AOPS

Discussion in 'Working with Gifted Children' started by 3boysnagrl, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. 3boysnagrl

    3boysnagrl Amity's Focus Member

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    Is anyone here using AOPS?

    Austin and Nathan are both ready to start Algebra, and honestly, I would rather not be paying the $$ every month with EPGY - and I don't know anyone local to do the open enrollment with, plus we will be moving again and would need to hook up with another group to do it that way. I am paying right now because I know it's an excellent program... however, I am seriously considering combining Austin and Nate in Algebra and just doing a course here at home - more like a classroom setting here. Austin would still continue on with Aleks.com Algebra... and possibly Nathan, too. The only thing is... I am not sure of my skills after Algebra and Geometry. I hate to get to a point where I cannot help them anymore. kwim?

    AOPS Introduction to Algebra would count as a high school credit, right?

    Would AOPS look just as good on transcripts as EPGY? help
  2. tara

    tara Amity's Focus Member

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    AoPS is way more challenging than EPGY. The title "Intro to Algebra" is kind of a misnomer. The course is extremely difficult. Plus, it's not taught from the traditional US perspective, but the Russian, which is completely focused on problem-solving.

    We have some of the AoPS books, but have not been through one of their live courses. However, we know people who have, and they say that the courses are excellent and generally kick their kids' asses. ;) One family I know has a kid doing Algebra through AoPS. The kid has 5-10 problems a week and sometimes spends about an hour on each problem. This kid is very mathy.

    AoPS is pretty much the most demanding distance math course on the market. Many kids flounder and are not up for the challenge. They really cater to the super-mathy kids who will enjoy the challenge and not be intimidated if they see other kids in the class rockin' it with answers before them.
  3. 3boysnagrl

    3boysnagrl Amity's Focus Member

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    I knew the Intro to Algebra is more than just an intro... more like intense Algebra 1. I can't find information other than the curriculum books... I didn't realize there were actual distance courses.

    sigh... I wish I knew what I should be doing with these kids. It would help if either one of them had a dream of being x, y or z. Austin wants to be a pilot in the Air Force - but because of his ADHD meds, not sure that could even happen.

    I feel like they are both ready to get going, moving further, and I am not sure what I can do to push it and keep it going.
  4. 3boysnagrl

    3boysnagrl Amity's Focus Member

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    ok, I found the online class. It's only 15 weeks?! I think I might do this with the class starting in October.

    They have been slacking, getting lazy and not for lack of intellect... just lack of me providing good opportunities. They need a challenge. Both of them. I just looked at the pretest for the Intro to Algebra and both of them would be able to answer most of the questions correctly. It's all stuff they have been going over - and practicing.

    I think they need something new, something to shake things up. This might just be it.
  5. tara

    tara Amity's Focus Member

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    The online classes are designed to be about a semester long. Believe me, these classes will definitely challenge them. They attract kids who are math rockstars.

    Word on the street is that homeschoolers applying to college who talk to college math professors hear, "Oh. You did AoPS, huh? Okay, I'm interested in learning more about you." And a reference from RR is pretty huge - he's fairly well-known in academic circles b/c the AoPS folks are so heavily involved in math competitions. If you check out the staff bio page, you'll see what I mean about the high level of academic rigor.

    Good luck. I hope you find just what they need. (I've been there!)

    Tara
  6. 3boysnagrl

    3boysnagrl Amity's Focus Member

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    I was looking at the bios earlier. I've been looking at this program for a while. While Austin did not test into EPGY, I think the only reason he didn't was because he wasn't able to concentrate (the ADHD thing). He gets math concepts so quickly when he is not so distractible, which we have under control about 90% of the time now.

    He wants to be a pilot and in the Air Force. In order to do that he needs to either 1)get into the Air Force Academy or 2) go to a college that has ROTC scholarships.

    In order to do #1, he really needs to excel in academics as well as other things. He is determined to find a way to excel. He is working harder (as of this year! woohoo!). This year he may be able to get 3 main classes of high school credits (Algebra 1, Latin 1, and Chemistry). He is a cadet in Civil Air Patrol and he is also excelling at playing his guitar, playing in the church youth group's band (audition only band) at least 2 times a month. He is showing some leadership skills. One thing that could happen is that he could apply to the Air Force Academy prep school when he is 'done' with homeschool high school and then possibly enter the AFA. That is the most likely.

    Now Nathan... he wants to be a glass blower, and has since he was about 7. He could bypass college altogether if we were to help him find a glass blower who would allow him to apprentice. This is what he would rather do. So... maybe investing so much $$ into his math isn't as important as it is for Austin? He is doing well, but would rather spend more time learning about glass and how it's all made - and art. I think he really needs to take a drawing course, and also maybe some 3 dimensional art classes. Then when he is 16 or so, get him with a glass blower to apprentice. Not that he wouldn't take advanced math... but maybe something like Life of Fred or Aleks.com or something like that might be just as effective for him while still giving him every opportunity to change the course and attend college.

    I feel like I am really having to have a plan. With them doing some high school level courses this year, I feel like I need to have a real plan. They are doing a high school level Chemistry class, Algebra 1 (with whatever plan we decide to use), and Latin 1 (Cambridge Latin). I could easily make their history and literature high school level, too - not sure that they are ready for the high school level literature yet, though.
  7. tara

    tara Amity's Focus Member

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    It sounds like you have a really good plan for both of them. I applaud you for being so attentive to their very different needs, goals, learning styles, etc.
  8. Andrea S

    Andrea S New Member

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    I agree with Tara that AoPS is definitely for kids that are going to math challenges etc., and can seem really difficult to some kids and may also be discouraging. I think a great way to keep them interested is to create a schedule that works for them. My favorite for my students is Beestar since all of them are challenged differently. With Beestar I can structure around their needs on which worksheets to use and to plan out their work. Also, there is a GT section for them if any of them don't feel challenged enough. The worksheets are engaging and interesting to them so it definitely draws them into wanting to learn as opposed to be forced to learn these new skills.

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