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Hi, I have had all of my kids in PS, but this fall we will be HSing.  One of the big reasons we have chosen to do so is we want our kids to be able to work at their own pace.  My oldest has been tested as 'gifted' and I can't remember her scores.  I think they tested in K or 1st, anyway, she's always been light-years ahead of her peers academic-wise.  Her favorite subject is science, and she probably knows as much as any high-school aged kid on most science topics.  I've been looking over blogs, posts, and trying to figure out how you plan out or organize your HS day and materials.  Most of what I have read I do not think will work.  I will start with just my oldest, and I hope you all have some good ideas for me.

 

Math- I got Saxon 7/6.  She already knows the majority of what is in it, but I thought it would give me a good place to start without missing anything.  My plan is to let her do 1/2 lessons until she doesn't get 100% on a test, then she will have to do the full lessons.  Is this a good plan?  She could probably do the 8/7 or Pre-Al, but I'm not wanting to miss anything.  My plan is to have her do 1 hr per day of math, and wherever she gets is where she is.  She is also doing LOF that I borrowed from a friend, she did Fractions and Dec &%s, and she's ready for the next one.  She really likes LOF!  I did show her AoPS as suggested on this board, but she thought she would like Saxon better?  She's in 6th grade, but BA looks like it would have been a nice fit for her a few years ago.  We also looked at TT, but she tested into Algebra, and I'm just not ready to put her there yet.  I also wasn't sure how doing so much on the computer would work.  She's very self-motivated, and enjoys seeing number relaitonships, how things work, ect.  She sees it as a fun brain teaser or puzzle. 

 

English/LA- I got Hake Grammar (thinking 3x per week, some done orally), W&R Fable and Narr. 1 (She loves the look of these and cannot wait to start!), and plan to get Vocab from Classical Roots A for spelling/vocab.  Is this enough?  She loves to read, and it feels weird assigning books for her.  I do want to do 4 book studies, 1 per quarter.  Not sure on the books yet.   I'd like her to pace herself on the Grammar and writing, but should I just let her do what she wants in the VfCR?  I don't want to over-load her, but she likes to learn so much!  Do you assign certain things per week, or just let your child do which activities they prefer? I don't see her loving the Grammar, but everything else she's excited about.

 

Science- this is another difficult one.  Science is her love.  She's always been interested in things, and even though we have been in PS, I have supplemented her in science all along.  I couldn't find a curriculum I thought would really hold her interest, so I decided to just let each kid pick 2 subjects, and then do unit studies on those.  Where do you find MS-HS level material?  Should I just let her go along and learn whatever?  She already knows more than any other child in her grade in science.  I do think this would be her chosen field if nothing changes between now and college.  She says she would like to be a vet.  She likes to read my college text books.  She's read most animal books at the library.  She retains most of what she reads.  I'm not sure if I just keep letting her go as she wants, or is there a list of things they should learn in a particular order, or even a good checklist of topics to cover?  Science is such a big subject!  I do know we will do Ellen McHenry's chemistry b/c she's not done much chem yet.  Her idea of homeschool includes science experiments, more science experiments, and lots of science books.  Her first words when we made our decision were "I'm going to be a mad scientist!"  I want science to be everything she has envisioned, I'm just not sure how to do that.  Do I let her go on her own?  I know she would learn plenty just by being allowed to learn whatever she picks for the week, and she WILL learn it! 

 

History- we are doing HO, and I think she will like it, but not as much as science.  THis one I will just do as it's laid out, and try to keep on a somewhat schedule of topics.

 

 

So, this is what I have planned.  I have no idea how long it will take, if it's enough, if I need to add more, or what to add if I need to add something (maybe Logic).  I'd love any ideas from gifted parents as to how they plan for the school year.  I've also got kids in 4th and 1st, and a 3 year old, but I want this post to just be about one!  It's hard to figure out what all I need to do with each one, but I think I have a general direction w/ the other ones.

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Has she actually seen the Saxon book? I had a revolt from my dd (fifth grade when we began homeschooling) when I showed her Saxon 7/6 and 8/7. She said there was no way on the planet she would do a "zillion of the same problem, when I can get the concept in a problem or two, Mom :rolleyes: "

 

Saxon, imho, is mind-numbing.

