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Another AoPS question

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Assuming you are allowing one year for the following traditional sequence: algebra, geometry, algebra 2, pre-calc, calculus.

Then 7th grade. 

My son is working through PA right now, but we are allowing for as much time as he needs to go through the material. I am not wedded to using AOPS either beyond Algebra.


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What we found was that some AoPS take longer than others. PA took about 7-8 months, as did Intro Algebra, but it was also our 2nd pre-Algebra. Geometry took almost 12 months. DD found it much less logical than Algebra, and we butted heads a lot (I am a geometry person, she is an algebra person). Intermediate Algebra, she did in about 4 months. Number theory and C&P she wove in. She started taking her math at the college at that point, so the later books are all things she does on the side. She’s freely admitted that the AoPS books are better, but she enjoys the live classes and study groups.

DD doesn’t like doing math on the computer, period. I think she would have loved a live AoPS class (and in fact has done a couple of workshops with RR at conferences, which she adored. I think she has a fan crush on him.)

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I think it also depends how much time you plan to devote per week to each book. To give a slower pace, we did both PA and Algebra over a roughly 18 month period each but we were usually working at 15-20 minute intervals per day M-F. 

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Depends a lot on the student.

DS started with Intro to Algebra in 6th grade but needed two years, plus a semester break for C&P. One year each for Geometry, Intermediate Algebra, Precalculus, Calculus. he did calc in 12th.

DD completed the entire Into to Alg in 8th grade, doubled up on geometry and Intermediate alg, a year each for precalc and calc. She did calc in 11th.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would start pre algebra when the student is really ready for pre algebra -- and see where that takes you.  (The AoPS site has pretests for every book. I strongly recommend using them if you're not sure when to start a book.) It's really impossible to tell how fast or how far a young child, even one who's very good at math, will go. At every level, other things being equal (health, attitude towards math, relationship with teacher), the student should be doing work that's challenging and interesting but not overwhelming. If it gets too easy, speed up; it it starts to become overwhelming, try something different, slow down, or take a break. The goal is not just to finish calculus at a certain time - there's much more math "after" a first year of calculus, and much "before" it, too.  Also - with AoPS there are some books one could skip to get to Calculus faster -- such as Number Theory or Counting and Probability. I wouldn't advise doing that, but it could be done, for instance if needed for a calculus-based physics course.

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My kids started AoPS online classes in 6th and 5th grade. DS13 finished AoPS Calculus online class in 7th grade. Copied below from my homeschooling expenses spreadsheet.


AoPS Intro to Geometry     $460    June 5th - Nov 20th, 2015 
AoPS Intermediate Algebra  $460    June 3rd - Nov 11, 2015, 
AOPS Precalculus     $445    December 1st, 2015 - May 10th, 2016 
AoPS Introduction to Programming with Python   $340    February 29th - May 16th, 2015 
AoPS Intermediate Programming with Python     $355    Jun 10 - Aug 26, 2016 
AoPS Calculus     $575    Sep 30, 2016 - Apr 7, 2017

WOOT   September 11th, 2017    $745
Intermediate Number Theory    July 18th, 2017     $295

AoPS Intro to Geometry    $460    June 11th, 2015 
AoPS Intro to Algebra B    $330    June 3rd, 2015

AoPS Intermediate Algebra    $480    Oct 5, 2016 - Apr 5, 2017

WTMA Precalculus AoPS version (didn’t work out for this kid so DS13 taught him most of the stuff)

Calculus (probably pay DS13 to tutor him)


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Like others have said, a lot depends on the student. My eldest (just finished 7th) started pre-a in 7th, But is only about 1/2 way through. The first part was quite a challenge, but I didn’t push him too much (more nudging) and it’s now his favorite subject. I think that is a win! We will just continue on at his pace and hopefully that will get us through pre-calc. 

It looks like the second part of pre-a is going to be a bit faster for him. 

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