I'm looking to the future and really like the IDEA of AoPS, but I'm not sure if it would be too difficult for my kids. They've never been tested, but I'm pretty positive that they are not gifted. They ARE very bright. Both older girls read very well and understand math concepts easily. We've really worked on building a solid mathematical foundation and I'm finding that it has been worth it; they understand new concepts easily because it is just an extension of concepts they already know well.
We are currently using Miquon and Singapore. My almost 8yo is in Singapore 2B and Miquon Yellow. My just turned 6yo is in Singapore 1B and Miquon Red. I love Singapore for the mental math and the word problems (I'm learning along with my oldest dd!) and I love Miquon because they have to face unfamiliar material and figure it out on their own. It's not just plugging what they learned in a textbook lesson into their workbook pages.
They both get frustrated with Miquon at times BECAUSE many pages are unfamiliar and they don't immediately know what to do. They want it to be easy. They don't want to work at figuring out what they're supposed to do.
That is the reason that I'm unsure whether AoPS would be a good fit for them.
I don't want to just throw in the towel and say, "Well, the discovery approach just isn't for them." I want my kids to learn to do hard things, work through frustration, find the satisfaction in finishing something difficult. That's a big reason we stick with Miquon. I always praise them for pushing through and figuring the unfamiliar page out. And if they really seem to have no clue what to do, I try to slowly lead them to figuring it out themselves. My oldest dd is much better this year about working through frustration. Last year she would throw fits, pout, quit, etc. This year is going much better. My middle dd, though, cries her eyes out if she can't figure something out instantly. I'm counting on her maturing out of itâ€¦ hopefully.
In spite of all that, my girls really like math. It may be mostly due to MY enthusiasm about it, though, rather than an innate passion within them for the subject. We read living books and talk about math during life. I try hard to keep interest high.
So, is that enough for them to be able to do AoPS in the future? Or do they need that something extra? Internal drive, greater ability, etcâ€¦?
(I'm also wondering if Beast Academy is the answer to preparing them for AoPS materialâ€¦. I'll have to wait and see, I guess.)