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About Jackie

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  1. Time has been more of a limiting factor than money for us. Can I buy more time to fit everything in? When we did have more money, we traveled more. I wish we could still do that.
  2. You might also want to look at the placement tests for Intermediate Algebra. AOPS’s text/class names don’t match up with the usual scope and sequence very well. As I understand it, a lot of what is usually covered in standard Precalculus classes is covered in their Intermediate Algebra book. Online vs independent is a matter of preference.
  3. My natural speller requested a spelling curriculum a couple of times. I would buy her something, we would use it for a while, and eventually we would both admit that it was adding absolutely nothing to our day or her long-term education and we would shelve it. there are spelling bee prep materials out there, including online programs, if she would be interested in that.
  4. Quoting this, but there are lots of sentiments similar in this thread. Not meaning it as a response to the particular quote. I think that there are so many differences in these sorts of charter/voucher programs that it makes no more sense to categorize them together than it does to draw the line between government money and not. There are states that have higher levels of regulation for homeschoolers than the amount of regulation that some charter/voucher programs have for their participants. The amount of proving my schooling I would need to do in Pennsylvania or New York as a “true homeschooler” would be more than I had to do with most public independent charter schools in California. And the amount of evidence I had to supply to the charter school with an elementary student was less than half what I would have needed to supply for a high schooler with the exact same charter school. The independent study charter school system I am familiar with has much less regulation than the online public school options I am familiar with. All government-funded options are not the same. And not having government funding does not necessarily mean no regulation. There are so many ways that homeschoolers create divisions among themselves: secular or religious, level of regulation, funding or not, K-8 or high school, trade school or non-competitive college or competitive college, taught entirely by a parent or outsourcing, structured or unschooling, and so on. In all these divisions, we often fail to see how much overlap there is.
  5. We’ve done a bit with the book, and a bit without, so far. We found the Beast Academy guides more useful for the soft skills taught than for the actual math most the time - the examples of the beasts working together and making mistakes as they tried out new problems was far more valuable to my kid than the math for all but a couple sections. Keep in mind that the vast majority of topics in AOPS Prealgebra are review for kids who completed the BA program, so you may be seeing the effects of that. When my daughter was doing the first half of the AOPS Algebra book, she found that she didn’t love the format of the book. She did her work by watching the free AOPS videos and doing Alcumus, with me adding in a smattering of the challenge problems. We pulled the book off the shelf again only when she got stuck in the graphing section. About 1/4 of the way through the book, she decided to take one of the online classes because having an official grade in the class was helpful for her for other purposes. She found both the class and the extra assigned problems to be primarily busy work (the exception being the writing problem, which she did have to work at); the video/Alcumus option was enough for her. She is taking a break from the Algebra book for a good while, but she is out of videos, so will likely have to figure out how to get along better with the book soon. I was super interested to hear something Richard Rusczyk had to say at a presentation of his that I attended last summer. A parent asked him if their student was missing out by not taking the classes and only using the book. I assumed his answer would be yes, that there were specific benefits to the classes. Not so. His answer was that all the components - book, videos, Alcumus, online classes, in person classes - were made specifically so each student could choose the parts that worked for them. No part was considered indispensable. There were parts that never would have interested him personally, and he didn’t really understand why anyone wanted those parts, but since people obviously did and they wanted people to be able to access good math regardless of their preferred learning methods, they offered many methods to choose from.
  6. My kid has really liked: Decoding the Secrets of Egyptian Hieroglyphs (definitely needs video) Everything by Art Benjamin, but especially Math and Magic Mind Bending Math: Riddles and Paradoxes Food: A Cultural Culinary History Brain Myths Exploded: Lessons from Neuroscience
  7. Another option for math for the older kid would be to print out old AMC 8 tests and have him work them. If he were taking the test itself, they would be expected to be timed to 40 minutes. You can find the answers online, and somewhere on the AOPS website are full solutions so he can see how they should be worked. Those tests are taken by top middle school math students, and perfect scores are extremely rare. The AOPS Volume 1 book mentioned above would be the book that teaches the math most often found on such competition tests. You did not mention what his math level currently is, other than coasting. AOPS Volume 1, Counting and Probability, and Number Theory all asume the student has had Algebra 1. I know that in the Volume 1 book, even some of the full solutions do not walk the student through portions of the problems that are straightforward Algebra, like systems of equations. That could be a barrier if he isn’t that far. One more option would be to set the kid up with the free videos for AOPS Prealgebra or Algebra (whichever is appropriate), and Alcumus (also free), with the settings changed to give problems at the “insanely hard” level.
