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AoPS?? And/Or general high school math question?


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My DD (14yrs, beginning 9th grade) is just finishing Saxon Algebra 1. I think we might be done with Saxon. I'm not totally decided...partly because she wants to stay with Saxon. But here's the dilemma:

 

- I think she only wants to stay with Saxon because it's familiar, therefore "safe."

- She says all the time that she hates math.

- Math takes a LONG time, even though she only does odd numbers of lessons. I *think* this is due to dawdling because she doesn't like it.

- She's very good at problem solving in general. She's the one I ask when I need a creative solution for something. She's crocheted dolls with no pattern. She created her own pattern AND wrote it down in order to repeat the pattern later. She can sew or make pretty much anything she puts her mind to. It's not necessarily mathematical, but she has a problem-solving mind. 

- I'm starting to see her lose the underlying principles of numbers. She's just copying the formulas but cannot necessarily explain why they work. This was not true a year ago.

- Most recently I realized that a concept that Saxon introduced completely out of context actually HAS a context FIFTY lessons later. I am re-learning algebra as I go along and had totally forgotten how this worked. I was disappointed with Saxon for not introducing this as a complete concept much earlier. I don't want to see this happen again.

 

So, I've heard a tremendous amount here about AoPS. I would, more than anything, like to see her enjoying numbers and their underlying concepts again. I don't think she's headed for a math-related career, but I want her to be well-rounded and ABLE to do whatever she wants in life.

 

So, can someone tell me the sequence of AoPS if we're just finishing Saxon Algebra 1 (3rd Edition)?  How are the books generally sequenced? 

 

Anyone with reservations want to tell me why?

 

Any other suggestions?

 

Thanks!! 

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A typical AoPS sequence would be:

Intro to Algebra

geometry

Intermediate Algebra

Precalculus

Calculus

 

Number theory and Counting&Probability are one semester courses that cover topics not usually part of the high school sequence; they can be inserted for quick learners or students who started early, but are not prerequisite for any later texts.

 

I would not skip Intro to Algebra, even if she had Saxon algebra. You may be able to go quickly, but it covers a lot more material in more depth.

 

We lasted on miserable year with Saxon, and then I found AoPS and never looked back.

 

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AOPS is math for mathematicians. It may not be appropriate for a child who is not interested in math related careers. You might have her play on Alcumus first to see how she likes their style. My AOPS child played with it one spring and her reaction was immediately positive.

 

If you decide to try it, Introduction to Algebra covers both algebra 1 and algebra 2 topics, so you would start there. You would just go through the chapters she already knows more quickly. There are placement tests on the artofproblemsolving.com website to make sure.

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A typical AoPS sequence would be:

Intro to Algebra

geometry

Intermediate Algebra

Precalculus

Calculus

 

Number theory and Counting&Probability are one semester courses that cover topics not usually part of the high school sequence; they can be inserted for quick learners or students who started early, but are not prerequisite for any later texts.

 

I would not skip Intro to Algebra, even if she had Saxon algebra. You may be able to go quickly, but it covers a lot more material in more depth.

 

We lasted on miserable year with Saxon, and then I found AoPS and never looked back.

 

If this is the sequence, is it possible to get through Calculus by the end of high school? She's 9th grade this year. I would, personally, like to see her finish calculus  because I know she CAN, and I think she could enjoy it, given the right curriculum. 

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Another option is to supplement with one AoPS's shorter books such as the one tiled "The Basics".  That's what we did and it worked out well. My kid liked Saxon and did well with it.  I just supplemented with other stuff to give him more challenge.  They also have lots of problems on their website (alcamus) that you can work your way through. 

 

 

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If this is the sequence, is it possible to get through Calculus by the end of high school? She's 9th grade this year. I would, personally, like to see her finish calculus  because I know she CAN, and I think she could enjoy it, given the right curriculum. 

 

I doubt it.  Those books are long and reasonably take longer than a school year to complete (you'd do best to work through the summer).

