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Is 6th grade too young for pre algebra?

early algebra math sequence

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#1 creekmom

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 10:17 PM

I'm wondering if 6th grade is too young to start pre algebra. I know it's a question for the K-8 boards, but I'm really looking for answers from those of you who have "been there done that". My ds is 10 and doing well in Saxon 7/6. I've read a lot on this board about Lials BCM, and I'm really tempted to start that with him next year instead of continuing with Saxon. On the other hand, I don't want to push him into something he's not ready for. Any advice?? Thanks so much!!

#2 elegantlion

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 10:30 PM

I'm wondering if 6th grade is too young to start pre algebra. I know it's a question for the K-8 boards, but I'm really looking for answers from those of you who have "been there done that". My ds is 10 and doing well in Saxon 7/6. I've read a lot on this board about Lials BCM, and I'm really tempted to start that with him next year instead of continuing with Saxon. On the other hand, I don't want to push him into something he's not ready for. Any advice?? Thanks so much!!


Well we are there, doing it right now. DS had completed Singapore through 5A, LOF fractions and LOF decimals and percents. We started the year with Dolciani pre-algebra and are mixing in LOF pre-algebra starting in a few weeks. He doesn't love math, but hasn't had issue with the concepts. He is also an older 6th grader, he turned 12 in September and that may play a role in his maturity.

He's doing good in pre-algebra, my only concern is pushing into the higher maths at a younger grade. Our current plan is to do algebra I next year, 7th grade. Depending on his ability we will do another year of algebra in 8th or AoPs probability. Then we'll move into geometry in 9th, algebra II in 10th and I'm undecided beyond that.

#3 Handmaiden

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 10:48 PM

My 6th grader is halfway through pre-algebra. Our plan is to do algebra in 7th, geometry in 8th, algebra II in 9th, trig/pre-calculus in 10th, calculus in 11th, and some advanced math in 12th, if all goes well. We may insert an AoPS class somewhere in between, we'll see.

Like Paula above, my son is an older 6th grader (12), so that helps.

If he struggles along the way, we will definitely slow down. But if he's handling it well, we will just keep moving forward. He is planning on pursuing a STEM career, and many students on the same track follow the same advanced math progression.

Edited by Handmaiden, 27 January 2010 - 10:50 PM.
added info


#4 HSDCY

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 11:03 PM

Have you seen this:
http://www.askdrcall...gplacement.html
It's an algebra readiness test. Have him try it.

#5 Corraleno

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 11:08 PM

My son is also doing prealgebra in 6th, after completing Math Mammoth 5. We're planning Alg I in 7th, Geo in 8th and Alg II in 9th.

Jackie

#6 katilac

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 12:46 AM

If your son is in 7/6 this year, he will be in 8/7 next year, which is pre-algebra. So, regardless of which program you use, he will be in pre-algebra; you won't be skipping ahead by moving to Lial's. BCM actually originated as a remedial program for college students who lacked a solid foundation in math, and I actually think that much of the work in it will be MORE basic than Saxon 8/7, not less. Perhaps you could compare the table of contents - I know that Saxon's can be seen online at their site.

#7 hsmamainva

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 04:46 AM

My rising 6th grader will be using Lial's Basic College Math next year, which is a Pre-Algebra course.

What I'm planning on doing is having him complete the course over 2 years. It's a very large book, and as another poster mentioned, a college level text, so he'll be doing Chapters 1-5 in 6th and Chapters 6-10 in 7th.

That way, he'll move into Algebra I in 8th grade.

#8 creekland

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 06:35 AM

My oldest two followed a schedule of Pre-Alg in 6th and did just fine. I slowed my youngest down a year, so he did it in 7th and is doing just fine. It all depends on their individual math capability.

#9 MyThreeSons

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 07:30 AM

I would say that while 6th grade is not too young for pre-algebra, PLEASE don't feel that your ds is necessarily locked into completing each subsequent math class in the following years. I have tutored way too many students who were locked into the math sequence when they should have been stalled when it became obvious they just weren't ready to keep moving ahead. In other words, don't consider it a failure if your ds needs three (or four) semesters to get thru Algebra I. It is SO much more important that he really understand what he's doing than that he does it in one year.

#10 Dee in MI

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 07:40 AM

My 6th grader started doing Dolciani 7, part of a two-year pre-algebra course, in 5th grade. We alternate it with Singapore. This year he will finish Singapore 6B and Dolciani 7. Next year we will move into Dolciani 8, which solidifies pre-algebra concepts and begins some Algebra. In 8th grade, we should be good and ready for Dolciani Algebra. We have the option of skipping Dolciani 8 and going right into Dolciani Algebra if we feel like he's ready, but we're good either way.

#11 mcconnellboys

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 10:08 AM

It depends on the kid. I have a sixth grader now who is doing algebra this year with an outside math teacher using the Brown, Dolciani math book. My older, very non-mathy son I stalled for a year after Singapore 6B by using Saxon's pre-algebra, then moved him into VideoText and we still had to hand hold him, LOL. So children, even in the same families, can be very different.

