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  1. We contacted some local schools about the possibility of a homeschooler taking AP tests there. One answered and said they only do it for there own students, and that they weren't even doing some of these subjects. The others didn't even respond. (Trying to get any info out of AP itself is hopeless.) Also DS didn't show enthusiasm for doing any AP tests so I've dropped it for this school year. He can always do them later (if we can find a testing center). I see there's a lot more things to answer in this thread, and I'll try to get around to it.
  2. I'll be watching this thread. I was thinking of starting a similar thread about grade 8 DS, as I'm about at my wits end with him. AoPS is about the only thing he'll do at least semi-properly. I have no idea how to convince him to get his act together, so I'll just read the advice, as I don't think I have any useful advice to give (other than maybe address it earlier rather than later).
  3. Yes, I definitely agree with the benefits of getting these courses and exams done. Unfortunately our home schooling efforts have been a bit of a fiasco, so we need to start checking some conventional checkboxes. Also we need give DS more structure and also set some goals, so hopefully he develops some work ethic and study habits. We have to watch that the goals are realistic (and I'm not totally sure these AP goals are). Actually he is only advanced in Math, not the other subjects, but this should enable him to do closely related topics like Physics and Computer Science even though he doesn't have specific background in these. Okay, so that might sound a bit negative, but a kid who is high achieving in some area may still not have good long term prospects if he is lacking work ethic and study habits or other general life skills. I'm almost at my wits' end with this. So we need to get him on track this year (or at least check some checkboxes while trying). ETA: I'll admit this could be a parenting problem too.
  4. Updating: So now DS (rising 8th grader) has finished AoPS Intermediate Counting & Probability, and is now doing AoPS Intermediate Number Theory. He should start a calculus course soon. He could obviously take AoPS Calculus Sep 4 - Mar 11 But an alternative is MIT edX Calculus Aug 7 - early May in 3 parts I was thinking to stay with AoPS, but the edX course starts in less than two weeks, so I thought to examine the choice once more, as we have to decide now. Apparently the edX course is lighter, but maybe that would take some pressure off so he could spend more time on other things. We want DS to take the AP exam. Our home schooling efforts have been a bit of a fiasco, but if DS can start getting some STEM APs he'll have something to show for it. So while the AoPS one might be the "best" course to take (other than a hard-core theoretical Analysis course at a top uni, which is not an option, and which he couldn't handle), another course might work for learning the material and getting through the AP exam. He doesn't necessarily need the harder calculus problem solving yet (Putnam is not til 2024), though maybe a bit more theory is good.
  5. When you say "been to the national physics or chemistry or computing camps" are you talking about the top "public" (though requiring admission) camps like Mathcamp in the USA, or do you instead mean the even more competitive camps like Mathematical Olympiad Program (MOP) where entry requires being a USAMO winner, or in a few other categories, to be invited, and where national teams are selected?
  6. DS is definitely pointy in math, so we definitely want to focus on the STEM/tech-y universities that appreciate those qualities, and which would best suit him. (I have read about how American universities, unlike in other countries, focus on broad academics and a lot of non-academic things, which is bad for DS.) So, what you say could be good for DS, but it depends on how well he could do. For example, he may eventually qualify for USA(J)MO, but may not do very well once he gets in. That might be a bit too ordinary for MIT. But MIT should be a goal, and I think focusing on STEM academics is the best approach, and also on math contests which give him a chance of reaching a decent level.
  7. After some more discussion our plan is for DS to homeschool for grades 8-9, and then, if admitted, DS would go to the selective residential public school (SRPS) which only has grades 10-12. This school has a lot of higher level classes, with small classes, and individual attention, a focus on writing (even in STEM), and no multiple-choice tests at all. They actually probably do less APs than other academically focused high schools, and I expect they have high expectations without piling on mountains of pointless ambiguous homework like some kinds of academically focused high schools around here. We're pinning our hopes on this school, since all the other schools around here (academic or otherwise) have problems, and we really can't and shouldn't homeschool DS until grade 12. So this gives us two years, grades 8-9, for DS to gain some APs, which would be useful for credit and/or prerequisites, for high school and/or college. DS is pointedly mathy, so it is only STEM where he is advanced not humanities. We are ultimately hoping DS could get into MIT or CalTech, maybe a longshot of course, or else some other very STEM-focused (minimal humanities) college, with good needs-based or merit-based pricing (so a lot of colleges are excluded for economic reasons). ETA: PS We are not in Calif, and DS does not plan to go to any uni there (except maybe CalTech), so I think the a-g system does not apply. I know I mentioned UC Scout, but that is just as a possible course provider that I came across, not any connection to Ca.
