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Kathy in Richmond

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Everything posted by Kathy in Richmond

  1. We were victims on unemployment fraud this year, too. My husband was laid off during the pandemic and was receiving unemployment via direct deposit. We stopped receiving payments for no known reason & could not reach anybody at our state's unemployment bureau. They were completely swamped, had no voice mail, and the phone system simply hung up on him every time he called. He finally got our state legislator to intervene, and it turned out that someone got into the system and changed his info from direct deposit to mailed debit card payments. They received our money for about a month before my husband switched it back. He filed a fraud report (months ago) and never heard anything back....still can't get anyone to answer the phone. We will have to pay any taxes due on that missed income.
  2. For my kids, Vol 1 worked well after they'd mastered basic algebra and geometry & while they were writing the AMC 8 and 10/12 exams. They were starting to qualify for AIME at that point and were scoring about 4 to 6 on that test. I'm on vacation now, so I don't have the books available to check, but I think that it's volume 1 that has some very useful material on tackling contest problems in geometry problems which are often tricky for kids. And as others have pointed out, the last few problems on the 10/12 exams in a category of their own! We did Vol 2 in place of textbook math for the kids' precalculus year, since I could never find a precalculus text that appealed to me. AoPS textbooks weren't written yet, so they weren't an option. Volume 2 has some very challenging material, and I enjoyed working through it alongside them. The kids were taking intermediate and olympiad level AoPS classes online at that point, and were scoring well on the AIME. One of them was starting to qualify for USAMO (as they did 3 times in high school) and this was one of our resource books that helped for that level.
  3. A birdbath for the memorial garden I’m putting together, a (virtual) visit with my far-away kids and granddaughter, and a day off from cooking. 😊
  4. I used Jacobs algebra with both of my extremely mathy kids. They were on the young side when they hit algebra & appreciated his conversational tone and sense of humor. As a mathematician, I appreciated his very transparent love of math and ability to present deep conceptual knowledge. Yes, many people say he's wordy, but I found that those wordy parts were him explaining the "whys" and not just the "hows" of math, putting ideas into historical context, and giving some interesting applications. We also used his geometry text (2nd edition) which I love even more. His breadth of topics there was fantastic for advanced and interested students (concurrence theorems and non-Euclidean geometries come to mind). He proves everything carefully with plenty of good diagrams. I had visual leaning students, so this helped. I did add word problems to his algebra text. I'm a big fan of the old Dolciani texts for word problems that really make kids think and organize their thoughts. One last thought...His algebra text has a problem set IV for each section that an 'extra for experts' sort of topic. He extends the topic with sometimes quite challenging work. If you have an advanced kid, you would want to look at these. After Jacobs algebra and geometry, my kids moved on to Dolciani algebra 2 and lots of AoPS classes/texts.
  5. I had my second dose of Pfizer on Wednesday. The first dose barely affected me; all I noticed was a slightly sore arm. One day out from the 2nd shot, though, and I was hit with severe fatigue and a very sore arm. I couldn’t get off the couch from noon on. Today (two days out) I was completely back to normal.
  6. I joined the boards at their beginning, around 1999 when I pulled my kids out of public school and started homeschooling my 11 year old son and 7 year old daughter. I'd been part of a local homeschool info group that met in the community room of our local Barnes & Noble. We had different speakers come in, and one week they featured a new book called the Well-Trained Mind. Jessie and Susan came that night to introduce their book and to talk about their methods with us. I bought the book (signed copy!) and soon read it and bookmarked oh-so-many pages. I was very comfortable teaching math and science, but really needed their help with literature, grammar, languages, and history. This was all back in the days of dial-up internet (no cell phones or tablets, lol), so good reference books were my primary resources. My kids are now 33 and 29, and my son has a little family of his own. He married a homeschooler, & they plan to homeschool their kids!
  7. Yes, definitely ask whether her department might help out. Crossing my fingers for her!
  8. OK, so now I'm a little afraid to step into this conversation and say that my daughter was part of the ICCS Rome semester program as a college junior majoring in Classics back in 2012. 😄 It's gone up a bit in price in the intervening years. The total estimated cost back then was approximately $30,000, which was still scarily high! She applied for Duke's financial aid and got $12,000 from them (and we're comfortably middle class). Her college advisor (who also recommended the program highly to her) arranged a departmental grant of an additional $9,000 for her. That still left about $9000 which she and I split. So it was more in tune with what we were used to paying for college. It was as advertised -- an amazing program. Lots and lots of on-site field trips/ lectures around Rome for the required Ancient City course, an art history class at the site of whatever work they were studying every Friday, and two week-long field trips to Sicily and Pompeii with all expenses included. There was one free week in the middle of the term when most of the kids did do some traveling. She joined a few others on a youth hostel tramp around Greece. A few kids did go on island vacations then, but that was not in her price range, haha. I'm sure that a lot of her classmates were wealthy, but no one was there for a vacation! It was tons and tons of work: research, essays, challenging exams, learning field presentation skills, advanced Latin readings, etc. But she also had lots and lots of fun exploring the city; the Centro is in a safe neighborhood so adventures out were common. The other students were serious about their studies & they bonded enough that they still have occasional reunions and she keeps in touch with several. Several went on to Classics PhD careers, and others like dd pursued other paths. There was even a marriage among her group! So yeah, it's expensive. We felt lucky that we could send her. And no, it's definitely not a rip-off or scam!