  8. I remember that I had this mismatch as a child. I could technically read a lot more than I could understand. My daughter has not had it. She has always scored very highly on both decoding and comprehension. I suppose that puts me in the “no such thing as usual” camp.
  9. DD is up at either 7:30 or 8:30 depending on the day. (None of us are morning people, so this always requires an alarm.) She is an extrovert, and a lot of her schedule is worked around her need to be around others often. Mondays, she does work for an online class for about an hour, then goes to a 5 hour naturalist/survivalist class. They hike during the class, so there is some exercise built in. After that class, she has a couple chores, then spends an hour at martial arts. Tuesday and Thursdays are our usual at-home days. There is about 4-5 hours of school work done these days, including attending an online class. Some of her friends are neighbors attending traditional school, so she spends 2-3 hours with them on Tuesdays once they get home. On Thursdays, she has another martial arts class. Wednesday is a completely out of the house day, with her taking several classes at a homeschool enrichment center. We get home at 5:30, and she has about an hour to spend with friends before dinner. Friday, she does an hour or two of school work, then we use the afternoon as a regular field trip time. We usually get back around when her friends get home from school or a little later, so she spends a couple hours with them. Saturdays, she has two hours of Destination Imagination meeting. About half the Sundays, she has 1.5 hours of a Math Circle. She fits in another hour or two of work for her online class sometime over the weekend. Her “bedtime” is 8:00, but lights out isn’t until 9:30. She reads whatever she likes during that time. We also have a family read aloud (actually, usually listening to audiobooks, because I greatly prefer that to reading aloud) for about a half hour before bedtime. I would like her to get in more exercise, but she would have to give up something from a pretty packed schedule to do it. There is nothing in the schedule that we’re in agreement on dropping, and it’s not worth the argument of making her give up something she doesn’t want to drop. This may need to change in the future, as I think her ADHD is better regulated when she is getting exercise more consistently.
  10. We switch up things in our homeschooling fairly regularly. It keeps both the kid and myself from getting too bored or burned out. Most of the time it is small switches, but every once in a while, it’s a more thorough overhaul. It works for us. There is no one approach that I believe fits everyone all the time. If what you’re doing isn’t working - which includes being reasonably enjoyable - then switch it up.
  11. I required blue, except for during the time period she was in the online class. Because the number of problems required for the class was about double, I let her stop at green. Same basic situation here: due to handwriting struggles/possible dysgraphia, we used Alcumus in place of all the regular book problems. I did add some of the challenge problems from the book as well.
  12. Out of the three teachers my daughter likes, we would still be able to schedule with two of them with a few days notice. The other one is crazy popular and booked for months in advance. When you schedule classes, the program asks you to choose a teacher first, then you can see all the dates and time slots they have available. If you’re not sure what teachers to choose, you can choose “no preference” on the teacher page, and then choose by only time slot. That’s what we did for DD’s first several classes, so she could try a variety of teachers and decide who she liked best to schedule with thereafter.
  13. If you want Math Olympiad style of problems, there’s always the MOEMS books.
  14. Thank you for the responses. I am reading along, even if I haven’t been responding, and contemplating how to adapt what we do. I can definitely start with modeling some organizational skills, because that is a strength of mine. Yesterday, while she was in her nature class, I took the time to lay out her to do list for this week’s class work in three different formats, so she would be able to see each one. Her brain works a lot differently than mine as to what organization makes sense, so I wanted her to be able to actually see multiple options to find which would make the most sense to her. Something HomeAgain said resonated with me, which is that her son has one subject per year that he won’t keep up with unless he studies/works hard. I’m not sure DD has ever had that. She’s had a couple things that she won’t keep up with unless she puts in the required time. But work hard at it? Not really. She sets her own goals, and even the ones that seem like a big stretch to me haven’t ended up being a stretch for her.
  15. We occasionally used Kumon workbooks for more standard practice with algorithms as DD has worked through BA and AOPS. The Kumon workbooks don’t really do any teaching, and the problems are very straightforward practice problems, but that’s what I was looking for at the time.
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