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whangty

aops online vs. vs. aops book

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Hello, would appreciate hearing anyone's experience with aops online classes.   

I am considering an aops prealgebra online class (have not decided on prealgebra 1 or 2) for my 4th grade son, who enjoys math and likes to participate in math competitions such as math counts, amc 8, etc.   Since this class costs over $300 and requires regular time commitment, I am wondering if a student can learn the material by just studying the aops prealgebra book.  

Specifically, I am wondering if the online class would allow students to learn the material at a deeper level, making the cost worthwhile.  Also, I suppose it would be easier for a 4th grader to learn the material through an online class vs. on his own, which would require a greater self-discipline.  

Thx. a ton in advance for your response. 

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We just used the books for AoPS. My DD disliked Alumcus with a passion, so a class where that was the main delivery method and independent work would be a miss. The books are written to the student and are very self-teaching (I learned a lot). DD needed me there to talk through the math with more than to teach, and I doubt the online class would have changed that at 4th grade. 

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My 9.5yo is working through the 3rd chapter of Pre-Algebra completely independently. It's a fantastic textbook and explains everything well.

And Alumcus is a hit too. In fact it's like a cherry on the top :)

We cannot attend online lessons though due to the time zone difference, but if I could to choose I would enrol DS for the program. He prefers to be a part of the team and tends to work much better when any competition is involved and he gets bored and sometimes he even gets lazy working on his own :) 

 

 

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The textbooks are well writing for a student to learn independently, and you can certainly master the material without using their classes.  Alcumus is also available for free, so if you wish to include it in self-studying the material, you don’t need the classes.  My DS started with self-studying pre-algebra, but after he tried the classes, he was hooked.

Reasons why AoPS classes are worth the cost:

  • feedback on written problems/proofs - this alone meets my value threshold.
  • online community - a chance to collaborate with others.  Also a very well moderated online forum to learn digital citizenship skills.
  • an outside schedule - this could be a plus or minus for you, but it motivates my DS to stay on track.

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Greatly appreciate everyone's responses.   They are def. helpful.  

dmmetler, it is good to hear that aops books are digestible for young students without much outside help.  

Rush, my son seems to be similar to your child.   He loves Alchemus (spelling?).  He also loves any sort of competition.  He would def. work harder in a team or a structured environment.   However, I also think there is a lot of value in starting and finishing a book on one's own effort, esp. at a young age.  I believe a mom from New Zealand (forgot her username) whose son has represented the country at IMO wrote that her son went through the AOPS algebra book on his own, and that experience was key in his learning true "problem-solving" skills that laid the foundation for his success in IMO.    

Trabug, appreciate reading the benefits of the AoPS classes.   I was just wondering how much of these benefits can be realized at a "beginner" class like prealgebra 1 or 2.  My thinking was my son would finish a couple of books on his own for a while, and as he gets more advanced, he might start taking online classes, at which point he might be better positioned to take full advantage of what the aops online community offers.  Do you think the benefits of the aops online community are still significant even for a class like prealgebra 1 or 2? 

Thx. again!

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4 hours ago, Trabug said:

The textbooks are well writing for a student to learn independently, and you can certainly master the material without using their classes.  Alcumus is also available for free, so if you wish to include it in self-studying the material, you don’t need the classes.  My DS started with self-studying pre-algebra, but after he tried the classes, he was hooked.

Reasons why AoPS classes are worth the cost:

  • feedback on written problems/proofs - this alone meets my value threshold.
  • online community - a chance to collaborate with others.  Also a very well moderated online forum to learn digital citizenship skills.
  • an outside schedule - this could be a plus or minus for you, but it motivates my DS to stay on track.

 

Appreciate reading the benefits of the AoPS classes.   I was just wondering how much of these benefits can be realized at a "beginner" class like prealgebra 1 or 2.  My thinking was my son would finish a couple of books on his own for a while, and as he gets more advanced, he might start taking online classes, at which point he might be better positioned to take full advantage of what the aops online community offers.  Do you think the benefits of the aops online community are still significant even for a class like prealgebra 1 or 2? 

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4 hours ago, Rush said:

My 9.5yo is working through the 3rd chapter of Pre-Algebra completely independently. It's a fantastic textbook and explains everything well.

