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my 9yo has forgotten his AoPS Intro Algebra (chaps 1-8) ... thoughts?


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Well! 

 

My 9 yo (turns 10 in a few months) has always been quite gifted in maths though he has never really love doing them; he ended up more or less radically accelerated because if he didn't do hard math most days, he was an emotional mess during non-math time.  If he DID do hard math, he was unhappy during much of math but enjoyed the rest of his life. 

 

Almost a year ago we began working through AoPS Algebra at a pace of 45 - 60 minutes most days, with lots of breaks between problems.  I alternated chapters of Algebra with some chapters of Intro Number Theory and Probability and that all seemed to be working well.  The child did not learn terribly well reading on his own, but if we sat together to work through the teaching (grey) problems then all was fine.  He just collapsed at the Challenge problems so I skipped them with the plan of going over them after we'd done the main body of the text. 

 

In chapters 6 and 7 (Ratios and Proportion) he struggled a bit, so I had him do the PreAlgebra book chapters for those topics and then continue onto the Algebra: this worked well.  At the end of February we began chapter 8, Graphing Lines, and it was just so so hard for him.  So I put him into the PreAlgebra graphing/geometry chapter and we did that.  Since it was going so easily -- he could just read the prealgebra teaching bits himself and do the problems with a good degree of success -- and we were away from our home in March, I decided to have him finish the rest of the PreAlgebra book before coming back to chapter 8. 

 

He finished PreAlgebra well.  But he cannot pick up the Algebra work gracefully -- it is just tears and struggles.  I thought we could just re-do the book, but in chapter 2 it was the same.  It is as if he's forgotten how to work hard.  Or do the math.  Or something.  I don't know if the PreAlgebra time "spoiled" him for the AoPS work, and he got too used to being able to quickly "see" the strategy required or the path to the solution. 

 

While I want this child to continue to learn math, and to be challenged, and I do need a formal program with him, I am not wedded to AoPS for its own sake.  We have stuck with it because I've seen him get excited about the ideas in AoPS, which never happened in the secondary Singapore materials when I tried those.  But at the moment his brain seems overwhelmed by AoPS complexity. 

 

I am mainly considering just starting Intro Algebra again from the beginning, perhaps hitting the challenge problems as we go to build up problem solving stamina, OR moving us to Jacobs for algebra and geometry and then trying to come back to AoPS.  Ideas? 

 

(thank you in advance)

 

ETA: a third option I'm considering is to just keep moving forward in AoPS Algebra where we are, working for a reasonable amount of time each day and short breaks every 15 minutes or so.  Doesn't matter if we take a week to do a problem, just keep engaged. 

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Have you sat down together and reviewed each chapter in Intro to Alg?  I'd try that first, review the material with a few book problems and then assign the Alcumus topics (even if he's already done the Alcumus, you can always do more though I'm not sure about the settings).  Take a week or two for review.

 

I have tried to go back to Jacobs from Intro to Alg, from time to time, and it usually goes well for about a day.  Then it's boring by comparison and I wonder what I was thinking.  Plus, the sequence of topics is slightly different.  (It kills me because I love Jacobs and want to use it.  Maybe with ds8, when he's ready in another year or two...LOL)

 

If you do go to Jacobs, I'd start with just the chapter reviews, pausing when you come to new material - there are tiny bits here and there, like an intro to functions early on that doesn't show up in AoPS until later.

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Have you sat down together and reviewed each chapter in Intro to Alg?  I'd try that first, review the material with a few book problems and then assign the Alcumus topics (even if he's already done the Alcumus, you can always do more though I'm not sure about the settings).  Take a week or two for review.

 

I have tried to go back to Jacobs from Intro to Alg, from time to time, and it usually goes well for about a day.  Then it's boring by comparison and I wonder what I was thinking.  Plus, the sequence of topics is slightly different.  (It kills me because I love Jacobs and want to use it.  Maybe with ds8, when he's ready in another year or two...LOL)

 

If you do go to Jacobs, I'd start with just the chapter reviews, pausing when you come to new material - there are tiny bits here and there, like an intro to functions early on that doesn't show up in AoPS until later.

 

this is just the sort of trouble I've had before, when I try to move to something easier to avoid the teariness!  I'm working on getting a teacher login for Alcumus right this moment, will look at that ...