 

AoPS is life-affirming :D

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if she is gifted then Saxon will become a bore. I found myself skipping a whole year of Saxon w/0. Loss. in fact we skipped two years worth over a two year time period.

we now use LOF which keeps things moving at a faster and more interesting pace.

 

try all the science wiz kits except Inventions. inventions had failed experiments in it and they no longer produce but you can still find It. Chemistry and chemistry plus were lots of fun. Do them with your daughter but let her lead you! You won't regret it.

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You might want to read a small book called project based homeschooling perhaps from the library. Also, consider Great Courses classes as she gets older. I have many of the CDs through our library and that way you can see which ones you like. the top professor's in the country teach the courses.

 

Also, if income allows consider the gifted program through North Western or at least a few classes.

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Has she actually seen the Saxon book? I had a revolt from my dd (fifth grade when we began homeschooling) when I showed her Saxon 7/6 and 8/7. She said there was no way on the planet she would do a "zillion of the same problem, when I can get the concept in a problem or two, Mom :rolleyes: "

 

Saxon, imho, is mind-numbing.

 

AoPS is life-affirming :D

 

Even as an adult I still have a minor anxiety attack when I walk past the Saxon booth.

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if she is gifted then Saxon will become a bore.

I can't understand why some people say this.

My gifted kid likes Saxon because of the very fact that it's not "mastery" and every day is a new thing.  The three to five questions given for the new skill seems to be plenty...Not too many, not too few.

If she already knows what's in 7/6, I'd skip it and move on the 8/7.  How'd she do on the placement test?

 

To science, I wish I'd discovered Rainbow sooner!   :)  

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She's going into 6th grade, and yes, she's gifted ;)  I don't remember her scores, I've just always tried to keep her interested in learning at home, and school was just something she had to do.  She said she liked the look of the Saxon lessons b/c it had a handful of lots of different types of problems, not 20 of the same thing.  I have it here, we haven't started it yet.  The reviews are negative, I know!  I showed her the preview on AoPS, b/c I thought it would fit better, but she liked the traditional look of Saxon better.  Keep in mind they are coming from PS, so they are used to having to do lots of problems for days and weeks before moving on.  We decided to do 7/6 b/c there were a handful of concepts she hadn't been introduced to yet.  I am prepared to jump ship if needed ;)  If I find AoPS used I will get it to have here.  I have been let her sort of choose her own stuff, but we don't have any places to go and actually see stuff.  Just on-line reviews and previews.  This is new to us, the idea of just doing something long enough to learn a concept and then moving on.  Not having a set amount of problems to do, a set lesson plan, moving at our own pace.  This was why I posted.  I don't know what that looks like.  Her education thus far has been a predetermined set of worksheets given to the entire class... and whatever I get at the library for science and history.  She's an odd kid, she gets bored and sets her own goals b/c the ones given by the school are just too simple.  For example she will decide to memorize something, and then proceed to do so, because she wants to.  It's almost like school has been something she has done b/c she has to.  She's never been given free-reign to learn as much as she wants without limit in school.  When she finished a worksheet she could read a book or play on the computer. We don't know what to do.  I don't see her doing a lot of grammar/English type stuff on her own, but she would enjoy working on math or science for fun.   

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She did place right in between 7/6 and 8/7, like she barely tested into 8/7, so we decided to go w/ 7/6 and just buzz thru what she already knows so we don't miss anything.  Some things she had not been introduced (negative integers and one other thing?).  Everything else she aced.  Looking at it now, after I bought it, I do think that 8/7 would have been a much better choice.  I'm sure those things would be introduced again in 8/7.  I must also admit that since this is new I'm a little hesitant to have HS level courses so soon.  TT she tested into Algebra 1.  I also had her take the test in March or April, so I should probably have waited until summer to buy, but I am new :)  Mistakes will be made!  I can just leave this on the shelf and buy 8/7.  Should I do that?  Should I have her take some of the tests and see where she needs to start?  I wish we could look and go thru a lot of different curricula before making a decision. 

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Read through Ruth in NZ's posts (board name lewelma). She does inquiry based science and her information is fantastic. DS wants to do the science fair next year so I'm following her guidance. Regentrude (another member) is also a great source for science recommendations.

