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Tell me about radical acceleration

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Some background: My dd8 just came home from a brief stint in public school in second grade. She was having so many meltdowns we decided to try it for the structure. I homeschool 4 kids and at least 2 are 2e so it gets messy at home. It seemed to work for a bit, but I couldn't get them to subject accelerate in math and we started having morning meltdowns. I think the last straw was

not getting into the gifted program. She decided this week that she wanted to withdraw from school and homeschool again. I have to agree - her reasons are solid.

 

Also this week she decided she wants to go to college early and that she would learn Algebra. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. It's like she suddenly had a huge mental leap. She has been working on the Jacob's text I already have (watching the videos, taking notes and typing up the practice problems) she has also been typing poems. Maybe this won't keep up, or maybe it will. I'm not sure how to handle this. Part of me feels like 2nd grade is way to early to worry about algebra and part of me is like why not? She also is wanting to study Biology. She asked me what she'll do next when she is done with it. I have no idea!

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Some background: My dd8 just came home from a brief stint in public school in second grade. She was having so many meltdowns we decided to try it for the structure. I homeschool 4 kids and at least 2 are 2e so it gets messy at home. It seemed to work for a bit, but I couldn't get them to subject accelerate in math and we started having morning meltdowns. I think the last straw was

not getting into the gifted program. She decided this week that she wanted to withdraw from school and homeschool again. I have to agree - her reasons are solid.

 

Also this week she decided she wants to go to college early and that she would learn Algebra. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. It's like she suddenly had a huge mental leap. She has been working on the Jacob's text I already have (watching the videos, taking notes and typing up the practice problems) she has also been typing poems. Maybe this won't keep up, or maybe it will. I'm not sure how to handle this. Part of me feels like 2nd grade is way to early to worry about algebra and part of me is like why not? She also is wanting to study Biology. She asked me what she'll do next when she is done with it. I have no idea!

 

My son was desperate to learn Algebra in 2nd grade. The teacher told him they'd get to it at the end of the year -- and they did.

 

Then they moved on to other subjects. Algebra (the Working with letters rather than numbers part of it) has just been mixed in enough to keep him intrigued while cementing all the other skills necessary to do formal algebra.

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We do a lot of ebb and flow here. 

 

You may want to attempt something like Hands On Equations first.  It's a gentle introduction to algebra to see if there's more interest (or Dragonbox, as an online option).  I gave my son a math notebook as he worked through a pre-algebra book for a bit.....and then he decided to move back down to fractions/decimals...and then move back up a little...by having one constant (but tailored) math curriculum to come back to, he's able to stretch when he wants and come back down when he wants.

 

If my son keeps up his pace, algebra is on the schedule for 4th/5th, woven into the last year of the math program he's doing.  If not, he'll hit it later and it's no big deal.  Just having a plan to adjust as needed is helpful for both of us to see how it'll play out long term.

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My ds started Pre-Algebra in second and Aops Pre- Algebra in third. We just took it more slowly due to age and attention span. 

 

About the early college -- my oldest dd hated school and saw early college as a way to escape the tedium. However she enjoyed her last two years of PS, got the most accomplished those years due to finally getting the rigor that she craved, and entered college around the normal time. (she was 17 turning 18 in Nov).  She is glad she did --  it enabled her to perform much better at a more rigorous university than she would have if she had entered early.  There was a lot of growing up for her between ages 15-17. 

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My DD decided she wanted to do Algebra At 7-and started printing out placement tests and doing them and leaving them on my computer. She did LOF PA at 7 (edited-with Keys to Algebra) and AoPS PA at 8.

 

We haven’t changed her grade level, so she started taking college classes as a concurrent credit student at 12 as a 7th grader. If she wants to graduate early, we’ll go from there.

Edited by dmmetler

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Scholastic has a series of Algebra skills books (Algebra readiness made easy) for lower grade levels that are really good, too, if you’re not quite ready to jump into PA. In DD’s case, she was doing SM 5,so it wasn’t a big stretch.

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A was doing lots of solve for x (or apples or snakes or dogs or whatever else I could think of to show that x is a variable) pretty early. Maybe 4 or 5?

 

What kept A from learning Algebra 1 from a respected textbook in 2nd grade was

  • my ignorance about acceleration
  • I suspect fine motor issues would have made it too frustrating to write problems down

From 3rd grade on, the full textbook from Dolciani provided a great gentle transition followed by one half of AoPS Intro to Alg concurrently with Jurgensen geometry. I worked closely with A for showing steps but A was able to solve so much mentally.

 

We've NEVER looked back. We are discussing grad level classes for undergrad sophomore year in fall. It's acceleration all the way, baby.

 

Once you start, it's easy to do the next thing. It's the starting that gets parents worried.

 

Keep the early college idea on the backburner. 8 is still a ways off for many, many kids, even the very PG ones, due to various reasons that only become clearer when they are older.

 

ETA after reading dmmetler's post I remembered the Key To series too. Love those workbooks!

Edited by quark
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We do a lot of ebb and flow here.

 

You may want to attempt something like Hands On Equations first. It's a gentle introduction to algebra to see if there's more interest (or Dragonbox, as an online option). I gave my son a math notebook as he worked through a pre-algebra book for a bit.....and then he decided to move back down to fractions/decimals...and then move back up a little...by having one constant (but tailored) math curriculum to come back to, he's able to stretch when he wants and come back down when he wants.

 

If my son keeps up his pace, algebra is on the schedule for 4th/5th, woven into the last year of the math program he's doing. If not, he'll hit it later and it's no big deal. Just having a plan to adjust as needed is helpful for both of us to see how it'll play out long term.

This is what I'm hoping will happen - the "ebb and flow" that is. I forgot about Dragonbox. Need to check that out!

