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Math for my 9yo son...


tammyw
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Hello - My son turned 9 in June. He has become OBSESSED with math the past few months (he has always enjoyed it though). We are working through Beast Academy for our curriculum (just starting level 4). He does well with it, enjoys it, and rarely gets any incorrect. But on the side, he spends HOURS on Khan Academy. He works all over the place - he is obsessed with the idea of pre-algebra, algebra, calculus, geometry, etc. He is learning terms and things that I've honestly long forgotten, lol. He's currently obsessed with Pythagorean Theory.  He also still spends some time on DragonBox, Timez Attack, and also really enjoys programming in Scratch.

 

My question is do we just keep doing what we've been doing, or is there something else I should be doing to support him?

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I have some resources bookmarked in my siggy. I agree so strongly with reading living math books (www.livingmath.net has booklists). These books led to so many bunny trails and I think most importantly, taught him to look past math as something neatly boxed into categories like algebra, geometry, calculus, and instead at how it all connects and integrates (and no I'm not referring to integrated math curriculum) and goes beyond what schools teach. And that math is so much fun and so beautiful.

 

If you can access math circles, that would be great too, as these events are designed to help kids see beauty and meaning in math beyond standard curriculum.

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"He's currently obsessed with Pythagorean Theory."

 

​LOL.  DD11 just hit the chapter in AoPS pre-alg where they derive/prove the Pythagorean Theory.  She ran around the house yelling 'I have proved the pythagorean theorem'!

 

It was very like 

 

 

Most importantly, IMO...don't kill the joy.  Interest and enthusiasm is so enabling.

 

 

 

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Another suggestion-my DD LOVED/S the Dummies books for math that she was interested in. I think it's because it gave her thr basic background, in a conversational form, so she felt she had a place to start. She also liked the "Painless" series from Barron's and the Cartoon and Manga guides where they exist. The Painless and Dummies books are usually available used very cheaply.

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I love all the great advice, thank you!! I'll definitely get some additional books for him - he has really enjoyed those types of things in the past :) We definitely keep the enthusiasm high. He is just so "mad" about math that it's exciting to see his passion come through in this way. So great!

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Your son seems ready for a 6th grade math class. Try one of the on-line with automatic test and quizzes. let him go at his own pace--even if it takes 12 months to complete. Think of 6th grade as pre-pre-algebra. Integers, order of operations, geometry, and variables are introduced here. The benefit of 6th grade is that he will structured lessons, covering what he doing in school presently, but on a more challenging level.  By the 6th grade he will have already mastered it,  and ready for pre-algebra/algebra.    My 5th  grader started this track when he was 8. it took a 14 months to complete the 6th grade/ and prealg,  with three or four  45 min. on-line sessions per week (he completed 6th in 6 months or so, went to pre-algebra, and then back and force between the two when pre-alg showed more comprehension/mental development required) .   He now has  a couple of chapters to go  to complete algebra 1. 

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Check out:

Penrose the Mathematical Cat (two different books with Penrose)

The Number Devil

Go Figure and Why Pi?

Murderous Maths set (there are around 12 I think?)

Vi Hart videos

Some of the TedEx talks on symmetry and mathematical tricks are fun.

 

And maybe consider moving him to Aops PreA? If he's rarely missing any of the questions in BA? 

 

Or just let him watch the videos on Aops and play around on Alcumus!

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Some more books to consider:

 

Arthur Benjamin's Secrets of Mental Math

Ian Stewart's How to Cut a Cake

Edwin Abbott Abbott's Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

 

Also, you might want to buy him a special notebook to write down his own unique observations, ideas or questions.

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I would keep doing what you're doing and also find him fun living math books to read. It is going so well, don't fix what ain't broke.

 

This exactly.

 

And maybe consider moving him to Aops PreA? If he's rarely missing any of the questions in BA? 

 

Or just let him watch the videos on Aops and play around on Alcumus!

 

My son started AoPS Pre-A after BA 4B, because it was going to be another five months before 4C would be published. He did fine, though it would have been even smoother if we'd had all of BA 4 available. I covered some BA 4 topics like integers, fraction operations, and decimals with Khan Academy and MM, but having now gone through all of BA 4 with my daughter, BA does it better than Khan and MM. I'd feel free to breeze through BA 4 and go on to Pre-A (which is what my daughter did), but I wouldn't skip BA 4 altogether. 

 

My daughter also worked through parts of Mathematics: A Human Endeavor, while waiting for BA 4D to be published. I let her choose topics, and she particularly enjoyed the ones on graph theory and Fibonacci. The book is full of wonderful topics that aren't typically covered by K-12 curriculum.

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