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A message about NEM from my son in college...


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My son asked me to post and say that he is studying together with classmates for physics and he can't believe how much people struggle with what actually to do for the problems. He says that physics is all word problems (naturally) and that NEM turned out to be very good preparation.

 

I just wanted to offer some encouragement to those who have chosen to stick with Singapore. NEM was such a struggle sometimes, since this son isn't mathy, that I was often tempted to try something else, but now it is obvious that it was a good thing we stuck with it.

 

-Nan

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He was in ps through 4th, using Everyday Math. I pulled him out for 5th and he was a huge mass of misconceptions that took years to straighten out. We did Saxon for 5th and that helped him to memorize things like the long division algorithm and give him confidence. He did fine with the Saxon problems but was totally unable to do any math other than the Saxon problems. It was very disconcerting. Brenda here persuaded me to back him up to PM3B. He began NEM in high school. Senior year, he did Precalc at the community college so he never did NEM4. He struggled mightily with NEM, sometimes getting 2/3 of the problems wrong. We paused after the first few chapters and did Keys to Algebra 1-3. It took forever. We kept going. It was worth it. : ) NEM has some holes that you need to be aware of, and I now know that it is meant to be combined with NAM the last two years for math/science track students. My youngest did PM and NEM1-3 and is now doing Blitzer Pre-calc with me using the older one's book. He spun his wheels for a year between PM and NEM. (I should have done Russian Math with him that year or some of the AoP counting or something.) He also did Keys to Algebra 1-3.

-Nan

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My son told me yesterday (he was studying for a physics exam he's taking this morning) that he's had a breakthrough of sorts this past week, can now see the bigger picture and is beginning to understand the similarities in solving problems regardless of whether he's looking at calculus, chemistry, or physics. Lots of his classmates have problems with this, too.

 

For some reason, he "got" chemistry problem solving early on, but struggled with high school physics and again in his first calculus course over the summer. Why'd it take so long to make the connections? It was probably a combination of things. BTW, we did not use NEM because by the time I'd learned enough about Singapore to consider using it, I didn't want to make any more changes. We'd taken a long time to find anything that worked.

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Thread hijack, nothing to do with NEM.

 

Like Nan's son said, physics is all word problems and the hardest part is setting them up.

 

My wonderful husband wrote a book all about setting up physics problems. It is a "real book," published by Wiley. I don't know if I've ever posted about his book but we're both curious to know if it would help homeschoolers with physics. I think it is appropriate for most high school level physics (other than purely conceptual physics).

 

Here is the book: Introductory Physics with Algebra as a Second Language: Mastering Problem-Solving

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Cool! I'm going to check out the book. And to hijack your comment :D, I would like to ask you (or your dh) if there is an interesting book (easy to read for the average person) on Einsteins Theory of Relativity- or perhaps a website, YouTube video, etc? My ds (senior) is really fascinated by this right now.

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My son asked me to post and say that he is studying together with classmates for physics and he can't believe how much people struggle with what actually to do for the problems. He says that physics is all word problems (naturally) and that NEM turned out to be very good preparation.

 

I just wanted to offer some encouragement to those who have chosen to stick with Singapore. NEM was such a struggle sometimes, since this son isn't mathy, that I was often tempted to try something else, but now it is obvious that it was a good thing we stuck with it.

 

-Nan

:iagree: My ds#1 said something similar a couple of years ago when he started college. He was amazed that students found word problems to be difficult. He thought they made sense - after all, it's what the world is really about. He used NEM also and while he didn't attribute his success to NEM (he probably never really thought that far into the idea), I believe it was a big factor in his success in mathematics and physics.

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Thread hijack, nothing to do with NEM.

 

Like Nan's son said, physics is all word problems and the hardest part is setting them up.

 

My wonderful husband wrote a book all about setting up physics problems. It is a "real book," published by Wiley. I don't know if I've ever posted about his book but we're both curious to know if it would help homeschoolers with physics. I think it is appropriate for most high school level physics (other than purely conceptual physics).

 

Here is the book: Introductory Physics with Algebra as a Second Language: Mastering Problem-Solving

 

Jenn your husband's book looks awesome!!! The way it's written and explained is beautifully done. What a beautiful dedication too. :)

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I asked dh about relativity. (All I know about relativity is that your mother's brother is your uncle.) He suggested the following two sources:

 

The New World of Mr. Tompkins which is like a story about someone interested in science. It's definitely for ordinary folks. I think one of my boys read it in 9th grade.

 

The other suggestion is the textbook Conceptual Physics by Paul Hewitt. DH says his explanations on anything are excellent. You can find old editions of this book very cheap on Amazon or eBay. You can probably even get it at the library.

 

Hope your student finds something interesting to read!

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my non math loving college kid thinks the same way about the books. He didn't like them at the time but he does get math. He encouraged me to use them with his younger brother. So we are. Just started book 3 this year.

 

What is really funny college boy the non math loving child, is a TUTOR FOR THE MATH dept at his college. Yep gets paid to somedays do his own homework. He was helping hs girl friend with her math, she said you should be a tutor, so he went and talked to the math dept and they had him do 3 problems and gave him the job. he has also gotten high school students too.

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We were staggered to hear that ours was helping people with their math. We were also staggered to learn that when he is peacewalking, he is considered brilliant at math because he can manage the logistics and read a map. Every day, peacewalking deals with problems like A begins at this and such a speed from spot B while C begins an hour later at D so where and when do they meet. We're hoping that extends to the terrestial navigation he is taking this year, and to the celestial navigation he has to take next year. I considered switching to Dolciani with the youngest and he wouldn't let me. Sounds like we have the same child GRIN.

-Nan

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He says that physics is all word problems (naturally) and that NEM turned out to be very good preparation.

 

Thank you for posting this. This is the primary reason I stink with Singapore even though it is a fight with my younger two. I keep telling them that in real life, no one ever walks up to you and says, "What is 412 times 376?" Real math is all about word problems, and nobody does word problems like Singapore.

 

Terri

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We were staggered to hear that ours was helping people with their math. We were also staggered to learn that when he is peacewalking, he is considered brilliant at math because he can manage the logistics and read a map. Every day, peacewalking deals with problems like A begins at this and such a speed from spot B while C begins an hour later at D so where and when do they meet. We're hoping that extends to the terrestial navigation he is taking this year, and to the celestial navigation he has to take next year. I considered switching to Dolciani with the youngest and he wouldn't let me. Sounds like we have the same child GRIN.

-Nan

almost isn't if funny

 

and what is the NAM books

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Nan - Thanks for posting about this. It has given me a bit more confidence in my choice to move my son to NEM. My daughter started in NEM at the end of last year after completing levels 5 and 6 of the primary series. My son, having never been exposed to any of the Singapore maths, used a more standard text for Algebra 1. I decided this year to switch him over the NEM this late in the game rather than to stick with the more standard Alg1/Geo/Alg2/Pre-calc track. So far, it's going pretty well. Starting in the middle of NEM 2, we're skimming over the stuff he already knows from Algebra 1 and spending more time on things he doesn't such as the geometry, trig and statistics. I do hope it's the right decision for him. I felt with the more standard program, he we missing too much of the big picture and that he was not getting enough experience in applications/problem solving.

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