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dereksurfs

Well Trained Mind Academy Math Courses experiences

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Hi All,

 

I have been wondering for some time now how the WTMA math courses have been going?  Yet the silence is almost deafening.  Maybe I missed the memo?   :D  While they are still relatively new, I have been a little surprised with the lack of comments.  I sort of chalk it up to a) folks not wanting to say something which might offend (e.g. had some issues) or b) not wanting seem overly excited about something which may come off as disingenuous.  So, I decided to simply ask outright for some honest feedback.  Knowing the thoughtfulness of this group, I would expect those sharing their real experiences to be sincere.  I'm sure Susan wouldn't mind hearing both praise and constructive criticism.

 

I'll start out with being honest regarding my take on the offerings.  We are not fans of Saxon.  So, that leaves us with AoPS/Singapore courses.  Those I find interesting for 'some' kids.  Ds went through AoPS Intro to Algebra before WTMA had courses and it was his most challenging course.  I realized then that their advertising was correct.  AoPS is definitely 'not' for every student.  In fact, it is probably not the right fit for most students due to the level of challenge and difficulty built-in by design.  So, for our younger dds, I'm not sure there would be a fit for them at the WTMA.  

 

For ds14, he is already beyond the scope of their current offerings.  But still, I can't help but wonder how things are going for other families?  

Edited by dereksurfs
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I am not sure how to answer.  I had a ds in the AOPS Prealgebra.  I always hesitate to chime in on these because if I am honest I admit that my kids are in these classes so that I can be hands off.  I have not been able to concentrate on homeschooling and have not been good at monitoring their work. So, I feel like I can't really give a helpful evaluation.  

 

What I can tell you about the class is that my ds enjoyed it.  He felt challenged but not overwhelmed.  The teacher was very helpful and responsive and the class seemed organized.  I believe ds learned.  His standardized tests scores came back and math was by far his highest score.  I am not a math person so I don't know what should even be in a standard prealgebra class but my dh (who used to teach high school algebra and geometry) was frequently impressed by the difficulty of his homework problems and my son's ability to puzzle out the answers.

 

I wish I could be more thorough in a review for you but I just can't.  I know ds was challenged and enjoyed the class.  He is continuing on with the algebra 1 class next year.  I know he learned much more than he would have if we had limped along without a class.

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I am not sure how to answer.  I had a ds in the AOPS Prealgebra.  I always hesitate to chime in on these because if I am honest I admit that my kids are in these classes so that I can be hands off.  I have not been able to concentrate on homeschooling and have not been good at monitoring their work. So, I feel like I can't really give a helpful evaluation.  

 

What I can tell you about the class is that my ds enjoyed it.  He felt challenged but not overwhelmed.  The teacher was very helpful and responsive and the class seemed organized.  I believe ds learned.  His standardized tests scores came back and math was by far his highest score.  I am not a math person so I don't know what should even be in a standard prealgebra class but my dh (who used to teach high school algebra and geometry) was frequently impressed by the difficulty of his homework problems and my son's ability to puzzle out the answers.

 

I wish I could be more thorough in a review for you but I just can't.  I know ds was challenged and enjoyed the class.  He is continuing on with the algebra 1 class next year.  I know he learned much more than he would have if we had limped along without a class.

 

Thanks, teachermom.  It just helps hearing some experiences.  In life, sometimes no news is good news.  But I'm one who really enjoys reading reviews.  I am curious how you would describe your son's natural ability as a math student?  Our kids vary so much when it comes to math.  I don't know if you've ever noticed this or not.  But it might help gauge the experience, especially where AoPS is concerned.

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My ds is naturally math inclined (my dh has a masters in physics and a PhD in stats and ds does seem to take after him). However, he is not a whiz. He does have to work and I do not believe I have done the best job homeschooling math with him. This isn't a kid who had a very solid rigorous foundation. He had just an OK preparation. He does like to learn and enjoy the online class format.

 

The teacher gave a couple of weeks and several attempts at most assignments and tests. I know for the final ds made a first attempt and got a low score (48% or similar) and by the third attempt had a 100. He learned to really stick with it and the teacher was helpful. The teacher did remind the class that it was not a standard class and very difficult and not to be discouraged by low grades on early attempts. Perhaps attitude is very important in not being discouraged. This ds took it as a challenge most days and would get excited about it when it clicked and take a big sense of pride in defeating a particular problem.

