  But, he's had some difficulty with some of the more advanced concepts in Beast 5 (usually with the challenge sections...he does well in the rest), so I have decided to hold off on AOPS until later this spring.  

 

But I can't shake the feeling that AOPS Pre-Alg might be a miss for him.  So of course, here I am on the hive and...so many other options!  LOL!  

 

Any other suggestions on a Pre-Alg program that's engaging, affordable, and solid?  AOPS Pre-Alg is just so boring and dry.  



#2 wapiti

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 01:19 PM

I'm the opposite - I think all other prealgebra programs are boring and dry except for AoPS.  (How much wood can 4 woodchucks chuck in 3 hours if 7 woodchucks can chuck 84 cords of wood in 12 days...  Or how about the chicken that crossed the road at a 72 degree angle to the side of the road.)



#3 Zoo Keeper

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 01:19 PM

Pre-A I have used....

 

Dolciani Pre-Alegbra-- this one was very good for my math lover-- the C problems were challenging.

 

BJU Pre Algebra (older edition is good, newer edition is more challenging.) 

 

Both programs have (in the TM)  tracks for average and above average students, which I greatly appreciated. 


Edited by Zoo Keeper, 11 January 2018 - 01:20 PM.

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#4 Crimson Wife

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 01:47 PM

Engaging and solid but not the most affordable option is Elements of Mathematics. My DS absolutely LOVED EoM whereas he has found the AoPS pre-a that he has done to be "meh". He'd done the first couple of chapters before switching to EoM and then I made him do the square roots and geometry chapters after he finished the EoM pre-algebra courses. The virtual charter I have him enrolled in this year won't let him start algebra until he passes their readiness exam and I think that includes geometry up through the 8th grade level. So since EoM has geometry after algebra, he needed to do those chapters in AoPS.

 

He wants to do the algebra courses in EoM as he finds them much more engaging than AoPS. I will most likely have him do the AoPS intermediate algebra course after EoM (assuming he places into that) because as an aspiring engineer, I think he would benefit from that.



#5 wendyroo

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 01:52 PM

I'm the opposite - I think all other prealgebra programs are boring and dry except for AoPS.  (How much wood can 4 woodchucks chuck in 3 hours if 7 woodchucks can chuck 84 cords of wood in 12 days...  Or how about the chicken that crossed the road at a 72 degree angle to the side of the road.)

 

:iagree:

 

I look through standard Pre-A books and they just look like boring drudgery...very formulaic, lots of repetition, nothing to really challenge and stretch your brain.

 

Peter has found AOPS Pre-A, in his words, "Cool", "Awesome!!", and "Pretty hard."

 

Wendy



#6 kiana

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 02:44 PM

Honestly I think that since you already HAVE the AOPS book, I'd start it and see what he thought about it/how he did with it. 

 

I've also heard good things about Jousting Armadillos as far as engaging -- it wouldn't go as far as AOPS (it's only algebra) but it might be a good bridge. The student book is $25 and the teacher answer book/tests are $35. 



#7 Carrousel

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 06:43 PM

Sweetpea, we've shared comments back and forth over the years about our sons and math.  I've got an 10 year old, 5th/6th also.  We opted to start AOPS Pre-A this semester over finishing Beast.  ONly two weeks in, but so far so good.  He loves the videos and explanations, and has been fine on the frustration/challenge front.  I've not pushed for pace yet, just letting him do 45 minutes or so split between lesson work and Alcumus,  Since you already have it, might be worth a try.  We're just going to go slow, not rush, and let it work until it doesn't work.  Just want to encourage you that he may be ready for the more "grown up" format before you think he is, and that the challenge level in the first chapter has been less than BA5.

 



#8 Farrar

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 09:04 PM

I think the *math* part of AoPS is not dry. So I think the look and format are what's making you pause. That's legit, because that stuff makes a big difference to kids... but also, it's one you're going to face across the board. I don't feel like I've seen an engaging looking program that has math that's engaging and vice versa. So... pick what's more important, basically.

 

I think you have AoPS and you should dive in. And part of this is possibly being willing to see if he's ready to grow up a little.

 

 


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#9 Sweetpea3829

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 09:36 PM

I think the *math* part of AoPS is not dry. So I think the look and format are what's making you pause. That's legit, because that stuff makes a big difference to kids... but also, it's one you're going to face across the board. I don't feel like I've seen an engaging looking program that has math that's engaging and vice versa. So... pick what's more important, basically.

 

I think you have AoPS and you should dive in. And part of this is possibly being willing to see if he's ready to grow up a little.

 

 

(But what if I'm not ready for him to grow up yet?!)   :crying:


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#10 SilverMoon

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 10:40 PM

Jousting Armadillos is supposed to be more entertaining? (No experience)

You might just try AoPS since you have it. I had one kid go off it that I thought was a great match, and another love it that I didn't expect to. Kids are unpredictable. 🙂

#11 Sweetpea3829

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:54 AM

Alright, I think I'll go ahead and give AOPS a good try.  I hate that it's difficult to schedule it out, though...lol.  I'm a planner.  


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#12 Farrar

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 11:21 AM

I did think Jousting Armadillos was more engaging a little. And the math is good... but not as in depth as AoPS, obviously. I think you're right to just give AoPS a try.



#13 deerforest

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 12:14 PM

There is also nothing wrong with just doing something completely different, like going deeper, wider, or doing living math. He's ahead in math so you have "time" if you don't think he's ready.

 

My DD was ready for pre-algebra in 6th too, but even though she had thrived in BA, she didn't take to AoPS pre-algebra at all. I ended up pulling from a bunch of things but largely did a ton of living math that year--advanced games, manipulations, books, etc. Honestly, she probably could have skipped to algebra at that point, but in hindsight I'm glad we did what we did. In 7th we did Foerster's algebra 1 because *I* was afraid to try AoPS algebra with her. But, we finished Foerster's, and we both felt disappointed, like something cool was missing. It was just "meh". So, for 8th this year, I decided to just toss AoPS algebra at her, and she LOVES it. Does it mostly on her own, feels accomplished and proud. I'm sure it's a mix of maturity and confidence, but the algebra 1 book and pre-algebra just feel different too. I've only had to step in a couple of times to get her un-stuck or toss a few extra problems from other sources for her.


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