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I would say it's time to do some fun stuff for a couple of months, and back away from AoPS for the time being. How about doing something fun like Calculus WIthout Tears? http://www.amazon.com/Calculus-Without-Tears-Learning-Students/dp/0976413809/ref=pd_sim_sbs_14_7?ie=UTF8&refRID=0E0SHK7YN6RA1BW6QJ51

 

:lol:   oh, my friend!  He doesn't think any of the fun stuff is fun!  :lol:     I can't wait until #2 is older; that is a child who knows that fun things are enjoyable. 

 

It's a great idea.  I happen to know that A. detests Calculus Without Tears.  He does not enjoy any fun or supplemental program I have ever tried, certainly not for more than a day or so.  At the moment we're dabbling in MEP Year 9, which starts with binary numbers, while I wait for the Jacobs to arrive, and that is okay (but MEP doesn't usually do well for more than a couple of weeks with him -- younger guy is great in MEP).  And we need to provide an end-of-year test for our charter, so we might spend a couple of days doing the PreAlgebra posttest next week ... not fun, but it'll keep our toes in maths while Jacobs ships and I devise a strategy, or a couple ....

 

If he keeps happy-ish in MEP that would be one more-fun option ...

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I suspect that the challenging work isn't quite focused most effectively.    DS8 read the post, and he thought the math was at the right level in the first place, and the other courses were too easy.  He says, "maybe he can do PreAlgebra instead."  If he can do the PreAlgebra challenge problems without too much effort, then try the Number Theory book again.  It sounds like your kiddo may not really be ready for Algebra just yet.

 

What about the other subjects?  Could science be ramped up a bit?  Language arts?

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I suspect that the challenging work isn't quite focused most effectively.    DS8 read the post, and he thought the math was at the right level in the first place, and the other courses were too easy.  He says, "maybe he can do PreAlgebra instead."  If he can do the PreAlgebra challenge problems without too much effort, then try the Number Theory book again.  It sounds like your kiddo may not really be ready for Algebra just yet.

 

What about the other subjects?  Could science be ramped up a bit?  Language arts?

 

hmmm... what are y'all meaning by "right level in the first place"? 

 

I like the idea of hitting PreAlgebra challenge problems.  Do you think we can get through the Number Theory with the amount of stuff we have under our belts?  He is a number-theory sort of guy. 

 

ETA: in this particular vision of our future, would you think to try Algebra from the beginning when we get back to it?  just curious about your thoughts ... I imagine I'd at least do the review sections from the earlier chapters ...

 

ETA #2: also he's mellower and doesn't need super-hard maths to be a sweetie.  thank goodness!  but I insist that he keep doing some math, and he doesn't tolerate easier stuff very well.  It turns out having just as many tears as the hard stuff AND he just forgets everything and makes tons of foolish errors.  We were doing so well at the end of PreAlgebra and now we are in Math Purgatory again!!!! 

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Did he do the challenging problems independently and without much difficulty in AOPS-Pre Algebra?  For the Intro to Algebra book are you sitting down with him and going over the teaching sections like before or is he mostly doing it on his own?

 

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Did he do the challenging problems independently and without much difficulty in AOPS-Pre Algebra?  For the Intro to Algebra book are you sitting down with him and going over the teaching sections like before or is he mostly doing it on his own?

 

No, he didn't do the challenging problems in the Pre-Algebra: it is sounding like that is our next best step. 

 

For the Intro to Algebra, I had been giving less direct help than before until we hit the trouble; then I started going over it with him, and still a great deal of trouble.  Not a lot more than at the beginning of Algebra, though, when he was learning that he had to write things out (which he hates). 

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hmmm... what are y'all meaning by "right level in the first place"? 

 

I like the idea of hitting PreAlgebra challenge problems.  Do you think we can get through the Number Theory with the amount of stuff we have under our belts?  He is a number-theory sort of guy. 

 

ETA: in this particular vision of our future, would you think to try Algebra from the beginning when we get back to it?  just curious about your thoughts ... I imagine I'd at least do the review sections from the earlier chapters ...

 

ETA #2: also he's mellower and doesn't need super-hard maths to be a sweetie.  thank goodness!  but I insist that he keep doing some math, and he doesn't tolerate easier stuff very well.  It turns out having just as many tears as the hard stuff AND he just forgets everything and makes tons of foolish errors.  We were doing so well at the end of PreAlgebra and now we are in Math Purgatory again!!!! 