 

Bernard Nebel's Building Foundations for Scientific Understanding has been a good resource for me. I don't do the activities or experiments, but I use the topics, overviews, and reading lists to guide discussions with my kids. For most of the years I've homeschooled, I purchased a pre-planned curriculum that didn't work for my kids. By the middle of the year, the curriculum gets tossed aside and I end up doing interest led science with videos and museum visits. This is the first year where I started with interest-led science and the kids have learned a lot.

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When we tried Saxon, we went through and did the tests through the 5/4 book until she got to a place that looked like stuff she didn't know, covered that and went on.

 

If there are just a couple of holes in 7/6, you could look at Khan academy, I think, to cover them in preparation for 8/7.

 

My daughter came out of PS in the middle of 3rd and is similarly self-driven; we had a few conversations about what her goals for learning were and what she (and I!) thought she needed to learn, and we ended up with a sort of compromise mish-mash.  We started with what I considered the daily necessity bits (math and writing, and she reads on her own anyway), and then as she expressed interest in this or that we found resources for it, added it in, etc.

 

You'll find gifted kids here who have very self-driven but also quite organized and full schedules, and others who are more here and there.

 

 

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I have a secret list of my posts that might help you to get a big-picture plan.  It is called nm . I am happy to help you set science goals and ways to achieve them.  There are quite a few threads in my list where I have guided others through the process.  Take a look and then we can talk.

 

Ruth in NZ

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Alcumus is a free online program set up by the AoPS people for online learning.  We have some of the books but Ds loves Alcumus while the books are not enjoyed thus far. Since he is almost done with Alcumus he is actually considering continuing with the AlPS books....

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A couple of thoughts - aiming for 100% every time in math can encourage the perfectionist tendencies that gifted children often have, as well as keeping them at a more boring level of instruction. Don't start at the beginning of your math text - go to the first topic she thinks is less familiar, and give it a try. Since Saxon does so much review, you'll know quickly if she's consistently missing problems from a previous area. From there on out, don't do all the problems, and skip whole sections if she already has had exposure. Always push on until she's actually being challenged.

 

Yes, assign subjects. You can make it very loose, but give her a list of items to be covered in a week. She can help you determine the list. If nothing else, it gives you a way to know when you're done for the week and can take a break.

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The Well-Trained Mind book talks about library trips where each kid has to pick out a book from certain categories.  Since your oldest sounds like a reader, it might be a way to get her interested in things like history.  One category might be "Biography from the same place/time we are studying".  

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If she barely placed into 8/7 I would have put her in 8/7. 

 

If you really want to use 7/6 instead I would have her test through (NOT doing half the lessons, just the tests) until she drops below an 85% and then start on the lessons covered by that test. I do not think that stopping when she stops getting perfect scores is a good idea. Many gifted students are afraid to challenge themselves for fear of not doing everything perfectly, and you do not want to encourage this. 

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Thank you all so much for the advice!  I had her do test 16 this morning and she missed 1, a miscalculation error of 1/16th ;)  Now I've got her doing test 21.  She's not my perfectionist or organized child.  That's DD2, in 4th grade, for another thread another day :)  I am sure I made a mistake getting 7/6, I should have gotten the next one up.  Looking at AoPS, I know why she didn't choose it.  It's a lot different than what she's used to. I really want to thank you all for walking me thru this!  I have called and talked to lots of other HSing moms, but no one has kids like mine.  Sometimes you feel like you are bragging, but it isn't that.  I want something unique to my kids, and I know that this one has never been challenged in school-ever.  We sent her for social reasons mostly, and I did the extra fun learning at home.  It's hard to explain gifted kids to people who don't have them.  They think it just means your child is 'smarter' than the other kids.  Instead it seems like their entire thinking process is different than typical kids.  What makes sense to most 10 year olds does not make sense to mine.  She thinks on a different level, sees different correlations, and makes different connections than most kids her age.  This makes friendships harder sometimes.  It also makes school work seem like drudgery and boring.  That's why I've always tried to spice it up at home. 

 

For science we want secular, evolutionary science.  If it has "God" or "Creation" or anything like that in it, then it's not for us.  DD wants to be a vet or scientist.  We are not religious.  Thank you for the link to those posts!  I will be reading thru them.  I did find RSO Bio 2, and that would be her ideal choice, but I thought it looked like a little much for me to do this first year.  I'd rather wait and do it maybe next year, when DD2 is ready to join her.  I had the kids each pick 2 subjects.  My first grade twins picked trees (how they change, types, ect.), bugs (spiders and scorpions), African animals and Arctic animals.  I should probably mention that while they have not been tested, I know one of them is very gifted, the other one maybe less-so.  They aren't going to be happy with just a few facts on each subject.  They will be like my ODD and want LOTS of details. My 4th grader wants Ellen McHenry's chemistry and weather (really just the chem, she's not a science kid-her gifts lie elsewhere ;) ).  The 6th grader picked microscope (she has one and wants to use it more) and electricity. 

