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Comparing Saxon 8/7 and 1/2-how can they both be considered pre-algebra?

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The 1/2 seems quite a bit more advanced-am I wrong? It says on the website that doing 8/7 counts as pre-algebra too, but it seems from the Table of Contents and samples to cover less and less in depth than 1/2.


I think I've read that the 1/2 is there if you don't do as well on 8/7 and need more time. But it seems to me that if you only do 8/7 and then go on to Algebra, it's with less foundation than if you do 1/2.


Can anyone comment on this?



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Some students are ready for Algebra before others-- because of this there is a need for a 'bridge' math text for that extra year-- one that moves on from the previous year but does not make the leap into abstract thinking (Algebra). This bridge is Algebra 1/2.


Saxon 8/7 is a tradtional Pre-Algebra level program that reviews and reinforces middle school math (mainly percents, fractions and decimals). It also introduces students to Geometry and word problems with more than one step. 8/7 is a pretty mild text-- but it does prepare students for Algebra.



I no longer teach from Saxon (but I did for over 10 years). The Lial series I now use is also set up like this. Basic College Math is similar to Saxon 8/7 in scope/sequence. Lial Pre-Algebra (an HONORS Pre-Algebra) is more like Algebra 1/2. Many of my Pre-Algebra students used Basic College Math the previous year-- but were not quite 'ready' for Algebra 1.


My own daughter went from BCM right into Algebra 1 with no problem. I have had many students who really needed (or could have used) that extra developmental year before Algebra.

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Can't comment on the comparison, but 8/7 is definitely sufficient prep for algebra.

Both my kids went from 8/7 (did not even completely finish the book because we hated Saxon so much) into algebra with Art of Problem Solving, which is at the upper end of rigorous. And both had no problems with algebra.

Really, the only prerequisite for algebra is arithmetic with positive and negative integers and fractions, including decimals and percent - that's prealgebra. 8/7 covers that.

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Thank you both SO much! I will go with the 8/7-sounds like what we need. (Although regentrude has me nervous-I hope we don't hate it!)


No need to be nervous. We just hate Saxon's incremental spiral method because my kids prefer to stay on topic and master one concept before moving on to the next logical concept; they hated the bite sized portions and the jumping to unrelated topics before returning days or weeks later for the next little portion. They also disliked that it feels so joyless.

But Saxon gets the job done, and some students do well with the incremental spiral.

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