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Everything posted by seaben

  1. I've taken a few high scoring middle schoolers every year over to the h.s. to take it. Mostly that's for the experience and a fun field trip. I'd say at least 15ish on AMC 8 to be able to finish some problems and not get crushed as well as appropriate expectations. Practically speaking you could just do the questions after they are released too. I did have one AIME qualifier in 8th grade last year.
  2. I'm feeling more reflective this year about the whole process. When we were thrust into full time home schooling last Spring, I scrambled around looking for resources and was still trying out various routines and structures. I think this year since I knew Fall would be at home ahead of time, I planned more based on what I learned. For me that means focusing on the areas of weakness, foreign languages and Science. But also where last time I felt time pressure to cover a ton of material to make up for deficiencies over the course of the year (We went over the entire US History from start to end for example) now I have more of a worry about pacing to fill the whole year. It would be really easy to rush through all of Medieval History or Economics and finish by January. What I need to do is add enough research, writing and projects to increase depth. We've generally been following this structure. After breakfast is done around 8:30, we have a discussion of tasks for the day. My 9th grader usually can manage with just a discussion but the 7th grader needs a written list to track everything. My main morning goal is to get a writing prompt done and then the priority of other topics shifts to balance the week out. Lunchtime is the next big bloc of time I have to talk things over but the kids pop in during the day with questions and that leads to mini discussions and dialogues. Overall everyone adjusted back to the routine by the second day or so. Curriculum-wise I’m still evaluating both the OpenCourseware Chemistry materials and the econ textbook (Bernanke) for gr9. I outsourced conceptual physics for gr7 to an Athena’s Academy online course and I have a friend do a 1 day / week tutor session for Algebar to free up some time. Most of the other pieces feel set except for signing up for language classes which I’m feeling more certain I’m going to do.
  3. Just for comparison Awesome math over the summer was priced at $750 for a 3 weeks (Mon-Sat) of a course with 90 minutes per day + an online problem solving session. I'm not familiar with AoPS academy but I will say that it seems likely that the number of kids who are motivated by competitions to spend time (or spend enough money to support a business like this one) working on math outside school is much greater than the number of kids who are not motivated that way. So from a pragmatic standpoint it makes sense to focus on them first if you're trying to make a go at things. Leading a middle school aged math circle, makes me believe that's a good model for wider out reach but even then the pool of kids who want to participate tilts towards the same competitive group. And there are huge difficulties with scaling any extra-curricular model for math enrichment.
  4. The pot shots at "problem solving communities" are off putting to me.
  5. Thanks I'll take a look at that. I've been investigating MIT's OCW Principles of Chemical Science as another low barrier alternative. Has anyone used here it and have an opinion?
  6. While I was already planning to have my 7th grader home school (at least) until there is a brick and mortar alternative, I'm realizing now that our district doesn't really have its act together for high school either and its unclear when it will start, what format it will be in or if there will be a teacher's strike. So I'm brainstorming what to do in that case. Particular issues: 1. History - I'm leaning towards econ and wonder if anyone has a recommended text. This would not necc. need to be for AP credit. 2. Science. Yet again the hardest part esp since I can't predict when virtual school might start. Any ideas on Chem/Physics that could be done and ios fairly rigorous / math based for the interim. Thanks
  7. There was a mathjam with a transcript on woot at https://artofproblemsolving.com/school/mathjams-transcripts?id=236 It also focuses a lot on whether it's a fit. Another option might be the awesome math online programs.
  8. I've always read this forum to mostly get ideas about Math and never thought I'd be actively home schooling. But 2020 is the year I did so involuntarily in the Spring. Overall I had a lot more fun with the process than I expected despite needing to work from home at the same time. It definitely was only possible because both kids were in middle school. Most days started with me setting a written set of priorities for the younger one and checking in with my older son to make sure he was on track. I basically leveraged mealtimes as a time to talk about school related matters most days. Wins 1. I really like choosing the reading materials for the week. I mostly leaned on books I remember reading in the school at the same ages and other online lists of recommended interesting reading. Among other titles we went through:, Frankenstein, Rolling Thunder Hear My Cry, Tuck Everlasting, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and Jacob Have I loved. Plus a ton of poetry interwoven through the weeks as material for writing prompts. (Boy I'm glad I have a few poetry anthologies as well as there being a lot of online resources) Initially we spent about 1 month listening to Patrick Stewart read Shakespeare's Sonnet everyday and parsing the poems. I thought they were amazing but the kids were less enthusiastic. 2. We did writing prompts almost every day (usually short). These were also fun and something I never would have had the heart to do before taking over schooling. We almost always did at least 1 poem a week for this. Sometimes, the week was spent on a longer essay. I tried to carve out time to always go over the results and talk about structure, grammar , style etc. after we were done. Among the cutsey ideas. One week I had the kids write a story trading control every few sentences but each one had a totally different genre they were trying to represent. Another time, I had them state a position on household rules and responsibility and then surprise argue the opposite position. But a lot of times they were reactions to either the history or English reading. I'd say the overall balance was about 60% creative writing. 3. History. Thankfully I owned a few American History textbooks and Bauer's Ancient History. We basically read through all of the year's history in 3 months, My usually structure was to ask for the 3 main points and then do a discussion afterwards based on the section. My younger son also ended up binge watch Crash Course History. 4. Math was the only subject which we were already partial home schooling and that mostly proceeded as normal with a combo of a home guided Intermediate Algebra and a self paced pre-algebra course from AoPS. 5. Science: Uggh the hardest piece. I leaned on whatever came home from school mostly. If I'm forced to repeat this process, here's the area I want to be more on top of next time. 6. Language: both kids started Duolingo for French and Spanish. I'm not convinced its the best way to learn but its hands off and better than nothing. Looking forrward: I'm getting more pessimistic that the schools will reopen enough to be worthwhile especially the M.S. and am girding myself to repeat this process in the Fall. Maybe this time around with advance warning I can find an online Science Option or some way to do labs without a lot of supervision.