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I agree that I would start her with the Intro to Algebra book. My dd took Algebra last year using Foerster and did well, but I switched her back to AoPS for this school year (she did a pre-A class with them the year before). She is going through it at a fairly quick pace for now since it's mostly review for her, but it is so deep that she is still being challenged and it is really holding her interest. The first 13 or so chapters are considered Algebra 1. My estimate is that she will be done with them in early December and then will move on to the remainder of the book, which contains most of the topics covered in a standard Algebra 2 class (the rest are covered in Intermediate Algebra, plus a whole lot more). Then we will move onto geometry.

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If this is the sequence, is it possible to get through Calculus by the end of high school? She's 9th grade this year. I would, personally, like to see her finish calculus  because I know she CAN, and I think she could enjoy it, given the right curriculum. 

 

That depends. My DD doubled up and did geometry and Intermediate algebra in one year. You may need little time for Intro to Algebra since your DD already had algebra.

It is also possible to judiciously cut material from some of the books for the sake of a quicker, abbreviated treatment. We did this with Intermediate and Precalc, because DD wanted to be done with calc early (11th) so she could take calc based physics.

 

Edited by regentrude
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AOPS is math for mathematicians. It may not be appropriate for a child who is not interested in math related careers.

 

The operative word is MAY.

Even a child who is not interested in a math related career may appreciate the depth of conceptual treatment and the interesting problems. We are using AoPS successfully for a child who plans a career as a professional athlete/coach. Just because a kid is not interested in a math related career does not mean the student does not enjoy thinking.

Edited by regentrude
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With regard to math for mathematicians: I don't consider myself a mathematician, but I enjoy math as it relates to theology. A lot. I mean, in a nerdy way. DD enjoys philosophy and theology. I want her to *get* what math and science have to offer those fields of study. And I think she would enjoy it a whole lot more if she *got* it. A few years back she would REFUSE to do a math problem if she didn't understand why it worked. Now I'm finding that she's applying formulas without understanding. So disappointing. 

 

 

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. Now I'm finding that she's applying formulas without understanding. So disappointing. 

 

That is, in my opinion, a direct result of curriculum that serves concepts in tiny portions and then jumps to something unrelated, and buries the student under a mountain of soulless drill.

 

AoPS cures this fast.

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AOPS is math for mathematicians. It may not be appropriate for a child who is not interested in math related careers. You might have her play on Alcumus first to see how she likes their style. My AOPS child played with it one spring and her reaction was immediately positive.

 

If you decide to try it, Introduction to Algebra covers both algebra 1 and algebra 2 topics, so you would start there. You would just go through the chapters she already knows more quickly. There are placement tests on the artofproblemsolving.com website to make sure.

 

This is excellent advice.  Unless your student really loves it, I think AoPS could be overkill.  Alcumus is free and a great introduction to AoPS (and a great supplement should you elect to go with something else.)

 

As for getting to Calculus; it would be very doable with the online classes.  That, however, adds "blistering pace" to the matrix. :laugh:

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I doubt it. Those books are long and reasonably take longer than a school year to complete (you'd do best to work through the summer).

Agreed. We are switching to community college math to get through calculus. Unless your kid is brilliant and fast at math, these books are time sinks.

 

That being said, I'm glad DD had this foundation to her math education.

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Ok, so...can someone tell me how a typical lesson is set up? In what way is the curriculum time intensive?

 

There are no "lessons". Each section begins with a set of problems the student is supposed to figure out, without having been presented with the theory for the concept that is covered in the section. The problems are building on each other and lead the student to discover the student herself (i.e. guided discovery). The problem solutions are then explained in detail, the new concept derived and explained, and the section concludes with a set of exercises.

At the end of the chapter is a set of review problems, including some very challenging ones.

 

The time consuming aspect comes through the difficulty of the problems: some are quick, some take half an hour or more. I have sat for two hours on a single geometry proof that I had already done three years before with my older child.

 

The sections vary in length and difficulty, and this means that AoPS is difficult to schedule. I did not schedule anything at all, because I find it impossible to judge, without working every problem in advance, how long it will take (and even then, I cannot always anticipate where my student will have difficulties). We operated on a time-on-task mechanism: one hour of math daily for DS. DD often binged and did a lot more one day and none the next.

 

AoPS is to be savored slowly. Rushing through it superficially misses the point.