  9. I've never used this text, but I was able to locate a brief review from the May 1967 issue of Mathematics Magazine (click on the picture on the right to enlarge the reviews section). It appears to be a 186 pg book covering limits, sequences, and series, along with some applications. So its neither precalculus nor a full calculus book, but something that could be used in between the two courses to prepare for and motivate the ideas of calculus.
  10. We just heard that my mother-in-law (in Mandeville near the lake) made it through OK. No house damage or flooding. She refused to go to any of my sister-in-laws’ homes and stayed home alone instead. She’s 86 years old & we were worried all day long...Thank goodness Zeta is a fast-moving storm. Hope everyone else is OK, too.
  11. For what it's worth, AoPS intermediate algebra classes no longer have an Alcumus component. I'm sorry that your son got stuck with that version. Personally, I've worked through both the AoPS Intermediate algebra and the Precalculus texts, and I found the latter to be easier. I used a 1990 version of Dolciani Algebra and Trig with my son, and he enjoyed the occasional coding projects built into the exercises. I don't own Dolciani precalculus, though, so I'm not sure whether the follow up text does the same. I own this version of the Shanks text, and yes, it's *very* challenging, akin to how I was taught back in the old days! Odd-numbered exercises have answers in the back of the book, so it could be used by a motivated student. And thank you for the info on the Axler book! I like his linear algebra and used it with dd, but I wasn't aware that he'd written other texts.
  12. Melissa, I am so sorry for your loss and what you're going through. I can relate as I went through my Mom's death during Covid. Never in a million years did I ever think I'd have to issue invitations to her funeral service 😞 It truly sucks!
  13. My kids used a combo of Miquon & Singapore for elementary, Jacobs & Dolciani texts for algebra and geometry, and my old calculus texts. They also took many AoPS classes for extra "fun" math enrichment and contest prep. This was many years ago before AoPS had textbooks for algebra, geometry, etc. I was a Dolciani kid myself, and we all did quite fine. I also have had Foerster on my shelves; he's good, too, just not my personal favorite.
  14. Oh for sure, AoPS solution books are amazing. And yeah, Stark doesn’t have answers (just 2 pages of answers to selected problems). 😔 I’m not familiar with that Roberts text, sorry.
  15. I haven’t heard of any plans for an Intermediate NT book, darn it. The text Stanford uses for its online number theory (Intro to Number Theory by Stark, MIT press) is pretty good for that level, though, if you’re looking for something. The AoPS Intermediate NT class was the 2nd hardest AoPS class my kids took ( 2nd only to Olympiad Geometry) 🙂
  16. I'd also agree that the Intro book is 1/2 credit while the Intermediate book is worth a full credit. I'm working through the latter myself, & it can be challenging!
  17. Murder She Wrote is keeping dh and I busy this summer. Prime has 5 seasons, and they are LONG seasons! It reminds us of when ds was a tot and we'd tuck him in bed & turn on the latest adventure of Jessica Fletcher. Man, those hairstyles and huge glasses crack us up! And I'll admit I'm watching Brady Bunch for kicks, too...
  18. Yep, that's right. Here's a teacher guide with some games.
  19. Since I can't like Rosie's posts, I'm just going to repeat it here with a link. 🙂 The minicomputer (and all there stuff) is quite good and fun for kids! CSMP
  20. This was always a hit when we studied the electromagnetic spectrum: Measuring the speed of light with marshmallows and a microwave
  21. I was going to recommend staying with Crocs for the summer, but Peter Pan beat me to it! I bought this sandal last summer on Amazon and practically lived in them.
  22. It’s been a while, but my Math-loving daughter went into NEM 1 & 2 after finishing Singapore 6a&b. Like Lori said, NEM was kind of dry and a bit tedious after Singapore primary. There were a few challenge problems, but not as fun as the bar diagrams she’d enjoyed in previous years. We eventually bailed half way through NEM 2. Again, like Lori, we moved to Jacobs algebra and geometry, completing both programs in full, and they were big hits here. I would not recommend skipping to algebra 2 directly out of NEM. I compared scope & sequence at the time, and some standard topics were missing from NEM, such as graphing linear equations (that’s what I remember but there were more). As a lifelong math educator, I’m a big believer in having a very firm foundation in algebra and geometry before moving on to higher maths. 🙂
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