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CadenceSophia

Help me figure out what to offer this child

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I had a child in my community *beg* me to teach him calculus the other day. He said he'd learn it himself if only he had the books and then explained me to how limited he is in his current place in school & life. Of course I am super sympathetic. He is a really bright kid, probably top of the community that I live in, but I am not privy to any real academic or testing details. He's in 6th grade now. I've known him since he was a 1st grader and I am friends with his parents. 

I can't tutor him myself since I'll be traveling a lot of the fall, but I can be available digitally. I also know some other people who could help if I got them involved and sent them in the right direction. 

 

He's never seen negative exponents, so my thought was AOPs Pre-A. I am not sure he wants to do that much work though afterschool (I have no idea) so then I thought BA5? But I am not sure he'd want a book with a 5 on it when he is a 6th grader trying to get to calculus, yk? 

 

I know we usually talk about resources for going broad & deep instead of fast, but this seems like a kid who might deserve a little taste of fast. We can see about deep later. 

 

Do you guys have any ideas for me?

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AoPS Prealgebra is easy for self learning. Even if all the adults who are willing to help happened to be busy at the same time, the AoPS forums have people who would help answer when he gets stuck. I don’t have BA5 but I do have some of the BA3 and BA4. BA seems harder for self study and it is a textbook and workbook. The AoPS books are all in one as in the problem sets are in the book. You can gift him a set of the textbook and the corresponding solution manual, and he could self study.

 

If he wants fast, he can do Khan Academy and accelerate through.

 

Why would he need fast at 6th grade? I find it beneficial for my kids to be at a level that they have to stop cruising so much. Going fast without it being a mental stretch would have frustrate my DS12.

 

My kids found Thompson’s Calculus Made Easy a little too dry. PDF link of an old edition http://djm.cc/library/Calculus_Made_Easy_Thompson.pdf

 

It is also easy to get hold of a used copy of Stewart’s Calculus: Early Transcendentals if the child is interested in self study.

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Why would he need fast at 6th grade? I find it beneficial for my kids to be at a level that they have to stop cruising so much. Going fast without it being a mental stretch would have frustrate my DS12.

 

 

 

 

These are great suggestions. Thanks! I had forgotten about the AOPS forums. That might be another + for AOPS Pre-A. He might actually find some social connection there too. 

 

I know at 6th grade he doesn't need fast. I just don't think he's ever had access to anything besides the standard school curriculum so my (possibly wrong) assumptions were that he might like a taste of lots of different things. Kahn Academy could work if he just wants to cruise.

 

I think he wants the calculus so he can do physics, so I should probably try and convince him that he'll be better served by becoming a better problem solver than by rushing through to learn calculus asap. 

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I think he wants the calculus so he can do physics, so I should probably try and convince him that he'll be better served by becoming a better problem solver than by rushing through to learn calculus asap.

My DS12 accelerated himself in math because of science, in particular physics. He just read portions of Stewart, Kreysig, AoPS books to self study so that he can understand the physics. He didn’t like Stewart that much so he would take my Kreysig advanced engineering mathematics book instead for applied math.

 

The area my DS12 is interested in is quantum mechanics, black holes, worm holes, time travel :lol: going wide and deep has been useful. He did AoPS calculus last year in 7th grade and is doing AP Physics C this year. I am now having a headache thinking about dual enrollment options for this kid.

 

That’s why I ask what was the need for speed. What is the child’s need and goal.

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My DS12 accelerated himself in math because of science, in particular physics. He just read portions of Stewart, Kreysig, AoPS books to self study so that he can understand the physics. He didn’t like Stewart that much so he would take my Kreysig advanced engineering mathematics book instead for applied math.

 

The area my DS12 is interested in is quantum mechanics, black holes, worm holes, time travel :lol: going wide and deep has been useful. He did AoPS calculus last year in 7th grade and is doing AP Physics C this year. I am now having a headache thinking about dual enrollment options for this kid.

 

That’s why I ask what was the need for speed. What is the child’s need and goal.

Ahh! Yes he's got the same passions! Teleportation is his main focus. He's got some pretty impressive theories :)

 

I'm not a huge fan of Stewart myself.. Love hate I guess since that was my main text quite a few courses in college and I learned to make it work. I wouldn't foist that on a kid though. I don't know the Kreysig book. I had O'Neil. Anyway.. I don't know that he is going to be as accelerated as your son.

 

I wonder if I should just get him the college physics book that regentrude talks about and we'll just tackle the math as it comes? But that might be too hard of an approach, especially since I won't be around.

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If he can self study physics, do you think he would be willing to start with an algebra based book like Giancoli’s Physics with Applications?

 

The Knight College Physics book that regentrude talks about is calculus based and since I already knew calculus when I was browsing the books, nothing would look hard to me anymore.

