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AoPS Online Classes -- Homework Question


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My kid is starting Pre-Algebra through our local AoPS Academy. I picked up the textbook the other day, but the teacher told me this (when I asked about whether I should purchase the solutions manual):

"We won't be doing problems out of the book; it's really more of a reference. The homework will be online, and he'll be able to access it by logging into his account."

If your kid has taken AoPS online classes, did they really not do problems out of the textbook? Was the textbook used at all, and, if so, in what way (ie will I need to buy the solutions manual)? Can you explain how the homework in the online classes works? Is it Alcumus or something else. I am confused now. 

Thanks so much!

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My son has done multiple online AOPS classes.  Readings are assigned from the book but the homework is online problems and Alcumus.  That being said, to prepare for the class he does the problems in the book.  I think the solution manual is essential.  

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8 minutes ago, hellen said:

My son has done multiple online AOPS classes.  Readings are assigned from the book but the homework is online problems and Alcumus.  That being said, to prepare for the class he does the problems in the book.  I think the solution manual is essential.  

 

So, each week, he does all the problems in the book, the online homework problems, and Alcumus? That seems like a lot, no? I am assuming that the homework problems are similar to those in the textbook?

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He normally doesn't do the review or challenge problems before each class session.  He just finished the online geometry class so I'm having him go back and do those problems now.  

The online homework problems tend to be harder than those in the book.  

Now that he's older, he tends to do an entire chapter in one or two days.  He used to only do a section per day when he was younger.  

 

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Classes tend to be easier than the book in our experience. We have always used the book and then taken the class. I know lots of kids don’t work through the book and only do classwork, but a lot of those kids are PS kids and already get math elsewhere. I think the answer is really about your child. I know couple of absolutely brilliant children who don’t need to ever open the book. My kid isn’t one of them.

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We’ve done 4 classes online with them, and all “homework” is online (alcumus topics plus challenge problems, including full written solution for one).  The book was used inbthag you were supposed to come to the class discussion having read the section for the week.  My kids did some problems from the book, more so when it was the digital book for some reason.  I think the book was valuable for us even if we didn’t do all the problems in it.

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They switched to the online self-grading system for alg 1 when my 20 yod was in 7th grade. Ds was ahead of all of the online problem system. All of his courses were scanned in hand-written proofs. I don't know if the higher level courses are still that way or they have switched to online.

Personally, I think the textbook was more challenging than the online questions when Dd took the course. I really disliked the difference between that format and when ds took their courses. His homework challenge sets just seemed like a completely different approach than the online system.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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My son never did the problems in the book. He spent long enough on the challenge problems as it was, I couldn't imagine him doing the problems as well.  The Alcumus topics usually took a day or two, depending on how many topics there were, and then the first five- ish out of eight challenge problems were easy enough to solve quickly, then the next few were like one per day. Then the writing problem often took two days- one day to solve and one to write up. This was his Intro to Alg B and Geometry experience. We used the Pre-A book only. 

When I googled some of the challenge problems to find ways to give him hints to help him, I often found them in various high school math competitions and college math forums (such as the annual MIT Harvard Math competition for high schoolers).  We definitely found them challenging enough. 

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He is also taking Honors Algebra I through CTY (I am not thrilled with it, but he wanted to do it to try to qualify for Epsilon and a physics science camp, plus Jetta's physics class, which all require Algebra), so it sounds like between the CTY homework and the AoPS homework, he will likely have more than enough math to do. I was just confused when his professor made it seem like we wouldn't be using the textbook problems. I had assumed those were the problems they would be doing. It sounds like the same setup as the BA classes, which use BA online, and not the problems actually in the BA book.

Edited by SeaConquest
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Long story short, at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, my 12yo took an online Algebra 1 class that was scheduled to be two semesters long.  The instructor (for reasons unknown) pushed forward at a very fast pace in order to shorten the course to one semester.  My son was overwhelmed, and the Holt textbook used for the course was rather lacking.  Long story short, his love of math was quickly dwindling after that even though he did well in the class.  Given that we still had half of the school year left, we went on to try Saxon, but he found it too repetitive and slow going.  That's when I discovered AoPS.  It is interesting to note that while he had completed a HS level course, he did not score into AoPS' Algebra but rather the Pre-Algebra level.  So we went with that. 

I purchased both the AoPS workbook and solutions manual and he completed it on his own.  Much to my surprise, he did so in 4 months time.  Being new to this program, he decided to complete all of the work in the book (problem/exercise/review and challenge questions) just to be sure he didn't miss anything.  This took several hours a day, but he was determined.  AoPS' online classes start at 7pm which is too late for him so I enrolled him in WTMA's online class for Algebra I this fall. 

After reading this post, I now wonder how Alcumus compares to the problems in the book and whether or not we've missed something.

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