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Math--should I slow my DS down?


lisamarie
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My DS turned 7 in October and is a young 2nd grader. He just finished up SM2 math last week. I decided to have him move into saxon 54 since that's what I had on hand. He's on lesson 3 and actually doing better with it than SM as far as not making careless mistakes because he has to copy the problems down vs doing it in his head.

 

Anyway, my only concern is that he's 7 1/2, a young 2nd grader, doing 4th-5th grade math. He can do the work, he understands the concepts, he isn't complaining. Doing the saxon book right now is definitely review for him coming off SM2. He's doing a ton of practice of the skills he already knows so it seems like for now it's a lateral move.

 

But again, he's only 7 doing math 2-3 grades above his age. Should I slow him down now or let him keep going until he hits a wall (if he does) and then slow down?

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My ds did 5/4 in second grade... he flew through it (skipping some of the repetition that he didn't need) and I think he even moved into 6/5 by the end of the year. He is now in 5th and finishing up Algebra I and had no problems (though we spread Algebra over 4th and 5th grade so that he can get a really great foundation). This worked for us and he is a very strong math student.

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Personally, I wouldn't slow him down. You mentioned that the curriculum switch is kind of a lateral move for him. You could try stepping up the challenge a bit and see how he reacts or just continue on as you are.

 

I recently read a book about giftedness that compared intellectual gifts with musical or athletic gifts. It was a total eye-opener for me. If my child was gifted in music and loved to play piano, challenging himself with transposing or composing, I wouldn't consider holding him back to what a "typical" child of his age could do musically. Or if he excelled in athletics and loved it, I wouldn't keep him on level with his same-age peers. I would allow him to excel and be his best. For some reason, we view intellectual gifts differently, but they really aren't. A simple concept, but it really struck me because I had been holding ds back so he "didn't get too far ahead" and covering up his talents (so tired of people assuming that his mother is pushing him when he just adores learning!). If his talent was music or athletics, I would be excited about games and recitals. I would be encouraging him to excel as long as it was enjoyable and within balance with the rest of his life.

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Personally, I wouldn't slow him down. You mentioned that the curriculum switch is kind of a lateral move for him. You could try stepping up the challenge a bit and see how he reacts or just continue on as you are.

 

I recently read a book about giftedness that compared intellectual gifts with musical or athletic gifts. It was a total eye-opener for me. If my child was gifted in music and loved to play piano, challenging himself with transposing or composing, I wouldn't consider holding him back to what a "typical" child of his age could do musically. Or if he excelled in athletics and loved it, I wouldn't keep him on level with his same-age peers. I would allow him to excel and be his best. For some reason, we view intellectual gifts differently, but they really aren't. A simple concept, but it really struck me because I had been holding ds back so he "didn't get too far ahead" and covering up his talents (so tired of people assuming that his mother is pushing him when he just adores learning!). If his talent was music or athletics, I would be excited about games and recitals. I would be encouraging him to excel as long as it was enjoyable and within balance with the rest of his life.

 

Thanks for that analogy! I love it! This is exactly what I have always felt, but never could put to words :)

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My ds did 5/4 in second grade... he flew through it (skipping some of the repetition that he didn't need) and I think he even moved into 6/5 by the end of the year. He is now in 5th and finishing up Algebra I and had no problems (though we spread Algebra over 4th and 5th grade so that he can get a really great foundation). This worked for us and he is a very strong math student.

 

I got a little concerned when I started doing the long range plan in my head. If he does 54 now in 2nd grade, he'd hit algebra in 6th or 7th grade, probably 6th at the rate he flies through math books. It's helpful to see that other children are doing algebra at a very young age without any problems.

 

But the above analogy about music and sports makes a lot of sense. No, I wouldn't hold my children back, I would let them excel at their own rate. So I will just let him go and if he seems overwhelmed, we have a lot of room to slow down and take our time.

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Thanks for that analogy! I love it! This is exactly what I have always felt, but never could put to words :)

 

It was really helpful for me too! We talk a lot about pressures in the public schools, but there are pressures in the homeschooling arena too. I am so thankful for this board where I can talk about my child without feeling the need to cover up his abilities or apologize because he was made the way he was.

