~Anna~ Posted October 22, 2012 Posted October 22, 2012 Ok, so this is our first year homeschooling. DD is in 7th and would be doing some type of Prealgebra if she were still in school, because she took 7th grade math in 6th. Math is her best subject, so I decided to try Art of Problem Solving for Prealgebra. Starting out, she seemed to be OK with it, but now after only 2 chapters I can see she is just not "getting" the algebra side of things. I have read that sometimes their minds just aren't mature enough to grasp algebra, and that is fine because I don't mind waiting. But my problem is, what do I do in the meantime? I have thought about Life of Fred, but I don't like the fact that the Prealgebra book has biology with it (nothing against biology but I just want it to be only math). And I don't know if the LoF Fractions and/or Decimals would be too easy or just stuff she already knows. I have also looked at Becoming a Problem Solving Genius by Zaccarro because word problems are where she seems to have the most trouble. Oh, and I requested Kiss my Math from the library today. Any thoughts? Quote

HollyDay Posted October 22, 2012 Posted October 22, 2012 hmmmmm.......A few random ideas...... AoPS is a very different approach to math than traditional texts. Does she know the basic operations, negative numbers, solving for x, that type thing? Or does she need review in those areas. If she needs review, then you might want to look at something like Saxon 87 or one of Lial's math programs (BCM?) If it is a presentation problem with the style of AoPS, then you might want to consider another text with a different approach, say Horizon PreAlgebra, TT pre-Algebra, or maybe Saxon 1/2. Have you used placement tests as a guide? I know Saxon and TT has placement tests. I think MUS does as well. If it is a maturity issue of thinking through problem sequences, then you might consider adding some logic. Games like Chess, RushHour, Blockus, etc. all help with that logical progression of thought. Other logic puzzle workbooks like MindBenders, GridPerplexors, LogicLinks, etc. also help. HTH Quote

~Anna~ Posted October 22, 2012 Author Posted October 22, 2012 She knows basic operations & negative numbers, fractions, decimals, percents, etc., but has never done anything with variables before, and that is part of what she is not getting. I did do the placement tests for AoPS and Prealgebra was what level she was at. She is doing quite well with Perplexors, Math Perplexors, and Logic Liftoff for Logic (she loves the Perplexors) so maybe that will help in the long run. Quote

MomatHWTK Posted October 22, 2012 Posted October 22, 2012 Try the homework video tutors here: http://www.phschool.com/webcodes10/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.gotoWebCode&wcprefix=adk&wcsuffix=0099 Quote

EKS Posted October 22, 2012 Posted October 22, 2012 We used Derek Owens' Prealgebra course and it was wonderful. He moved seamlessly from arithmetic to algebra. Another gentle approach to algebra is Jacobs. We have the Problem Solving Genius book and it is good too, but not a full prealgebra program. I wouldn't use Fred as a primary resource for prealgebra. Quote

Mandy in TN Posted October 22, 2012 Posted October 22, 2012 Maybe the first 2 or 3 workbooks from Key to Algebra if she likes workbooks and just needs a jump start. Maybe Hands on Equations to work with variables and then jump back to AOPS. HTH- Mandy Quote

jennynd Posted October 23, 2012 Posted October 23, 2012 She is not getting to solve equation or not able to write word problem into equation? Solving equation is a easy fix. A lot people like hand on equation, I used key to algebra before AOPS algebra. Write word problem into equation take a bit more " used to" IMO. DS.had problem earlier on when we started algebra, but now he is getting much much better just after a month or so. It just take a bit time to wire the brain to rewrite the word into equation Quote

~Anna~ Posted October 23, 2012 Author Posted October 23, 2012 Thanks! I guess I don't really want to switch to another full program because I'd like to use AoPS when she's ready. But I will look into the Key To books and some of the others to see what I think. She has trouble putting any type of word problem into a math problem, not just ones with variables. Quote

letsplaymath Posted October 23, 2012 Posted October 23, 2012 AoPS Prealgebra is a very algebraic pre-algebra---that is, it requires algebraic thinking, even when you're just working with numbers. It's an excellent book, but we're using it in 8th grade and I'm in no hurry to get through it. We work through it buddy math style, which might help whenever you go back to it. My daughter loves the Danica McKellar books and has read them all. Wonderful resource! We also enjoyed Problem Solving Genius. Those are some great ideas for filling the time until you're ready to try AoPS again. You might also enjoy: http://funbasedlearning.com/algebra/graphing/default.htm http://www.setgame.com/puzzle/set.htm http://4chests.blogspot.com/ http://codebreaker.creativitygames.net/ http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Alcumus/Introduction.php (just the prealgebra levels, and watch the videos, too) Quote

~Anna~ Posted October 23, 2012 Author Posted October 23, 2012 AoPS Prealgebra is a very algebraic pre-algebra---that is, it requires algebraic thinking, even when you're just working with numbers. It's an excellent book, but we're using it in 8th grade and I'm in no hurry to get through it. We work through it buddy math style, which might help whenever you go back to it. My daughter loves the Danica McKellar books and has read them all. Wonderful resource! We also enjoyed Problem Solving Genius. Those are some great ideas for filling the time until you're ready to try AoPS again. You might also enjoy: http://funbasedlearning.com/algebra/graphing/default.htm http://www.setgame.com/puzzle/set.htm http://4chests.blogspot.com/ http://codebreaker.creativitygames.net/ http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Alcumus/Introduction.php (just the prealgebra levels, and watch the videos, too) Thank you so much! I really appreciate it! Quote

redsquirrel Posted October 23, 2012 Posted October 23, 2012 There are plenty of kids who are great at math who don't click with the AoPS style of instruction. My son is a stronger than average student in math, and he is right on the edge of his comfort zone with AoPS. He already went through Singapore 6a&B, which many consider a pre-algebra program, but AoPS is making him think about numbers in a different way. It is a new experience for him. If we didn't do AoPS I was going to go with working through the Key To Algebra series and use two math units from TOPS Science. They have Math Lab and Probability. Those three things together would make a great pre-algebra year with the TOPS adding some hands on work. If you are looking for practice with word problems, you might want to look into Singapore Math Challenging Word Problems books. You might even want to start with the 5th grade book and then move into the 6th grade book. I suggest the 5th grade book, only to give her experience with the word problems themselves. The math would be less of a challenge, and she could just focus on extracting the information from word problems. Then she could move up to the 6th grade level. That is going to have more algebra like problems. Quote

Crimson Wife Posted October 23, 2012 Posted October 23, 2012 She has trouble putting any type of word problem into a math problem, not just ones with variables. I would encourage you to spend some time working through Singapore Challenging Word Problems 5 & 6. Quote

~Anna~ Posted October 23, 2012 Author Posted October 23, 2012 Thanks! I'll look into that. Just today, she was doing Khan Academy (she just started yesterday, so she is only on the multiplication & division at the beginning) and she was having trouble the minute it was using words to describe the situations instead of just giving her a problem. I helped her by showing her how to draw a picture (which of course I've told her a million times before and she never thinks to do LOL) and then she got the hang of it. But these were just basic problems. I thought I had read that AoPS was good for learning to these style of problems, which is one of the reasons why I chose it. But I think it was just too much too fast. I appreciate everyone's responses. Quote

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