 

I'm having an Usborne book party this week and thought I'd get books for most of these topics from there.  I have a lot already since we are big into science.  It feels like the 1st graders picked mostly animal/plant science and the older 2 picked more in-depth studies of things they haven't done much of in school.  Maybe I shouldn't do them all together?  The older 2 don't really need much more in biology.  I thought I'd make them learn plant and animal classification ;)  That was the only thing I thought of that they didn't know much about yet. We could also tie in a good evolution study for the older 2.  Otherwise they know a lot about biology already. I'd love any suggestions!   I was unhappy w/ the schools science (or lack thereof) and book selection in the library, so 3 years ago I started driving an hour to a big library once a week.  We get a mix of F and NF books, and I have always gotten books on whatever subject they learned about in school b/c my kids aren't happy with a few dry facts, they are what I call context learners, they need to know *all* about a subject, in depth, for it to make sense to them.  My kids all love the library!   My thought was to do a 1-month study for each kid's subject.  Now I'm not so sure.   I'd love to hear ideas on what others would do in my situation.  I have a 3 year old, too, and HSing is new to me.  I don't want to get in over my head with projects and things that take up a lot of time. 

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I can't understand why some people say this.

My gifted kid likes Saxon because of the very fact that it's not "mastery" and every day is a new thing. The three to five questions given for the new skill seems to be plenty...Not too many, not too few.

If she already knows what's in 7/6, I'd skip it and move on the 8/7. How'd she do on the placement test?

 

To science, I wish I'd discovered Rainbow sooner! :)

People say this because many gifted kids have a distinct attitude and aversion to repetition. It is never actually something new each time with Saxon. Trust me, I was a math teacher. I promise that you spend an entire year learning only about seven concepts. Those concepts are tweaked a bit each time, but it is basically the same thing. Saxon is fantastic at chaining information in microscopically small steps. Often times a kid cannot even tell you how they know what they know Saxon does it so well. However, the result is a snails pace and a whole lot of problems to do each lesson. All Saxon is, is repetition. It just looks like parents and administrators want to see. It is highly teachable.

 

Most gifted kids who do like Saxon dislike risk. They like knowing EXACTLY what is coming and exactly how to do it. They seek affirmation. Saxon does that really well. I was a Saxon gifted kid. I have known quite a few Saxon gifted kids. However, most of those kids extremely dislike stretching themselves. They want to perform well. Saxon is fantastic for that. High test scores because the book is designed like a test. Lots of plug and chug, just like a test. Very low concept application, just like a test. This is the very reason many schools use it. It is a strong program for those kids. No guessing. Very straight forward. Concrete, linear, sequential. Shut up and do it. Public school style math.

 

If it works for your kid, great! It does not work for the vast majority of gifted kids. Heck, it does not instill a love of math for the majority of all kids. Those who love it, LOVE it. Those who don't, REALLY don't. Tears, fights, screaming, meltdowns, hatred of math. I have seen the gannet with tutoring. If the kid likes it, die hard complete devotion. It provides the student a sense of security like no other program I know of.

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Wow. This just hasn't been my experience at ALL... Speaking as a teacher, as well as homeschooling parent, btw.

 

And maybe I've just taught in different public schools, but only the one-room country school I taught in used Saxon (good for classes with just one or two students I guess).

Most use the drill-and-kill approach of mastery programs...

 

However, you'll note that the part I questioned was the sweeping generalization that gifted kids won't be happy with Saxon. There are actually quite a few on this board who've been very happy with it and the results.

I figure if kids are working their way through engineering schools with Saxon backgrounds, it's probably fine :)

(Even if they apparently don't like math, stretching themselves and cant apply concepts...)