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I got a little concerned when I started doing the long range plan in my head. If he does 54 now in 2nd grade, he'd hit algebra in 6th or 7th grade, probably 6th at the rate he flies through math books. It's helpful to see that other children are doing algebra at a very young age without any problems.

 

But the above analogy about music and sports makes a lot of sense. No, I wouldn't hold my children back, I would let them excel at their own rate. So I will just let him go and if he seems overwhelmed, we have a lot of room to slow down and take our time.

 

I know what you mean... I was there doing the same long range plan too and it scared me. Next year we plan to do some of the AoPS books for deeper math study before tackling the higher classes. You might take a look at them. Here is a link: http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Store/curriculum.php

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There was a whole long thread about this issue a couple months ago.

 

I personally believe in upping the challenge level rather than accelerating more than one year in math. My DD is doing Singapore with the Intensive Practice and Challenging Word Problems books plus the Kumon Word Problems book (1 level up from Singapore), the Hands-On Equations Verbal Problems Book, and Edward Zaccaro's Challenge Math books. She also sometimes does activities from the Family Math for Middle School Students book.

 

I simply do not see the advantage to flying through elementary math and a very real potential downside if she hits algebra before she's cognitively ready to handle it.

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There was a whole long thread about this issue a couple months ago.

 

I personally believe in upping the challenge level rather than accelerating more than one year in math. My DD is doing Singapore with the Intensive Practice and Challenging Word Problems books plus the Kumon Word Problems book (1 level up from Singapore), the Hands-On Equations Verbal Problems Book, and Edward Zaccaro's Challenge Math books. She also sometimes does activities from the Family Math for Middle School Students book.

 

I simply do not see the advantage to flying through elementary math and a very real potential downside if she hits algebra before she's cognitively ready to handle it.

 

 

I don't think it has to be one or the other. It can be both.

 

FWIW....my ds completed his first alg class in 5th and repeated it in 6th with a harder text. In 8th grade, being the math lover that he is, he completed alg 2, intro to prob and counting, and alg 3. This yr as a 9th grader he is doing AoPS pre-cal and thriving.

 

My only regret is that I didn't get him involved with math teams/math circles/math coach earlier. His first time wasn't until 7th grade. He would have loved it younger and he probably would have developed even broader skills than he has now. I also wish I had known about AoPS before last yr b/c I would have had him doing their number theory, etc much earlier.

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I simply do not see the advantage to flying through elementary math and a very real potential downside if she hits algebra before she's cognitively ready to handle it.

 

This is the thing I was warned about, but we never had an issue with cognitive-readiness... some kids (my DS, at least) are able to fully grasp higher math earlier than others, but you never really know until the time comes, so you are right... this is a real potential downside.

 

For us, DS pretty much flew through elementary math, and I was just hanging on for the ride... there was no slowing him down. By kindergarten he was so "into" math that he had figured out multiplication/division, exponents, square roots... even compound interest... I never pushed it on him, he just learned these things looking at books we had around and asking good questions. We didn't have a choice, really... keeping him from Algebra would have been devastating to him :) He does other number theory type studies on the side, but Algebra is his joy :001_wub:

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Since my dd learns math really quickly and seems to understand it almost intuitively, I decided to go a little broader in math rather than just rush through this year. She did Saxon 65 last year (2nd grade year) and is working through Saxon 76 (about 2/3 the way through) this year. We also did all of Hands on Equations and she's doing some Singapore Challenging Word Problems. She was getting a bit bored with Saxon, beginning to complain about doing it even with all my modifications, so when Homeschoolbuyerscoop.com had a sale on Thinkwell courses a couple weeks ago (she really likes doing programs on the computer) I got her Pre-Algebra just for a change of pace and she is really enjoying it though she laughs at the guy doing the lectures.

 

She will be doing Algebra by the fall. Her brother did Algebra early (at 10yo) but not this early. I don't anticipate any problems with her not being ready to handle it. I don't see any reason to slow them down on purpose though the result of going broader was slower her down a little.

