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Caraway

You know how you "fix" something that's not broken and... (Math)

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So my 13 yo son has been using Saxon for the last couple of years.  He doesn't like it per se, but it generally got done.  I decided that for this year I would enroll him at WTMA for pre-algebra.  

 

Then I decided that what would really be great would be to switch to AoPS at WTMA because we would have a teacher to lead us through it and we could decide on a route before high school.  This decision wasn't made flippantly, and only seems incredibly stupid in retrospect.

 

So now DS is in AoPs pre-algebra with online WTMA instruction.  The instruction seems good from what I have watched, but it is not entering my child's brain in any way shape or form.  When he goes to do his math it is as though he has never seen it before.  We have reviewed note taking, so maybe that will help.

 

However, when I try to help him I really struggle with the AoPS book.  It's not like I can leap in for a quick refresh.  By the time I figure out what is going on (usually using google and videos) I don't feel like I can teach it to him in a meaningful way.  There is very little repetition and even when a "discovery" is made it doesn't adhere to his thinking to be applied later.  Each problem is like its own little world.  

 

And each one seems to involve a trick, which prevents it from feeling like it can be applied universally.  If we can do the problem, but only when all the exponents are divisible by 2, and the bases are multiples of 10, and the order of operations magically removes the giant number, it doesn't really seem like we understand how to apply anything to an actual problem that may exist in the world.

 

So.  Now that I've caused myself a big problem, what do I do?  I don't know that we can switch back to the WTMA Saxon, because we are three? weeks in.  Do I let him flounder around in AoPS, hoping for a great epiphany, but risking a lost year?  Do I switch back to Saxon and teach it myself?

 

I haven't talked to WTMA or the teacher yet because I feel like the problem is generally on our side, and I also am unsure about what I am asking for at this point.

 

Help!

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I have no experience with WTMA, but there are tons of resources for Saxon. So you shouldn't feel as though you would be completely on your own if you decided to take that path.

Edited by Tiramisu
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Amazing, in retrospect, how our decisions seem, isn't it?

 

I'd contact WTMA immediately and see if you can switch to the Saxon class. The first part of Saxon is review so maybe it is doable. I wouldn't wait.

 

It is still possible that the Saxon class is full or at a time that won't work for you or they won't let you switch (unlikely, as the WTMA admin is awesome at customer service). If that happens, then you can figure out how to continue at home.

 

I think your idea was a fair one, but you have discovered that hard fact that AoPS is not for everyone. Contact them tomorrow or send an email tonight.

 

Also, let your son's teacher know right away about his struggles and your thought process so as to keep her in the loop.

 

ETA: It looks like the class times are similar and the Saxon group is working on Lessons 15-18 this week.

Edited by RootAnn
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I would be inclined to change back if you can, because if AoPS doesn't "click" for your teen, it won't just be a waste of time; it could also dent his confidence and put him off working on math right at the time when he is laying the groundwork to move into the more advanced topics. Whereas if you explain that you're changing his enrolment because you have now realized that Saxon is a better fit, he will understand that the problem wasn't with him, but only with the curriculum not being compatible with his learning style.

Edited by IsabelC
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Called WTMA and switched back to Saxon.  Thanks for talking me through it!

:party:  WTMA's administration has awesome customer service!

 

I hope things click for him & that he has a great time in his new class!

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Woops!  I'm not teaching Algebra 1 this year.  :-)  Just Algebra 2 and Advanced Math.  Hopefully I'll get him next year.  

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Woops!  I'm not teaching Algebra 1 this year.  :-)  Just Algebra 2 and Advanced Math.  Hopefully I'll get him next year.  

 

You will get him next year!   :hurray:

 

I love the WTMA.  They are the best thing to happen to my homeschooling since coffee.   :lol:

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