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How to prepare for the "most challenging in the intro series"? My DD is currently in AOPS AlgB and there have been several weeks that have been quite challenging. She is really thriving mathematically and enjoying the class. What makes AOPS Geometry the most challenging? Any recommendations on how to prepare for this challenge? What did you wish you knew prior to your DC taking this course?

Thanks!

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I think geometry is just a different type of math than algebra based math. We had to change our expectations - we probably spent the most time doing homework in that class of all the AOPS classes we have taken. I'm not sure there is anything we could have done honestly to prepare.

Apparently there are a lot of B&M kids who take AOPS geometry b/c they struggle with it or want to get a head start.

Good luck to you daughter.

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Geometry is very different from algebra; it requires spatial abilities that don't come easy to some students (I have taken a lot of advanced math, but 3-d geometry kicks my butt because I struggle to "see" the cube with the pyramid cut off its corner). I don't think there is a specific way to prepare, other than cultivating a mindset that it's ok to wrestle with hard problems. Some of the geometry problems are difficult puzzles, and the student should expect to take some time. That's normal and not a sign of not doing well.

A few tips: get in the habit of drawing a figure for each problem. We used a lot of colored pencils; same color for sides that are the same, or angles that are. For some problems you will redraw the figure multiple times.

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My son is in the online Geometry class and it is very challenging. He's spent the most time on this class for sure. Usually 2 hours a day.  Making a large diagram and staring at if for a LONG time has been pretty much par for the course.  He was very good at algebra and is struggling a little in this class-- he has a few challenge problems unanswered and a few other questions have taken him 4-5 hours. 

It might be helpful to have a list of all the things they prove in class.  Having a cheat sheet while solving the harder problems might help jog her memory.  Like having a problem solving toolbox. 

Use the message boards. He is finding they are less active but he's gotten over his initial reluctance in asking for help. 

  Whatever happens, tell her not to get distracted during class, lol.  My son tested the limits of a text based class and found that yes, even if it's a little slow it's important to stay focused during class.  He had a terrible week and had to teach himself everything and never got distracted during class again!                      

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Geometry class was extremely difficult. I would say that Intermediate Algebra book is harder than geometry book but in our experience so far, the geometry class is harder than Intermediate Algebra class. I think it’s mostly due to proofs. Algebraic proofs are much easier to do at least for my kid.

Every time I see their Olympiad Geometry class, my entire body twitches a little from fear. ???

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Thank you all for your experiences, feedback and recommendations - extremely helpful!  Do you all think the class is doable concurrently with AP Chem, AP world history, Russian (DE),  - or is it better to go with the slower pace AOPS Geometry through well trained mind academy. My daughter is on the fence about it - she doesn't want to be bored with the slower pace but is a bit nervous about it in general...any thoughts??

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I was going to say it was doable until I realized your child is 11. When my kid was 11 year old, the answer would have been a resounding no, but I think your should ask this also on the Accelerated Learner board. 

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Sorry about the age confusion, DD is actually 15. I thought my update had worked a while back - thanks will try again. 

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Estimate about 2 hours per day for math and chem. I think DE is fine if she already either speaks the language or has had some sort of a background. Russian is a tough language, so without some knowledge, that could turn into a time gobbler. Add up all the time that academics will require and see if she can handle the total volume of work. 

I personally think that AoPS AoPS classes and WTMA AoPS classes are designed for completely opposite kids. A child who enjoys aops courses will not be happy with WTMA and vice versa. Ask me how I know. 

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DS found chapter 7 to be the most difficult. It helped him to make a diagram each of perpendicular bisectors, angle bisectors, medians, and altitudes, one per page, with a list of Things I Know about each concept. He referred back to these through the course when he got stuck. Beyond that, he kept a mental checklist of Things We Have Proved That I Can Use, but the chapter seven stuff was the most useful.

It helped also to be pretty comfortable with LaTex and Asymptote--your mileage may vary with a less drawing-averse child. 