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so when Homeschoolbuyerscoop.com had a sale on Thinkwell courses a couple weeks ago (she really likes doing programs on the computer) I got her Pre-Algebra just for a change of pace and she is really enjoying it though she laughs at the guy doing the lectures.

 

She will be doing Algebra by the fall. Her brother did Algebra early (at 10yo) but not this early. I don't anticipate any problems with her not being ready to handle it.

 

This is exactly where we are now as well with my 3rd grader. We moved away from Singapore because it was becoming tedious (it actually gets to be pretty repetitive at the end) and started Thinkwell Prealgebra. My son thinks the guy is funny and the 12 problems per lesson is right up his alley.

 

My son will be doing algebra in the fall as well I am sure. His brother started algebra at 10yo (and he has some fairly severe learning issues) so I'm really not anticipating any problems. If there are problems, it's not like we can't go sideways. I have about a million math books lying around here.

 

ETA: It has also been nice with my older son to be able to have extra time to do the upper level math. He took two years to do algebra I. When we had trouble finding a geometry text that would work well, we had time to muck about a bit. And when the same thing happened with algebra II, I didn't freak out. He started out three years ahead and now is only a year ahead and that's just fine.

Edited by EKS
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But again, he's only 7 doing math 2-3 grades above his age. Should I slow him down now or let him keep going until he hits a wall (if he does) and then slow down?

 

I would let him go at the pace that's right for him making sure he thoroughly understands the concepts before moving ahead. Also check out AoPS which is wonderful for kids who like math and need more challenge.

 

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I agree with "doing both". DS8 would be just about ready for Saxon 7/6 if we were to do Saxon like his older brother, having just about finished Singapore 4A. I take advantage of the extra time to enrich and reinforce...HOE, Key to Fractions, Logic puzzles, chess, etc...

 

FWIW Singpapore seems to get ahead faster but take just as long to get to Algebra. Not sure how they do it since I haven't been past 5A yet...but we were able to leave 4A and go to Saxon 7/6 which means next year will be pre-algebra. I'm hoping to leave ds8 in Singapore bc I think it will take him longer to work through it than Saxon..both bc the number of books and depth and complexity of the problems.

 

Brownie

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I personally believe in upping the challenge level rather than accelerating more than one year in math. My DD is doing Singapore with the Intensive Practice and Challenging Word Problems books plus the Kumon Word Problems book (1 level up from Singapore), the Hands-On Equations Verbal Problems Book, and Edward Zaccaro's Challenge Math books. She also sometimes does activities from the Family Math for Middle School Students book.

 

I simply do not see the advantage to flying through elementary math and a very real potential downside if she hits algebra before she's cognitively ready to handle it.

 

This, in my view. Go deeper instead of broader; transfer math skills to real problems. Algebra is easiest when the brain is physiologically capable of handling it, and even if gifted brains mature faster, there is no reason to push. Doesn't mean stop math or go slower. Just go differently.

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I am for letting a child progress at his own pace. If he is ready for harder math, give it a try. If he is not, you will notice.

My 6th grader is doing algebra 1 this year.

My 8th grader got an A in an algebra and trigonometry based college physics class last semester.

"Typical" grade designations are designed for the average kid. Not necessarily for yours.

 

I wanted to add: we are biased by what is considered grade level material in the US. Please keep in mind that in other countries much harder material is deemed age appropriate (the stuff my DD was doing in 6th in Germany is taught in 10th in the US). Apparently, elsewhere the average kid is considered cognitively mature enough to handle abstract concepts earlier. So I don't take "grade level" seriously.

Edited by regentrude
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I wanted to add: we are biased by what is considered grade level material in the US. Please keep in mind that in other countries much harder material is deemed age appropriate (the stuff my DD was doing in 6th in Germany is taught in 10th in the US). Apparently, elsewhere the average kid is considered cognitively mature enough to handle abstract concepts earlier. So I don't take "grade level" seriously.

 

:iagree: So, my comment would be, if you're not using one of the more rigorous (Singapore, et al) math curriculum with a gifted child, that would be a good place to go first. Explore the extras too. Do the harder books. We went deep as we could with my kid and he's doing algebra with a 4th grader. But honestly, had we done a more straight forward curriculum with him, we would have been here 2 years ago.

