# Algebra 2 or PreCalculus next year?

### #1

Posted 17 March 2009 - 07:07 PM

### #2

Posted 17 March 2009 - 07:41 PM

Basic trig is easy enough to pick up on.. many Geometry and Algebra 2 courses include an introduction to Trig.

### #3

Posted 17 March 2009 - 07:42 PM

It is so foundational that I would NEVER recommend skipping it.

Basic trig is easy enough to pick up on.. many Geometry and Algebra 2 courses include an introduction to Trig.

College Algebra is Algebra 3. It builds on Algebra 2.

### #4

Posted 17 March 2009 - 07:47 PM

### #5

Posted 17 March 2009 - 08:40 PM

Heck, I know of some schools where Precalculus is taught in

**two**years, with College Algebra in the first year and Trigonometry + Analytic Geometry in the second year. I sometimes wonder if other schools should follow suit, because to me the Precalc textbooks are getting thicker, and as a teacher teaching Precalculus at a private school now, I really can't cover all of the chapters in one year. But I digress...

As for your concern about your son WRT physics... The usual math sequence for the first 3 years of HS is Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2, and the usual science sequence is Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. (At least, in many public and private schools.) So some students take Algebra 2 and Physics the same time. Maybe you can consider a physics "lite" course first ("Conceptual Physics"?) and then an AP-caliber physics course the following year?

01

### #6

Posted 17 March 2009 - 09:21 PM

### #7

Posted 17 March 2009 - 09:48 PM

### #8

Posted 17 March 2009 - 10:53 PM

That being said, I'd suggest that you call their rep and ask specifically what trig is needed for the course. I don't think that it is likely that you would need more than the basics AND if the other chapters are similar to the sample...they teach it in the text.

I did teach a group of 4 boys Apologia Physics a couple years ago. Two were in Precalculus and two were in Al II...it was not a problem. We just made sure the boys who were in AL II understood how to deal with basic trig as we went along. There are many web sources you can turn to for extra help if needed.

I do think that you should be sure that your student is solid on Algebra as you go into this. Most high school Chem and Physics are really heavily Algebra dependant. If a student is struggling at all with Algebra, you probably should try to shore that up before plunging ahead.

Afterall...isn't that what summer is for? Sorry....couldn't resist.

### #9

Posted 18 March 2009 - 02:41 PM

### #10

Posted 18 March 2009 - 04:21 PM

Some people skip Pre-calc and go straight to Calc, which I would recommend over skipping Algebra 2.

Agreeing that some people can skip precalc, but it depends on the curriculum selected. For example Dolciani Algebra II/Trig would prepare a student for Calculus. But if an Algebra II program does not include trig, then a student had better not skip precalc. Or if a student is less than confident in any area, I would not skip precalc. Students who do not understand algebraic manipulations (say complex fractions or laws of logarithms) or graphing concepts like asymptotes will struggle with Calculus. It is hard to focus on the more challenging theoretical ideas if algebra/trig slows you down.

Jane

### #11

Posted 21 March 2009 - 03:04 PM