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I think AoPS is great.  BUT I'm not sure I'd chose it for someone who was dragging their feet through math.  To get through their books in a year is pretty big undertaking and you may need a pretty large chunk of time every day to really savor and understand those harder problems. 

 

We are using Foerster's (pre-calc) for the first time and I think that's a nice combo of rigor but doable in terms of time.  I have a very mathy, tech kid that could go a direction in college that require a bunch of math (both DH and I did.  I have a BS degree in math and comp sci myself).  We did do alg 1 AoPS but it just took a long time every day.  My kid likes math fine, but isn't super excited about spending a better part of his day on it.

 

And that said, I think a lot of math curriculum could potentially be fine paired with more interesting problem solving.  For kids past Alg1 and Geometry, that could be in the form of ACT math prep type problems which are designed to test many, many math concepts and to be different and interesting.  There's lots of good resources out there for that kind of thing.   I have NEVER used one curriculum for my kids from the earliest level.   I think most curriculum at all levels are best paired with drill, more interesting out of the box problem solving, etc.

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My math and computer loving DS loves AOPS. Last week he ran downstairs excitedly and told me he learned more about trig from 1 page in AOPS than he did watching trig videos over several weeks last year. He had wanted to know what sine and cosine tangent really *meant* and the videos he had watched (Video Text and Khan Academy) weren't giving it to him. AOPS did. So he went off and wrote a computer program algorithm to solve one of the problems in AOPS. This all took him over an hour. He accomplished 1 page that day out of a 200+ page book that I would like for him to finish in 1 year. Another day he only got 1 problem done because he was busy staring into space and contemplating the theoretical ramifications of the problem. It doesn't look like he's going to finish this course in 1 year if he goes slowly and savors the math like he's currently doing. I don't want to stop or inhibit this amazing type of learning that so obviously suits him, but as a parent who is trying to schedule his education and get the credits in, AOPS is maddening.

 

My other DS who does well in but only tolerates math took one look at AOPS and shuddered and asked me to promise never, never, never to make him use it! :lol: That's pretty much how I feel about it too. I think it suits and suits well a certain type of student. But most of my students are not that student.

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I agree with others about AoPS.  It is a huge time-suck.  But dd loves it.  She is not "mathy" and likely not heading for a STEM field so I was surprised she took to it so well.  Because it makes her like math and I love how much she is learning, I am indulging her desire to continue using it despite the fact that it is wrecking our schedule.  It is now her favorite subject so I think it is worth it.

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It is also possible to judiciously cut material from some of the books for the sake of a quicker, abbreviated treatment. We did this with Intermediate and Precalc, because DD wanted to be done with calc early (11th) so she could take calc based physics.

 

Not to derail the thread but ...

which chapters could you comfortably cut out of precalc and still have a solid credit and be ready for calculus? At the pace DS is currently on, he will not finish the whole precalc book even if he works through the summer, and he reeeeeeally wants to get to calc.

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Not to derail the thread but ...

which chapters could you comfortably cut out of precalc and still have a solid credit and be ready for calculus? At the pace DS is currently on, he will not finish the whole precalc book even if he works through the summer, and he reeeeeeally wants to get to calc.

 

I don't have time to search now but I recall that; Kathy in Richmond and I both wrote about this in the past and also about sections to select in Intermediate Algebra.

 

Precalc covers a lot more vectors and matrices than most students see in high school; you could cut drastically there.

For calc, you don't need any vectors until multivariable calculus. Most students don't encounter the cross product until college.

 

You definitely want to cover the trig chapters 1-7 thoroughly. You could skip/skim ch. 8. You can cut ch. 12 and 13 and shorten the preceding ones. Inverting matrices is not a necessary skill yet; those who need it will get to it in Linear Algebra.

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Well...I appreciate all the replies...though I'm feeling just as conflicted as ever.  :laugh:  

 

DD looked at Alcumus this morning and couldn't figure out how it was any different than working through Saxon problems.

 

Then we looked at the sample chapter section from Intro to Algebra. Interestingly, it doesn't look all that different from Saxon, IMO. Saxon covers a series of sample problems at the start of a lesson/chapter, followed by practice problems/exercises related to the new concept. The only thing missing from the AoPS chapter was the 30 review questions following the practice problems that Saxon always has. She was *thrilled* with the idea of a shorter lesson/chapter/section. LOL! 