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I was a gifted kid raised on saxon math. I hated it and feel like it did me a disservice. I hated math in general and always felt like I was terrible at math. my mom was the kind of "master at 100%" kind of teacher and I often made "stupid mistakes" (for which I got lengthy lectures). She claimed I needed the constant repetition or else I would forget everything, but I also was never required to understand why math worked the way it did. I was able to skate by, finding other ways to satisfy her requirements without actually learning anything. I learned how to plug numbers into formulas without understanding why the formula worked. This is probably why I "needed" the repetition to remember everything.

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Most gifted kids who do like Saxon dislike risk. They like knowing EXACTLY what is coming and exactly how to do it. They seek affirmation. Saxon does that really well. I was a Saxon gifted kid. I have known quite a few Saxon gifted kids. However, most of those kids extremely dislike stretching themselves. They want to perform well. 

This is my understanding as well.  

 

My two oldest (gifted) kids quite disliked Saxon from their very first look at it.  They, and my third child, are experimenters who like risk and puzzling out unfamiliar challenges.  They like to try new things, even if they are not immediately good at them.  They like to challenge themselves creatively.  They don't seek affirmation; they seek interesting, new, and unfamiliar things.  

 

My third child loves Beast Academy so much that he studies the textbooks (guides) in his free time.  He hasn't seen Saxon, but I have a strong suspicion that he'd never trade Beast for it.

 

My oldest, who is not an experimenter when it comes to math (though he is with other things) is highly averse to repetition.  He likes to show that he knows how to do something in one or two problems and then move on to something completely new.  He is actually averse to learning in incremental parts.  He prefers to make his own connections after seeing the whole.  In fact, he prefers this so much that he strongly prefers figuring things out on his own rather than being "taught" at all.  Being spoonfed drives him nuts.  There is no way I would have been able to get him to do Saxon.

 

I know three gifted kids using Saxon (but more whose parents said it wasn't a good fit for their child).  All three of their mothers have described their kids this way: dislike risk, like knowing exactly what is coming, concerned about performing well.  I immediately thought of conversations with these moms when I read what EndOfOrdinary posted about gifted kids who use Saxon.

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The plural of anecdote isn't data, but the GT kids I know who thrive on Saxon seem to be those who have a lot of instability in their lives. I can think of three where this is the case, and they're honestly the only GT kids I know IRL who seem to stick with Saxon more than a book or so before jumping ship. But, I guess when you have parents or siblings who are struggling with critical illnesses, or really contested divorces and shared custody, having something very predictable, safe, A follows Band if you get stuck, flip back a few pages and it will tell you exactly what to do may be comforting.

 

Personally, I'm one of the adults who has Saxon Algebra haunting my nightmares, and a year of Saxon in PS left DD finished with K-2nd grade and with a serious dislike for anything that even slightly resembled a Saxon worksheet.

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Has she seen the Singapore DM books? They're more like SM visually, but have a lot of challenging content.

 

My DD empathizes. She loves the problems and content of AOPS, but has been heard to wail "but some of us WANT algebra with little monsters". We combat that with cute little card stock animal shapes to write formulas and special points on and post around her desk, lots of stickers, illustrating problems, and buying LOF "for fun", because even though AOPS "is better math". Fred is her buddy. And if they ever come out with a stuffed Lizzie, I'm buying her!

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I was originally posting my experience simply as a counterbalance to another poster and didn't really intend to get drawn into this.  

But ladies, do you see how I was able to state my satisfaction with Saxon without feeling the need to run down others' choices?  

Are you reading what you're writing before you post it?  Please tell me you don't think it's actually OK to tell people there must be something wrong with their children in order to be happy in a specific series...

 

 

I can think of a dozen of us, off the top of my head, who've used Saxon on this board and been happy with the results.  (Accelerated, not just WTM)  

In this thread alone people have said gifted children won't be happy with it or if they are, it's because they: 1.  have an unstable home life, 2.  don't like to push themselves,  3. have lazy parents, 4. are unable to apply concepts, and 5. need to be spoonfed.  

 

 

 

If you absolutely detest a text, series, or approach, by all means say so!  But do you think you might be able to do that without making these huge, sweeping, offensive statements that encompass other peoples' kids?  

