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    #244897 - 02/28/19 03:25 PM Re: Tips for mathy child [Re: Isabel]
    Cranberry Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/29/13
    Posts: 153
    I'll add some experiences from my DD15, who will also be in Calculus next year in 10th grade.

    We had opportunities to accelerate her even further, but after I read The Calculus Trap, by Richard Rusczyk, and received some advice from an old college fraternity brother of mine, now a math professor at Harvey Mudd, we decided to focus on enrichment rather than further acceleration.

    There are a couple of kids who are one year ahead of her, and one who is two years ahead. Yet on SAT Math, Mathcounts, AMC, etc., she outperforms them. Mostly because we have focused on learning Number Theory, Combinatorics, Discrete Math, etc. to broaden her math knowledge, rather then driving fast through calculus. Yes, they can integrate and differentiate, but they haven't a clue how apply Cauchy-Schwarz, leverage Ptolomy's Theorom on cyclic quadrilaterals, understand the statistics and probabilities that drive every-day decisions, etc.

    I recently gave her a quick run through matrices, which she hasn't studied yet, for the Math 2 Subject Test. She was intrigued enough by it to start on online Linear Algebra class to learn more. One of her math teacher's comments was that she displayed a need to fully understand the details behind new topics, not just learn the formulas. I believe that her driving need to understand and learn new subjects has been driven by exposure to the more elegant areas of math.

    IME, exploring areas outside the traditional sequence and developing an interest in the broad topic of math, rather than racing through courses, has been beneficial.

    So when a school is opposed to rapid acceleration, look to enrichment opportunities outside of school. Or even if they don't.

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    #244906 - 03/01/19 10:20 AM Re: Tips for mathy child [Re: Isabel]
    ellemenope Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/16/11
    Posts: 155
    Originally Posted By: Isabel

    Over the years, we have done a lot of oral and mental maths, as this never failed to entertain him. He has been adding and substracting two and three digit numbers in his head since he was 4, as well as skip counting, counting backwards, decomposing numbers, etc. He always comes up with strange mathematical games, like adding the days of the month, or finding out how many minutes he slept tonight.


    I would keep doing this kind of stuff. I also thought second grade was too early for computer math. And I didnít want to encourage that. DD played lots of math games in school as enrichment and memorized multiplication tables early on in a fun way. We also let her read a bunch of math books. She loves reading so it made sense to use that. I think beast academy is a great idea. Also life of Fred. But my dd didnít do the actual curriculum. She never did a single math workbook. Around 4th grade she became more self directed in math using online materials, and I donít think sheís been hurt by the slow start.

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    #244925 - 03/04/19 05:04 AM Re: Tips for mathy child [Re: Isabel]
    Isabel Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 03/28/18
    Posts: 22
    Thank you all once again for all the thoughful responses. This thread has made me painfully aware of the lack of resources available where we live for mathematically talented children. In our area (small European city with a large university) there are no maths enrichment programs, apart from some after-school classes directed to children who are behind. There are a couple of abacus/Kumon academies, and that's it (my son tried abacus once and absolutely hated it).

    So, it seems that any enrichment will have to be done at home. This is making me quite anxious because both my husband and I are very non-mathy (we both dropped maths at 16) and I feel that I soon won't be able to teach him.

    So far, my son has been learning in a very non-systematic way. He can't add in columns or regroup because we basically let him figure out himself how to add - he first learnt to add up to 20, then learnt how to add tens and we then reminded him that he could decompose numbers in tens and ones and then add them up, so he never had to deal with regrouping.

    However, now that he is more advanced I am feeling quite lost, because I don't know what to teach first or how to lead him so that he can discover what he needs by himself. I really don't know what he can do. Some things, like integers, seem to come naturally to him - working on the left or on the right of the number line is all the same for him.

    The last couple of weeks we have been working on multiples and this led us to "discover" prime numbers. He seems to be interested and has been making some interesting observations on the topic: "I love 2 because it has so many multiples", "prime numbers are like blue, which you can mix with red and get purple".

    He has no homework from school and the only after school activity that he does is one hour of chess a week, because he decided that he wanted to spend more time at home this year. We have never given him worksheets and treat Beast Academy just like any other game (do you want to read? do you want to play with your Legos? do you want to play maths on the computer?), although I am beginning to wonder whether we should push him a little so that he learns how to make an effort.

    We are also trying to learn more mathematics ourselves and make maths a conversation topic at home, but I know that he will soon surpass us both.


    Edited by Isabel (03/04/19 05:06 AM)

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    #244926 - 03/04/19 05:11 AM Re: Tips for mathy child [Re: Isabel]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4902
    A free educational resource which may be of interest - Khan academy.
    smile

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    #244927 - 03/04/19 05:14 AM Re: Tips for mathy child [Re: AUA]
    Isabel Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 03/28/18
    Posts: 22
    Thank you! I'll check them out. They look really interesting"

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    #244929 - 03/04/19 08:01 AM Re: Tips for mathy child [Re: Isabel]
    ElizabethN Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/12
    Posts: 1390
    Loc: Seattle area
    Originally Posted By: Isabel
    The last couple of weeks we have been working on multiples and this led us to "discover" prime numbers. He seems to be interested and has been making some interesting observations on the topic: "I love 2 because it has so many multiples", "prime numbers are like blue, which you can mix with red and get purple".

    It sounds like he would have fun with the book You Can Count On Monsters at this point in his development. My kids have both been excited about different aspects of it from his age up through the end of elementary school.

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    #244930 - 03/04/19 01:02 PM Re: Tips for mathy child [Re: Isabel]
    ruazkaz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/23/12
    Posts: 128
    We are in a similar situation in that there were not a lot of resources for our son when he was younger. Unfortunately, Beast Academy was not yet available. If we were doing it again, we would definitely use Beast Academy, then AoPS.

    With the internet, it is quite possible for your son to learn all the math and find a community of learners, like him. Not ideal for many kids, definitely including ours, but it is better than them not learning at all.

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    #244931 - 03/04/19 02:20 PM Re: Tips for mathy child [Re: Isabel]
    mecreature Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/14/11
    Posts: 358
    We are out in a rural setting and didn't have much to work with. You do have time so don't stress over things.

    Making math a conversation at home is a wonderful idea. We would do little things like pay attention to nutritional info and daily percentages of vitamins and minerals and have him figure out the missing info.

    My son didn't and still doesn't like learning online. He will do it but his heart isn't there. The only exception was Alcumus and MathCounts Trainer on AoPS. I am not sure what is in Beast Academy as it wasn't available when my son was that age.

    Remember you do have time.

    And I will reiterate the high school tutor we had in 4th grade was a very positive experience. He seemed to get my ds at that age to listen and do things like "add in columns or regroup" and basically how to use a math book. Things we would struggle to get him to do, it would just click for him. Oh yeah, you have to leave time for a match of chess or a game of checkers too with the tutor. Then your ds can't wait till the next time the tutor show.

    I guess we got lucky but there has to be others out there.

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    #244934 - 03/05/19 03:38 AM Re: Tips for mathy child [Re: ElizabethN]
    Isabel Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 03/28/18
    Posts: 22
    Originally Posted By: ElizabethN

    It sounds like he would have fun with the book You Can Count On Monsters at this point in his development.


    Thank you! I checked it out and inmediately ordered it. Other books by the same author look interesting too.

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    #244935 - 03/05/19 03:41 AM Re: Tips for mathy child [Re: Isabel]
    Isabel Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 03/28/18
    Posts: 22
    Thank you for your suggestions and your kind messages, mecreature and Indigo. I sometimes panic, but I guess we will manage. Maybe we can start some kind of club here.

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