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I am for letting a child progress at his own pace. If he is ready for harder math, give it a try. If he is not, you will notice.

My 6th grader is doing algebra 1 this year.

My 8th grader got an A in an algebra and trigonometry based college physics class last semester.

"Typical" grade designations are designed for the average kid. Not necessarily for yours.

 

I wanted to add: we are biased by what is considered grade level material in the US. Please keep in mind that in other countries much harder material is deemed age appropriate (the stuff my DD was doing in 6th in Germany is taught in 10th in the US). Apparently, elsewhere the average kid is considered cognitively mature enough to handle abstract concepts earlier. So I don't take "grade level" seriously.

 

I think the whole "cognitively ready" thing is a myth. Kids have to be cognitively ready for any intellectual task they undertake and, frankly, algebra isn't any more complicated than advanced arithmetic. In many ways, particularly at the beginning, it is *less* complicated. My theory is that forcing kids to wait until 8th grade is just another leveling device aimed at middle schoolers.

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I am for letting a child progress at his own pace. If he is ready for harder math, give it a try. If he is not, you will notice.

 

 

:iagree: DD is 7, and we have just settled into a holding pattern now. rotating SM 5A, CWP, LoF, algebra tiles, and lots of logic and programming. Until this point we did not see the need to slow her down because the concepts always just clicked instantly (except, for some reason, it took her FOREVER to learn to read a clock!). What made us decide to put the brakes on was a lack of order and follow-through on multi-step work that we want her to focus on before it becomes a real hindrance. She also has some gaps in her facts memorization that she masks nicely with workarounds, but I wanted her to have them down cold before moving into 5B. I already see signs of real improvement in the neatness and thought going into her work, and she is motivated to get to new things.

 

I feel comfortable letting her move ahead in math because there are constantly great posts on this board about ways to go deeper with mathy kids once they have gone through the traditional sequence. She enjoys math, and I don't see how she'll run out of new material to cover.

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I got a little concerned when I started doing the long range plan in my head. If he does 54 now in 2nd grade, he'd hit algebra in 6th or 7th grade, probably 6th at the rate he flies through math books. It's helpful to see that other children are doing algebra at a very young age without any problems.

 

I know what you mean... I was there doing the same long range plan too and it scared me. Next year we plan to do some of the AoPS books for deeper math study before tackling the higher classes.

 

There's plenty to do without running out.

 

I chose to let my son run through arithmetic. He taught most of it to himself before we got to it anyway. I just made sure he knew it. He's doing algebra this year without any problems. We'll do Art of Problem Solving's Intro to Algebra next year for more challenge. Besides the usual classes, we'll be doing counting and probability, number theory, statistics, and accounting with him.

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This is the thing I was warned about, but we never had an issue with cognitive-readiness... some kids (my DS, at least) are able to fully grasp higher math earlier than others, but you never really know until the time comes, so you are right... this is a real potential downside.

 

My ds isn't really that advanced in math. He's starting Algebra now, alongside Singapore Primary Math 6A/6B. I was surprised at how quickly he understood the algebraic way to solve those Singapore Word Problems. I don't think we even got very far into Algebra (maybe a few lessons?) when he started extrapolating and using it instead of the bar diagrams when he was doing the Singapore. (I work at "making" him use the bar diagrams now.)

 

For us, DS pretty much flew through elementary math, and I was just hanging on for the ride... there was no slowing him down. By kindergarten he was so "into" math that he had figured out multiplication/division, exponents, square roots... even compound interest... I never pushed it on him, he just learned these things looking at books we had around and asking good questions. We didn't have a choice, really... keeping him from Algebra would have been devastating to him :) He does other number theory type studies on the side, but Algebra is his joy :001_wub:

 

Ds doesn't really love math all that much, but Algebra actually seems easier for him than elementary math/computation. I wonder if that is because he's been raised on Singapore Math?

 

Anyway, I just don't buy the cognitive readiness argument. It seems to be so easy over here. (Maybe that's just him, but he's never really been "mathy," so I don't know...)

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I thought average students use Saxon 54 in 3rd grade. That's the way they do it around here anyway. I wouldn't slow him down.

