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About stupidusername

  • Birthday 11/02/1969

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    Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Interests
    running, finance, education, U.S. history

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  • Location
    Colorado Springs, Colorado
  1. My son, just 12 years old, scored 5 in AP Music Theory. I'm happy for him.
  2. Thanks for the responses, everyone. I still believe that what I wrote at the outset is correct -- namely, it appears to be possible to easily cover every Geometry topic on the ACT and SAT in about one month. I am not going to have my son spend just one month on Geometry and I do not recommend that anyone else do so. But for an average kid who is just trying to learn enough math to do well on his SATs, an entire year on Geometry seems excessive.
  3. I agree, but those axioms and so forth aren't included on the SAT and ACT, right?
  4. I'm referring to Saxon Algebra 2: An Incremental Development, Third Edition. Thank you.
  5. By "basic geometry" I am referring to the material covered on the SAT or ACT, plus an introduction to geometric proofs. It seems to me that all of this material is in my old Saxon Algebra 2 book, which covers a mix of Algebra, basic trigonometry, and Geometry. (I may be wrong about this. If so, please let me know!) It seems to me, further, that every Geometry and trigonometry problem in this book can be completed in about one month (assuming roughly 20 problems per day and five lessons per week). If I'm right -- that is, if all the geometry a kid needs to do well on the SAT or ACT can be covered in one month -- why do most public school students spend an entire academic year on Geometry? Are they spending a lot of time on material that isn't in the Saxon Algebra 2 book? I feel like I must be missing something.
  6. English - outsourcing this to local charter school Science - outsourcing this to local charter school Math - finish Saxon Algebra 2; probably will start both Jacobs Geometry and Saxon Advanced Mathematics in spring 2017 History - The American Odyssey (with emphasis on reading comprehension) + Hakim's "A History of US" + Stanford History Education Group U.S. History Lessons + CrashCourse US History Latin - Latin for the New Millennium 3 Music - piano PE - martial arts, dance, jogging Other - cooking
  7. I have my son do tests every four lessons. If there is a topic he doesn't understand well, it will become very apparent on the test. It is also possible to identify deficiencies by observing a child's performance on homework assignments. I don't think the tests are absolutely necessary, but they are helpful.
  8. We will soon finish up Human Odyssey, Volumes 1-3 (which we loved). Looking to tackle U.S. history next and need a textbook. Prefer something at the 8th-9th grade reading level. Suggestions?
  9. DS12 has finally gotten to World War II. I am indulging him with some movies. Here are some that I recommend: "Tora! Tora! Tora!" - the attack on Pearl Harbor "Midway" - greatest naval battle ever. "Grave of the Fireflies" "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" - had to turn it off before the final scene. "The Great Escape" "Dirty Dozen" "12 O'Clock High" "Into the White" - hidden gem available for streaming on Netflix. The above gives him a flavor of both major fronts as well as several different types of warfare. We tried "Saving Private Ryan," but the opening scene gave my son a headache. He is a gentle soul. I loved "Bridge Over River Kwai," "Sahara," "Das Boot," "Downfall" and many others, but tried to pick movies that would retain my son's interest. As I mentioned in a previous post, the book "Unbroken" is excellent. The movie, however, is just meh. What World War II movies did your homeschooled child enjoy?
  10. These are textbooks from educational publishing company K12 that we have been using to study world history during the past 17 months. There are three volumes: Volume 1: Prehistory to the Middle Ages Volume 2: Middle Ages through 1914 Volume 3: 1914 to the present We found out about these books from Well Trained Mind. We are just about to finish Volume 2. The books are comprehensive and very readable. One volume can be covered in 5 to 9 months -- more if you supplement with outside books and movies. There are a few threads here on Well Trained Mind about supplemental materials. We baked a Greek meal, read excerpts from the Oxford University Press history books, and watched the movies "Spartacus," "Gladiator," and "Roots," but otherwise have not done much supplementing so far. We will do more in Volume 3. (I am a World War II history buff.) I only have two complaints. First, I would have liked more coverage of prehistory before Sumer. Second, Volume 1 states that Muhammad al Khwarizmi invented Algebra, which is not true. These, however, are quibbles. The books are affordable. Right now you can buy a used copy of Volume 1 on Amazon.com for $4.00. You can buy a used copy of Volume 2 for $3.47. You can buy a full online course through K12 for several hundred dollars, but the books are all you need. We purchased the full online course last year and rarely used it. The books are secular, but can be used by anyone. All the major world religions are covered. For us, pedagogy is simple. I have my son read about 4-5 pages per day (one chapter per week, usually); every day I quiz him on what he has read. I ask simple questions such as "Who is so -and-so" or "What was such and such?" If he hasn't absorbed the material, I have him re-read the entire section. I then quiz him again. If he still hasn't absorbed the material, I have him read the section a third time. Nowadays, he almost never has to read a section more than once. During our lessons, I often will ask my son to point to a particular location on the globe or in an Atlas. This enables him to simultaneously learn about both history and geography. We use Anki (a free flash card app) several times per week to boost retention. We have created thousands of world history flash cards. I back up our Anki cards about once a month. The reading level of Volumes 1 and 2 is appropriate for kids from about 5th grade and up. I would not recommend them to children younger than that unless they are unusually strong readers or have a passion for history. It looks like the reading level of Volume 3 might be a little more advanced. Not only are these great books for kids, they are also excellent for adults. I knew little about world history before starting these books. My knowledge has increased enormously. Recently, I got a perfect score on a SAT World History prep test. In short, these books provide an excellent and affordable way to learn about world history. Highly recommended.
  11. This is our third year using Saxon (currently in Saxon Algebra 1, 3rd edition). Every so often, DS12's performance starts to deteriorate. His scores on tests and homeworks drop from 90s to 80s or less. Time spent on math increases dramatically, sometimes to as much as three hours for one lesson. This is especially common in the latter third of the book. When this happens, my advice is to WALK IT BACK. If you re-do the last 5 or 10 lessons, you will probably see a huge improvement in your child's speed, accuracy, confidence, and attitude.
  12. DS12 will finish up Saxon Algebra 1, 3rd ed., in a few months. He does well with Saxon and we plan on eventually proceeding to Saxon Algebra 2 and Saxon Advanced Mathematics. He has been doing fine, scoring 85 or so on most of his tests. I think his conceptual understanding is excellent, but he is prone to making sloppy mistakes. After he finishes the Saxon Algebra 1 book, here are some options: proceed directly to Saxon Algebra 2, assuming he scores 85 or higher on his last three tests; spend a couple of months reviewing Algebra 1 using AoPS, Lial, Foerster, or Jacobs. I think he'd be fine proceeding to Saxon Algebra 2. However, he is quite young and I worry about him falling into the "Calculus Trap." At his current pace, he'll finish Calculus at age 15. I like the idea of building in some "detours" in between Saxon texts. He will probably tackle Jacobs Geometry after Saxon Algebra 2, for example. I am a little concerned about his sloppiness and would prefer to see him scoring a bit higher on his tests. So I am leaning toward option #2. However, I am not sure which book to use for Algebra review. We tried AoPS a few years ago and it didn't go well. My son is not passionate about math and is not a math genius. I own Jacobs' Algebra book; it looks relatively easy compared to Saxon Algebra 1. I don't know if this would be the right book for us. I have not seen Lial or Foerster. I know they are popular here.
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