# AoPS Prealgebra--Can you do it out of order?

## Recommended Posts

My son is taking prealgebra at his private school this year after having taken it (very successfully) last year at home. We placed him in prealgebra instead of algebra for social reasons as he would be 3-4 years younger than the algebra kids.

Anyway, his teacher and I are looking for enrichment opportunities for him. I have AoPS Prealgebra and in looking at it, I see that it could align with what he's learning in school (they're using Math in Focus Course 2, FWIW). But in order to do that, we would need to do the stuff in AoPS out of order.

I understand that that the AoPS material builds on itself within individual chapters, but does it also build on itself between chapters? Again, this would be for a kid who has a "regular" prealgebra understanding of all of the topics.

Thanks!

##### Share on other sites

My boys did the Prealgebra book out of order. We are using it as a fun own time own target supplement though. My older one was interested in chapter 3, 10 and 11 and did those first. He had learn about Fibonacci numbers/spiral, Phythagoras theorem and Pascal Triangle on his own before that. My younger one liked chapter 10 and 11 so I just let him do it.

##### Share on other sites

I understand that that the AoPS material builds on itself within individual chapters, but does it also build on itself between chapters? Again, this would be for a kid who has a "regular" prealgebra understanding of all of the topics.

For the benefit of lurkers, students seeing the material for the first time should do the chapters in order. The material does build on itself in obvious ways (e.g., problems in later chapters that require writing equations with variables are a lot easier when one has already done ch 5; square roots would be a nightmare without having covered chapters 2 and 3, must have had square roots to do the chapter on the Pythagorean Theorem, etc.). The sequence is similar to the mid-80s Dolciani Prealgebra, except that the coverage of exponents is much more extensive than any other prealgebra text I have seen.

From the notes to teachers on p. vii:

This book is linear in coverage. Generally, students and teachers should progress straight through the book in order, without skipping chapters.

However, for a kid who has already learned the topics and is really using the book supplementally, I don't see anything wrong with going out of order, and in fact it's fun to go back to earlier chapters and try some problems again, especially the challenge problems.

##### Share on other sites

I realized yesterday afternoon what I really should be doing--instead of *more* prealgebra, we'll just do the Intro to Algebra book (which also just happens to be on the shelf) slowly and conversationally (this is an afterschooling thing). We started last night and he enjoyed it!

Thanks all!

## Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

Only 75 emoji are allowed.