 

The "5" in the title standards for average 5th and the "4" stands for advanced 4th. So a student using 5/4 in 3rd would be accelerated 2 years from average.

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And my DS is a young 2nd grader accounting for MI's Dec 1 cutoff and DS's Oct birthday. So him doing 5/4 at 7yrs 4 mns would put him 2-3 years ahead of average.

 

For now we've decided to stick with SM because DS likes it better (he doesn't like copying his work on paper), but my plan is to use both together so that he's getting more repetition than he'd get with just SM.

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there are many diff. views on this but for now (:)), I've decided to do more than 1 curriculum in each grade to slow down dd but also to have her learn math in a different way. She is 4.5 and is finishing Saxon 1 in a week or so. After that, we are going to do MEP 1 and then do Saxon 2 whenever we finish MEP 1. I know others have found this to be beneficial for their accelerated learners as well (doing more than 1 curriculum).

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The "5" in the title standards for average 5th and the "4" stands for advanced 4th. So a student using 5/4 in 3rd would be accelerated 2 years from average.

 

This is what Saxon claims (or claimed, I haven't looked into their materials in a while). But when looking at levels, I find it helpful to look forward to where algebra is placed in the sequence. If we assume algebra comes in 8th grade then the typical Saxon sequence would be 5/4 in 4th, 6/5 in 5th, 7/6 in 6th. 8/7 (prealgebra) in 7th, and algebra in 8th.

 

Having used several 4th grade programs (including Saxon) over the years, I am confident that a child doing 5/4 in 4th would be on grade level, one doing it in 3rd would be mildly accelerated, and one doing it in 5th would be a bit behind.

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I won't worry about "which grade" or how much he accelerated that much. If he understand the concept and can work through question independently and with very little mistake. Sure, move him on.

DS is now in the middle of singapore 5A, And I do plan to stop at 5B to go back to strength his word problems. I am not going to move him into 6A/B and prealgebra until he show me that he can be excellent in word problem and "NO MISTAKES" in calculation. those are the basis for going on higher level math in my opinion.

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there are many diff. views on this but for now (:)), I've decided to do more than 1 curriculum in each grade to slow down dd but also to have her learn math in a different way. She is 4.5 and is finishing Saxon 1 in a week or so. After that, we are going to do MEP 1 and then do Saxon 2 whenever we finish MEP 1. I know others have found this to be beneficial for their accelerated learners as well (doing more than 1 curriculum).

 

I have friends who use Miquon and Singapore Primary Math with their kids. They like the broad foundation that teaches from different perspectives. My kids don't tolerate much review. I can't add another program -- they drive me nuts whining about already being able to do the math and not wanting any more review. (I've tried addressing this as a parenting/behavior issue, but the whining never totally goes away no matter what I do. So I've chickened out and decided to just minimize the drama by minimizing the review.)

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The "5" in the title standards for average 5th and the "4" stands for advanced 4th. So a student using 5/4 in 3rd would be accelerated 2 years from average.

 

There are two Christian schools by me that begin with Saxon 1 in k and 54 in 3rd. That's what Veritas recommends as well and probably where those schools get their ideas from. In any case, even if one begins with K in K they wind up with 54 in 4th right?

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Don't slow him down, but go deeper along with this. I second the suggestion for something like Intensive Practice/Singapore mathy. Another idea is MEP, which is free.

 

Personally, I think Saxon 5/4 is more like 3rd grade, at least it was for us when my eldest used it, but I'm not an expert on levels because I tend to view it all through the lens of Singapore Math levels now. My eldest did 3 years of Saxon, but I thought it a waste for her because she didn't need all that review, so we skipped many chapters at the beginning of the books and many problems in the rest of the book. I did like the mental math and the fact that she liked it as much as anything, but she hated all math prior to Algebra with a passion even when we tried something else (SM--my other two used it).

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If we assume algebra comes in 8th grade then the typical Saxon sequence would be 5/4 in 4th, 6/5 in 5th, 7/6 in 6th. 8/7 (prealgebra) in 7th, and algebra in 8th.