 

 

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Should we do TT?  I can probably borrow it from someone to look at.  I can also buy LOF, which she has loved.  I went to a HS conference this spring and looked at every math curricula there.  Saxon (which I remember as a kid, and I always did well in math, but I agree it got old... but it was also easy), Singapore only to 6 @ MFW and another retailer, Right start, MUS, TT, Abeka, I think that's it.  No BA, no Jacob's, no AoPS.  And I don't know anyone who uses them.  I did not see the Singapore DM books either.  I have talked to a lot of HSers, including those w/ High school aged kids.  They are all using TT, even the ones who don't know each other.  It's been the #1 recommended brand, but that's probably b/c most people can't teach past about 5-6th grade.  I don't know how well I will be able to teach, I took up to college calculus, but I've forgotten a lot of the later stuff.  For now I am going to have her start at lesson 95 in the Saxon 7/6 I have, that will give me a few months to try to figure something out.  I will get a better picture of where she's at, and see how much she dislikes Saxon ;)  Are there videos to help w/ AoPS if we go that route?  And is she really ready for the Pre-Al book?  Has anyone used the Jacobs Algebra (is that where I should start)?  Or maybe get her thru a few more LOF books? 

 

And I'm still wondering what exactly your day/schedule/plan looks like when allowing your child to work at his or her own pace.  Do you set up a particular amount of time they should work on a given subject, or ask that so many lessons be completed in a week?  What about in Science? 

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Jacobs algebra is a good text. 

 

TT is ok but I'd rather see a gifted kid use an honors program, unless the parent is unable to teach or the kid is a gifted kid who hates math and really wants a git-r-done program.

 

I'd love to at least try AOPS and see if it works. If it doesn't, then I'd complete a pre-algebra text and then go for one of the algebras like Jacobs, Foerster, Dolciani. It does have videos to help.

 

My biggest complaint about Saxon is that I don't think it really fosters a love of math. Some kids are going to love math no matter what. Some kids are going to hate math no matter what. But some kids are persuadable that math is cool ... and there are other programs that do a better job at pulling the joyous and creative aspect into it (while still providing solid enough instruction to allow students to move on). Most conscientious students who complete Saxon will learn the subject matter. 

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I completely see the value of Saxon for some kids.

 

DD didn't like it because she finds math pretty boring anyway (she's a humanities kid) and so a lot of problems and the repetition was frustrating.  We switched to LoF, which is quite story-based, and she loved it - just 4 problems per chapter!  Stories!  Little did she know I was using it to transition her to BA, which she also doesn't love.  Her frustration with BA is the opposite of the frustration with Saxon - with Saxon, everything was easy and predictable and slightly boring.  With BA, it is difficult and unpredictable and hard brain work (she's bright enough to work through it, but it really stretches her problem-solving abilities).

 

Right now I am happy with the set up, as she is having to use a part of her brain that she generally doesn't, and I suppose I prefer the frustration of problem solving challenges to the frustration of too much busy work, but I don't know that we'll continue down the AoPS path once she's done with BA.  We'll probably find a compromise program, and she might go back to Saxon, which would be fine.

 

 

DD had never been challenged in math before (she was in PS until the Nov of last year), so I think it has been good for her to see how far her brain can stretch that way, and how much interest she has in problem-solving/pure math (vs computation). 

 

That said, especially if your kid is not a math-gifted kid, beyond what general giftedness provides, I see no reason not to do Saxon.

 

 

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Re: schedule:

 

What I do is say, every day you have to do some respectable amount of math and writing (we're using WWS1, looking for something different next year I think).  Respectable depends on the day and the difficulty of the assignment.  DD9 seems to get this pretty well; she shows me when she's done, and I judge it respectable or not (if not, she does some more).

 

It's kind of like getting dressed to go see great-grandmother - I say, "Go put on something respectable."  DD9 generally manages something respectable.

 

DS6 needs more structure, of course (both in school requirements and in dressing to go to great-grandmother's house - he would wear an inside-out t shirt with spaghetti crusted on it and no shoes if he could get away with it).   With him, I generally say, 1 good page of writing or 2 mediocre pages, 2 sheets of math, and let's go through some of the reading together.  Math is his thing so we often go through 10 pages instead of 2 if he is in a good mood, or do online games or whatnot.

 

 

With science, DS6 just does this and that here and there - DD9 has a few programs from Ellen McHenry that she's doing, and about 3-4 times a week I say, do a respectable amount of Elements (or Botany, right now).  We talk about them.  She watches Nova and we talk about that.  She has a random question about how they figured out Mars wasn't a star or why you can only see Sirius A and we look it up and talk about that.

