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#158708  05/30/13 11:27 AM
Re: Finishing school maths when not ready for college
[Re: Bostonian]

Member
Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 1898
Loc: Scotland

You could have him progress through theoretical physics and learn and practice the needed math along the way. For example in electricity and magnetism taught at the level of Jackson, one learns about solving partial differential equations and special functions. Quantum mechanics uses that math and also linear algebra, and there are applications of group theory. Computational physics requires numerical analysis and programming skills.
We are a two Arfken household, but all the same.... argh! (Mind you, it would be cool if someone in the household actually read all of the three volumes of Feynman's lectures on physics we have lying around, I have to say. So yes, maybe.)
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#158709  05/30/13 11:39 AM
Re: Finishing school maths when not ready for college
[Re: HowlerKarma]

Member
Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 1898
Loc: Scotland

22B, it's just me, probably...
but with a child who is just now, what six? seven?
I wouldn't be too concerned with choosing a college just yet. Two reasons for that.
1. You really don't know yet what that track of mathematics to calculus will look like. My DD seemed to be on that same track when she was 57yo. [...]
I agree, but I'm assuming 22B's planning in the same sense I am  knowing that the plan is not likely to survive the first encounter with the enemy, but finding that it eases anxiety to have some idea what the future might look like. And of course, while a child who at 57 looks very advanced may look less so later, it can go the other way, too. A plan that has courses in lockstep with a onecourseayear plan once a child reaches high school level makes my blood run cold  no way would that have been feasible for DS. In the spirit of calming anxiety, I've had a topsecret :) "what he might be doing when" document for years. I revise it regularly, but I'm still waiting for the time I have to revise it because he's going slower than I'd planned.
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#158735  05/30/13 04:55 PM
Re: Finishing school maths when not ready for college
[Re: 22B]

Member
Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 1603
Loc: Sparta, apparently

Question: are there any other "schools" of AoPS's ilk that are worth looking into? Nothing seriously comparable that I've managed to find, and I have been looking. Many less good things. A general question to anybody: does anyone here who has actually used these course have some feedback about them? Apparently lessons are live online, but all communication is by typing into a chat box with no sound or video, not sure about pictures. How suitable is this format for elementary school kids? Regarding the AoPS courses  my kids have taken a few of the lower level classes (algebra, contest math, programming)  and the description is correct. There are graphs and pictures sometimes, but no sound or video. Basically it helps a lot to be fairly comfortable typing. Being fast  both at typing and thinking  is also a big help. DS tended to anticipate the *next* question, or one that he could see coming, and spend his time typing it in so that he'd be ready to hit return. This was in a contest math course, so might have been more emphasis on speed than in some of the others. DD was older (not elementary age) and a better typist when she took courses and she loved the format. DS took courses at 10 and enjoyed the format too  but started dragging after an hour. Both kids liked the social aspects  joking around with other students and with the instructor  but unfortunately not enough to spend any time on the discussion boards. I think DS will want to take another class with them sometime, while DD has decided that she is not good at taking online classes in general. She tends to neglect the homework with that format.
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#158977  06/03/13 02:02 AM
Re: Finishing school maths when not ready for college
[Re: kcab]