It was really helpful to plan work at a pace that allowed for asking questions on the forum and waiting for a reply--it was really helpful to be able to get a suggestion for where to look next (try looking for Pythagorean triples! try adding a line segment somewhere!) but there was often a day's delay on getting an answer, which made last-minute writing-problem-writing stressful at times. 

For us, three hard things at one time is manageable, but it is helpful if one of them can be a bit flexible in terms of due dates. DS was able to manage Geometry and Latin with outside vendors because Mom English, which is pretty rigorous, had wiggle room with due dates. Perhaps world history reading could be started over the summer? I think the amount of time needed for a foreign language varies quite a bit by kid. Russian is harder, but goes more slowly, so for some kids that may balance out. If you can schedule Geometry to finish by April, it might be nice to have that off DD's plate when AP testing begins. 

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My son is taking it right now also.  He says it is the hardest of the intro classes because of the writing problems.  There are many more proofs in geometry and he is terrible at not just geometry proofs but all proofs.  He doesn't find the material or the non-proof problems to be any more difficult.  

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We are doing AOPS Geometry with just the book, no class.

We do an hour a day and lessons sometimes take 2-3 days to get through the samples and end if lesson problems. 

 

We work them out in tandem.  At first I was always done first but lately we have been more closely matched. Doing them together puts me in a better place to give help and makes me more sympathetic to math fatigue. 

We also use a lot of colored pencils. I will sometimes grab our big white board.  

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3 hours ago, Roadrunner said:

Estimate about 2 hours per day for math and chem. I think DE is fine if she already either speaks the language or has had some sort of a background. Russian is a tough language, so without some knowledge, that could turn into a time gobbler. Add up all the time that academics will require and see if she can handle the total volume of work. 

I personally think that AoPS AoPS classes and WTMA AoPS classes are designed for completely opposite kids. A child who enjoys aops courses will not be happy with WTMA and vice versa. Ask me how I know. 

What are the characteristics that might put a child in one camp vs. the other?

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6 minutes ago, Kendall said:

What are the characteristics that might put a child in one camp vs. the other?

 

I would say that WTMA class is no different in difficulty than a regular PS math class despite their usage of AOPS books (they chose easy problems). It moves at a snail’s pace and chews material. 

Aops class is incredibly challenging that keeps you on your toes. It moves fast through material and assigns challenging problems. You need a very mathematically capable child it generally a kid who loves math to sustain that level of challenge. I would peg the WTMA class more for struggling learners. 

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I'm going to be a bit contrarian. I think the answer is going to depend on your student.

My daughter took AoPS Geometry last year and found it to be pretty intuitive (In fact, she filled up a grand total of 4 pages in her math notebook. For the whole class.? Most of the time she just stared at the problems, albeit for a very long time, and solved them in her head. All of the advice for colored pencils and diagrams that I had gathered pre-class was really not applicable to her.) Could you maybe have your student try out some of the book first and see how she responds to the material?

As for Russian, again my particular student finds it to be much MUCH easier than Latin, but that may be because Latin IV just about killed her. She is not taking it at a college pace, however, so that is something that I think you'd need to strongly consider.

Good luck with your planning!

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2 hours ago, JoJosMom said:

My daughter took AoPS Geometry last year and found it to be pretty intuitive (In fact, she filled up a grand total of 4 pages in her math notebook. For the whole class.? Most of the time she just stared at the problems, albeit for a very long time, and solved them in her head.

I am very confused. How do you write a proof without writing it out? The whole point of the proof would be to write out the entire logical chain, not to see in your head that something is true.

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I'm assuming it's because the writing problem -- or proof-- is typed into the website. So no written work record but one proof per week. The rest of the problems are just answers to input.  

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Thank you all for your experiences and recommendations. My DD has decided to go with the AOPS class instead of WTMA. She read all of your posts and is going in with an open mindset - she will begin this summer so she can focus solely on math. 

Thank you again!

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