  9. Good luck to everyone taking the AOIME today
  10. To my mind you've reached the point where dual enrollment makes the most sense. I know that you said you wanted to avoid that but it would be useful for both placement and potentially credit. What's your plan for college if you don't go that route and are asked to potentially repeat classes? Also qualified instructors are realistically only at the college level beyond where you mention. Part of what happens next also depends on whether your son is planning to be a math or physics major. Most engineering degrees would probably be fully satisfied by going onto differential equations. But the natural math major progression is to move onto real/complex analysis and modern algebra.
  11. Well our local public schools have closed until at least April 24th so after partial home schooling math for a few years, I'll be doing it all for at least 5 weeks. I have basic ideas for most things but I science is a bit of a problem. When the closure was only 2 weeks, I thought about just watching Crash Course Science or Royal Institution videos but now I would like something more real. The problem is I have one kid in the middle of MS physical science and the other in HS Biology. Does anyone have any ideas that I could implement quickly?
  12. SET is John Hopkins 7th grade talent search program.
  13. We went through this last year in a try for a scholarship. As I remember the scores have no impact on colleges and won't be disclosed 4-5 years down the road. It is however a pain in the neck to sign up if you're under 13. The websites don't allow registration for kids that young and you have to do things by mail. So allow extra time to register. Generally speaking the SAT is better to take because more programs like SET only take those scores. But it depends if you're aiming for something specific. We ended up doing the ACT just because it was the only one that worked scheduling-wise. Finally for prep, you can checkout one of the prep books from the local library and try out some sample tests to get familiar with the format. That's all we really did, there was no real wait and it worked fine.
  14. The Maa has a form on its site for finding the nearest location offering the tests. Generally, as a host myself I try to accomodate anyone who finds us through that route and that seems to be the case with the others I know. It's a pain in the neck but it might be worth trying to forge a relationship with a local school/math teacher if nothing is close by.
  15. Well since AMC 8 Statistics are finally out I can write up a small entry. I had the most kids yet 21 take the test and we had our highest school score and made it to the Merit Roll. I suppose most importantly since I see many of the kids multiple years there were decent amounts of growth across the board even accounting for the test's difficulty this year.,
  16. I'm looking for a US History Textbook or equivalent that would work well for an 8th grader. I'm probably already going to get Zinn's People's History so I want a second book that makes a good counterpoint perspective.
  17. Yes totally true. That snippet was for AMC 8 prep in the fall. I only focus on one at a time (There's a limit to how much time anyone I coach can spend on extracurricular Math) . But they translate really well so I just switch over source material after AMC 8 is done. In addition, for the OP, if you're using the Algebra book a good portion of the problems will pull from both contests and help out.
  18. Here's an example of something I did this fall. Its nothing super complicated. I used some google forms as well to have kids report back what they were doing and how it felt level-wise so I could adjust. I didn't use the MC trainer this year (its on my list for next) mostly because we had a really weird run of snow days that completely destroyed my scheduling prior to then. Here'
  19. Also a little goes a long way. Based on my experience last year, just consistently doing an hour or two a week for multiple months really adds up. For example, I had one student who wanted to improve her AMC 8 scores this year. She followed a lightweight practice schedule: 1 practice a week, reviewing what her mistakes each time and by the end saw significant gains. Likewise, I've sent a team to State Math Counts the last two year and just interacting with interesting problems every week and then doing some practice activities leading up to MathCounts was enough for me to see huge growth year to year.
  20. Given those constraints I'd say option 2 sounds best. You'll get a lot of bang for the buck out of knowing the Algebra. Then carve out a specified amount time on top of that for practicing tests. Make sure to focus the practice on reviewing answers and looking for how to improve being methodical. Is there a pattern to the "silly mistakes". What could you do next time to catch the error etc. Note: you could also use the AoPS problem solving book for this additional practice instead of or in addition just past tests. The advantage here would be the soln manual explanations.
  21. I have some question: Currently what is the biggest problem? 1. Accuracy 2. Speed 3. Missing content knowledge 4. Problem solving In general I wouldn't compromise curriculum for a contest so I would also consider how much extra time are you willing to spend after doing regular Math on this. Note starting Algebra in 6th/7th is fairly accelerated to put things in context and having done the AoPS algebra I think its worth the investment and will pay off long term better than practice tests. There is inherent value to the conceptual framework and problems that are not suitable for contests.
  22. I have a friend who's looking into summer Calculus AB options for her son. She was asking about CTY vs EPGY and I have to admit I haven't heard much either way. Does anyone have any feedback on these or any other online Calculus courses?
  23. As I remember, at the time we did a mixture of oral answers and written work. Writing was mostly used when needed as opposed to a formal answer format. Over time, we started working on some organisational basics like always work moving down the page, never erase or cross out etc. Neatness has definitely improved 3.5+ years later. This was one of the few things I saved from around 10: https://photos.app.goo.gl/E9THxUpVcato8yRu7 [I can't figure out image uploads at the moment]
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