chickenpatty Posted December 2, 2012 Share Posted December 2, 2012 We've been on track every year with our math, using either Bob Jones or Abeka (mostly Abeka), and my 9th grader is doing Algebra this year. We've never missed a level, yet it seems like most everyone around us has their 8th graders doing Algebra. How did this happen? Did they all skip a grade? Or is it just a matter of name? For instance, Abeka has my 3rd grader doing Algebra-type problems (like "n + 8 = 4 x 3, find n"), but it is called Math 3, not Pre-Algebra or whatever. I'm not worried about being behind, but I'm curious how this happened. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Chrysalis Academy Posted December 2, 2012 Share Posted December 2, 2012 I know it is different in different states, but in CA I think 8th grade Algebra is pretty standard - I know I did it in the 80s. I think there may have been separate tracks starting in 7th grade, some kids did official PreAlgebra and some did another year of "regular" math and then PreAlgebra in 8th. But it was at least a standard option then, and I'm pretty sure it's standard now. I'm not sure how Common Core Standards will affect this - when I look at the standards, it looks like they don't have students starting algebra till 9th grade, which would be a big change here in CA. I'm curious about what other's experience is, though. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

renmew Posted December 2, 2012 Share Posted December 2, 2012 When I was in a California public middle school in the late 1980's, I did pre-Algebra in the 8th grade. There were students in Algebra and students below me as well. I started high school at an expensive private school and every 9th grader went into Algebra or Geomentry if they tested in. Even when I left for the public high school I found I was college track doing Alg in 9th grade. The private school I work at just switched to Algebra in 8th grade two or three years ago. We are a few years behind, I know, but I don't think it's been standard in southern Cal for too long. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Jane in NC Posted December 2, 2012 Share Posted December 2, 2012 College bound students in NC public schools usually take Algebra I in 8th--some in 7th--although this is not a hard and fast rule. Part of the issue is the push to take Calculus or AP Stats in high school. Many college bound students take Geometry in 9th, Algebra II/Trig in 10th, Precalc in 11th, then either Calculus or Stats in 12th. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Lolly Posted December 2, 2012 Share Posted December 2, 2012 They didn't skip a grade; they skipped a math book. They just go straight from 7th grade math to algebra, or 6th grade math to pre-alg. There isn't really much new in the upper level elementary/middle school math texts. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

chickenpatty Posted December 2, 2012 Author Share Posted December 2, 2012 College bound students in NC public schools usually take Algebra I in 8th--some in 7th--although this is not a hard and fast rule. Part of the issue is the push to take Calculus or AP Stats in high school. Many college bound students take Geometry in 9th, Algebra II/Trig in 10th, Precalc in 11th, then either Calculus or Stats in 12th. So now I'm curious about other math programs... Are my kids learning in 7th grade what others learned in 6th? I feel like Abeka is fairly rigorous in math. I wonder if they could skip what is taught in 7th and go directly to pre-algebra? I have two boys in 6th grade. One has learning difficulties, so we switched him to Teaching Textbooks 6. It is significantly easier than my other son's Abeka 6. Maybe I need to compare the scope & sequence. I'm not sure if I'm really asking a question, but rather am thinking aloud. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

chickenpatty Posted December 2, 2012 Author Share Posted December 2, 2012 They didn't skip a grade; they skipped a math book. They just go straight from 7th grade math to algebra, or 6th grade math to pre-alg. There isn't really much new in the upper level elementary/middle school math texts. You posted while I was writing my other post. I think this kinda answers my question. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Lolly Posted December 2, 2012 Share Posted December 2, 2012 You posted while I was writing my other post. I think this kinda answers my question. Just make sure they have their basic math down well first. The kids who get into alg without having basic math down tend to have problems down the line. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