Member
Registered: 02/10/13
Posts: 1228

Thanks, everyone for all the answers, ideas, suggestions. It's good to hear Alcumus now starts at Prealgebra, instead of at Algebra. That is the right level for DS7 so we can start it now. (He's only "offically" up to grade 5 maths, but I think he has "unoffically" learnt most of Prealgebra just messing around by himself on the internet.) As to the AoPS online courses, I think he would need an adult with him, watching and typing. Has anyone done it this way? Could it still move too fast? I'd be interested in seeing AoPS's approach to these competitions anyway, as I'm not familiar with the American competitions. ColinsMum, could you recommend some sources of problems in addition to Alcumus. We've almost never had DS7 solving (nonroutine) problems at all, yet, as we were just getting him through the basic K5 maths so he'd have some basic knowledge, but now he desperately needs to be challenged. Another question, what's your approach to assessing "mathematical maturity" and readiness for certain mathematical activities? For example, I haven't mentioned at all to DS7 about theorems and proofs, since he's not ready for that. He can understand and explain things, but I'm just happy for him to think about things without worrying about rigor at this time. Know what I mean? What other stages of "mathematical maturity" should I be thinking about? Another question, anyone know of a good resource (especially online) for learning very basic logic (and, or, not, quantifiers) and the same for set theory. These topics are totally absent from the school curriculum, so this void needs to be filled. HowlerKarma, I certainly share your concerns about Virtual Schools (and thanks for your various warnings). At least they allow significant multigrade acceleration, although these are just courses for average students. As far as planning, we try to make it robust against unforseen changes. The timeline is a reasonable estimate, but it could change a bit. Actually, once the high school courses are reached, and progress is (mostly) locked in at one course per year, then that'll be the time to branch out into many supplemental activites such as AoPS. This thread should be about not only what you do when you run out of schoolprovided maths, but also what extra things you do before you run out. As for college "planning" obviously we don't know what options our son will have, and that uncertainty is not really an issue academically. But financially (in the US) it's a big deal. With our modestly above average income, the best universities are the cheapest, since they offer the most need base aid (with the possible exception of state universities within ones state, which may be cheap but not good). I did a comparison of costs at Princeton and MIT using their online financial aid calculators https://npc.collegeboard.org/student/app/mithttps://swebapps.princeton.edu/FinAid/finaid_form.pland found that, with our numbers, MIT cost $11k/yr more, and most places would cost more still.

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#158981  06/03/13 05:16 AM
Re: Finishing school maths when not ready for college
[Re: 22B]

Member
Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 2637
Loc: MA

ColinsMum, could you recommend some sources of problems in addition to Alcumus. We've almost never had DS7 solving (nonroutine) problems at all, yet, as we were just getting him through the basic K5 maths so he'd have some basic knowledge, but now he desperately needs to be challenged.
Books to prepare for competitions such as Math Olympiad, MathCounts, and AMC, for example Math Olympiad Contest Problems for Elementary and Middle Schools, Vol. 1 by George Lenchner are sources of challenging problems.

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#158988  06/03/13 07:21 AM
Re: Finishing school maths when not ready for college
[Re: ColinsMum]

squishys
Unregistered

This is a good post. I often wonder what will happen with my DS6. He is in grade one, doing grade four maths (including grade five prealgebra) and grade three English , but only grade two in everything else. Going at this rate, he will finish his maths studies when he is 13. Universities here don't allowed under 16's on the grounds, but you can go through open universities, so I guess he could do that for fun. We'll see how things go.

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#159051  06/03/13 11:28 AM
Re: Finishing school maths when not ready for college
[Re: ]

Member
Registered: 02/10/13
Posts: 1228

Bostonian, thanks for the suggestions.
squishys, how is your son doing that. Is he actually in classes with older children, or is he learning it elsewhere (or a combination)? Some have siad that there are obstacles to acceleration in Australia, but you seem to have managed some significant acceleration.

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#159059  06/03/13 12:27 PM
Re: Finishing school maths when not ready for college
[Re: ColinsMum]

Member
Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 358

I believe your kids will be able to fly through the AoPS Pre Algebra in no time. My son finished 5th grade math in 3rd grade. He just finished 4th grade this year with the regular curriculum (probably not a good idea). We also went through the AoPS Pre Algebra book and videos this year. We also had a tutor once a week for general Q&A if needed.
He also got his feet wet on competitions. He LOVED it. Kids like him, where have they been? You could not wipe the grin off his face.
I also stuck a couple questions from the AMC8 on his school folder several times a week. Just for something to think about. these are great questions. They seem to have a range of questions for every level.
thanks for starting this thread.

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#159101  06/03/13 07:21 PM
Re: Finishing school maths when not ready for college
[Re: ColinsMum]

squishys
Unregistered

22B, my son sees a private tutor for maths and English, and everything else is done as an extension through school. Next year his school will grade skip to year three, and that is the grade when the school starts taking giftedness seriously. So I'm hoping, since my son is getting 100% on his work with the tutor, that they will give him extension in maths. If not, my husband and I decided part time homeschooling for maths and English so either way it's happening.
Australia seems to be one of the worst for helping gifted kids.
(The tutor teaches according to the curriculum and also the same methods, etc, to keep my son in line with the school and my son's teacher, as the school already teaches a little ahead compared to other schools in the state)

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