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I am second guessing myself yet again about where to from here, sigh, why is this so hard?

DD is on track to start pre-algebra mid way through 5th grade. At that point she will have completed MUS through to zeta and BA5 (hopefully all of them but depends on if the last ones are out).

 

My heart says AOPS as she loves beast and loves the approach but my head is saying a very young 5th grader for AOPS pre-algebra might be too young? Should we do something else first maybe?

She will just have turned 10 when she is ready to start assuming we do not hit any major speed bumps before then (age wise she is right on the cutoff, most her friends born the same month as her are currently in 3rd not 4th).

 

I think we will do AOPS pre-algebra at some point but I am starting to wonder if we might be best doing something else first maybe?
What would you do, straight into AOPS or do another pre-algebra first? If another pre-algebra what one would you choose for a just turned 10yo?

TIA

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My heart says AOPS as she loves beast and loves the approach but my head is saying a very young 5th grader for AOPS pre-algebra might be too young?

Why does your head says she is too young? If I know why you think so than I might be able to answer more to the point.

 

My boys started that book just before 8, 3rd grade. However my education philosophy is that my kids are welcome to try something harder and just go slow, shelve it or even backtrack as long as it doesn't cause anxiety or depression. My youngest did wail but he tends to wail for anything including PE. My kids wrote less math working out than would be expected of a public school 6th/7th grader doing prealgebra (regardless of which textbooks). The prealgebra book binding looks horribly tortured. In the end they didn't mind it and choose to continue using AoPS books.

 

ETA:

Jacobs Mathematics: a Human Endeavor is also used before algebra. There are a few threads on it.

Edited by Arcadia
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why not just give AoPS a try? I don't think 5th grade is too young for prealgebra.

My DS started AoPS Into to Algebra at the beginning of 6th grade; the prealgebra book was not out.

You can always go slow and take more time. And if it does not work at all, you can switch then.

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Yes, what harm can there be in trying it? We did it earlier here. Heck, there were a couple third graders in DS's class! There is no age requirement and if it doesn't click you can always try something else.

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Lol thanks guys, I knew I was over thinking this yet again.

The biggest problems are cost and shipping though, if we try it and don't like it not only will it cost heaps to buy another choice but it will likely take a month or more for that to arrive, cost wise I really need my #1 purchase to be the one we actually go with, I can't afford to buy several expensive books.

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You can check out a chapter and the index on the AoPS website. You can also order the online version if you don't want to pay shipping or wait for it to arrive. We've used the online version for the supplemental books and they are fine.

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Would your daughter mind the online version of the book. The disadvantage is that you can't print so you need to have wifi while doing the problems. I wish the company allow printing for the review problems and challenge problems page so that kids can work at the problems without having to look at the screen.

 

Another option would be to buy a used set of the book and the solutions manual. I'm not selling but I know people do sell when their kids are done with it.

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Would your daughter mind the online version of the book. The disadvantage is that you can't print so you need to have wifi while doing the problems. I wish the company allow printing for the review problems and challenge problems page so that kids can work at the problems without having to look at the screen.

 

Another option would be to buy a used set of the book and the solutions manual. I'm not selling but I know people do sell when their kids are done with it.

 

She wouldn't mind an online version but as she is the eldest of 4 I want the books to be able to pass down to younger siblings.

As to second hand, I have tried but it is hard to find anything and then once you add in international postage the costs are outrageous.

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Our young 10 year, in 5th grade this past year, took the AOPS pre-Alg 1 and 2, actually just finishing up. As others have said AOPS may not be for everyone, but for our guy the discovery method was a tremendous hit and the pace of the classes taught him study habits, resilience, failure (not always getting problems the first try), and much more. As others have mentioned the "math community" and talking with like-minded kids before and have class was great. His true love of math (problem solving) came out as he was willing to put in the hours needed to work at that pace. If he was a not a true math nerd, the pace and work load may have been too much.

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Lol thanks guys, I knew I was over thinking this yet again.

The biggest problems are cost and shipping though, if we try it and don't like it not only will it cost heaps to buy another choice but it will likely take a month or more for that to arrive, cost wise I really need my #1 purchase to be the one we actually go with, I can't afford to buy several expensive books.

 

seeing that AoPS is rarely available used since nobody can bear to part with it, it would fetch a very good price if you were to sell it if it does not work.

 

Also, I would not count on four children being able to use the same curriculum, with any curriculum. They're not clones and may have different educational needs.

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I would buy AoPS

and if it doesn't work you can print MEP pages until the next math text arrives.

Or use Khan for a while.

IXL Math has some free trials to.

For just a month I would not have problems to use something like that.

We often did something else for a few weeks, to settle the math, to wait for a 'jump' in development.

 

We did AoPS Pre-Algebra mixed with more Geometry (according to our sequence here).

DD liked the mix of a more challenging book, with a more 'standard' book.

We used Understanding Geometry from Critical Thinking Company, but not everybody likes that book.

 

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Also, I would not count on four children being able to use the same curriculum, with any curriculum. They're not clones and may have different educational needs.

 

True but when you have 4 children buying it once and actually owning the book usually works out cheaper than a limited time online subscription. Also, even if the next ones don't use the exact same books I often find I will refer to books I have used with another child for specific problems.

Additionally, #2 DD is very close behind her sister, I expect she will be starting pre-algebra before #1 is actually finished with the book, she is a clear cut case for AOPS (even though she will most likely be starting it at 9). Either way I need this book in the next 2 years but I was not sure whether to get something else first or just dive right in.

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True but when you have 4 children buying it once and actually owning the book usually works out cheaper than a limited time online subscription. 

Are you thinking that the AOPS online book is by subscription? That doesn't appear to be the case. This is from the FAQ on their website:

 
Will I ever have to make additional purchases after my initial purchase in order to continue accessing my online textbook on the AoPS website?

No.

 
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If AoPS doesn't work, I would like to throw out Jousting Armadillos.  It's discovery based as well, but very approachable.  My DS didn't like BA, but loves JA.

 

He started JA in the middle of 4th grade.  He has 2 chapters left, and we will probably run through AoPS pre-A after that.  I'm glad I gave him a gentle entry because of the type of kid he is, and his relationship with math.

 

ETA:  I'm just throwing out another book, not saying it's the answer to your questions.  I hope I was able to articulate that. (I do understand that my DS was younger.  I should also mention we stopped SM at 4B and went to JA, so YMMV)

Edited by Runningmom80
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I stalled DD when she was 11 because I thought she wasn't ready for AoPS pre-alg.  We did some arithmetic practice, worked through JA...were in a holding pattern for maybe 4 months.  In retrospect don't think I should have.  JA was too easy (she could easily do a 1/2 chapter a day and the example problems were too easy and too numerous), and overall I think it was just a waste.  If he's ready - go for it.  You can always back off.

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My oldest did the Prealgebra book starting in 4th grade at just turned 9. We spent two years on it, so he finished it at the end of 5th grade (we had a rocky pregnancy that year, which affected school progress). He then did Jacobs Algebra in 6th, completing that book at the end of the school year. And now he's started AoPS Intro to Algebra in 7th.

 

Don't be afraid to try the Prealgebra book. If you need to go slower, that's fine. You don't have to finish in a year. Also, note that the first two chapters were the worst for us. The first one was just... ugh. I didn't like it, personally. The second chapter was exponents, which my son hadn't had a lot of exposure to and needed more practice. I pulled out Dolciani Prealgebra and had him do some drill and kill on the basics when needed. In chapter 3, he took off and did very well with the rest of the book, and I didn't have to use Dolciani much after that.

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