 

Well, DS8 supplied part of that vision.  He was thinking, "let him have fun with PreAlgebra challenge problems for a while."  Afterwards, yes, I'd think to re-do Algebra, at least in brief.  If the challenge problems cause meltdown, then the concepts aren't sticking all that well.  The challenge problems may not be easy, but neither should they cause meltdown.

 

For DS13, we've found that the pace occasionally needs to slow WAY down, and the diversity ramped WAY up.  DS8 takes his time, and obsesses over the challengers (he just finished PreA).  He does Alcumus as a hobby.  DS13 does multiple math courses in parallel, to slow him to an appropriate pace, lest he rush and get sloppy.  When he goes too fast, he usually needs to repeat in one way or another.  So, he has been through 3 algebra texts, 3 geometry texts, and 2 precalculus texts now.

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Mike, please thank your son for me!  do let him know I really appreciate his input. 

 

Can you tell me more about how you worked with multiple programs?  For A.'s elementary we cycled around MathUSee, Singapore, and Galore Park ...

 

and: thank you so much, everyone.  I am profoundly grateful for your thoughts and help. 

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No, he didn't do the challenging problems in the Pre-Algebra: it is sounding like that is our next best step. 

 

For the Intro to Algebra, I had been giving less direct help than before until we hit the trouble; then I started going over it with him, and still a great deal of trouble.  Not a lot more than at the beginning of Algebra, though, when he was learning that he had to write things out (which he hates). 

 

Yes, I'd do the challenging problems in Pre-Algebra first.   Some of them are quite difficult and there is no way to figure them out unless you understand the concepts well.  

 

My son does best with buddy-style for AOPS and doing the problems on a white board.  He rotates using different colors for each problem, lol.  For the regular problems I sit next to him and coach him, if necessary.  For challenging problems, we both work on the problem together and sometimes need to put our heads together to figure it out.  My older son is more independent, but still needs the buddy-style for the most difficult problems.

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Mike, please thank your son for me!  do let him know I really appreciate his input. 

 

Can you tell me more about how you worked with multiple programs?  For A.'s elementary we cycled around MathUSee, Singapore, and Galore Park ...

 

and: thank you so much, everyone.  I am profoundly grateful for your thoughts and help. 

 

It's a bit tough to give a one-size-fits-all approach.  We used Martin-Gay Beginning and Intermediate Algebra, then he did Saxon (and hated it), then Gelfand Algebra, then AoPS Number Theory, and some SAT problems to keep his algebra fresh.

 

In parallel, he did Schaum's Geometry (which works surprisingly well), then the aforementioned Saxon, then Jurgensen.

 

He also has done AoPS Intro to Counting & Probability, and is now doing Intermediate Counting & Probability VERY SLOWLY.  It is tough, and he is working all of the problems.  That will take him through the end of 2015.

 

In parallel, he is working through Swokowski Precalculus, and may come back to AoPS Precalculus for the challengers & depth, or proceed to Leithold Calculus in 2015-2016.

 

Now, for DS8, he is doing Alcumus in arrears -- he lags the course by a couple of chapters so that he gets reinforcement.  He also does a 5th grade math workbook to get some arithmetic work, as he really hasn't had enough yet.  He will start Kiselev Geometry & AoPS Intro to Algebra over the summer because he is a junkie.  We'll probably chase that with AoPS Number Theory & Geometry, but that's yet to be seen.

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I'll add another vote for revisiting the AoPS prealgebra book with emphasis on the challenger problems. You could take a stab at AoPS Intro Number Theory in tandem with their Intro Algebra once he masters that book. I'd also strongly recommend Alcumus on the side for more challenge. Start him on both the Alcumus prealgebra and algebra threads and let him work at his own pace.

 

If you do decide on Jacobs Algebra (which I love for young kid on account of its explanations, humor, & the Set 4 problems), then I'd still use Alcumus on the side.

 

Another way to expand at this stage is to work through the problems in the Mathcounts handbook. It's free online every year (last year's is still posted), & each one contains several "WarmUp" and "Workout" problem sheets. These sheets gradually increase in difficulty through the year and cover algebra, geom, number theory, and counting problems, much like AoPS.  I usually cover one problem sheet per week with my students at that age.