 

I have the Giancoli Physics for scientist and engineers. I also have Halliday and Resnick Fundamentals of Physics as well as Young and Freeman University Physics. My kids just help themselves to the books.

 

Link is to Fundamentals Of Physics Extended 10th Edition Halliday & Resnick on internet archive. Maybe he can read through at leisure.

https://archive.org/details/FundamentalsOfPhysicsExtended10thEditionHallidayResnick

 

If you have a used bookstore like half priced bookstore, you could bring him and let him browse through the Physics shelves. Barnes and Noble has a nice selection of beginners astrophysics books but not textbooks.

 

Serway’s Modern Physics textbook might interest him. PDF link http://phy240.ahepl.org/ModPhy-Serway.pdf

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What about this? We haven't used it, but the first review says it's good for self-study for 5th+. Too bad it seems to be out of print and is definitely not reasonably priced. Maybe the library?

 

Calculus by and for Young People

 

Oh thanks!  That book and all the materials are free on his website so that is probably why the ridiculous price over an older print edition. Looks like a collection of problems that might be fun to play with. 

 

If he can self study physics, do you think he would be willing to start with an algebra based book like Giancoli’s Physics with Applications?

 

The Knight College Physics book that regentrude talks about is calculus based and since I already knew calculus when I was browsing the books, nothing would look hard to me anymore.

 

I have the Giancoli Physics for scientist and engineers. I also have Halliday and Resnick Fundamentals of Physics as well as Young and Freeman University Physics. My kids just help themselves to the books.

 

Link is to Fundamentals Of Physics Extended 10th Edition Halliday & Resnick on internet archive. Maybe he can read through at leisure.

https://archive.org/details/FundamentalsOfPhysicsExtended10thEditionHallidayResnick

 

If you have a used bookstore like half priced bookstore, you could bring him and let him browse through the Physics shelves. Barnes and Noble has a nice selection of beginners astrophysics books but not textbooks.

 

Serway’s Modern Physics textbook might interest him. PDF link http://phy240.ahepl.org/ModPhy-Serway.pdf

 
I must have misremembered -- I thought the Knight book was algebra based. Yes I think an algebra based physics might be just what is called for. If the Giancoli book is the one I remember, I quite liked it. I'll have to check it out. I do have this boy and another very bright girl for science club (which is, by their request, meeting "at least" twice a week. ) So maybe I can bring out that book during science club and see how it goes.  I could also just look around for used copies and drop off a mini physics library for him hehe :) 
Edited by CadenceSophia
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How do his parents feel about finding a mentor? Or having him take online classes via AoPS?

What would "finding a mentor" mean specifically?

I can definitely ask. There might be scheduling or logistical issues with AOPS classes but it's worth looking into.

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What would "finding a mentor" mean specifically?

I can definitely ask. There might be scheduling or logistical issues with AOPS classes but it's worth looking into.

Finding a mentor means finding someone who understands where he is, and has the resources and interest to guide him academically beyond the standard curriculum. I am guessing none of his teachers stepped up, and no math club is available.

 

My dc as a sixth grader enjoyed math club problem sets that let him explore new ideas. Thompson's Calculus Made Easy is now on project gutenburg if the lad has access,but perhaps the update by Martin Gardner is available from his library -- WorldCat lists it as widely available.

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Finding a mentor means finding someone who understands where he is, and has the resources and interest to guide him academically beyond the standard curriculum. I am guessing none of his teachers stepped up, and no math club is available.

 

I live in a really small community. I just started science club so that he and another child can have an outlet. I'm hoping we can start a math club, but it won't be until February and it will just be me.. Nothing is going to come out of his school. I'm probably in the best position to get him going (unfortunately?) but it looks like my husband will be taking temporary detail and we'll be leaving for three months Nov through end of January.

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Hmmm...just getting through algebra will get him to an algebra based physics course. There are a number of those out there because the classical sequence does physics first before biology and chemistry.

There's actually a physics course that Athena's offers if he is interested in that. They do offer in late in the day and there is a recorded option so that may work as well. My son is dong it this year and it uses this free physics text: Physics First by Dr. Hsu. You aren't required to have algebra under your belt to do this course. I think this class is still available. I actually bought a copy of text used off amazon because my son learns better from a physical text.

 

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Does your library have an annual book sale? You can usually get a ton of math books dirt cheap. If they don't, just ask them to let you know when they 'retire' old math books. 

 

As far as AoPS, can he just create an account for the forums and start to get an idea? 

 

 

 

 

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I don't know if we have an annual book sale. I never noticed one here. I think Calculus without tears and an algebra based physics is going to be the ticket. I'm waiting for books to get to here, and I probably can't help him until Christmas/January but at least I know what I can offer now!

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