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We have used Horizons math all the way up through Algebra 1, supplementing with CWP, and have had great success.  Now we are looking for a Geometry curriculum and I can't believe I am just now finding AoPS.  My daughter is going into 8th grade and as I am looking through the AoPS books, I can't see how she can get through the intermediate classes before she graduates.  In my mind before seeing AoPS, she would do Geometry 8th, Alg 2 9th, Pre Cal 10, Cal 11 and then I wasn't sure.  Now I am seeing AoPS and there are more classes then she can take.  I am thinking we can do Intro to Geometry and skip Intro to number theory and intro to counting and probability, but is that a poor choice on my part?  Should we not skip those?  Is the number theory a full year course?  Should we try and do both number theory and c&p this year, then geometry next year?  

Thank you for your advice and insight!  

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I'm fairly certain that the Intro to Algebra course covers more than a traditional high school algebra course. So you might want to pick up go through some of those because I believe the second Algebra book will assume you have that knowledge. NT and C&P are outside of the traditional math sequence, but they are interesting math topics that most students never get to explore. 

For example, WTMA has AOPS courses. If you look at their scope and sequence, they cover ch. 1-10 for their algebra 1 course. Then they cover 11-22 for their Alegra II course. If your student hasn't used AOPS before, running through their review and challenge questions on topics that she has covered might be a good idea so get used to the style of AOPS. 

 

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It is really going to depend on how intuitive of a math student your Dd is.  There is no single answer. We didn't jump on board fully with AoPS until my ds was in 8th grade. At that point he had completed Horizons through the 6th grade text, MUS's alg and geo (which I use with my kids as pre-alg and pre-geo),  Foerster's alg 1,  Alexander's geo, and then AoPS's C&P class simultaneously with Foerster's alg 2. 

He liked the C&P course and then opted to take their intermediate alg course. The biggest adjustment he had was pace and time. That course was very fast paced and the problems took longer than Foerster's or C&P. The next yr he opted to use their precalculus text but not take their class so that he could slow the pace bc he was taking a very full load that yr. He then returned to their online courses for cal. 

He never used their alg 1, geo, NT, or intermediate C&P/NT texts. For him, not using those texts was not an issue and he definitely had a solid math background for his future pursuits (he is leaving today, actually, to head to grad school for physics.)  BUT, he is very intuitive. He sees the big picture of ideas and knows how to fill in the gaps himself. He doesn't need to be taught all the concepts to understand where things are heading.

Foerster's alg is also a more comprehensive text than Horizons alg text. I might take a couple of different paths. I might have her take AoPS online alg class bc it moves quickly and it would be review and get her used to the AoPS texts. She could complete C&P simultaneously with that. Or she could complete a non-AoPS geo text simultaneously with their online alg course and follow that alg course with their C&P text while finishing geo this yr. Then jump into their intermediate alg course next yr. 

I make that suggestion bc I know that not having completed their geo text never caused my ds any problems. I also believe that alg is the foundation to every other upper level math class they ever take. 

 

 

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Thank you both so much for your insight and for sharing your children's experiences!  I am going to have her take some of the placement tests today and run all the different options by DH.  My DD is fairly intuitive with math, though with these being her first real exposure to AoPS maybe doing the Intro to Algebra would be a good choice or maybe that combined with C&P for the year.  Thank you!  

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FYI, we found the placement tests to be very easy.  I second starting with the intro to algebra book. 

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2 hours ago, lilbean05 said:

Thank you both so much for your insight and for sharing your children's experiences!  I am going to have her take some of the placement tests today and run all the different options by DH.  My DD is fairly intuitive with math, though with these being her first real exposure to AoPS maybe doing the Intro to Algebra would be a good choice or maybe that combined with C&P for the year.  Thank you!  

Take the "do you need this" tests, not the "are you ready for this" tests.  The latter are way too easy or accurate assessment, imho.

