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AoPS Adult learner. Failed with Pre Algebra.

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Hello again, from lockdown. I will be locked down for the next 4 weeks at least, so I am having a ‘maths camp’ in my house!

However AoPS Pre Algebra is not going well. I am doing each chapter twice and still getting at least 50% of the exercises wrong at the first attempt. I usually understand the answer when I read it, but I don’t get there by myself.

so.....I have taken advantage of AoPS offering beast academy Online for free for one month and have just started BA level 4. This is, sadly, not too easy! I do get everything right, but I do have to learn it first. Once I know what they are talking about, I can normally do it. But there is so much that is new to me. I may not get through the lot in a month....I have decided to work through EVERYTHING.....but it’s only $15 for a second month, so I will see how I go.

As to how I do it, I don’t like the cartoon books, so I read the instructions for the lesson, watch Richard if the lesson has a video, read the instructions again, and go for it. You normally get 2 attempts at a question, and only once have I not been able to get it by the 2nd attempt. I’m doing every lesson in every chapter because I don’t know where the gaps are in my knowledge, and I don’t want to skip something that later turns out to be important.

I hope you are all keeping well in these weird and unprecedented times. Take care and look after yourselves.

 

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What is your goal with AoPS? There are other prealgebra programs that will teach you the material if you are looking at passing certain tests. 

AoPS is great for kids who want to pursue math/physics degrees, but is an overkill for the majority of children both in terms of difficulty and the time commitment that is invariably reducing time spent on other subjects they might be more interested in. I am not sure how it’s going to serve you. Are you doing it just for fun?

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Just like I tell my kids, if you are getting all of the problems correct, it is too easy. If you are getting 50% correct and understanding the answers for the ones you are getting wrong, you are learning. It's ok. You are doing great! The problems are meant to be a challenge. It's probably been a while since you've done math problems like that and AOPS requires more out of the box thinking than most of us practiced in US schools 10-30 years ago.

The test is, can you wait a few days, go back and get the ones you had missed correct on a second pass? 

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36 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

What is your goal with AoPS? There are other prealgebra programs that will teach you the material if you are looking at passing certain tests. 

AoPS is great for kids who want to pursue math/physics degrees, but is an overkill for the majority of children both in terms of difficulty and the time commitment that is invariably reducing time spent on other subjects they might be more interested in. I am not sure how it’s going to serve you. Are you doing it just for fun?

I have always been interested in maths. I am almost 60 and my own education was patchy and truncated. I have read a lot, but not maths or science. 
I would love to understand maths, how it works, how to use it. Could you track viruses, predict earthquakes? And just the sheer fun of finally tracking down that x! I may never get there, but that’s no reason not to try. In fact if I was honest I would love to give myself a classical education, but I probably don’t have time normally (lockdown hopefully being an exception). So I decided to concentrate on maths. And I chose AoPS after much research as I want to understand the stuff rather than just learning how to do stuff.

I am also doing maths reading. I just got a book out of the library called “Alex’s adventures in number land”, and a friend gave me a book she used with her kids called The History of Mathematics. I will be reading those too.

 

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41 minutes ago, Paige said:

Just like I tell my kids, if you are getting all of the problems correct, it is too easy. If you are getting 50% correct and understanding the answers for the ones you are getting wrong, you are learning. It's ok. You are doing great! The problems are meant to be a challenge. It's probably been a while since you've done math problems like that and AOPS requires more out of the box thinking than most of us practiced in US schools 10-30 years ago.

The test is, can you wait a few days, go back and get the ones you had missed correct on a second pass? 

Sadly, no I can’t. I know there is a method, and I am not really supposed to do all those huge calculations, but my mind just doesn’t seem to retain it. With BA, I am learning different ways of doing things. I learnt yesterday about the ‘area method’ for long multiplication. Cool! 
 

and I am regaining my confidence, which the first 2 chapters of pre algebra had really knocked!

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I'm glad you're figuring out what works for you. As you move forward, I would encourage you to not get bogged down in prealgebra. I love the algebra book and *really* love the geometry book, but AoPS Prealg is very 'meh' for me. It often felt overcomplicated and even gimmicky. I have used it with 2 kids, and will likely continue to use it. But it does feel different somehow... Really, getting 50% right on the first try is not that bad! Especially in chapter 2 which is often the hardest chapter in the book for students.

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I'm just going to throw this out there--AoPS isn't the only way to learn math well.

44 minutes ago, TracyP said:

As you move forward, I would encourage you to not get bogged down in prealgebra. I love the algebra book and *really* love the geometry book, but AoPS Prealg is very 'meh' for me. It often felt overcomplicated and even gimmicky.

And then there's this.  We gave up on AoPS Prealgebra because of it--my son kept looking for the "trick."  

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