 

 

Kind of vague, I realize now on typing it out, sigh.  Sorry not to be more help!

 

 

(reading and history are her strong suits - I don't make any requirements of these at all, ever, but I strew.  Probably she spends 3x as much time per day on those subjects as on the requirements for the others).

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For science we want secular, evolutionary science.  If it has "God" or "Creation" or anything like that in it, then it's not for us.  DD wants to be a vet or scientist.  We are not religious.  Thank you for the link to those posts!  I will be reading thru them.  I did find RSO Bio 2, and that would be her ideal choice, but I thought it looked like a little much for me to do this first year.  I'd rather wait and do it maybe next year, when DD2 is ready to join her.  I had the kids each pick 2 subjects.  My first grade twins picked trees (how they change, types, ect.), bugs (spiders and scorpions), African animals and Arctic animals.  I should probably mention that while they have not been tested, I know one of them is very gifted, the other one maybe less-so.  They aren't going to be happy with just a few facts on each subject.  They will be like my ODD and want LOTS of details. My 4th grader wants Ellen McHenry's chemistry and weather (really just the chem, she's not a science kid-her gifts lie elsewhere ;) ).  The 6th grader picked microscope (she has one and wants to use it more) and electricity. 

 

 

Ellen McHenry, imo, is *great* for a non-science kid, or a sort-of-science kid.  She's thorough and interesting and the pictures are good and the activities are generally fun.

 

I buy the pdfs every time and regret it, though.  Printing out a 300 page text book, hole punching it, and putting it in a binder is a real pain.  Next time I vow to buy the hard copy.

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Are there videos to help w/ AoPS if we go that route?  And is she really ready for the Pre-Al book?  Has anyone used the Jacobs Algebra (is that where I should start)?  Or maybe get her thru a few more LOF books? 

 

And I'm still wondering what exactly your day/schedule/plan looks like when allowing your child to work at his or her own pace.  Do you set up a particular amount of time they should work on a given subject, or ask that so many lessons be completed in a week?  What about in Science? 

 

AoPS does have (free!) videos (https://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Videos/index.php?), as well as online problems called Alcumus (http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/liz/Alcumus/index.php). She could try those out to get a bit of a feel for it. If it's too hard, she could go back to the final year or so of any elementary math program. If it's not too hard but isn't to her liking, you could try Jacobs or something. And if she enjoys it, you could then get the book. AoPS also has "are you ready for this?" tests on their web site under each book/class.

 

For scheduling, we generally go by time, but if I notice dawdling, I'll give an expectation of where they should try to get to (which just takes time/experience to get a feel for). But even with time, we have a range, and generally stop at a good stopping point - or an "I'm done" point for intense sections - within that range.

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Is the AoPS pre-test accurate?  I had her take it quickly this afternoon and the only thing she wasn't sure on was the negative numbers.  She hasn't been taught negatives in school yet.  She figured square roots and powers out w/ LOF and just talking to me.  She still says she does not like the look of AoPS, and doesn't want to do it.  I found some pics of the inside of Jacob's Algebra, and she said she liked the look of it better.  She definitely wants the LOF series, she did Fractions and Decs & %s, so I will go ahead and get her the Elem. Physics and see how she does with that.  She went thru the Saxon book today and made a list of the things she knows she needs work on, and then proceeded to work thru a lot of those lessons (not the problem sets, just the practice problems).  If I did LOF thru the Pre-Al books, would she be able to jump into the Jacob's Algebra after that?  Is LOF enough to learn the Pre-Al concepts?

 

As an aside, we do not have enough internet allowance to watch a math lesson every day (or more).  Does AoPS have them on DVDs to purchase?  Maybe I could download them at my parents, and then put them on a disk to watch at home?  Would this be possible?  I'm not a tech Whiz. 

 

And THANK YOU to everyone for helping me pick the right thing for my DD :)   I really appreciate it! 

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Just an IMO about LOF - the Physics book is kind of weird.  So is the PreA with Economics unless you happen to be of exactly the same bent, politically.  But the Beginning Algebra book is really great! and the PreA with biology is fine.  So if LOF is a good fit, don't get derailed (necessarily) if the Physics book isn't a hit.