 

Now, Saxon walks students through the sample problems, rather than offering up the new problems to see if the students can solve them on their own. However, I *teach* Saxon the same way AoPS walks students through lessons. So, I read explanations with DD and offer her the sample problems without the solution to see if she can figure them out on her own. Then we walk through the explanations when necessary, and she does the practice problem set followed by the odd numbers of the review problem set. 

 

I looked through the exercise problems at the end of the sample AoPS chapter, and they did not look any harder than Saxon problems. In DD's opinion they are laid out a little more like a logic puzzle, but she enjoys those. So, maybe this is a good fit for us? I just hate spending the money only to find that it's not.  

 

To clarify some things I said earlier: DD says she hates math...BUT this doesn't, in any way, mean that she is not math-minded or "mathy." She drags her feet and dawdles about math because she's bored, not because she can't do it or has a hard time with it. I honestly don't see how math can be any more of a time suck than it already is. Right now it's a black hole. I'd like a rainbow colored time suck, please. :P

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I looked through the exercise problems at the end of the sample AoPS chapter, and they did not look any harder than Saxon problems. In DD's opinion they are laid out a little more like a logic puzzle, but she enjoys those. So, maybe this is a good fit for us? I just hate spending the money only to find that it's not.  

 

Trust me, there are problems in there that had us (two parents with PhDs in theoretical physics) thinking quite a bit. Not the same league as Saxon - but also you don't see from glancing over the problems that each one is slightly different and requires more thinking. There is no repetition of the same pattern - but you only notice that when you actually work through them.

And a big plus: AoPS is to be done completely without a calculator, except for a handful of problems each year where a calculator is explicitly permitted.

 

The main difference from Saxon is that Saxon uses an incremental spiral and jumps between topics while AoPS is mastery based and covers the concept until it is exhausted.

 

If your DD is bored with math, AoPS might just fit the bill.

Edited by regentrude
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Oh, I believe you that it gets harder! But for the level that the sample lesson was at, the questions were very comparable to what DD has already done in Saxon.

 

I also *did* see that each exercise problem presented a variation on the concept. DD would prefer that to the way that Saxon introduces micro-concepts separated by several lessons. She often makes the micro-concept connections on her own, which is why I offer her the Saxon sample problems before reading the lesson. I think we'd both prefer to see a concept taught to mastery, rather than the skipping around that Saxon does. 

 

DD doesn't use a calculator for most math currently. So, that not a change for her. 

 

So, can anyone tell me what we know about AoPS outcomes? How do students do on standardized testing? What if they *do* go into math-related fields? I intend to look up some research on my own, but I wanted to ask here, too. :) 

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You may be looking at the exercises for each section, not necessarily for the end of the chapter. I think if you already have done algebra, some of these problems ought to look familiar. AoPS doesn't just give extremely hard problems; there are problems that are in fact easy, like warm-up exercises. I've not seen Saxon, but I do have other algebra books, even one that is focused only on word problems, and yes, AoPS does have similar problems, just not 15 of the same ones, and nothing wrong with that if you need extra practice, but AoPS includes challenging problems at the end of each chapter. I don't think they give a sample pdf of those types of problems.

 

If you have already been exposed to algebra, you are nog going to think much of AoPS from the sample pdf.

Edited by crazyforlatin
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My DD did several years of Saxon and liked it. She did Saxon algebra 1 last year in 8th. I wanted a different approach, though, plus something more geared toward self teaching, and I figured that since geometry is different from algebra, plus she's a spacially-oriented kid, that switching to AOPS for geometry would be a naturally good time to switch.

 

Thus far (granted, she's only on the second chapter), she absolutely LOVES AOPS! She liked Saxon fine, and math was a neutral subject, but this year, she's really loving it. Not that two chapters necessarily means a ton, but that's our experience so far.

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My DD did several years of Saxon and liked it. She did Saxon algebra 1 last year in 8th. I wanted a different approach, though, plus something more geared toward self teaching, and I figured that since geometry is different from algebra, plus she's a spacially-oriented kid, that switching to AOPS for geometry would be a naturally good time to switch.