AngieW in Texas Posted December 2, 2012 Share Posted December 2, 2012 Most 7th grade and 8th grade math books cover the same material. In fact, there usually isn't much new material even in the 7th grade textbook. Some kids don't need those two years of yet more basic math review. Some kids desperately need those two years of yet more basic math and would do even better with an additional year of basic math review beyond that. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Farrar Posted December 2, 2012 Share Posted December 2, 2012 When I was in school, if you were on the regular track, 8th grade was "pre-Algebra" and 9th grade was algebra. However, all the kids on the accelerated track took algebra in 8th grade and that was a lot of kids - it depended which middle school you were in, but it could be just one class of 8th graders or the majority of them. ETA: Also, when I was teaching, which was obviously much more recently, this was the case as well. Kids who were academically ahead at all were pushed to take algebra in 8th grade. My private middle school had about half the 8th grade in algebra, but the kids going into public school for 9th were fine with algebra then - they weren't deemed "behind" according to the schools. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

dhudson Posted December 2, 2012 Share Posted December 2, 2012 I have both the 6th and 7th Abeka books and they are almost exact. The 7th grade book gives a little harder problems but they are the same topics. My twins are in 6th and finished Singapore so I am giving them a year of Abeka and LOF before going into pre-algebra. I think you could reasonably skip either the 6th or 7th Abeka book and be fine. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

RootAnn Posted December 2, 2012 Share Posted December 2, 2012 So now I'm curious about other math programs... Are my kids learning in 7th grade what others learned in 6th? I feel like Abeka is fairly rigorous in math. I wonder if they could skip what is taught in 7th and go directly to pre-algebra? We use Abeka. One of the criticisms of Abeka is that it moves too fast in the younger grades (1-3) and too slowly in the older grades (4-7). My oldest is in their Arithmetic 6 this year. I'm still debating if we'll do 7, Pre-Algebra, or switch to a different Pre-Algebra (like Kinetic Books) for next year. Some skip either the 7 or Pre-Algebra book to get to Algebra faster. Only one other family IRL near me uses Abeka & the kids aren't old enough for me to know which one to skip, if any. I'll see how DD does at the end of the book to see if we need more time to solidify our skills or if we'll go directly to Pre-Algebra. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

creekland Posted December 2, 2012 Share Posted December 2, 2012 At our ps top math students do Pre-Alg in 6th and start Alg 1 in 7th, average kids start Alg 1 in 8th, and really slow kids take Alg 1 in 9th. It's been that way since I've been working there (started in '99). We are not a top school. Our scores are average to slightly below average for the nation/state. Back when I was in high school (different, very good district), top kids started Alg 1 in 8th and average kids took it in 9th. Things have changed, but not a ton. With my own kids, my top two are great academically in math and I had them do Alg 1 in 7th. My youngest is more average, so he did it in 8th. He definitely wasn't ready in 7th. If a student is headed toward a math heavy degree, having Calc in high school is a BIG plus. If they aren't, it's not such a big deal. ps If one starts Alg 1 in 9th and still wants Calc in high school you can always double up Alg2 & Geometry. You don't need one to do the other. They may be done together sophomore year. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Jane in NC Posted December 2, 2012 Share Posted December 2, 2012 So now I'm curious about other math programs... Are my kids learning in 7th grade what others learned in 6th? I feel like Abeka is fairly rigorous in math. I wonder if they could skip what is taught in 7th and go directly to pre-algebra? I have two boys in 6th grade. One has learning difficulties, so we switched him to Teaching Textbooks 6. It is significantly easier than my other son's Abeka 6. Maybe I need to compare the scope & sequence. I'm not sure if I'm really asking a question, but rather am thinking aloud. Yes! Not all text books/curricula are created equal. This is why some of us have used books like Dolciani from the '60's and '70's that are more rigorous. The content of Dolciani's Algebra II/Trig book of old matches the content of many newer precalculus text books. Scope and sequence is one thing. A look at the problems can also reveal that one book offers greater depth than another. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

regentrude Posted December 2, 2012 Share Posted December 2, 2012 There is a lot of repetition in grades 5 through 8. If a student masters arithmetic with integers by the end of 4th grade, there is not reason to spend FOUR years on learning arithmetic with fractions and negative numbers, which, essentially, constitutes the body of prealgebra. The students do not need to skip a grade; they simply need to be taught effectively. There is nothing about the material itself that would require four entire years for mastery. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

