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My 9th grader is ready to start Algebra 2. She did  Lial’s Algebra 1 in 7th grade. I would like her to try AOPS for Algebra 2, and my understanding is that Algebra 2 would be the second half of the Intro to Algebra book. I’m worried that starting AOPS in the middle will be too difficult because it is a different way of thinking. I want her to be challenged, but not do poorly and/or get behind. She enjoys math and is good at it, but doesn’t want to spend hours a day on it. Does anyone have any experience starting AOPS in the middle of the Intro to algebra book? 

I’m also curious about the WTMA AOPS course, I saw on this forum that they only choose the easy problems, is that correct? I’m struggling with the possibility of AOPS being too hard on our own, but too easy with WTMA. My alternative choice is Derek Owens.  Thanks for your advice! 

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I would start with your reasons as to why you want her to do AoPS. Does she want to do AoPS?  I wouldn't put a child in AoPS who wasn't making the decision on their own. It is a great math program, but it isn't for everyone nor is it necessary for most kids.  The fact that you state she doesn't want to spend a lot of time on math makes me wonder why you want to see her use AoPS.

In terms of jumping in mid-stream, that is entirely dependent on the student.  My ds jumped into their Intermediate Alg online class with no other experience with their courses other than working through their C&P book on his own. He loved it, but he spent hours in his head anyway. He loved the challenge problems and spent hours working though them mentally before he wrote them down. He is a theorist and now as an adult is pursuing theoretical physics. AoPS suited him. 

His sister, who at one pt was equally as good as him in math, did not want to spend hrs on math. She just wanted to be taught how to approach concepts and then work through understanding how to apply them. AoPS was it a good fit for her.  She didn't need that level of math instruction and had no desire to pursue math that way.  She wanted to spend hours mastering foreign languages (which would just have about killed her brother.)

I would strongly recommend getting her input before pursuing one path or the other.  (If she doesn't want to spend the time on AoPS, it probably is not a good fit.)

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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Personally, I would NOT recommend jumping into the middle of AoPS Intro to Algebra if her only prior algebra was Lial's. I really like Lial's and think that it's a very good fit for many students, but I do NOT think that it would lead seamlessly into the middle of the AoPS text.

As for whether or not to go with AoPS, do you have access to the book? I agree with 8 that it would be best if your daughter could get a feel for whether it will work for her. Has she played around with Alcumus yet? It's free, so there wouldn't be any cost involved. Unfortunately, there's no learning component, so it's not really the best way to get a feel for the text itself. I don't know much about the WTM version, but it sounds like the question of fit is one that you may need to resolve first.

Finally, as to Derek Owens, we puffy heart love Mr. Owens. We have not used his math classes, just science, but he's our go-to if we run out of steam with AoPS.

Good luck to you and your daughter, OP!

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3 hours ago, Srtepe said:

 She enjoys math and is good at it, but doesn’t want to spend hours a day on it.

I would not recommend starting AoPS mid-book. The first half of the book will have covered material much deeper than she did in her previous program.

For a student who does not want to spend much time on math, I would not use AoPS at all.

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Thanks everyone for your input, it was very helpful. She really wants to try it, she does Alcumus and thought the sample of the book looked interesting. I gave her a few options, told her what you all shared with me, but she still wants to give it a go. I think it’s great that she wants to challenge herself, and if worse comes to worse the book is returnable for 30 days ? 

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