 

Thus far (granted, she's only on the second chapter), she absolutely LOVES AOPS! She liked Saxon fine, and math was a neutral subject, but this year, she's really loving it. Not that two chapters necessarily means a ton, but that's our experience so far.

 

So, do you feel that the transition from Saxon Algebra 1 to AoPS geometry was fine? Are you concerned about moving to AoPS Intermediate Algebra without having done their Intro to Algebra text? Or are you not necessarily planning to continue with AoPS?

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So, can anyone tell me what we know about AoPS outcomes? How do students do on standardized testing? What if they *do* go into math-related fields? I intend to look up some research on my own, but I wanted to ask here, too. :)

 

Student who use AoPS tend to do extremely well on standardized testing - but that is not simply due to using AoPS, but also because the sample of students who use AoPS is skewed towards very strong math students who would perform well not matter what curriculum they used.

 

If the go into math related fields, they have the big advantage of having been taught to think and wrestle with difficult problems, but prov, prove, prove.

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So, do you feel that the transition from Saxon Algebra 1 to AoPS geometry was fine? Are you concerned about moving to AoPS Intermediate Algebra without having done their Intro to Algebra text? Or are you not necessarily planning to continue with AoPS?

I'm undecided. I'd like to continue with AOPS, but it really depends on what DD wants. The transition has been fine, but again, two different types of courses. (Otoh, my sixth grader switched from Singapore to AOPS pre-algebra this year. It took him the first chapter to get used to the new format, but he's happy now.). IMO, Saxon has a lot of words on the page and talks directly to the student, so I think that made it easier for DD to transition, like it was a format she already knew plus a new step or two. Singapore is very different in appearance from AOPS, so it was a lot of steps for my sixth grader.

 

I hadn't been worried about not having done the AOPS algebra book until I saw this thread. So the answer is that I really don't know. Maybe we will be fine, and maybe we will need to go back and do parts of the algebra book. Really can't call it at this point.

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So, can anyone tell me what we know about AoPS outcomes? How do students do on standardized testing?

The curriculum does not make the scores or there will be lots of parents buying AoPS books. My kids have only done SAT and ACT and they would have scored similarly with any curriculum. Many WTMers kids have done well with Saxon.

 

AoPS is a time suck, just like my kids cello, german, chinese and swimming :)

 

It is possible to reach Calculus in 12th, it depends on how much time your child wants to put in and how fast she absorbs. No crystal ball for that unfortunately.

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Please bear with my questions a little longer. :) I *so* wish that I could see an AoPS book in person! 

 

My next question is this: Does Alcumus accurately reflect the difficulty level of problems in the AoPS texts? 

 

Yes.  But remember, Alcumus is only available for the Intro-level topics - Pre-Algebra, Intro to Algebra, Intro to C&P, Intro to Number Theory, and Intro to Geometry. 

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There are various levels of difficulty within Alcumus and those levels are labeled with numbers from the low single digits to over 20 - not sure where they stop.  There are multiple levels of difficulty within the text (regular vs challenge/star).  Alcumus problems might vary more widely in difficulty.  Alcumus also has settings to automatically offer you easier, regular or harder problems.  IIRC, on the easy setting it will take longer to pass a topic.

 

The sequence of the AoPS texts is a little funky compared to a standard sequence, with added depth and added topics.  Even if you streamline your approach (for the sake of time/getting to calc later), you may want the Intro to Algebra book to cover the first half of traditionally "algebra 2" topics that begin in the second half of that text and then continue into Intermediate Alg.  (I haven't used that portion so I can't speak from experience.)  Somewhere there are posts suggesting how to streamline in the later texts.  Lots of love for the geometry text in this house; for a student who did well in another program's algebra 1, I'd be tempted to start with Geometry and then do the chapter reviews from the first half of Intro to Alg on the side or something.

Edited by wapiti
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Trust me,...it is vastly, and I mean vastly different than Saxon...I can't even see how you can say they look the same.

 

First of all, AOPS doesn't teach the lesson, until the student has tried the problems on their own. The goal is for them to use creativity to do the problems- they can use Algebra, blocks, toes, drawings, arithmetic, whatever they need...  Then AOPS teaches them the coolest, fastest way to solve the problem.

