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I am thinking of enrolling my son in the online AOPS classes. I would like to know how much homework is assigned on a weekly basis. I am looking at the Geometry classes and the Contest Preparation classes. I know that a lot of parents on this forum use the AOPS online classes for their kids. Any pointers would be helpful.

We have done AOPS using their text books so far. The reason that I am thinking about online classes is because each text book takes too long to complete for us and my DS seems to want to move at a quicker pace. TIA!

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My son works about 1 to 1 1/2 hours a day. There are 7-9 challenge problems, a writing problem, and then Alcumus topics that he must pass. The class is 1 1/2 hours long (I don't count that towards homework time)

 

Overall I feel like he is doing less work than when he did just the books, but he got to a point where I really couldn't help him and we were both frustrated.  

 

He is in the second half of Algebra but I assume the other classes follow the similar format. 

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My oldest two boys have taken many AOPS classes.  Geometry has, in our experience, been the most difficult class.  My oldest son spent about an hour per day on homework until he hit geometry, and then he spent 1.5 hrs, 6 days per week.  He loved the class!  My second son is currently in Algebra, and he spends about 1.5 hrs 6 days/week on homework for the class, plus the actual class time itself.  He has always been our pokey puppy though, so I suspect part of this is just him taking his sweet time and doing a bit of daydreaming. :)

 

We do require our boys to master the Alcumus topics, and we have them follow the "Goals" tab each day for their homework.

 

We're very satisfied with the classes and teachers.

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There are many compelling reasons to take the online classes but I'm not certain why you'd do it just to go faster. One of the key advantages of working at home is the ability to customize the pace as much as you want.  By looking at the general schedule, you could easily replicate the timing and general assignment load of the online classes yourself. 

 

 

 

 

 

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There are many compelling reasons to take the online classes but I'm not certain why you'd do it just to go faster. One of the key advantages of working at home is the ability to customize the pace as much as you want.  By looking at the general schedule, you could easily replicate the timing and general assignment load of the online classes yourself. 

Thanks. We have been doing every problem so far. It seems to my son that the online classes are compressing the curriculum and hence able to cover more in far less time. He wants to do geometry in 2018 so that he can attempt some math competitions in the next year. It looks to him that he may not make much headway in his goals if he attempted to finish the coursework at his own pace. Which is why I am looking at the online options now.

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DS started working faster once he started the classes.  I think part of it was knowing he had an assignment due, so he was motivated and worked quicker.  Also, he just did way fewer problems than when he used the books on his own.  This was fine for him because he had done *all* the problems in the Intro Algebra and Geometry book, so he was already a very strong problem solver, but there were students in the classes that needed so many hints that they really were only learning content and not problem solving.  And it is call "Art of Problem Solving" not "Art of Math", so to miss out on the problem solving is kind of a problem when moving up through the classes.  

 

To prepare for the competitions, DS got through all Intermed Algebra, Intermed Counting, Intermed Number theory, Precalc, and Olympiad Geometry in 1.5 years using the courses.  It was a serious work load, and he had to drop some other courses out of his schedule to get it done. In contrast it took him just under 3 years to self-study the Intro Algebra book, and 1.5 years to do the Geometry book.

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I'd say it works out for DS12 to about 45 min - 1 hour per day, but he does most of it in one or two days and then mulls over things over the rest of the week.

 

For us, the big difference is that he now feels that he has specific, achievable goals vs doing just the books when he worked for a certain amount of times and never felt success. It has been a huge success here. He gets so excited during the online class that he usually works into the night after it and then completes alcumus the next day along with the easier challenge problems. Then he mulls the other ones over the course of the week, solving each one two ways to make sure he is really correct before submitting. 

 

I do think doing the class online to go faster is a fine goal. Working with others can be very motivating in a way that working alone sometimes isn't. This doesn't mean the subject isn't being mastered. I'd say my kid is working faster AND learning deeper than before because he is enjoying it so much more. 

 

Emily

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It seems to my son that the online classes are compressing the curriculum and hence able to cover more in far less time.

The online classes did not compress the curriculum. What the classes did was have a rigid schedule so even if you ask for homework extensions (which we didn’t but it’s an option), you still have to catch up on the topics/units/chapters because the classes are synchronous.

So if your son can make use of the class schedule on your own and don’t need the peer pressure, then your son doesn’t need to sign up for the online classes to achieve his goal. My younger boy loves the social aspect of class while my oldest love the peer pressure so we paid for the classes.

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DS loved AOPS books all along, but I can't sat he has enjoyed the classes as much as we had hoped. It is a lot of extra work. What everyone says is true, it is a serious serious time commitment. It seems that most of the kids who take this are non-homeschoolers who have difficulty with the geometry component of math competitions. At least that is the impression I get from those who were enrolled in his geometry session.

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Thank you for all the responses.

 

The online classes did not compress the curriculum. What the classes did was have a rigid schedule so even if you ask for homework extensions (which we didn’t but it’s an option), you still have to catch up on the topics/units/chapters because the classes are synchronous.

Thank you Arcadia, I will let my son know. He was somehow under the impression that the online classes skipped many of the exercise problems. 

 

Lewelma, thank you for sharing your experience. My son would like to do "Serious math competitions" and your information on where your DS was when he started competing helps a lot.

 

I see a lot of value in doing all the problems and challenge problems and taking a break in the midst of that to go and explore rabbit trails and other topics and then jump back into AOPS. But, it seems like kids taking online classes can accomplish a lot in a smaller frame of time. I will think over this for a while and decide how to proceed. Thanks for your inputs, it is always encouraging to have experienced people to bounce off ideas on.

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He was somehow under the impression that the online classes skipped many of the exercise problems.

What is checked is the online homework problems. What is graded by a person is the written problems each week. Some weeks have more problems, some less.

 

The problems in the book are to be done at your own time so if a child only does the assigned online homework and none from the book, then the child is doing less than someone doing all the questions in the book.

 

I think only the intro classes have Alcumus homework.

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What is checked is the online homework problems. What is graded by a person is the written problems each week. Some weeks have more problems, some less.

 

The problems in the book are to be done at your own time so if a child only does the assigned online homework and none from the book, then the child is doing less than someone doing all the questions in the book.

 

I think only the intro classes have Alcumus homework.

Thank you for the clear explanation. I have a better idea now on how AOPS online courses work!

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I believe it was after the big 1.5 year push that DS got a bronze in the AMO. Around 50th place. Australia/ NZ is about 1/16th the size of USA. So that is about 800th in the US. (This is not a bragathon, Im giving you these numbers so you can get a sense of how well AoPS prepares the kids.) After the classes are done, doing better in the competitions is about improving your problem solving by doing lots of hard problems! 😀

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I believe it was after the big 1.5 year push that DS got a bronze in the AMO. Around 50th place. Australia/ NZ is about 1/16th the size of USA. So that is about 800th in the US. (This is not a bragathon, Im giving you these numbers so you can get a sense of how well AoPS prepares the kids.) After the classes are done, doing better in the competitions is about improving your problem solving by doing lots of hard problems! 😀

Thank you!

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