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My DD decided she wanted to do Algebra At 7-and started printing out placement tests and doing them and leaving them on my computer. She did LOF PA at 7 (edited-with Keys to Algebra) and AoPS PA at 8.

 

We haven’t changed her grade level, so she started taking college classes as a concurrent credit student at 12 as a 7th grader. If she wants to graduate early, we’ll go from there.

I haven't looked at the Keys to Algebra, but I do have AoPS PA on hand. I'm also hoping to convince her to finish Beast Academy. What gets me the most is she pretty much does whatever she wants and disregards my plans or purchases. I'm seriously just thinking about unschooling even though it makes me nervous!

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A was doing lots of solve for x (or apples or snakes or dogs or whatever else I could think of to show that x is a variable) pretty early. Maybe 4 or 5?

 

What kept A from learning Algebra 1 from a respected textbook in 2nd grade was

  • my ignorance about acceleration
  • I suspect fine motor issues would have made it too frustrating to write problems down
From 3rd grade on, the full textbook from Dolciani provided a great gentle transition followed by one half of AoPS Intro to Alg concurrently with Jurgensen geometry. I worked closely with A for showing steps but A was able to solve so much mentally.

 

We've NEVER looked back. We are discussing grad level classes for undergrad sophomore year in fall. It's acceleration all the way, baby.

 

Once you start, it's easy to do the next thing. It's the starting that gets parents worried.

 

Keep the early college idea on the backburner. 8 is still a ways off for many, many kids, even the very PG ones, due to various reasons that only become clearer when they are older.

 

ETA after reading dmmetler's post I remembered the Key To series too. Love those workbooks!

Yes! I am nervous about getting started. She was already working above level...but this is new to me. The college comment was just so shocking lol! My oldest is 13 and he has barely thought about college, how did that even come up?? I have no plans to go down that road any time soon.

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As a counterpoint, just bc they say they want to graduate early does not mean you have to agree. Early graduation is not an option for our kids. If my 8 yr old said that to me, I would just laugh (and she is the most advanced kid in my bunch.)

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My 7 year old says she is never going to leave home. Want to trade? Lol. There’s a number of years in between for things to change.

 

We go through so many fits and spurts here. We started academics early because she was chomping at the bit, we’ve been through slower periods. She loved math, then hated math, now loves it again.

 

I don’t really have any advice for you, just commiserating with the sudden leaps, and reminding that there are sometimes slower/rest periods in between.

 

Right now, she’s in BA4, on track to do BA5 at age 8, and pre-A (I’m assuming AOPS) at 9. She enjoyed Dragonbox while it lasted, and still likes Hands On Equations when we get around to it. We’ve also stretched things out with hands-on math, art using math, Zaccaro, and similar, if that’s any interest to you.

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I've found the Algebra Lab Gear books and blocks (from Didax) to be an excellent and gentile introduction to algebraic concepts for my 6yo, intermittently alongside his "regularly scheduled" programs.  He didn't like what he saw of HOE, though admittedly he only played with the app.  He likes Dragon Box, but I honestly don't allow him much screen time because it tends to dysregulate him.  He LOVES those Lab Gear blocks, though.  

 

As for biology, we started Real Science Odyssey Biology 2 a couple of months ago and are having a blast.  We include the microscope labs and color/highlight/underline/note-up the student text.  We usually watch all of the suggested videos and add in library books, too.  (I say we because I'm learning/relearning right alongside them!)

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My 7 year old says she is never going to leave home. Want to trade? Lol. There’s a number of years in between for things to change.

 

We go through so many fits and spurts here. We started academics early because she was chomping at the bit, we’ve been through slower periods. She loved math, then hated math, now loves it again.

 

I don’t really have any advice for you, just commiserating with the sudden leaps, and reminding that there are sometimes slower/rest periods in between.

 

Right now, she’s in BA4, on track to do BA5 at age 8, and pre-A (I’m assuming AOPS) at 9. She enjoyed Dragonbox while it lasted, and still likes Hands On Equations when we get around to it. We’ve also stretched things out with hands-on math, art using math, Zaccaro, and similar, if that’s any interest to you.

 

I'm hoping she will not keep this up! But, yes, it has been in fits. When she was 4 she used to take Singapore math workbooks with her to bed to work on. She hasn't done that in a while. Last night she took Jacob's algebra lol! I think I'm going to go broke buying resources. It usually works best if I leave them out to be found.

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FWIW, DD has had the option to apply for some of the residential early college programs and really strong boarding high schools, and has turned them down. At 7,she was all about seizing the world. Now she is saying “you know, the State U here in town has some nice programs, and I can live at homeâ€.

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Just because your 8yo thinks she wants to do something in 5-7 years, doesn't mean that she'll grow into a 13-15 year old who still wants to do that thing.

 

Humor her, but don't laugh at, or panic when they tell you their (outrageous) hopes or "plans" for the future, and focus on the immediate future and looking no further than the immediate next step.

 

 

Since you ask about radical acceleration, then I will share that in my opinion how far any teacher can accelerate their students, depends a on a combination of

  • how good their own math and math-teaching skills are
  • how much time and energy they can devote to the student and
  • how well you can find or make a resource that "fits" the students needs.

For me, I'm pretty good at math and I am comfortable saying that I am highly adept at teaching it (especially to my own kids, whose foundation I know intimately and who I can ensure does the requisite work outside of "class" time), BUT it takes a lot of mental energy and high levels of parent involvement from me to continuously build out from that foundation.

 

For my radically accelerated but non-gifted kids, I find it helpful to cover mathematics and programming in waves. Go forward as far as you comfortably can in one track, then pulling back and coming at the material again in a different way. Going forward then pulling back. As you go on, the distance that you need to pull back and re-cover lessens.

 

 

Edited by Gil
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