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AoPS has a Recommendations page.  They recommend that students who have previously taken an honors algebra I class elsewhere start with their Intro to Algebra B course, which is roughly the second half of the Intro to Algebra book, and their Intro to Counting and Probability course.  Of course, have her take the "Do you need this?" diagnostics, and like 8FillTheHeart pointed out, a student's placement and path very much depends on the student and how math intuitive they are.  I've entirely disregarded AoPS recommendations for students coming from Beast Academy 4 to complete Beast 5 prior to beginning their Prealgebra text with my DS#3, and so far it hasn't mattered one bit.  My other HSer needed that year of Beast 5 before Prealgebra, and even so will still be taking 1.5+ years to get through Prealgebra.  These things do depend on the student. 

As for finishing the AoPS sequence by graduation, it's likely still very doable, even if going back to Intro to Algebra.  Some of the texts/courses are meant to be semester-long, and many are not "core" classes.  Using their online courses her trajectory might look like:

8th: Intro to Counting and Probability (12 weeks) + Intro to Algebra B (16 weeks)
9th: Intro to Geometry (24 weeks)
10th: Intermediate Algebra (24 weeks)
11th: Precalculus (22 weeks)
12th: Calculus (25 weeks)

And that would still leave quite a bit of wiggle room to potentially squeeze in some of the non-core classes like Intro to Number theory (12 weeks), Intermediate Counting and Probability (18 weeks), and Intermediate Number Theory (12 weeks) -- or step away and take a breather, lol.  We only have experience with the Prealgebra 1 online course, but it is very fast paced and I'm told the pace picks up even more in later classes (after Intro to Algebra?).

Or, she could use the texts on her own under roughly the same yearly schedule, but working at a much more relaxed pace, or do some combination of self-study and online classes.

 

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Thank you!  We took the do you need this test for both algebra and geometry and the are you ready for geometry and seem to be in a great spot to press forward with Geometry.  She’s soooooo excited! She’s been talking about it all day.  Cake and Pi, thank you for your schedule suggestion!  I didn’t see your post until this evening and it looks like a great solid schedule that we can swing.  Do you think we could do geometry first and then the probability and then either algebra or number theory afterwards for 9th?  Or is it better to hold off on geometry and do the probability class first?  Thank you!

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1 hour ago, lilbean05 said:

Thank you!  We took the do you need this test for both algebra and geometry and the are you ready for geometry and seem to be in a great spot to press forward with Geometry.  She’s soooooo excited! She’s been talking about it all day.  Cake and Pi, thank you for your schedule suggestion!  I didn’t see your post until this evening and it looks like a great solid schedule that we can swing.  Do you think we could do geometry first and then the probability and then either algebra or number theory afterwards for 9th?  Or is it better to hold off on geometry and do the probability class first?  Thank you!

 

I don't have any personal experience to offer.  My two using AoPS are both in pre-a right now.  One is in the online class, and the other is working on his own a chapter behind him.

The Intro to Number Theory class shouldn't take all of 9th.  It's just a 12-week long class.  She could do Intermediate Algebra and Intro to Number Theory in the same year if the class schedules worked out and/or you didn't mind cutting into the summer by a few weeks.  The same thing goes for combining Intro to C&P and Intro to Geometry, which, from the AoPS recommendations page seems like it'd be fine to do first if she wanted.  I'd personally maybe lean toward C&P first just because it'll probably be easier and it might make learning the system for how the online classes work go more smoothly, but it's not like that's something to make or break a decision.  I've also heard that the Intro to Geometry class is particularly challenging, but again, no personal experience.  You could always message the folks at AoPS for their advice.  They have good customer service and have always been very receptive to my questions in the past.

Also, remember that the AoPS Online classes start at regular intervals all year long.  You don't have to sign up for classes only during the traditional school year with traditional start and end dates.  The introductory level classes seem to have classes starting almost every month, and some months have three or four different start dates.  See their class schedules.

