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About Jackie

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  1. Top 5? Like a race to the answers? This might have made it more interesting for my kid. She would answer a question, then wait for the answers to get pushed through, get distracted, and completely lose the thread of the class in her distraction. And which answers were pushed through for her class seemed random. I watched at times, and she would have immediately gotten an answer and typed it in, 10 answers would be pushed through that were identical to hers but hers wasn’t pushed through, and she would get discouraged. Other times, she took the time to carefully format with LaTeX, and 1-2 answers would be pushed through without formatting before she could finish. I never could discern a pattern to what was pushed through and what wasn’t, or to the length of time given to respond.
  2. On the science labs specifically: It would be awesome if the class would choose a text and present a syllabus, and match the labs accordingly. It can be completely optional, parents could choose a separate text, and do their own thing entirely, and just show up for the labs which could be complementary to any bio/chem/physics class. But for the parents who would prefer a more coordinated effort, they could choose to follow the chosen text and syllabus, and therefore their child could have labs that line up with the current topic they are studying at home.
  3. Imaginary numbers and sizes of infinity are two that she’s really loved. Different base systems fascinate her. She’s taking a break from formal math for a bit now, but I suspect she’ll want to try the AOPS Number Theory book next.
  4. We will continue to use the AOPS books independently.
  5. She’s about to turn 9. We never did math fact drill. She wanted nothing to do with it. She calculates as she needs to, with tricks like x4 is doubling twice, and I put up a multiplication chart for her to reference until she pretty much had them down. She just finished Algebra A and I didn’t let her use a calculator, so it doesn’t seem to have slowed her down much. She really runs with the concepts, though.
  6. My kid has always preferred learning new math concepts to “doing math”. She learns concepts quickly, and can easily extrapolate. But it’s like she feels that doing actual calculations just slows her brain down. It’s always been a balancing act of having her do enough calculations that I know she’s got it down, and letting her explore the concepts as much as she wants. But this is also a kid who reads math books and watches math videos/lectures for fun, so I don’t know that I’d call her altogether normal. 😉
  7. For us, the time commitment is different between home-taught and online classes. DD can absorb a lot of information very quickly, and I usually only have her do enough work to show mastery. Online classes have different expectations for the work produced, and can often require 2-3 times more output than I do at home (or simply written output as opposed to discussion, which is my kid's favored way to learn). Scheduling and time management then become issues. Managing workload for a class that can meet once per week, have one due date per week, but require putting aside time 3-5 days per week to get the work done is a skill to develop.
  8. I did the Kumon workbooks with the binding cut off. It served my purposes, which was to be able to target the specific areas that my daughter needed more practice with instead of general math. I wouldn’t bother if you really want more general math review instead of targeted practice, though.
  9. My 8 year old has especially loved the following in the last year: Prydain Chronicles series The Penderwicks The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher (I especially loved this one!) The Graveyard Book (not aimed at kids, but it was well within what I’m comfortable with for her, and the audiobook is especially awesome) The Mysterious Benedict Society Tuesdays at the Castle (she read the rest of the series independently) The Lemonade War Frindle Wonder Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos (and the rest of the series)
  10. It’s my daughter’s second year doing Destination Imagination. She loves it, but it stretches every kid on the team - applying knowledge, learning new skills, dedicated teamwork, little to no adult assistance or scaffolding allowed, and being judged heavily on creativity and the ability to think on their feet. It’s easily the hardest thing she does. Her tiny, young, 3-person team just took 3rd place at State Finals! They’re ridiculously excited. Completely over the moon. Next up is preparing for Global Finals!
  11. Thanks everyone! Voting is now closed. He didn’t win, but they’ve said there will be a second place prize, so hopefully there will still be some free pizzas coming their way!
  12. My daughter went through about a year at 5/6 years old where the next step in math curriculum was a tad bit too challenging for her and she just plain disliked all other math curriculum. I had written a blog post about the resources we used at that time, in case any of it is helpful to you: At the time, it did feel like a holding pattern, but I realize now that it wasn’t. She preferred learning new concepts to practicing ones she was already familiar with (still does, really), and she needed some time to mature before she could struggle productively with the more challenging material. Just to say that a “holding pattern” might not be an altogether bad thing!
  13. My brother is a finalist to win free pizza for a year. With two hungry kids, it would go to good use! Could you click on this link and vote for #2, please? Rules state to vote only once, please! ETA: voting is now closed!
  14. I had intended to go through Jousting Armadillos before AOPS, but JA was nearly all review, and my kid wasn’t interested in review. We did a few sections that were new or approached things notable differently than Beast, then went directly into AOPS Intro to Algebra. The abrupt change in format definitely didn’t make my kid happy (she’d prefer those Beasts all the way through Calculus, I’m pretty sure!) but the content hasn’t been an issue at all.
  15. We own and have regularly played Photosynthesis, Evolution, Valence Plus, and Cytosis. Photosynthesis doesn’t really teach much of anything science-related, but it’s a gorgeous game and a lot of fun to play. I always hesitate to recommend Evolution as a science game, because the game mechanisms are more clearly indicative of an intelligent designer than of actual evolution. However, it is great for discussions on that topic, as well as for discussions on niches, predator/prey, defense mechanisms, population increase/decrease in response to availability of resources, and similar topics. Valence Plus and Cytosis are both fun to play, and fairly straightforward in their application to science.
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