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Everything posted by Jackie

  1. We had one, but it barely got used. I think DD was 5 when we bought it, and 8 when I sold it. It wasn’t glitchy; it simply wasn’t very fun. The Newton and Masterpiece apps were good for a short while, and she liked the tangrams app even though it was really finicky, but the other apps held no real interest for her. We definitely didn’t get $100 worth of benefit out of it.
  2. Hits: Destination Imagination, AOPS book + Alcumus, Great Courses Plus Misses: AOPS online classes Everything else fell somewhere in the middle
  3. The pdf booklets are available if you use Great Courses Plus. Since GCP has no commitment length, you could sign up for a month (or the free trial if you’ve not used it before), download all the guidebooks for every course you want to use, then cancel.
  4. If the state does not require anything, you need not keep anything. If you enroll her in public school again anytime before high school, schools nearly always enroll the child in the grade level that corresponds to their age, without any paperwork needed from you other than the standard enrollment paperwork. I do choose to keep my own records, but that’s because I like having them. I don’t anticipate ever needing to show them to anyone. I have a small day planner, and I write down what we did after we do it. Any paper-based work generated is thrown into a big pile, and every few months we choose a few things from the pile to keep and recycle the rest.
  5. This. We combine this approach with a lot of time in nature, visiting the science and natural history museums, hands-on science kits, and child-designed experiments. But there are a lot of library books involved.
  6. My school used upper levels of Saxon, way back when. I went from a kid who loved math, with it being my favorite subject and competing in MathCounts, to thinking math was a miserable subject that made no sense. Saxon contained almost no “math sense”; it was problem after problem after problem of fill-in-the-blank plugging in of numbers using a prescribed way of doing things. The sheer number of problems meant math homework took longer than all my other subjects combined, even though I still usually intuitively understood the math itself. It was drudgery.
  7. May I ask what program the tutor recommends for your child?
  8. I can not imagine thinking that Saxon didn’t have enough review and repetition. I detest the program, in part because I believe it to have such a ridiculous excess of review and repetition. Has this tutor ever actually used Saxon?
  9. Told my daughter her score and simply “forgot” to remind her that there were medals, since she places little emphasis on such herself and didn’t remember. So, now she’s perfectly happy with her score. 🙂
  10. DD will be mildly disappointed. She missed a medal by a point.
  11. Keeping in mind that I’m not a scrapbooker (the same artsy appeal of it for my daughter keeps me away from it), the basic idea starts with buying a scrapbook, scrapbook paper, and various decorations like stickers from an art supply store like Michaels. Each event/topic gets its own page or a two-page spread. Each page can contain any combination of photos, hand drawn pictures, titles, written descriptions, whatever... the idea is that it can be very open to creative input. My kid has never had much interest in keeping a regular journal, but she loves this. When she started it, she had a few recent things she wanted to include, so she made five or six pages in the first couple weeks. Since then, it’s an occasional project when she has new stuff to include - her season with Destination Imagination, a trip to Harry Potter World, a collection of hiking pictures.
  12. I prompted my kid to do some scrapbooking, including small written descriptions for each page. She liked that better than a journal, and I was surprised at the level of LA skill it actually takes to boil down an event or experience into a single page or a two-page spread. Plus, it appealed to her artsy self. I found the questions in the Suppose the Wolf Were an Octopus series to be great for quick writing prompts. Many of them worked really well to learning to write basic paragraphs. (And I returned to the series when we started tackling essays this year.)
  13. You could add in some spiral review in a fun way by having him play Prodigy Math for a while a few times per week. It’s fun enough that it likely won’t feel like a chore, and gives a good mix of problems or you can use the teacher portal to assign certain types of problems.
  14. By and large, the games are a replacement for the same drill that can be accomplished with flash cards.
  15. We had a similar type of list. Some of the things on it: programming in Scratch or with her robots learning a new art skill (via her art books or an art video or some other prompt) Zometool challenges playing with molecular modeling projects/suggestions from books like This Book Thinks You’re a Math Genius or This Book Thinks You’re an Artist anything to complete a project learning/practicing calligraphy or other hand lettering techniques playing on Burning Cargo practicing piano or doing a lesson on Hoffman Academy projects from science kits on hand
  16. For me, the book itself gives that space to think about the ideas, and the classes recommend that students work through the book before class. The classes shouldn’t be a rehash of the book. If they are, then they should stop advising that students work through the book first, because that just bores the students who follow that instruction. Text-based simply appeals to one learning preference. Some people learn best by direct instruction, some by video, some with manipulatives, some with talking concepts through; there are so many ways to learn. I learn some by reading, but I rarely fully internalize a concept that way. For me, it’s about getting to discover and play on my own, which is unlikely to happen in any online class. My kid learns by hearing a concept talked through: a verbal/audio explanation of a concept, questioning (doesn’t matter if questions are in audio or text format), and verbal/audio responses - basically she learns when the format is a conversational style, even if the conversation itself is modified to fit a class style. And she’s a more auditory learner than I am. She loves audiobooks and listening to lectures, whereas I have no idea why anyone would like such things.
  17. Lol, I’m well above that age range and found the all-text format at least as miserable as my kid did. She and I have pretty different learning styles, and it wouldn’t work for either one of us.
  18. It’s probably easier to describe what you want and get a discussion going based on that. Beast Academy is widely considered the most challenging program available for elementary. It moves fast, teaches advanced concepts, and has minimal practice. When my kid finished BA 3-5, she was able to move directly into Algebra 1 without a problem, though most people prefer to do Prealgebra after BA. However, when I looked at a variety of pre-a programs, nearly every topic had been thoroughly covered somewhere in the BA series. Math Mammoth is generally considered to be right on level. It is more methodically paced in its instruction, and has plenty of practice problems (many people choose to assign only half the problems unless their kid is needing more practice with a topic). It teaches conceptually, but works more with the algorithms than BA. Singapore Primary, Standards Edition, is generally considered in between these two, with more challenge able to be added by using the (optional) Intensive Practice book. I’ve never used Abeka, so I can’t compare either of these programs directly to it.
  19. My very young kid adores the discovery method, and will cite the fact that the book gives problems before teaching how to do them as one of the reasons she most loves AOPS. Really, even though working straight from the book isn’t the best fit for her, either, she now starts each topic with the opening questions from the book section so that she gets the “leading discovery questions” from the book before she breaks off to Alcumus or directly to challenging problems. The online class was a bust for her for multiple reasons. It really seems to me that the kids who would do best with the all-text format of the classes would be the kids who would also do the best with the all-text format of the book. Maybe this is great for matching classes to the kids who are already thriving with the books, but it seems a wasted opportunity to me. The classes could be used to pull in the kids who don’t thrive with just the books. It wouldn’t even take something especially more interactive. At the most minimal end, one tone when answers were pushed through, and a different tone when a new question was asked, would at least be a prompt for my kid to tune back in after she spaced out waiting for answers to be posted. Much better for her would be audio/video from the instructor; responses or questions from students could still be text-based. I agree from what I saw in her class that the kids who were treating it like a standard class, instead of doing the discovery questions first, were missing out. It seems as though it took away the AOPS flavor. On the other hand, my kid usually “got” the full concept from the discovery questions in the book and Alcumus, so all the weekly homework problems beyond that just felt like busywork to her. And when the instructor did lead through in a discovery-based manner, the class was only repeating what she had already done independently with the book, so a complete waste of time.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. We will continue to use the AOPS books independently.
  24. 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.
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