TXMary2 Posted August 6, 2010 Share Posted August 6, 2010 How necessary is Pre-Algebra? Is it really a big prep for Algebra 1 or is it just more of the basics with some intro to Algebra? The TT Pre-Algebra looks like more of TT7. My ds who detests math is about to start Key to Algebra and I am using that as a prep for TT Algebra 1 which I'd like him to start before the middle of the school year. He says he hates math - his problem is lots of computational errors, not reading a word problem all the way through and thus choosing the wrong operation and finally his biggest problem is not memorizing steps on working out certain types of problems. I really want him to complete Algebra 1 by August 2011. Has anyone else skipped Pre-Algebra and gone on to Algebra 1? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

plansrme Posted August 6, 2010 Share Posted August 6, 2010 He says he hates math - his problem is lots of computational errors, not reading a word problem all the way through and thus choosing the wrong operation and finally his biggest problem is not memorizing steps on working out certain types of problems. My oldest didn't skip pre-algebra, but she skipped most of Singapore 6 and did pre-algebra instead. She did fine (started precalculus today, in fact). BUT, if my child's problems were the ones you are describing, I might think twice, and possibly would change math programs. We used Chalkdust (I know, I know, it's expensive) for the very reason that it really stresses writing out all of the steps to the problem. This is vitally important to success in Algebra and higher math and is what I felt was my daughter's biggest need at that point. I wholeheartedly agree that pre-algebra is usually a repeat of 7th or whatever is the previous grade in the curriculum and wouldn't balk at skipping one or the other. It seems like one of the big draws to pre-algebra in a school setting is that it gives students an extra year to mature before Algebra. I don't know whether that is always necessary. Terri Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

angela in ohio Posted August 6, 2010 Share Posted August 6, 2010 A child with a firm foundation in grade K-7 math and no math phobia doesn't really need pre-algebra. It's a holding year to firm up basic math skills and a gentle intro to algebra to soften the blow of Algebra 1. :001_smile: Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

babysparkler Posted August 6, 2010 Share Posted August 6, 2010 A child with a firm foundation in grade K-7 math and no math phobia doesn't really need pre-algebra. It's a holding year to firm up basic math skills and a gentle intro to algebra to soften the blow of Algebra 1. :001_smile: :iagree: My ds skipped it... he is a "mathy" kid with a solid math foundation and he didn't need pre-algebra. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Cinder Posted August 6, 2010 Share Posted August 6, 2010 He says he hates math - his problem is lots of computational errors, not reading a word problem all the way through and thus choosing the wrong operation and finally his biggest problem is not memorizing steps on working out certain types of problems. Ds2 doesn't detest math, but he is in the same situation as your ds. This past year he did R&S 8 and it was the first year he said he hated math. Lots of computational errors, not reading problems closely enough or not thinking about them enough to choose the right method for solving. My ds is still young, though--7th grade this year. So I'm just going to do pre-algebra again with him using a different program (BJU that I got used for cheap). Sometimes it takes awhile for the brain to be ready for algebra. Ds1 did algebra in 8th and though he did well (final grade was a high B) he said a lot of it didn't "click" for him until about halfway through geometry. Cinder Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

angela in ohio Posted August 6, 2010 Share Posted August 6, 2010 How necessary is Pre-Algebra? Is it really a big prep for Algebra 1 or is it just more of the basics with some intro to Algebra? The TT Pre-Algebra looks like more of TT7. My ds who detests math is about to start Key to Algebra and I am using that as a prep for TT Algebra 1 which I'd like him to start before the middle of the school year. He says he hates math - his problem is lots of computational errors, not reading a word problem all the way through and thus choosing the wrong operation and finally his biggest problem is not memorizing steps on working out certain types of problems. I really want him to complete Algebra 1 by August 2011. Has anyone else skipped Pre-Algebra and gone on to Algebra 1? I was thinking more about your situation. My math-y dd hated elementary math. Once she got into algebra concepts, she was happy as a clam. She made a lot of errors, didn't care about the problems, etc. It turns out that it wasn't enough of a challenge for her. Algebra gives her something to chew on. :001_smile: You might find he flourishes in algebra! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Corraleno Posted August 6, 2010 Share Posted August 6, 2010 How necessary is Pre-Algebra? Is it really a big prep for Algebra 1 or is it just more of the basics with some intro to Algebra? The TT Pre-Algebra looks like more of TT7. Did your DS do TT7? TT say that after TT7 you can skip Prealgebra if you want to stay "on track" to do Algebra in 8th. It really is mostly a review of the same concepts covered in TT7, with an intro to Algebra at the end. But TT Algebra starts very slowly and includes a lot of review anyway, so your DS should be fine. Jackie Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

StephanieZ Posted August 6, 2010 Share Posted August 6, 2010 Well, dd13 skipped prealg and went into ThinkWell Int Algebra (at age 11). She ultimately did very well, but the first 4 chapters were something of a bear b/c it was essentially pre-algebra in 4 chapters. :) It reviewed elementary level math. It also happened to be her first TW course (having done Singapore and Miquon for elementary math.) So, yes, it CAN be done, but I would have done it differently if I had it to do over. Indeed, when ds11 finished his elem sequence, I had him do TW PreAlg last year (age 10) in prep for Int Alg this year (age 11). It went very smoothly. I liked that it allowed him to get used to the TW way of doing things in a gentle way. It built confidence, allowed him to review, and prepared him for TW Alg to go down easier this year. (I hope & expect.) Personally, I've come to believe that it is advisable to use a Pre-Alg course from the same publisher as you intend to use for Alg if possible. I have found that making silly computational errors is the kiss of death for successful algebra. . . So, personally, I would spend your son's prealg course fixating on avoiding careless errors. Something along the lines of: Do these 5 problems. If you do them with zero errors, and show all your work. . . then you are done. If you make any errors or omit showing work (STEPS!!!!!!!!!), then you'll have another five to do. . . If you go into algebra w/ careless errors still in abundance, then he's going to have a hard time of it. My dc have been quite variable in when they seem to grow out of the computation errors. My two olders had lots of errors up until about age 12 (dd13) and age 10 (ds11). I held algebra off for ds11 until I saw he was done with the carelessness, as I had seen that make it much harder for my older child when she began algebra (around age 10/11 or so) and I didn't want to repeat that frustration. My youngest, dd7, seems to have already stopped making careless errorrs, or rather, never did make them. So, I could anticipate her doing algebra quite young. I guess it is just a personality difference, or else I have done a progressively better job with each child instilling the idea of being very accurate in math. . . So, if I were you, I'd find a pre-alg course from your alg publisher, and I would make huge Carrot & Stick incentives for your son to learn to be much more accurate. THEN, I'd move on to algebra. HTH Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

EKS Posted August 6, 2010 Share Posted August 6, 2010 Prealgebra is a big review of arithmetic combined with a little introduction to algebra. If your child doesn't need the big review of arithmetic and the algebra text you're using provides a good introduction to algebra prior to getting to the meatier topics (for example, Jacobs is great for this), then IMO prealgebra is unnecessary. My older son skipped prealgebra and got through algebra I with flying colors. He's now doing very well with algebra II. So I don't think skipping did him any harm. I plan to do the same with my younger son. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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