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Help me: Tabletclass or AOPS Prealgebra

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I have been debating these two options for quite some time. But, now I need to choose and I'm stuck. My current 6th grade ds11 has done SM st. ed. through 5B and has done Beast through mid-5b. We're still going to finish through Beast 5C. He really enjoys Beast and does most of it independently. 


We tried out the first chapter of Tabletclass Prealgebra and we liked it. Didn't seem to have any leaps in that first chapter. The videos explained well. My ds did well on the problems. The test showed that he understood what he was doing, but made some silly mistakes (dropped the negative sign part-way through, subtracted wrong, that sort of thing). I like the scope and sequence. It seems to go beyond prealgebra. Not having a text was a little bit of a drawback. Just video instructions and notes is a little concerning to me. Can anyone address whether or not this has been an issue with your child? I do like that there are chapter tests and ways to evaluate how your child is doing. 



AOPS Prealgebra. I have read so many reviews and thoughts on this. This is the program that I was planning on moving onto with him for years. We tried out the online sample of the first chapter. At first I thought the amount of text would be a bit daunting. But as I read through it with him, I loved it. The clear explanations, showing multiple ways of solving a problem, getting us to think through a problem, and of course, the videos Richard does are so fun and to the point. My ds loved the videos. I am concerned about the amount of time he might spend on prealgebra every day with the discovery method. And I'm wondering how much direct instruction he will need from me. Not having tests is a bit of a drawback. We never did any tests with SM, but I feel the need for them in higher maths. Anyone else have an issue with this? Because we live overseas, I'd probably try the online book until we could get a hard copy brought out to us. Does anyone have any experience with the online book? Can you use it for more than one child? 


 Thanks for any advice. 



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I also read aloud the material in the AoPS textbooks and often rewrite the equations and diagrams as they are presented in the textbook.  If you are okay with this hands-on level of learning, then it should be fine.  It's been a few years, but I don't remember my kids spending lots and lots of time on AoPS PreA.  


We don't do math tests except for MOEMS, AMCs and MathCounts.  As the kids got older and moved into the intermediate level AoPS books, I give them the exams I took when I was in high school, mainly to remind them that their material is at a much higher level than a typical high school class.  


I don't believe that access to online books ever expires, so you can use it for multiple students.  Also, the errors in the books are corrected in real time in the online versions, so you will always have the best version there.  

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No experience with online AoPS textbooks. I like real paper books. It was also the only option when I bought my books, but I understand the draw to online if you are overseas.


It sounds like you are a good person to do AoPS Prealgebra. If you enjoy Beast, then I think you'll enjoy AoPS.  It certainly doesn't have to be a large chunk of time. Most of the problem sets are not too long. I've always sat and buddy taught my kids, but many simply read the book and do it independently. I think if you can do AoPS you are better off for doing so. It certainly isn't for everyone and there are plenty of other good ways to learn math, but you can't proceed through AoPS unless you understand the material.


If time is an issue, I would set a # of minutes and say do math for this long and then be done for the day. 


I don't think the prealgebra book is hard to get through in a year at all.

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The online books are tied to your account, so you can use them with as many children as you want.  Obviously you will need internet access to read them (no download option), but if you have a portable device it is very convenient.


As for tests, why do you feel they are needed (unless for some official record keeping)?  As long as you are participating actively in his usage of the book, I think you would have a good idea whether or not he is understanding the material.  Generally, AOPS isn't the kind of book he can skate through without understanding the material.


FYI, the Pre-Algebra book is somewhat front-loaded, meaning the earlier chapters take a lot longer than the later ones.

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These two programs are extremely different from one another. AoPS provides the ability to use multiple strategies for solving and encourages personal problem solving techniques. Tabletclass teaches a way to complete the problems then asks the student to adapt that way through problem solving. It does not want alternative means of solving. Neither way is bad, but it definitely is student specific.


My Ds is currently going through Derek Owens as a transcript check off and outside verification. He is developing quite a distaste for it. He really likes that with AoPS he can think outside the box. He does not want to follow specific, directed steps in various ways to get the answer. He is an AoPS kid all the way. It does not take him hours and hours because it is how his brain works. There are plenty of parents on these forums who really struggle or greatly dislike that method of mathematics. The idea of adapting steps, recieving instruction and then reworking it to show understanding, is the best way for them.

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My ds used tablet class last year for pre-algebra and this year he is doing AOPS Algebra. He felt like there were not enough practice problems with tablet class, but he did like the videos. Now, he is taking this class online with WTMA, and he says it is more cemented in his head because he gets more practice. We both really prefer AOPS. 

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