I'll tell you that I really like the look of Zaccarro's Challenge Math or Real World Math and/or Life of Fred's various algebra books for younger kids to keep it fun while they are learning.

#12 homeschoolally

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 10:09 AM

We're doing Pre-Alg in 6th, but I'm planning to allow two years for Alg 1 if needed. Conceptually my 6th grader has been fine, but I do see some maturity issues with paying attention to detail.

I agree with the previous comments about taking it one year at a time and not locking yourself into Alg 1 in 7th, Alg 2 in 8th...you might find you need to slow down a little after Pre-Alg.

Good luck!

#13 Hoggirl

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 11:25 AM

My ds used Saxon through 7/6. We then switched to Chalkdust for Pre-Algebra and have been using that program ever since. My ds is accelerated in math and completed Chalkdust Pre-Algebra in grade 4, Algebra I in grade 5, Geometry in grade 6, and is working through their Algebra 2 this year for grade 7. The switch to mastery from Saxon spiral was a challenge, and Pre-Algebra was a stretch for him. However, he did well, and we have not had any conceptual problems since then. If he had encountered problems, I would have slowed him down, but he has not. Math is just his "thing," and I am glad for him to continue at a pace where he is comfortable. Now history, not so much!!

I say give it a go and adjust as needed. Chalkdust also has a placement exam for a fee. You have "cushion" if you need it, but if you don't, there is no reason to slow down, imo.

Haven't used Lial's but know it is well-liked by many on this board.

#14 paintmisha

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 02:43 PM

Dd did Pre-Algebra with MUS last year in 6th grade, (she was finishing Saxon 76, too) . This year we are doing Jacob's Algebra and she is not having any problems. She is a young 7th grader (just turn 12 in August). If your child is ready, go right ahead!:001_smile:

#15 Nissi

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 06:35 PM

Ds. did Lial's BCM in 5th grade after completing Singapore level 5 and finished it up two months into 6th grade. He is currently working on Foerster's Algebra I and doing fine with it so far. So I would say if your child is ready, go ahead.

#16 Sue in St Pete

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 08:58 PM

I would say that while 6th grade is not too young for pre-algebra, PLEASE don't feel that your ds is necessarily locked into completing each subsequent math class in the following years. I have tutored way too many students who were locked into the math sequence when they should have been stalled when it became obvious they just weren't ready to keep moving ahead. In other words, don't consider it a failure if your ds needs three (or four) semesters to get thru Algebra I. It is SO much more important that he really understand what he's doing than that he does it in one year.

Ds did MUS Pre-Algebra in 6th, then MUS Algebra and LoF Algebra in 7th. However, his brain fell out of his head that year, so we are doing another year of Algebra with Foerster's in 8th grade. It's going much better.

#17 creekmom

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 09:13 AM

Thank you so much for all the great advice!

#18 G5052

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 09:56 AM

My oldest could have started Algebra I in 7th according to some of the online assessements, but we decided to stall this year on more Pre-Algebra because I could tell that this was going to be a year of huge physical changes (which it has been) and like Sue said, it's been a year of his "brain falling out of his head" with math. Funny, because he's thriving with high school Latin and his writing is superb, but math has been tough even with another year of Pre-Algebra. He's more stable now and is enjoying Life of Fred Pre-Algebra, but I have no regrets about waiting.

#19 redmaker

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 11:07 PM

lol funny i should find this because I'm a 6th grader :) and I am also in 7th grade Pre-Algebra for block class 5-6 period

#20 foxbridgeacademy

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 11:11 PM

:bigear: interested as my plan is to start Pre-algebra with my DS next year in 6th as well.

#21 angela in ohio

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 11:58 PM

Depends on the student, and the pre-algebra program. I always say to go ahead and then repeat algebra if needed, and that has worked well here so far. One repeated, one didn't. Pre-algebra isn't usually really that much different than what they've done up to that point, and it gives you a chance to see if they get the bits of algebra in it and are ready to move on.

#22 wapiti

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 12:43 AM

I don't think it's especially unusual. Now that some schools are trying to put everyone in algebra in 8th, the advanced kids may be taking algebra in 7th, which would put them in prealgebra in 6th.

I also think it's nice to have the time to go through a curriculum slowly and thoroughly.

#23 chepyl

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 01:01 AM

That is what a lot of PSs here are doing. If a child is ready, I don't see a problem. You can always slow down and take an extra few months with it.

#24 Deniseibase

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 04:35 AM

My DD did Saxon 1/2, which is a pre-algebra, in 5th grade. We are doing AoPS Pre-algebra, which is considerably more advanced, this year. Both programs have gone smoothly for her (as she loves math) with the caveat that when puberty hit we had to basically stop everything for a few and just do review as her brain WOULD NOT work. As she is only 11, I foresee more of this to come :) Pre-algebra in 6th for a strong math student is not unusual, just be prepared to slow or stop for a bit when the massive physical changes of adolescence take hold.

#25 plansrme

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:26 AM

Just want to point out that this thread is from January, 2010, and was resurrected by a sixth grader.

Terri
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