 

White boards worked well here, too, during the "Why do I have to write out my work?" stage.

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Mike, thanks for sharing how you've cycled through things & for listing resources -- I've not heard of many of those and am glad to have titles to investigate.  I agree that there's no one-size solution!  and am glad to have a forum like this, where folks will let a person pick their brains for ideas.  Our homeschool does seem to go best when I have a range of possible strategies to apply, and at the moment my standard ones are coming up short. 

 

Kathy, thank you so much: those are nicely specific strategies to try.  I have to admit, Alcumus has been a bit confusing to me; today I requested a teacher/parent account, though, and am hoping that access opens things up in a logical way -- seems likely!  What would you consider "his own pace" if he never wants to do Alcumus?  Some time each day or week?  I'd appreciate thoughts on this ... he MIGHT get caught up in it, but that seems unlikely for the next few months at least. 

 

I may try the Mathcounts supplement right away -- that would be easy to layer next week, when we're doing our PreAlgebra exit "exam" to give the charter school.  This is a resource I think I can incorporate fairly easily, and your idea of a sheet/week is straightfoward, and I'd not heard of the free Mathcounts before -- thank you so much

 

Perhaps a silly question, but how big for the white board?  we have a chalk board, which I prefer myself, but probably need more board space at the least, perhaps ought to get an actual whiteboard.  I'm sure the colors would make things more fun.  :) 

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Perhaps a silly question, but how big for the white board?  we have a chalk board, which I prefer myself, but probably need more board space at the least, perhaps ought to get an actual whiteboard.  I'm sure the colors would make things more fun.  :)

 

We use ones that fit on the lap like a 12x17" or thereabouts.  

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I am mainly considering just starting Intro Algebra again from the beginning, perhaps hitting the challenge problems as we go to build up problem solving stamina, OR moving us to Jacobs for algebra and geometry and then trying to come back to AoPS.  Ideas? 

 

(thank you in advance)

 

 

 

Disclaimer: My DD goes to school, so her days are very structured. I don't know if much of my suggestions will help you...nevertheless, I thought I'll put it out there.

 

My DD (your son's age) goes through a phase in all subjects when she seemingly 'forgets' whatever she has learned. I say seemingly because after a brief break, she recalls everything. But, I've come to the conclusion that her brain needs unstructured haphazard tangential learning outlets after a period of intense (not necessarily challenging) formal learning.

 

My ideas for tackling 'structure fatigue' as I call it in my DD-

 

1- Random math problem solving days from AMC8, AMC10 or any other math competitions like math kangaroo. Somehow, this sort of limited, unstructured random problem solving helps.

 

2- Absolutely stop all structured math and go sideways with only logic and strategy focused games like Sudoku, tetris, 2048..I'm sure there are others, but I forget their names. :o

 

3- Syllogisms (logical reasoning) also seem to help break out of the rut. So do verbal analogies.

 

4- Reading pfaff.

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Some of it might just be the younger age? I like the going sideways with Mathcounts/ logic etc ideas because that really opens up the experience of math and appreciation for coming at problems in different ways. We did algebra 1 twice with DS (partly due to younger age, less math experience) as well, first with Dolciani and next with about half of Intro Algebra by AoPS.

 

We had a lapboard (about 12"x18") and a wall mounted white board (3'x4'). Good luck!

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For white board my kids like the classroom size whiteboards whether it is mounted or rolling. They like it for math, science and world languages.

My 9 year old like geometry more so we alternate between algebra and geometry. We also intersperse pass year questions from mathcounts, MOEMS, Canada's math kangaroo when we are outside and waiting for hubby to finish work for our ride home.

When we tag along to a conference recently, my kids did the U of Waterloo Math Circle questions for entertainment in the hotel room since I have no wish to lug their AoPS books for a three day trip.

http://www.cemc.uwaterloo.ca/events/mathcircle_presentations.html

 

My kids have lap boards which they use in the car for hangman, dots and squares, and hexagon puzzle game.

 

ETA:

Sometime my kids take a few days to solve a challenge problem. They literally sleep on it.