 

Algebra I in 8th grade was the "honors" track until very recently. I know many places are trying to push it to be the standard, but that hasn't been terribly successful. Out here in CA, a large percentage of the regular-track kids who take Algebra I in 8th have to repeat it in 9th. Personally, I think the schools would be more successful making sure kids have mastered arithmetic and pre-algebra by the end of 8th and then doing a single year of Algebra I in 9th.

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Algebra I in 8th grade was the "honors" track until very recently. I know many places are trying to push it to be the standard, but that hasn't been terribly successful. Out here in CA, a large percentage of the regular-track kids who take Algebra I in 8th have to repeat it in 9th. Personally, I think the schools would be more successful making sure kids have mastered arithmetic and pre-algebra by the end of 8th and then doing a single year of Algebra I in 9th.

 

For a student who is struggling in math, waiting until 9th for algebra might make sense..... For an accelerated student it could be disastrous. Pushing Algebra I to 9th and assuming room in the schedule for only one math class per year, a student would go no further than pre-calculus. Even if a student did double up and do 2 maths in one year, that would still allow space for only one of two possible AP math topics. It would also have an impact on which science classes could be completed prior to graduation. For a student planning to go into the humanities this might not matter, but it could mean ruling out admission to top college programs in math/science/engineering before the child is even out of middle school.

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There are two Christian schools by me that begin with Saxon 1 in k and 54 in 3rd. That's what Veritas recommends as well and probably where those schools get their ideas from. In any case, even if one begins with K in K they wind up with 54 in 4th right?

 

I have seen this progression (Saxon 1 in K) recommended as well, maybe it was Veritas where I saw it. I know local Christian schools here that uses the same progression.

 

Personally, I thought Saxon K was a complete waste and didn't do it with any of my kids, beginning with Saxon 1 when they were about K age (or younger) so I can see why Veritas recommends doing it that way.

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For a student who is struggling in math, waiting until 9th for algebra might make sense..... For an accelerated student it could be disastrous. Pushing Algebra I to 9th and assuming room in the schedule for only one math class per year, a student would go no further than pre-calculus. Even if a student did double up and do 2 maths in one year, that would still allow space for only one of two possible AP math topics. It would also have an impact on which science classes could be completed prior to graduation. For a student planning to go into the humanities this might not matter, but it could mean ruling out admission to top college programs in math/science/engineering before the child is even out of middle school.

 

Yes--My son's goal is Caltech. They don't have many required courses, but calculus is one of them.

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It's not a big deal to take math courses over the summer if the schooled child wants to wait until 8th to start accelerating.

 

It's a whole lot easier to mildly accelerate arithmetic over a period of 8 years (K-7) to get to algebra in 8th grade than it is to cram a whole high school level course into a summer.

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It's a whole lot easier to mildly accelerate arithmetic over a period of 8 years (K-7) to get to algebra in 8th grade than it is to cram a whole high school level course into a summer.

 

Right. Plus even if a student can fit all of that math into the high school years, it will likely mean sacrificing the opportunity to take honors/AP coursework in other areas. Taking all of those math courses during the summer may interfere with meaningful work, volunteer, and travel opportunities. So it's great for a student with clear goals in specific fields, but could really get in the way of developing a really well-rounded college applicant. The well-rounded thing is not the be-all and end-all, but it does keep doors open.

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For a student who is struggling in math, waiting until 9th for algebra might make sense..... For an accelerated student it could be disastrous. Pushing Algebra I to 9th and assuming room in the schedule for only one math class per year, a student would go no further than pre-calculus. Even if a student did double up and do 2 maths in one year, that would still allow space for only one of two possible AP math topics. It would also have an impact on which science classes could be completed prior to graduation. For a student planning to go into the humanities this might not matter, but it could mean ruling out admission to top college programs in math/science/engineering before the child is even out of middle school.

 

:iagree:

But I was responding to the question of in which grade the "average" student would do Saxon 5/4. Until very recently, the "average" student would be taking Algebra 1 in 9th grade (and many of them still are, only it's the 2nd time through the course).

 

My personal plan for my children is finishing Singapore 6A/B in 5th, pre-algebra in 6th, and Algebra 1 in 7th. That will put them on track for AP Calculus in 11th, and post-AP math in 12th. That is the current "honors" sequence at my alma mater (only it doesn't use Singapore).