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+1 on what I've heard as well that Geometry is the most difficult of the series. I'm also in PA with a 9yo. This stuff is deep and thorough. I could have skipped to Algebra, but I didn't want to scaffold for him. He's working through PA on his own for the most part. I've been fairly hands off. He only seems to need some hints and helps with a few of the challenge problems so far. When I check his work, I will look at his solution and cross out the sections where he went in the wrong direction. I won't tell him what to do or write out the solution. He will work at it again. Sometimes depending on the problem, I might write a question for him to consider or maybe a rule or property that I am will reference back to. I opted not to do the quick pace of the online courses because pacing is not what I am solving for. I really want him to own this as much as possible. 

 

 

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6 hours ago, lilbean05 said:

Thank you!  We took the do you need this test for both algebra and geometry and the are you ready for geometry and seem to be in a great spot to press forward with Geometry.  She’s soooooo excited! She’s been talking about it all day.  Cake and Pi, thank you for your schedule suggestion!  I didn’t see your post until this evening and it looks like a great solid schedule that we can swing.  Do you think we could do geometry first and then the probability and then either algebra or number theory afterwards for 9th?  Or is it better to hold off on geometry and do the probability class first?  Thank you!

Agreeing that the consensus is that geo is considered the hardest of the introductory texts. It would not be my first choice for someone just starting the AoPS series. 

If it were me, I would probably enroll in the C&P class and simultaneously work through some of the challenge problems in the alg text independently. The C&P course is short, so you could decide what to do next based on that scenario. 

The alg B course would be my first choice option after the C&P course if the challenge problem review from the beginning of the alg text had gone well. Their alg text goes beyond alg 1 topics and even if some if the topics are review, there will be plenty in the latter half of the text that won't be bc most high school sequences would consider it alg 2. It is very unlikely she is is a position to skip the latter portion of the intro to alg text.

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4 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Agreeing that the consensus is that geo is considered the hardest of the introductory texts. It would not be my first choice for someone just starting the AoPS series. 

If it were me, I would probably enroll in the C&P class and simultaneously work through some of the challenge problems in the alg text independently. The C&P course is short, so you could decide what to do next based on that scenario. 

The alg B course would be my first choice option after the C&P course if the challenge problem review from the beginning of the alg text had gone well. Their alg text goes beyond alg 1 topics and even if some if the topics are review, there will be plenty in the latter half of the text that won't be bc most high school sequences would consider it alg 2. It is very unlikely she is is a position to skip the latter portion of the intro to alg text.

 

I agree with 8. The classes move at a significant pace; personally, I like the suggestion to give your daughter some time to adjust. Also, has she encountered written proofs yet? If not, expect there to be a bit of a learning curve. I also second the suggestion to at least spend some time exploring the challenge problems in the second half of the Intro. to Alg. book (you might also want to consider Alg. B as a starting point.) Should you decide to continue with AoPS, your student will need to be very solid with the material in the first algebra book.

Another idea to consider would be to have your daughter begin playing around with Alcumus now, to familiarize herself with the platform and to explore some topics. I would highly encourage her to go back and explore the prealgebra topics, as well ; AoPS covers quite a bit of material in their prealgebra content that will be re-visited later. (Electing NOT to use AoPS for prealgebra is my DD's junior high math regret. ? She did, however, go back and master all the topics in Alcumus.)

FWIW, we jumped into AoPS in 7th grade, beginning with the algebra book in the fall (through ch. 8, IIRC) and taking the Alg. A course in the spring. Since then, my DD has taken both Intro. Algebra classes,Intro. NT and C&P, Intro. Geometry, Int. Alg., and Int. Number Theory (as well as Intro to Python and I think a competition class in the summer before high school). My DD is a rising junior and will be taking Precalculus in the fall.