JenC3 Posted December 2, 2012 Share Posted December 2, 2012 The college prep schools here have kids doing pre-algebra in 6th and Algebra in 7th & Geometry in 8th! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

NittanyJen Posted December 3, 2012 Share Posted December 3, 2012 There really is no such thing as "pre-algebra." It's a review of arithmetic and an early introduction to algebra. I typical to strong math student can go straight from elementary arithmetic (strong in everything through fractions, decimals, some exponents and square roots, negative numbers) directly into algebra. GIven the hope that multiplication and division are pretty well nailed down by 4th grade or so, hopefully it does not take 4 more years to get fractions, decimals, percentages, and exponents-- that would be an entire year per concept. Now, not all students are necessarily at the same place in math. Some kids read later than others. Some kids walk later than others. Some kids start to get the hang of math later than others. I would NEVER advocate rushing a kid into algebra before he is ready, and for many kids, this is not before ninth grade. That's perfectly fine. It is far more important to really nail down the basics before moving forward* if a student is not ready, and pre-algebra (which does not exist LOL) can really help with that-- see note below. Taking an extra year to work on more difficult problems can really help as well, to build confidence and competence. My kid would get killed on a football field. He is still working, at 9, on learning to run properly. Another kid may need more work on math before tackling algebra; given the extra time he may do just fine, and even learn to like it (I doubt my son will ever like football, and I'm great with that. Algebra does not cause concussions). *why would I advocate pre-algebra if I say it does not exist? Sometimes, including with my own kids, they still need more practice, but they have gotten so bored looking at the same old dumb problems that they insist they know the stuff (even if they don't, really) that they aren't very motivated to keep working at them any more. Sometimes, some somewhat more interesting material is just the ticket to get those underlying skills moving, and that early, easy, taste of algebra that you get in a typical pre-algebra course can be just right to accomplish making multiplicaiton, division, fractions, and decimals much more interesting and motivating. It kind of gives all that stuff a purpose. So algebra in 8th? Sure. Algebra in 9th? That's fine too. Algebra should happen-- when your kid is ready for it. Not before, and the elementary math doesn't need to be dragged out long after he's mastered it; there is nothing magical happening there if he has already built a strong foundation. Only you can determine whether you feel your child is being rushed or set at the right pace, but unless your child is doing something demonstrably behind (I would worry if a neurotypical student was only tackling algebra I at graduation time) or struggling aindi frustrated to tears, follow your child's lead, not so much what others are doing. What they are doing may not be right for you. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