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:iagree:

But I was responding to the question of in which grade the "average" student would do Saxon 5/4. Until very recently, the "average" student would be taking Algebra 1 in 9th grade (and many of them still are, only it's the 2nd time through the course).

 

My personal plan for my children is finishing Singapore 6A/B in 5th, pre-algebra in 6th, and Algebra 1 in 7th. That will put them on track for AP Calculus in 11th, and post-AP math in 12th. That is the current "honors" sequence at my alma mater (only it doesn't use Singapore).

 

That makes sense. It sounds like we are planning a similar progression -- although I am really wondering if we will need an entire year for pre-algebra after Singapore.

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I am really wondering if we will need an entire year for pre-algebra after Singapore.

 

No: Singapore Primary 6 IS pre-algebra. We're doing it right now with ds (6th grade by age) and it is largely topics that are easily inferred from previous lessons and/or review. We're also running a beginning Algebra (which is pre-algebra in the beginning stages) program concurrently. We're skipping the SM workbook and nearly all of the practice problems in the pre-algebra/algebra program b/c it really is overkill.

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No: Singapore Primary 6 IS pre-algebra. We're doing it right now with ds (6th grade by age) and it is largely topics that are easily inferred from previous lessons and/or review. We're also running a beginning Algebra (which is pre-algebra in the beginning stages) program concurrently. We're skipping the SM workbook and nearly all of the practice problems in the pre-algebra/algebra program b/c it really is overkill.

 

It was getting this way in 5B for us. We also were skipping the workbook. We jumped ship (after much angst on my part) because it was just the same thing again and again. Right now we're doing Thinkwell Prealgebra just to make me feel better because my son likes the guy and the format and we will be moving to Jacobs Algebra in the next few months.

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What is NEM 1 then?? I thought that was pre-algebra

 

No: Singapore Primary 6 IS pre-algebra. We're doing it right now with ds (6th grade by age) and it is largely topics that are easily inferred from previous lessons and/or review. We're also running a beginning Algebra (which is pre-algebra in the beginning stages) program concurrently. We're skipping the SM workbook and nearly all of the practice problems in the pre-algebra/algebra program b/c it really is overkill.
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I'd always heard that Singapore PM 6 does not cover all the topics in the regular U.S. pre-algebra course S&S and that's why students who are not continuing on to NEM need to do pre-algebra. I only have up through 5A so I'm just going by what others have told me.

 

I think it depends on the curriculum you are trying to jump into. I think jumping from SM 6B to AoPS would not work. But jumping to a less rigorous curriculum probably would not be a problem. If you go to the placement tests for AoPS intro algebra, you really need good understanding of early algebra to start. I think some kids do algebra and then do AoPS. We may yet take this path.

 

We are using NEM1 at the moment (with my 4th grader). NEM1 & NEM2 would cover holes in pre-algebra, algebra 1, and geometry 1. I had considered using a pre-alg curriculum and then moving into AoPS but I could not find a rigorous enough pre-alg curriculum I was willing to use. I have several here and they all seemed so lightweight compared to SM and especially to NEM.

 

NEM is a rigorous and fast moving curriculum. It takes some serious leaps. I'd consider it just a notch under AoPS in terms of rigor. I've had days where I thought maybe this was not the choice for us, but about 4 chapters into NEM we seemed to have found a good groove. And it might take us more than an academic year to finish NEM1 with my 4th grader (which is totally fine by me).

 

Just some thoughts from someone with a math degree who has spent WAY too many hours and too much money on math curriculum. :001_smile:

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I'd always heard that Singapore PM 6 does not cover all the topics in the regular U.S. pre-algebra course S&S and that's why students who are not continuing on to NEM need to do pre-algebra. I only have up through 5A so I'm just going by what others have told me.

 

Going from Singapore 6B to Jacobs would not be a problem.

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Just thought I'd add, the pre-alg/early alg concepts that are not covered in 6B are radicals, variable work, negative numbers. Many slower moving algebra curriculum re-introduce these concepts or move slow enough that a mathy kid could pick these up on the fly. I don't advocate for a "race through" approach either. I really would have like for Singapore to have one more "7A" level to close up these holes.