 

The goal is for the student to say, "AHA that was awesome" and then for the way AOPS did it to stick in their brain (unless they're geniuses and their way was better, in which case they would be so proud of themselves their own way would stick in their brain.

 

The practice sets are super hard.  The Challenge problems are so hard that you could conceivably be stuck on one for days.  One problem had us so stumped we had pictures all over the shower walls, the living room the white board, etc.  And this is not unusual.  They are that hard.

 

We did AOPS for one year and went back to Saxon, with supplementation of a SAT Critical Thinking math book.  My son is very bright (IQ 135 range) and good at math (scores 99% on all math standardized tests) and programs in 8 different languages and has been a paid computer programmer, programmer mentor and won awards for it.  He's smart.

 

BUT AOPS Math isn't just for smart kids, it's for seriously GIFTED kids who LOVE math and love to solve problems, and it's also for PATIENT kids (and moms!) who are willing and able to work through brain burning problem sets, skip some, come back to some challenge problems, and see math as something exciting to discover...

 

IT's an AWESOME program.  We were so impressed.  My son learned so much in one year that I think that ONE year will give him tons of extra SAT points....but it was a hard, long year for him and for me.

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Thank you for post the link for Kathy's streamline of AoPS.

 

We are definetly in the time suck now. DD13 is starting chapter 14 on Intro to Alg book.

 

I have a question.  What if one does not do the challange problems?  Or maybe a say 1-3 challenge problems per chapter.

 

D13 is in public school. And this is becoming a huge time suck but she is learning so much with this text, we don't want to stop. She is enjoying seeing that she can in fact do it and that's make her giggly.

 

But we are trying to keep up with public school pacing  and she will hit precal in public school in 10th grade.

 

She will work through the second 1/2 of Intro to Alg text while in 8th grade geometry

 

Then do Intermediate Alg chapters 1-16. after she finishes Intro to A book.

 

Hoping this times out where she can do precal  Aops text in 10th grade.

And be ready for AP calc BC in 11th.

 

But school homework will ramp up  next year in high school.

 

I am hoping she can still get a rigorous program without the challenge problems.   

Edited by VANURSEPRAC
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I have a question. What if one does not do the challange problems? Or maybe a say 1-3 challenge problems per chapter.

My kids find some review problems harder than the challenge problems. Its a mixed bag. What we did was keep the challenge problems until the book is done for summer review. Then there is no summer slump and I don't need to look for review worksheets :)

 

The challenge problems are nice brain exercises but not a hill to die for. Your child can always do those later, even after 12th grade and before college admission.

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So, can anyone tell me what we know about AoPS outcomes? How do students do on standardized testing? What if they *do* go into math-related fields? I intend to look up some research on my own, but I wanted to ask here, too. :)

That would be very statistically biased since the strong math types are overly represented in the test population!

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 I just can't tell you guys how wonderful ya'll are.

 

The suport that is given in this forum is incredible.

 

We all want to do the best we can for the kid we have.

 

When would I ever come across the education level of some of our members, I have never met an engineer, mathematician, etc.

 

This is really a special forum!

 

 

 

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OP, I was in a similar spot with my dd a couple of months ago and we've moved on to Derek Owens. I considered aops, but was dissuaded from it by all of the "time suck" comments, lol. My dd likes math, but she likes most subjects and I wanted to streamline her day and not extend it. Anyway, DO has been a breath of fresh air. It takes us about an hour a day, even though we are accelerating it and I'm adding in some cumulative review. We look forward to doing math together each day now.

 

We are using the half-price option where I grade all the work using his solutions and I prefer it because I can immediately give my dd feedback on her work.

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Please bear with my questions a little longer. :) I *so* wish that I could see an AoPS book in person! 

 

My next question is this: Does Alcumus accurately reflect the difficulty level of problems in the AoPS texts? 

There are now four settings in alcumus for problem difficulty.  Easy, normal, hard, and insanely hard.  I think it depends on what you have set.  DS likes to change the problem difficulty after he masters a topic, and try it again at a different level.