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My child is not math-gifted but I find we have to do things over 3 times, at least. This is particularly the case with Aops. We struggle to get through something, we do manage to do so, we move on to the next chapter and we promptly forget. I've had to get philosophical about it in order to cope.

I thank the poster above about the suggestion of math games, as a way to approach from a different angle. I'm not gamey myself but can download all of the apps for our long drives!

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Kathy, thank you so much: those are nicely specific strategies to try.  I have to admit, Alcumus has been a bit confusing to me; today I requested a teacher/parent account, though, and am hoping that access opens things up in a logical way -- seems likely!  What would you consider "his own pace" if he never wants to do Alcumus?  Some time each day or week?  I'd appreciate thoughts on this ... he MIGHT get caught up in it, but that seems unlikely for the next few months at least. 

 

I may try the Mathcounts supplement right away -- that would be easy to layer next week, when we're doing our PreAlgebra exit "exam" to give the charter school.  This is a resource I think I can incorporate fairly easily, and your idea of a sheet/week is straightfoward, and I'd not heard of the free Mathcounts before -- thank you so much

 

Perhaps a silly question, but how big for the white board?  we have a chalk board, which I prefer myself, but probably need more board space at the least, perhaps ought to get an actual whiteboard.  I'm sure the colors would make things more fun.  :)

 

Of course, I have no idea what will work with someone else's child, but I'd suggest starting with something like this:

 

AoPS prealgebra (or Jacob's algebra) - every day for math time, especially if he thrives on a routine

 

Alcumus or MathCounts - pick one for problem-solving time, maybe 3 times per week total (or more if you have time available)

 

We did a schedule similar to this, & it allowed me to just stick to basic math (and other essential subjects) on days when we had to run around more for appointments and extracurriculars. The bonus for some kids is that they might start to look forward to problem solving time when it becomes a fun extra, like art or science experiments.

 

We had all kinds of white boards here. My husband installed a huge 3-part sliding whiteboard that he built out of shower board from Lowes. It fit on the wall of the dining room where we did most of our schooling, but it slid behind the hutch out of sight when we didn't need it. Then we also had lapboards in a couple of different sizes. And LOTS of different colors of markers! It made writing fun instead of torture. :)

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Our pediatrician informed us that there are two main testosterone surges in boys before they hit puberty. The first one hits between 4-6 and the next one somewhere between 8.5 and 10.  During such a time, your child might become a complete emotional freak.  This information was granted when I was going to kill my 8 year old.  Eight was a hard year around here.  It could be that what you are discovering is a hormone surge.  If that is the case, taking deep breaths, backing away from conflict, and being extra nurturing (though you want to kill your child) might help significantly.  I learned a lot of grace.

 

You have plenty of time.  If your Ds cannot go through PreA completely with challengers and all, all by himself, then I would not start Algebra yet.  Give him the challengers (even if that means retyping them into worksheet like materials) and have him do like 5 or 7 a week.  When PreA skills are rock solid, upper level math goes SO MUCH SMOOTHER.  You will thank yourself for it later.  Next September, pull out the Algebra book again and start in the beginning.  He might fly through it, he might plod though it, but it will more than likely have been enough cool down time that success might come much easier.

 

We repeatedly circle back through PreA.  It originally caused me worry and scared me a bit.  I thought it was going to kill Ds' pacing.  However, it has been a life saver.  I can watch the concepts really firm up in his brain.  Somewhere along the lines fractions just exploded into significant meaning.  He can do all sorts of crazy stuff with them now and manipulate them in interesting ways.  Exponents are not there yet, but the distributive property is.  Lots of creative solving by splitting and recombining in interesting ways.  Math is not linear.  It just seems like it.

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My ds only got through the first 5 chapters of AoPS intro algebra at age 9 (he used AoPS for about 9 months at age 9).  He just needed a LOT of time to really dig into the material.  He might take a full 2 hours for just one challenger, and he did all the challengers.  I worried at first that he was so s.l.o.w, but in the end I decided that that was what he needed.  Who was I to get in the way?  So I don't think that you should have a worry in the world about circling back around through all the chapters.

 

Ruth in NZ

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All of my kids have gone through alg 1 twice. One dd went through it 3 times. (Ok, that was overkill. She didn't learn anything the third time through. ;) She completed MUS's alg and geometry, then Foerster's alg, and then did AoPS alg. By that point, AoPS was review, not challenging. Not even the online class.) But I am glad we have taken the approach we have. They have all done exceedingly well in upper level math, even my other dd who is a very avg student.