 

Jacobs has a lot of PreA review in the early chapters, so you could do LOF PreA and then do Jacobs, for sure.  Whether LOF has enough practice to learn PreA depends on the kid - it certainly wasn't enough on its own for my kid.  We really liked the combo of Jousting Armadillos (which is based on jacobs, and would be a great lead-in to Jacobs) and Zaccaro's Real World Algebra as PreAlgebra.

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It sounds like the issue with AoPS is that the approach is unknown and that Saxon is completely known. If she likes Saxon, use it this year. It doesn't make you committed to the program. It also allows her a place which is comfortable in a whole slew of unknowns. You asked her, and she liked it. I think people were warning you to have a back up plan because the known feeling can wear off once she is more comfortable.

 

Saxon is not bad. It is not proof based or conceptual, but it is not bad. Let her go with it a year and then use that year to pick another program if you really want something different.

 

The other option is to get PreA and have her do a few problems or a section or two a week. This allows her to realize the other side of math that is not computation. If you have never had a discovery or concept approach, how can you know what you like? AoPS takes time to get used to. If the material is new AND the approach is new, she could be scared off the entire thing.

 

I got nothin' on science. We have struggled there repeatedly. I'm treading water with a combination of Thames and Kosmos kits, Christian high school curriculum (even though we are secular), and The Great Courses. I am hoping AP curriculum will work out in a couple years when my son has the fundamentals down and can handle more text.

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My thought is that you guys might need some deschooling time. Shed the mindset that the point of education is to get grades; recover the mindset that education is about learning and training the mind and opening the mind to new experiences. I'd quit math for a semester or so. Maybe even take the rest of the year off of everything. There's no time like the present to do something like this -- she's more than a few months ahead of grade level, so you won't end up behind; she's not in high school yet, so you're not messing up transcripts; and you might find that a few months of interest-led investigations will really help both of you understand what makes her tick academically.

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Hi, if access to online math is troublesome, you could look into VideoText Algebra or other DVD instruction like ChalkDust (didn't I hear it aligns with Jacobs? IDK, I don't have it). Something I liked about VT is that it really strives to make sure kids have gotten the WHY. It is intended to start at Pre-Algebra and run through Algebra 2, content-wise (I also like their reasoning for why - about how it's not necessary to stop Alg to do Geometry, unless you are worried about having it completed in time for standardized testing like the PSAT). 

 

For science, Supercharged Science has a LOT of potential for a go-at-your-own-pace experiment-loving kid. We aren't finding enough time right now to keep picking it up, but once we do, DD could go for days on her own if I'd let her. The kit, if budget permits, contains all materials for the experiments and the DVD instructions on doing them. 

 

FWIW, it was spiral programs like Saxon that I always heard referenced as "drill and kill." 

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FWIW, it was spiral programs like Saxon that I always heard referenced as "drill and kill."

Generally this is because people don't understand the phrase "drill and kill."  Spiral programs are pretty much the opposite.

 

A mastery-type of public school program that has 30 problems of long division or calculating area or what have you is "drill and kill."  And then tomorrow, there's probably another lesson doing something very similar...  That's drill and kill.  

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Me again!  I am looking into all the programs suggested on the thread, and learning what I can and sharing w/ DD.  I think part of the issue is that she is used to regular workbook math.  15-20 problems of the exact same kind, repeat for 3 days then add a step, repeat 3 days and add a step, repeat until unit test then change subject matter completely.  Saxon looks like lots of different types of problems each day, not the same repetition.  It will be different for her b/c she will have to actually look and read each problem to figure out how to solve it.  In that regard, I think it's good.  I agree that the lessons are pretty boring and pretty flat, only gaining a step or two and build very slowly without having the student try to figure things out for themselves. 

 

I showed her the very small preview of Jousting Armadillos (what a name!), she thought the circle problem was neat, and she liked finding the patterns, but didn't want that for a real math program.  She said it didn't feel like math to her?   I will need the teacher's guide and the student book, right?

 

We both liked the look of the Zaccarro books!  Is there a particular order we should get them in?  Do they teach, or let the student figure things out?  Is it a real curricula or just a supplement? 

 

If I can find a good price on the AoPS Pre-Al or JA I will get them to try out.  I'll also look out for Jacob's ALgebra to see where we need to head. 

 

If you had to choose between Saxon 8/7 or Pre-AL, which would you suggest?

 

The suggestion to de-school is probably a good one!  I just don't think DH will be on board w/ that. 

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