# Math Variety--AOPS question

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I am thinking about having DD take a break from AOPS for the summer, but I think she probably won't tolerate no math at all--even easy math might be too boring to avert tantrums and "I'm BOOORED".  I just feel like her brain needs to get a little more abstract reasoning capability before I move her on to Algebra.  Is there anything sort of fun, but challenging (preferably NOT online) that we could use to break things up until the fall?  I'm having her do some coding but I don't have enough for the entire summer--plus I'm not entirely sure she loves coding that much that she'd want to do it every day.  We used to use Upper Elementary Challenge Math (which she only sometimes found challenging) but she's pretty much got that covered now with Prealgebra.  Would Challenge Math be challenging enough or would you suggest something else?  She might even be open to reading math history.  Suggestions?

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We finished AOPS pre-algebra a month ago. We are taking a break since I am not in a rush to keep moving ahead at his age. We are doing Jacobs: A Human Endeavor right now. He will probably finish it sometime this summer at the pace he is working through it. Plenty of interesting math topics in there. You could also consider doing Michael Serra's Patty Paper Geometry.

Here is the TOC:

1. Mathematical Ways of Thinking - The Path of the Billiard Ball, More Billiard-Ball Mathematics, Inductive Reasoning: Finding and Extending Patterns, The Limitations of Inductive Reasoning, Deductive Reasoning: Mathematical Proof, Number Tricks and Deductive Reasoning

2. Number Sequences - Arithmetic Sequences, Geometric Sequences, The Binary Sequence, The Sequence of Squares, The Sequence of Cubes, Fibonacci Sequence

3. Functions and Their Graphs - The Idea of a Function, Descartes and the Coordinate Graph, Functions with Line Graphs, Functions with Parabolic Graphs, More Functions with Curved Graphs, Interpolation and Extrapolation: Guessing Between and Beyond

4. Large Numbers and Logarithms - Large Numbers, Scientific Notation, An Introduction to Logarithms, Decimal Logarithms, Logarithms and Scientific Notation, Exponential Functions

5. Symmetry and Regular Figures - Symmetry, Regular Polygons, Mathematical Mosaics, Regular Polyhedra, Pyramids and Prisms

6. Mathematical Curves - The Circle and the Ellipse, The Parabola, The Hyperbola, The Sine Curve, Spirals, The Cycloid

7. Methods of Counting - The Fundamental Counting Principle, Permutations, More on Permutations, Combinations

8. The Mathematics of Chance - Probability: The Measure of Chance, Dice Games and Probability, Probabilities of Successive Events, Binomial Probability, Pascal's Triangle, Independent and Dependent Events, The Birthday Problem: Complimentary Events

9. An Introduction to Statistics - Organizing Data: Frequency Distributions, The Breaking of Ciphers and Codes: An Application of Statistics, Measures of Central Tendency, Measures of Variability, Displaying Data: Statistical Graphs, Collecting Data: Sampling

10. Topics in Topology - The Mathematics of Distortion, The Seven Bridges of Konigsberg: An Introduction to Networks, Euler Paths, Trees, The Moebius Strip and Other Surfaces
Edited by calbear
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I should also add that he did finish Challenge Math as well post AOPS. There were a few interesting topics that were more challenging for him, but only the Einstein level problem sets required effort but not that challenging given that he worked through AOPS PA. The trig, calculus, probability, and physics topics were the "new" stuff for him. The contest problems in that book aren't as challenging if you are used to doing MOEMS middle school problems.

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I came in here to recommend MHE as well. A lot of people have done that prior to algebra. You may also have some luck with finding interesting units from MEP (free).

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My DS#1 worked in Jacobs MHE, but it was in between topics in AoPS Prealgebra. He only got through about half the book before wanting to return to AoPS. There's a lot of good stuff in there and it's presented in an engaging way. He also really liked what we did in Patty Paper Geometry, but it morphed into his own private obsession with complex origami so that most of the exercises in the book were never completed. But, yes, another vote for looking into Jacobs MHE and Patty Paper Geometry.

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There is a teacher's manual. I think I found it on abebooks or albris using the ISBN search. Ignore the Amazon pricing. I'm linking it so you can see the cover and the ISBN.

Edited by calbear
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13 hours ago, kiana said:

I came in here to recommend MHE as well. A lot of people have done that prior to algebra. You may also have some luck with finding interesting units from MEP (free).

We came off of MEP 6 to AOPS Pre-Algebra, which level do you think we could start looking for something interesting?