 

I have no advice in terms of the AoPS with such a young child since we have never gone that route. But did want to share that repeating alg has been beneficial for my kids.

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Oh, my, I am so so grateful for your kind & helpful & comforting posts!  Thank you! 

 

embassy -- I like that lap-sized 12 x 17 whiteboard idea: that could work here.  Also your idea is portable and in nice weather we do a lot of school outside.

 

space station -- he LOVES Fred!  and I want to get him more books soon, he has through algebra I think.  But he really really hates the Fred problems so I just let him read the books -- he reads them many times and pores over them, and picks up lots of something I suppose though it isn't problem-solving practice! 

 

ebunny -- you are touching on something I'm noticing with A. -- the hopping-around aspect of the PreA review we're doing this week is getting him engaged -- A. hasn't ever done well with a true break from formal maths, but I am thinking of what you see in your child and how it relates to A; I think that trying the "random" problems and strategy games would be great.  This meshes with plans to pull from Mathcounts and other sources I'm looking at.  Just need to add the strategy element; and I'll look into verbal games too.  Thanks!

 

quark -- I do think he's a bit young.  I am glad to know of your 2x Algebra experience, and your whiteboard thoughts, and am grateful for your encouragement!

 

arcadia -- I will take to heart that he may need to literally sleep on a problem for a bit :).  I don't think I've ever expected him to take days on a problem, but of course that is perfectly natural esp. at his age.  I'm glad to have your whiteboard strategies & the Math Circle problem bank too -- thank you. 

 

madteaparty -- it is reassuring to hear that other folks forget too, and that looping back is to be expected.  I did Algebra more than once myself ... do you have any favorite math apps for long drives??

 

Kathy, thanks for your starting-point schedule.  I think we'll pick up with something like that next week.  I never thought to have a few "problem-solving" days each week, that would break things up a bit & A. might like the break from routine.  RE whiteboards: clearly we need whiteboards and lots of colors of markers!  :) 

 

SparklyUnicorn -- it is nice to know we aren't the only ones who've struggled, and to keep in mind that it may not be a good fit for A.  thank you!!

 

EndOfOrdinary -- oh, I had not heard that, and will look into it; it is why I put his age in the thread title, because it feels hormonal to me but the child is nowhere near puberty.  It is a relief to think this might be behind what I'm seeing ... it's sort of like his synapses have just unmoored themselves or his cortex dissolved.  Such a total blank on things he'd known!!!  I think the strategies we're pursuing will be good even in this case, but knowing this makes me feel encouraged & less like my teaching is at fault. 

 

Ruth, that 5-chapter pacing is so nice to hear.  I do think that this time through I'll be able to get him to tackle the challenge problems, which he wouldn't before -- he's beginning to want to figure things out on his own -- and your post reminds me that this is more than worth the time it takes.  :) 

 

8FillTheHeart, thank you for sharing your 2x algebra experience.  I am just basking in it for a moment.  Algebra really does seem the transition between lower and upper maths, and it is so good to hear that time taken to cement it is well spent.  Thank you!

 

-- again, I am so grateful for this help.  I have a strategy for moving forward, several things to improve and/or tweak, and a sense that we are just fine here.   :) 

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I wanted to echo Ruth's thoughts (and Ruth, where have you been? Have missed you!) about speed.

 

Even now DS still needs a LOT of time. Especially with AoPS. He is not a superstar student with AoPS at all, not when there are so many kids, some even younger doing so well with it. It really takes effort for him. But what is important is that he does it, knowing full well it is HARD and of the likelihood that he won't get an A.

 

And another thing to remember is that AoPS is not the only option out there. I think that with your obviously thoughtful support, your A will be fine. Good luck Ana!

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Is your child a night owl or early bird? I have one of each (also a hare and a tortoise). My early bird "tortoise" 9 year old would do Alcumus after breakfast, followed by language arts, science, German than textbook math. He does at most an hour of Alcumus and as slow as he need to be. This morning he did three questions and that's fine with me.

My night owl "hare" 10 year old would do Alcumus after textbook math because he can spend hours there completing quests so we get all the "book work" subjects done first.