Edited by melmichigan
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Well...I appreciate all the replies...though I'm feeling just as conflicted as ever.  :laugh:  

 

 

 

Hi, Amithy:  I'm going to throw out another option, if you are conflicted.  Many kids in school take the AoPS online class, say AoPS Algebra, after they've taken algebra at their regular school.  So your dd could continue her study in Saxon geometry if she wants, and then supplement with the AoPS online algebra class.  Or use the AoPS algebra or geometry textbook as a fun supplement for additional challenge.   It might be a great way to review old material and then stretch for some harder problems.  

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OP, I was in a similar spot with my dd a couple of months ago and we've moved on to Derek Owens.

 

We are using the half-price option where I grade all the work using his solutions and I prefer it because I can immediately give my dd feedback on her work.

 

I didn't know Derek Owens had that option.  Does it work with the online classes?

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Some thoughts from our AoPS journey (and the journeys of friends and acquaintances)...

 

Some students develop odd habits and tendencies from AoPS that disappear when going back to other methods.

 

Some students have test scores that FALL after using AoPS and rise again when switching to other methods. 

 

AoPS is a great program, but it's not for everyone.

 

Determining math curriculum fit is not always a matter of IQ, interest level, adoration (or abhorrence) of math, etc. There are so many variables at play.

 

 

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Wow! This thread took off while I was gone. I'm sorry if it seems like I dropped out of the conversation. I frequently have days when I have no availability to be online for anything aside from school and work. 

 

We are still in a holding pattern. We've taken some days entirely out of any curriculum to do some exploration of triangles (sin, cos, tan...) in preparation for the next chapter of physics. DD had a couple of days of standardized testing last week, too. So, we haven't had time to hit math hard. 

 

My husband, who teaches computer science and has taught physics in the past, thought AoPS looked fine based on their online samples, but he had a certain feeling about it, which I think Woodland Mist put a finger on in saying, "Some students develop odd habits and tendencies." ...It seems a little quirky. This is probably a personality thing, and I want to express that I am *in no way* criticizing those who use AoPS. As with everything else in homeschooling, different curriculum works for different people.

 

I still kind of want to order AoPS just to see it and try it out. But, I don't think I will. Based on a number of reviews and having read extensively on the AoPS website, I don't think it's the right move for us. I'm guessing we'll be using some of their videos and Alcumus, though. These are both such great resources. 

 

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 I think Woodland Mist put a finger on in saying, "Some students develop odd habits and tendencies." ...It seems a little quirky.

 

 

 

I am also curious about this, and I've not heard this before.  What specifically do you mean by this?  (Not offended or anything, just curious.)  

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Some students develop odd habits and tendencies from AoPS that disappear when going back to other methods.

 

Some students have test scores that FALL after using AoPS and rise again when switching to other methods.

My kids are quirky since they were born. However physics textbooks balance the AoPS math textbooks. Also AoPS is not the only math related books and articles they read. For me reading math textbooks series by the same author just makes me cranky bored even when it is good stuff like Stewarts, Jacobs and others

 

Computational speed fell which was a non issue with my speedster because he still could finish SAT and ACT in time but test prep was needed to boost it back up to his usual for my slowpoke.

 

ETA:

Whether it is math or any other subject, authors tend to have their own distinctive tones and methods of delivery. It is kind of like the accents in language when someone say they don't understand their lecturer (or the customer service rep) that well because of his/her accented English.

 

For example if you watch Dr Arthur Benjamin's Joy of Math videos or Prof Edward Burger's geometry videos and compare with AoPS videos, the delivery is all different because all three guys have different teaching personalities.

Edited by Arcadia
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My husband, who teaches computer science and has taught physics in the past, thought AoPS looked fine based on their online samples, but he had a certain feeling about it, which I think Woodland Mist put a finger on in saying, "Some students develop odd habits and tendencies." ...It seems a little quirky.

 

I would like to see some elaboration on what that the bolded supposed to mean.

 

Having used AoPS for many years with two different students and having been taught math in a similar way myself, I cannot imagine what "odd habits" would be - other than being accustomed to tackling an unknown problem by trying out different things without fear, and resisting unnecessary calculator use.

 

 

 

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