Art of Problem Solving - how to get started - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 1Likes
  • 1 Post By rumi
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 7 Old 08-23-2014, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
rumi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: gmt+5
Posts: 1,363
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Art of Problem Solving - how to get started

Hi I feel my daughter is ready for more creative math work than the repetitive exercises in Key to Algebra and Key to Geometry that she has been doing for a while now, currently doing Algebra 5 and Geometry 7.

I came across the Art of Problem Solving as a recommended resource for math lovers and am wondering how I can decide which one to start with. I don't want to get the whole thing because we already have books for Geometry and Algebra. Though if we really liked it we might get more but how can I find the right one to start with?

no longer  or  or ... dd is going on 12 (!) how was I to know there was a homeschool going on?
rumi is offline  
#2 of 7 Old 08-23-2014, 03:50 PM
AAK
 
AAK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Eastern Washington
Posts: 3,086
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
We have used Art of Problem Solving for PreAlgebra and most of Algebra. Then, my dd was too overwhelmed by it and we changed things up. I am not familiar with the Key to series, but I can honestly say that I have never seen a math program as challenging as Art of Problem Solving. I have always been skilled at math. I went through several levels of calculus, theory classes, etc at the college level before I finished. That said, the Algebra was fun (but still challenging) for me. It was intimidating for my daughter and she needed a lot of hand holding. Amazingly, the math program we switched to isn't considered weak at all, but my dd doesn't even need me there.

I tell you this background so that you understand my recommendation. I would have your daughter begin in Introductory Algebra. It should start out familiar, but even so, there will be challenging problems. When you read the chapter titles, you will think, "no problem." Believe me, this group of people are great at writing solid, challenging texts that are fantastic for math enthusiasts.


ETA: just realized that you didn't want to do Algebra or Geometry. In that case, I would either pick any other "introductory" book or I would use the first volume of their contest prep. books. However, when I looked up the "Key to" series, you will not have finished Algebra 1 until she does all ten books--actually, I am not sure that all ten even cover all of Algebra 1. Also, their geometry series says that by finishing it, you will be ready for formal geometry. I don't think your daughter would be repeating much by using the Art of Problem Solving books for those topics.

Amy

Mom to three very active girls Anna (14), Kayla (11), Maya (8). 
AAK is online now  
#3 of 7 Old 08-23-2014, 06:41 PM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,746
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 78 Post(s)
I agree with AAK about the difficulty level of AoPS. We ended up switching things up too, because it was way more challenging than we expected, and my dd required a lot more hand-holding than she was prepared to accept. My middle dd is now 15 and almost ready for Calculus, having scored a 98% in her recent PreCalc course, so she's definitely math-minded and advanced, but AoPS Intro to Algebra was too challenging for her as a first algebra program. It might work well amongst an advanced class, a tutorial group or a math club where kids have the support of each other as they struggle with the complexity of the problems, but for a young-ish math-minded homeschooler it would require a really amazing capacity for persistence and hunger for challenge. It very quickly gets into complexity more typical of a good Algebra 2 course, so I would think it would be a good next step after Key To Algebra is completed if your dd feels she's ready for more algebra challenge at that point.

(I haven't tried AoPS's geometry program, so I can't say if the same would be true of that, i.e. that for most students it would be most valuable used after completing a more basic geometry course.)

If you want to try out some AoPS in the meantime, I think Intro to Counting and Probability might be a good book to start with. My dd made a lot more headway with this one than with Intro to Algebra, and it is now supported by the Alcumus on-line program and some videos. Also, I believe this is a math subject that tends to be very much neglected by other curricula, so using AoPS to fill that gap would make sense.

Miranda

Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#4 of 7 Old 08-24-2014, 04:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
rumi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: gmt+5
Posts: 1,363
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Interesting. So specifically, what do you think of the first book in the series:
Art of Problem Solving, Volume 1: the Basics
http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/S...?item=ps:aops1

That would not be too easy? On the one hand I am inclined to start with the first one if it is not too easy, on the other hand I doubt we are interested in any contests so a book sold as "contest preparation" is somewhat off-putting.

Regarding Algebra and Geometry, when I said I already had books I did not mean the Key to Series, which I understand is more of a preparation than the actual course. We have a book called "School Mathematics Geometry" (what I used in school) as well as LoF Geometry and we also have LoF Algebra.

I talked to a family member who is a math teacher and though he hadn't seen the AoPS books, from the description he thought they would work better with a group than with one student alone.

Anyway I guess we will start either with "The Basics" or with "Counting" and see how they are.

no longer  or  or ... dd is going on 12 (!) how was I to know there was a homeschool going on?
rumi is offline  
#5 of 7 Old 08-24-2014, 07:45 AM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,746
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 78 Post(s)
Ahh, thanks for clarifying what you meant about Algebra and Geometry.

I've never looked at the Basics book. We're in Canada where the AoPS books are really expensive to get, and that one seemed more focused on math contest preparation at a stage when my kids were more interested in digging into high school curriculum and content. We would have loved something like this if it was aimed at younger kids, as there seemed to be a dearth of challenging enrichment materials for upper-elementary and middle-school-aged math-keeners. From what you've said about where your dd is at, it might be a great book for her over the next couple of years. Actually, I'd forgotten all about this book and will keep it in mind for my 11-year-old who seems to be moving relentlessly forward through high school math but could probably stand to be distracted for a while.

ETA: Gack! $30 shipping on a $33 book? Canadian shipping, sheesh.

Miranda

Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#6 of 7 Old 08-24-2014, 12:55 PM
AAK
 
AAK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Eastern Washington
Posts: 3,086
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
I understood the Basics book to be their first book under the "contest prep" category. I think it would be a fun and challenging book. I don't think it will be too easy. I am tempted to order it for fun. If you go with it, post an update after she uses it for a while. I would love to read a review.

Amy

Mom to three very active girls Anna (14), Kayla (11), Maya (8). 
AAK is online now  
#7 of 7 Old 08-25-2014, 04:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
rumi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: gmt+5
Posts: 1,363
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AAK View Post
I understood the Basics book to be their first book under the "contest prep" category. I think it would be a fun and challenging book. I don't think it will be too easy. I am tempted to order it for fun. If you go with it, post an update after she uses it for a while. I would love to read a review.

Amy
Sure, just ordered it - found it on sale second hand. Stay tuned.

I hear you on the Canadian shipping, Miranda.
Many a time I have wanted something from Canada and been deterred by the shipping.
AAK likes this.

no longer  or  or ... dd is going on 12 (!) how was I to know there was a homeschool going on?
rumi is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off