 

A lot of Algebra is used in science so the review is there in an applied way.

 

I agree with Quark that there are many ways to reach math competency besides the AoPS route.

 

There are many times when hubby and I just explain random math questions our kids ask with pencil and paper. For example today oldest ask about derivatives and differentiation, and it is not in his AoPS intermediate algebra book. So pencil and paper works.

 

Besides hard math is there other ways to make your son happy? What is it from hard math that makes him less likely to be an emotional mess the rest of the day? Is it the intellectual challenge?

 

For what it's worth, my kids don't like Larson or Edward Burger so that limits my choice of popular public school textbooks :lol:

 

ETA:

Never type under the influence of Claritin. Had to edit my grammatical errors :)

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oh my goodness, Arcadia!  that sounds like a great math education, but there is no way A. would be thriving more with an hour of Alcumus plus his textbook math; I've kept him to age-standard amounts of time spent on math, because he really doesn't like it and would always rather be doing something else. 

 

I like the early- late-bird/hare & tortoise concepts! 

 

I do think I've reached saturation on ideas for this problem -- so far, implementing what we have, we are seeing an improvement and I have a nice set of strategies for the future.  I think I need to work with these before troubleshooting anything else! 

 

ETA: I didn't mean to imply that the Alcumus + textbook isn't "age appropriate" for other kids -- it clearly is!  but A. would wilt.   It is good to see how different children are learning their upper maths ...

 

ETA #2:  Well, he has run over-time occasionally; maybe as he gets more engaged we'll see more of this!

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You've had a bunch of great suggestions, but I wanted to throw one more out there. Take a look at the Mathcounts Minis (google it). Basically it comes in the format of a worksheet where the first couple of "warm-up" problems should be on the easy side, then it has "the problem" which on first appearance looks hard. there is a video teaching how to solve the main problem, then the rest of the worksheet builds on skills learned in the video to do harder problems. They are a great way to work on a single concept at a time and yet gain a lot of new skills. (Start with ones where you can do the warm up problems - some are just too hard yet).

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You have a lot of fantastic input here, and we haven't hit Pre-Algebra/Algebra yet, but I will say that at the beginning of this school year, my math gifted 9-almost10-year old began the year crying that he had forgotten his multiplication tables.  For days he cried, and finally after a week or so he bounced right back into it as though he had known them the whole time.  

 

I'm sure if he has mastered the material it will show after he gets back into the swing of it.  If not, then he has plenty of time to park on it for awhile until he does master it.  If there is one thing I've learned, it's that kids brains are the strangest things, haha.  And I think there is something about that 9 to 10 age that does something to boys - it's frustrating for everyone, but you will be on the other side of it soon.  Hopefully laughing.

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I'm going to go way out on a limb here and suggest that a 9 year old with his background is already miles ahead in terms of algebra, and suggest just doing maybe little or no math for a while until he wants to do more.

 

disclaimer: I coerced my 11 year old son to go through about 1/2 of Jacobs' algebra book, and preened when he took first in the state in a math counts contest.  Then he rebelled and made his point clearly about his own choices,, so I backed off.  He declined in contest performance, but latern majored in math at Stanford and is quite happy today in a high tech job in silicon valley.

 

the point is that individual choice matters as much or more than acceleration.  forgive me for this if it is not what is wanted, but I waited a couple of days and then felt the need to just say it.

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I'm going to go way out on a limb here and suggest that a 9 year old with his background is already miles ahead in terms of algebra, and suggest just doing maybe little or no math for a while until he wants to do more.

 

disclaimer: I coerced my 11 year old son to go through about 1/2 of Jacobs' algebra book, and preened when he took first in the state in a math counts contest.  Then he rebelled and made his point clearly about his own choices,, so I backed off.  He declined in contest performance, but latern majored in math at Stanford and is quite happy today in a high tech job in silicon valley.

 

the point is that individual choice matters as much or more than acceleration.  forgive me for this if it is not what is wanted, but I waited a couple of days and then felt the need to just say it.

 

Thanks for mentioning this!  I'm discussing with him what to do.  I think he would never "want" to do more -- or at least not for a few years --  OTOH one of my main goals across the curriculum is to cultivate passion and above all I want to avoid burning him out on maths.  I appreciate you helping me to keep this foremost in my mind!

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