 

I know a gifted child who is doing algebra 2 as a 5th grader. But he's raced through less rigorous curriculum. I'm not sure his parents have done him a service by not encouraging deeper problem solving and understanding. It'll be interesting to see how it goes for him the next few years. It's probably fine if they aren't going to place him in college level classes for a while. I know my own kid would be further along if I bought base level curriculum for him.

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It's a whole lot easier to mildly accelerate arithmetic over a period of 8 years (K-7) to get to algebra in 8th grade than it is to cram a whole high school level course into a summer.

:iagree:

 

For many students yes, but I was writing of the top of the talent - the students that can take what the teacher has presented and extend that information to the point that they can skip most of the following year's work in elementary. These students do not have difficulty in taking a high school class over the summer, or even during the middle school years while filling out the paperwork in the school math class.

There are kids like this in math, but they are few, so you have to be sure yours will be like this in algebra far in advance if you plan this from the get go.

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I don't Like to slow them down. My daughter raced through Singapore from 2a through 6b in her second grade year and the summer after. We did just the workbooks. CWP was out of print so we didn't do those either. Since she finished, we have been slogging through CWP6, and we have done the first three books of Keys to Algebra. After looking at and trying a few different options, we ended up with New Math Counts from Singapore Math. Our problem was not that she couldn't handle the math. Our problem was that she couldn't handle the textbooks. What would have been perfect is a workbook based algebra program, but I could not find one. New Math Counts is the secondary math program for the "normal" stream in Singapore (NEM is for the accelerated stream). It's five books instead of four, and everything is in the book - self teaching, exercises, answers, tests. It's working great for her. Our (current!) plan is to go through all five books, hopefully in 2-3 years, and then start with the AoPS curriculum in 5th or 6th grade. In the meantime, we are also focusing on problem solving. After we finish with CWP6, we will move on to the problem solving books put out by AOPS, starting with the Math Olympiad ones. As PPs have said, I don't see running out of math as an issue, although, yes, when you map it out, it looks scary!! My biggest priority is to get her comfortable with tackling difficult problems. The only way to do that is to do lots of problems! And slowly but surely, she is improving!

So, that is a long way of saying, that it may look like your young math student has hit the wall, but in fact the curriculum may just be linguistically too difficult for him/her. Its worth looking around until you find something that works, without sacrificing the level of rigor you are looking for.

Hope that helps!

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Just thought I'd add, the pre-alg/early alg concepts that are not covered in 6B are radicals, variable work, negative numbers. Many slower moving algebra curriculum re-introduce these concepts or move slow enough that a mathy kid could pick these up on the fly. I don't advocate for a "race through" approach either. I really would have like for Singapore to have one more "7A" level to close up these holes.

 

I agree. We used Singapore with my son's school's math (because it was not as thorough as I would have liked it to be) and then moved to NEM for awhile before switching to AoPS. A little redundant, but it worked well for my son.

I know a gifted child who is doing algebra 2 as a 5th grader. But he's raced through less rigorous curriculum. I'm not sure his parents have done him a service by not encouraging deeper problem solving and understanding. It'll be interesting to see how it goes for him the next few years. It's probably fine if they aren't going to place him in college level classes for a while. I know my own kid would be further along if I bought base level curriculum for him.

 

I know a family who raced their child through a program, and it didn't work well at all. This child is very frustrated now and doing poorly in junior high math. It is extremely important that students master certain concepts. If it occurs later, fine. Math is not a race.

 

Having said that, I think another problem some kids have is being held back doing monotonous, non-challenging work when they're ready for something meatier. We switched our youngest to a different school that allowed him to work independently for this reason. He finally started getting tougher problems and was able to move at a pace that was right for him.

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What is NEM 1 then?? I thought that was pre-algebra

The first four chapters are pre-algebra(ish) and then the rest is parts of Algebra 1 and Geometry. NEM 2 covers most of the rest of Algebra 1 and Geometry (although there's still some geometry left for NEM 3 and a few topics shuffled from a usual US sequence).

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