Your mileage, of course, may vary. We find AoPS to be very challenging, in large part because I am not in the least bit a math person and my DD is pretty much on her own. We have leaned heavily on Ruth's son for the last year to get through the difficult parts and are going to miss his help terribly when he goes off to college next year (Although, in the interim, my DD's math maturity has grown by leaps and bounds, so it may not be an issue at all. We shall see.)

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My suggestion would be to do the Intro to Alg B before Geometry. That is the suggested sequence... and it is basically an Alg 2 class so she wouldn't be stagnating. It was challenging but Geometry was a definite step up in difficulty from it. My son did the books on his own for PA and Alg A, online class for Alg and Geo. Geometry averaged 99 minutes a day with a long day for hard problems stretching to four hours.  There were some REALLY tricky problems requiring a lot of out of the box thinking, and If he had to learn the Aops way of problem solving, plus latex plus how to write a solution to a writing problem - it might have scared him off! 

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Thank you all SO much for your help!  Another quick question...are the books, especially the digital books, able to be shared with other family members?  I have looked all over the website and I haven't found any information about being able to share the book within a family.  Meaning, if I get the digital copy of Intro to Algebra, can my son use it next year when it is his turn to use it?  Or does he need his own copy purchased for him ($$$!!!!)  

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C&P and number theory are interesting topics that are not usually covered in high school. For a student who does not have enough time or does not wish to double up on math, it would be no problem to skip those. They are not prerequisite for any of the other texts.

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Personally, I would not want to use AOPS as a digital book. Reading from a screen leads to eye fatigue and strain. There are studies now that show students retain and master material better with print versus digital books. The other thing for us is thatm y son likes to flip back through the book when he is working to refresh his memory.

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See, and my boys love the online book.  It's very well formatted, has the corresponding videos embedded in the text where they are meant to be watched, has the solutions available (by clicking "show solution") under each section exercise, and is exceptionally easy to navigate within.  It's pretty inexpensive to get the online book as an add-on with the book bundle if you wanted to try both. 

We use the text occasionally as well, especially for my older son who is more likely to obey house computer curfew rules and so need a physical copy available.  Younger kiddo just sneaks into my home office to work on my computer if his is locked, lol.

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You can share the book.  I have an email address just used for AOPS and other school stuff.  I purchased the book plus the online book which means I can use one while Ds uses the other and the book can stay safely at home.

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8 hours ago, kiwik said:

You can share the book.  I have an email address just used for AOPS and other school stuff.  I purchased the book plus the online book which means I can use one while Ds uses the other and the book can stay safely at home.

Thank you!  

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I wanted to add a few more thoughts for Algebra A and B before intermediate algebra if not before geometry.

My DS found the last few weeks of Algebra A to be the most challenging and most helpful of the whole intro algebra sequence. There were harder problems in algebra B, but they felt easier because of the deep understanding those last few weeks gave him.

I have also found the placement tests to be too easy. At the moment, University of California considers intro A to be Algebra 1  and intro B to be Algebra 2 for their admissions purposes. (It is a bit confusing because intermediate algebra is also considered algebra 2, but it covers the material more deeply and other things also.)

Intro geometry itself doesn't require a ton of Algebra, so a kiddo with some algebra 1 background could take that one fine, probably. I'd just worry about going into intermediate algebra without working through the intro algebra text.

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I'll add on something I found when we were doing Intro to Alg from the textbooks. Somewhere around chapter 15 you reach a point where the material is what would traditionally be Alg2. That roughly corresponds to where the online classes split the book in half.  If you look at the contents for Intermediate Algebra you'll see what then appears to be the same topics mostly repeated over again.  I ended up asking about it on the AoPS forums and the advice from Richard Rusczyk was as follows:

"rrusczyk wrote:

as the others in this thread note, the material in the Intro books provides a foundation on which the Intermediate books build. There is some overlap as review, but you'll find the Intermediate book a lot smoother sailing if you go through the rest of the Intro book first."
 
 

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