Jump to content


Question re: AOPS Intro to Algebra pacing at home


Recommended Posts

For anyone who has had a 7th grader or younger complete AOPS's Intro to Algebra as part of homeschool, is it realistic to expect to cover the whole thing in a year if you don't do it 5 days a week? My family's kind of swamped this year and I can only provide "class" instruction for math three times a week. (In fact, has anyone made a schedule or syllabus I can reference for realistic daily goals?)


I'm also wondering about how much your students self-taught, and how you handled the challenge problems. My inclination is to require the non-starred problems and make the starred problems extra credit if he completes them himself but also to make sure we talk about them all in any case.


For background: My son (not quite 12, going into 7th) completed Singapore through 6B in grade 4 and Key to Algebra series in 5th grade. For 6th, he went to a one-yr. environmental school where the math was grade level but more or less self-taught. He can handle the difficulty but math is not necessarily his passion, and he does have a challenging schedule this year.


Thanks for any responses -- I've crossposted elsewhere to no avail.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Karen,

I haven't used this book yet; I've only spent some time looking at it. I'm hoping someone with experience will chime in, but in the absence of that, I thought I could at least give you my thoughts.


While I'm sure it's possible to finish it in a year, I'm not sure it's necessary. My understanding is that this book covers Algebra I and about half of Algebra II.


I think a chapter every two weeks is a reasonable goal, which would put you at 44 weeks for the whole book. My guess is that some of the chapters will go more quickly, especially the first couple.


I think the book is designed as a self-study course. I would say your approach on the starred problems sounds right. Maybe you don't need to go over all of them with him though, especially if math is not his passion. Maybe just do them as time allows you. If you are limited, it's probably better to help him with new concepts, than to spend it on challenge problems. He can always come back to them later. I've also heard that there is a lot of help to be had on the boards at the AoPS website. Maybe your son can make use of that to ease the burden on you.


Anyway, hoping this helps you a little bit at least. The book looks amazing. Wish it had been around when I was growing up!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 7th grader did AoPS Intro to Algebra the past school year. She spent about four hours a week on it, had dad (who is a physics professor) as a teacher and it was impossible to cover the whole book.

The book covers much more than the traditional Algebra 1 course (which would end approximately when they are done with quadratics; it usually does not include complex numbers). It took her 140 hours to that point which is pretty much a full credit.

Over the summer, she got to the end of chapter 17.

There is some overlap of the later chapters (18 and up) with intermediate Algebra; the last chapter (sequences and series) is a pre-calculus topic.

We did not use any "syllabus" - we just worked through the book, problem by problem and took as much time as necessary to get the material mastered. She did every in-text problems and the end-of section exercises; of the end-of-chapter problems we chose a selection.

The challenge problems are sometimes very hard; she worked them with help from dad.

We did not grade problem sets, because we are aiming for mastery: she has to do them until they are correct. We did give her one end-of-semester exam and one Final Exam for the end of the algebra 1 material (after quadratic equations). We designed the exams similar to problems from the book.

Hope this helps- good luck.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bought this book to preview for my ds who will be doing algebra in 5th next year. To get a better feel for it, I have been going through the book myself to review algebra. I really enjoy it but it can get quite challenging at points even for someone with prior exposure to Algebra. I do think it is written to be largely self-teaching.


Completing the entire Intro to Algebra book would be equivalent to two years of algebra (Alg I & II). My understanding is the AOPS online class covers the first 13 chapters over 15 weeks as Algebra I. The remaining chapters in the book are covered over another 15 weeks as Algebra II. I think 15 weeks for each course is a fairly intense pace and would require at least 1 hour a day.


I agree with a previous poster that 2 weeks per chapter would probably be a very reasonable pace esp. if you don't do math 5 days a week.


You might try doing a cross post on the High School board. There are a number of people who have used this program over there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...