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Trinqueta took Algebra 1 this last year (the first half of Intro to Algebra) and is signed up for Algebra 2 (the second half) in the fall. It was her favorite class by far. She is a mathy kid, but not off the charts talented. She's in the top 1% not the top 1/10 of 1%. The most important trait to succeed in the class is not to shut down if you get the problem wrong the first time. If your child likes to puzzle things out, they'll enjoy the class. If they get discouraged easily if they don't get the right answer the first time, I'd try a more standard class.

 

T is doing a problem solving class at AoPS this summer. She likes it but doesn't want to switch from Mrs. Quintero at WTMA. She prefers the live lecture format instead of the chat based class. The homework is set up similarly although Mrs. Quintero personally grades submissions and gives personalized hints instead of the autocorrect at AoPs. This isn't a big deal at all if you do like the AoPs pacing and chat format. For us, the live interaction and slower pace are a perfect fit.

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Trinqueta took Algebra 1 this last year (the first half of Intro to Algebra) and is signed up for Algebra 2 (the second half) in the fall. It was her favorite class by far. She is a mathy kid, but not off the charts talented. She's in the top 1% not the top 1/10 of 1%. The most important trait to succeed in the class is not to shut down if you get the problem wrong the first time. If your child likes to puzzle things out, they'll enjoy the class. If they get discouraged easily if they don't get the right answer the first time, I'd try a more standard class.

 

T is doing a problem solving class at AoPS this summer. She likes it but doesn't want to switch from Mrs. Quintero at WTMA. She prefers the live lecture format instead of the chat based class. The homework is set up similarly although Mrs. Quintero personally grades submissions and gives personalized hints instead of the autocorrect at AoPs. This isn't a big deal at all if you do like the AoPs pacing and chat format. For us, the live interaction and slower pace are a perfect fit.

 

This is very insightful and really helps get a sense of the WTMA AoPS courses versus the shorter one given through AoPS itself.  Had they existed when ds14 went through AoPS intro to Algebra, I probably would had given them a go.

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My ds is naturally math inclined (my dh has a masters in physics and a PhD in stats and ds does seem to take after him). However, he is not a whiz. He does have to work and I do not believe I have done the best job homeschooling math with him. This isn't a kid who had a very solid rigorous foundation. He had just an OK preparation. He does like to learn and enjoy the online class format.

 

The teacher gave a couple of weeks and several attempts at most assignments and tests. I know for the final ds made a first attempt and got a low score (48% or similar) and by the third attempt had a 100. He learned to really stick with it and the teacher was helpful. The teacher did remind the class that it was not a standard class and very difficult and not to be discouraged by low grades on early attempts. Perhaps attitude is very important in not being discouraged. This ds took it as a challenge most days and would get excited about it when it clicked and take a big sense of pride in defeating a particular problem.

 

This additional information helps to paint a more full picture of the format.  I really like that they give the students more than one attempt at things.  AoPS is not only designed for them to struggle but also for students to not get 100%.  So, it seems like the teachers are aware of this and therefore make accommodations.  Otherwise, even the brightest students would be failing or getting really low grades if they simply took the initial test scores.  

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My ds had a very successful year of math taking Algebra 1 (Saxon) through WTMA. I had tried to teach him Algebra 1 in 8th grade with a different curriculum, and he struggled and I didn't really know how to help him. He and I were both happier when we decided to outsource math for 9th grade to WTMA. He benefited from having a knowledgeable and enthusiastic teacher, and he actually learned algebra and finished the class with an A. One thing we liked about WTMA was that the class met twice a week and his teacher also held office hours on a third day, so there were plenty of opportunities to have his questions answered. He will be taking Algebra 2 through WTMA this coming year.

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Trinqueta took Algebra 1 this last year (the first half of Intro to Algebra) and is signed up for Algebra 2 (the second half) in the fall. It was her favorite class by far. She is a mathy kid, but not off the charts talented. She's in the top 1% not the top 1/10 of 1%. The most important trait to succeed in the class is not to shut down if you get the problem wrong the first time. If your child likes to puzzle things out, they'll enjoy the class. If they get discouraged easily if they don't get the right answer the first time, I'd try a more standard class.

 

T is doing a problem solving class at AoPS this summer. She likes it but doesn't want to switch from Mrs. Quintero at WTMA. She prefers the live lecture format instead of the chat based class. The homework is set up similarly although Mrs. Quintero personally grades submissions and gives personalized hints instead of the autocorrect at AoPs. This isn't a big deal at all if you do like the AoPs pacing and chat format. For us, the live interaction and slower pace are a perfect fit.

DS will be in the same class :) this would be our first WTMA math class, so I appreciate the review.

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