And Alumcus is a hit too. In fact it's like a cherry on the top :)

We cannot attend online lessons though due to the time zone difference, but if I could to choose I would enrol DS for the program. He prefers to be a part of the team and tends to work much better when any competition is involved and he gets bored and sometimes he even gets lazy working on his own :) 

 

 

 

My son seems to be similar to your child.   He loves Alchemus (spelling?).  He also loves any sort of competition.  He would def. work harder in a team or a structured environment.   However, I also think there is a lot of value in starting and finishing a book on one's own effort, esp. at a young age.  I believe a mom from New Zealand (forgot her username) whose son has represented the country at IMO wrote that her son went through the AOPS algebra book on his own, and that experience was key in his learning true "problem-solving" skills that laid the foundation for his success in IMO.    

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5 hours ago, dmmetler said:

We just used the books for AoPS. My DD disliked Alumcus with a passion, so a class where that was the main delivery method and independent work would be a miss. The books are written to the student and are very self-teaching (I learned a lot). DD needed me there to talk through the math with more than to teach, and I doubt the online class would have changed that at 4th grade. 

 

It is great to hear that aops books are digestible for young students without much outside help.

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3 hours ago, whangty said:

I was just wondering how much of these benefits can be realized at a "beginner" class like prealgebra 1 or 2.  My thinking was my son would finish a couple of books on his own for a while, and as he gets more advanced, he might start taking online classes, at which point he might be better positioned to take full advantage of what the aops online community offers.  Do you think the benefits of the aops online community are still significant even for a class like prealgebra 1 or 2? 

 

My DS's first online class was Algebra A, and I think the benefit was there, certainly for him. He was older than your DS when he started, but in hindsight, I think he would have been fine 1-2 years earlier, if only I knew AoPS existed.  Math was a strength, but writing and social skills were not. Challenging problems were also, well, challenging.  Online classes really addressed all of these, really well.  

I'm not sure DS takes "full" advantage of the online community even now.  But the benefits have been there all along, and continue to grow with my child.

 

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We only used AoPS online for the fun test prep classes like AMC and MathCounts.  We otherwise only used the textbooks because at the time the only online option was super-fast paced, and I wanted to make sure my dd's didn't skip or speed through any material.  

 

I would add that if your student is very talented in math, they may be able to work through it by themselves, but my dd's did need guidance from me as they proceeded.   

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My son did the prealgebra and the Intro to Algebra content on his own. It is more flexible to do it that way because a structured class has weekly homework and my son had other commitments to sports and music and did not want to drop one thing for the other. He could easily keep up with the text in the books and rarely needed parental input. He became very independent and did not want a hovering parent for most of it. He finished Beast Academy and the Singapore Math sequence before starting the AOPS sequence which was adequate prep for him. I also bought the solutions manual for the books but we rarely used them.

 

ETA: We plan to use online classes for the more advanced math through AOPS in the future because it takes too long to finish the books on his own!

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My son did the PreA and Intro A on his own, and started with the online classes for Intro B when he was 11.  It was a good age -- fast enough typer and attention span was long enough to sit through 90 minutes of text based class.  Also he spends a lot of time on latex and now asymptote making diagrams and writing solutions to the writing problems. I think that would have been too big a leap for him the the earlier years but he enjoys it now.  

The intro geometry class is tough. He sailed through the Alg B and this one is really throwing him for a loop.   I'm glad he's got some maturity to deal with it now.  

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We covered all the AoPS courses via textbooks only. The online classes move extremely fast; we preferred our kids to be able to learn at their own pace. They can acquire equal depth by studying from the books, which are written to the students and designed to be used without a teacher.

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DD9 is working through AOPS Pre-Algebra on her own, just the book. I echo the other replies in that working through the textbook allows them to go at their own pace. From reading your other thread, it sounds like you may be after-schooling. If so, your child may appreciate the flexibility to move at his/her own pace. It allows them to develop a truly solid understanding of the concepts.

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Thank you everyone for your responses.   Based on your advice and experiences, I would encourage my son to study AoPS books on his own for the time being, starting with prealgebra.   Thx. again!

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