  8. Thanks. Looks pricey, but seems like a good option for these courses.
  9. Thanks for all the responses. I'll try to respond in much more detail soon.
  10. ^ Looks like we posted almost simultaneously. The selective residential public school (not commuting distance), that has plenty of advanced courses and just has grades 10-12, said (at an off-campus info session) that they would (probably, the presenter said it, so it's not official) accept DS's AoPS course results for credit. All their students are transferring in after doing 1-2 years of high school elsewhere, so they are used to assessing everyone's incoming credits, so they leave with a 4-year transcript. I think they also have placement tests. But point taken. This would be 2-3 years from now. We will go on a day-long tour of the school sometime in the next year, and will ask questions about these things. Having some AP results, and also math contest results, may help for overall "credibility" of a homemade transcript. Point taken though. There's a lot of warnings in these responses for me to think about. But I'm also interested in course suggestions, and thoughts on the AP plan generally.
  11. Thanks for the comments and course provider list. Arcadia, do you recommend the ones you used? Are there others to consider. (We're pretty much decided on AoPS for calculus. Do you just practice old tests after that?) I've seen several mentions of PAH for courses, and I see it's somewhat expensive. But is it also time consuming, and how flexible/inflexible is the schedule? DS doesn't want a schedule that is too heavy or inflexible, as there'll be times when he wants to focus on upcoming math contests. As to the questions of if DS does this now, what happens for the next four years, there are too many variables and unknowns to make me want to postpone a course for fear of running into a problem with school or state rules. There are plenty of legitimate reasons for delaying a course, e.g. not doing Calc before first doing all the AoPS intermediate and discrete courses, and of course we don't want to do a course before DS is ready. I just don't want to be boxed in by restrictive school/state rules, though I know the problem is very real, and experienced it with DS's 2 month stint trying B&M school for grade 7. Only the math is really accelerated (and it's not that rare), and two Math PhD parents should be able to figure out what he can keep doing in math (though we have to find the right resources). Doing AP Phys C early, is really just taking care of 1 one year science subject. The rest of the science sequence (e.g. bio. chem) would proceed normally and it would just bring some future physics one year earlier. Computer Science is treated as an elective, so doing it early shouldn't do too much "damage". We always have the option to continue homeschooling (though we really need B&M school for some things). But the main option we are eyeing is a selective residential public school (not commuting distance), that has plenty of advanced courses (though they don't do much AP ironically), but it just has grades 10-12 (and many go for just 11-12), so they will be able to cater. Before that, for grades 9 or 9-10 we could homeschool, but also there are a couple of local schools that have enough courses at least for grades 9-10 (though they may not cooperate, pushing us back to homeschooling). I'm not that optimistic about the local schools, but I am quite optimistic the non-local grade 10 or 11 - 12 school, and that's what we're aiming for. There are many possible scenarios, but I don't see much downside to trying for these AP credentials, as long as DS is able, and the decision to take the AP exam can be made later. Homeschooling is quite unregulated here, so we can be flexible in what we attempt.
  12. DS is a rising 8th grader, and has been mostly home schooled. We may (or may not) put him in B&M school for the last 2-4 years of high school, but at least 8th grade will definitely be at home. Parents are not really familiar with American education system. We know the math and physics content, but our computer science knowledge is probably archaic. So the question is whether to take these courses and/or exams, and which courses for which subjects, so we are looking for suggestions for course providers. It is an option to take the AP course, but not the AP exam (or do the AP exam in a later year, when DS is more mature and experienced). DS has been doing reasonably well in math contests for several years, but otherwise doesn't really have test taking experience. The reason to try to get AP results is not only for college entrance, but also, in case he goes into B&M high school, to be in position to get appropriate course placements using AP credentials that might be considered more "official" than parents' claims and homemade transcripts - and this a reason to not delay the AP exams. AP Calculus BC : DS has (or soon will have) taken all the AoPS intermediate and discrete courses, so it makes sense to take AoPS Calculus next. (I had a thread about alternative Calculus courses but it seems the AoPS one would be best.) He'll definitely do the course, but there is just a decision about the AP exam. AP Physics C : "Mechanics" and "Electricity and Magnetism" (2 courses, 2 AP tests): The pre/co-requisites are just calculus (DS knows some now, and would take AoPS Calculus concurrently) but no previous physics is needed, so prerequisites should be fine. The physics looks pretty basic to me. Internet searching for AP Physics C course providers yields very few, and that search led me to find one option, UC Scout (UC Scout thread here but I'd be interested to hear any suggestions for courses. AP Computer Science A : DS has never taken any Comp Sci course, but has used Scratch for some time, and knows a little Python, so is basically a beginner, but AP Computer Science A seems to have little prerequisites, just very basic math, and I've heard this is regarded as an easy AP (being equivalent to only one college semester). Is that right? There appear to be lots of course providers, so I am interested in suggestions. So I am interested in course suggestions for these 3. I also want to hear if people think this is a good idea for a highly mathy 8th grader. One logistic complication is that the AP exams (regular 4-15 May 2020, late 20-22 May 2020) clash somewhat with National MathCounts (either 9-12 or 16-19 May 2020, not sure which). I expect DS will go to NMC with a decent chance of making the list for top 56 out of 224, so this is a goal to prepare for, which conflicts somewhat with APs. I'm not sure how best to handle that. This clash is only for 8th grade.
  13. ^ According to an email from info@aops... Also there's this diagram but I emailed them for clarification.
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