NittanyJen Posted December 3, 2012 Share Posted December 3, 2012 ... Sometimes, some somewhat more interesting material... some, some some?? Late night posting phrasing post of the day award!! Woohoo! :D Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Lily_Grace Posted December 3, 2012 Share Posted December 3, 2012 We used MUS through 7th grade. Their progression naturally lends to algebra in 8th: Alpha - 1st (addition) Beta - 2nd (subtraction) Gamma - 3rd (multiplication) Delta - 4th (division) Epsilon - 5th (fractions) Zeta - 6th (decimals & percents) Pre-algebra - 7th Because it's mastery, not spiral, it progresses evenly instead of introducing higher concepts at a lower level and weaving them in. But their algebra is very light and appropriate for an 8th grader but not so much for a high schooler. OTOH, the lower levels do prepare a student to do more rigorous work if they want/feel able to. We ended up switching out when we realized half the upper books are mostly review from the middle school years. Most of their Geometry text is covered at lower levels. For a high schooler needing remedial it's great, not so much for a student who has done all their lower level math books. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Carrie12345 Posted December 3, 2012 Share Posted December 3, 2012 My son skipped "5th grade math" when he was enrolled in cyber school. He did Saxon Alg 1/2 the following year at home (his placement test suggested Alg I, but I disagreed) and Alg I during what would be 7th grade. He transferred to ps mid-8th, where they didn't offer pre-algebra, let alone actual algebra, but the high school gave a test for 9th grade placement, which put him (and plenty of his non-algebra-taking classmates) into Geometry for 9th grade. An odd path, but a valid one. He's doing well. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Chris in VA Posted December 3, 2012 Share Posted December 3, 2012 I've heard, too, that there is a difference in developmental thinking--it's not just knowing the fractions/decimals/percents and basic arithmetic that leads into algebra, it's being able to "think algebraicly." Honestly, I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I've heard that kids may have procedures and concepts of the above stuff down pat and still not be ready for algebra. Maybe the "extra year" gives their minds time to mature into more abstract thinking that algebra demands. Here the progression in PS is 7th Alg if you are advanced, 8th Alg for most kids, and 9th Alg if you need more time. Dd qualified for Alg in 7th, but we decided to lessen her academic stress and give her one more year of pre-algebra. She is in honors, and they go into algebra. I don't know if this is helpful, but I'll post (in another post) what the topics are in her honors class. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

jayb842 Posted December 3, 2012 Share Posted December 3, 2012 We use Abeka too. It is quite rigorous. ( Ds is in 4th grade and DD is in Algebra 2) My sequence will be with DS abeka 5 in 5th grade abeka 6 in 6th grade Abeka 7 ( pre-algebra) in 7th grade Abeka Algebra in 8th grade Abeka geometry in 9th grade Abeka Algebra 2 in 10th grade Abeka Pre-cal in 11th grade AP Calcalus in 12th grade Jenn Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

RootAnn Posted December 23, 2012 Share Posted December 23, 2012 We use Abeka too. It is quite rigorous. ( Ds is in 4th grade and DD is in Algebra 2) My sequence will be with DS abeka 6 in 6th grade Abeka 7 ( pre-algebra) in 7th grade Abeka Algebra in 8th grade :blink: But Abeka's "7" is "Basic Mathematics." Their "Pre-Algebra" is their 8th grade offering. Are you skipping Basic Mathematics (7) or Pre-Algebra to get to that sequence? (This is my big debate. Do I skip 7 or should we do it before Pre-Algebra (Abeka's or someone else's)?? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

jayb842 Posted December 24, 2012 Share Posted December 24, 2012 My understanding from Abeka Academy is that if you can make an A in 7th grade you can do Algebra in 8th. I've looked at the 7th grade book it has all the parts I would be looking for in pre-Algebra. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

duckens Posted December 24, 2012 Share Posted December 24, 2012 Nittany Jen saysI would NEVER advocate rushing a kid into algebra before he is ready, and for many kids, this is not before ninth grade.: :iagree: and I have seen this happen. It doesn't end well. LIkewise, Creekland says:If a student is headed toward a math heavy degree, having Calc in high school is a BIG plus. :iagree: , and also for nearly any science: Genetics, Chemistry, Physics, maybe even ??Computer Science??....they all require a certain level of Calculus. Even if your child is just exposed to Calculus in high school, it can make seeing those concepts a second time in college a breeze. I have also been told that the PSATs have a lot of geometry on them; therefore, finishing geometry by the end of 10th grade (standard PSAT time) is ideal. Plan ahead. ------------------------------------------------------------ In my public school experience (I graduated in '88), we were given the option to work independently for 7th grade math. Not all kids took this option. The plan was to complete the 7th grade book, and work a fair amount through the 8th grade math book by the end of the year. Based on 1) how much of the two textbooks we finished 2) our math test scores for the class 3) scores on the ITBS (or ITEDs) 4) score on a pre-algebra test --we were ranked. The 28 highest of us were given the option to take Algebra a year early in 8th grade. We had one 7th grader in our class, who did quite well. Also, for 2-3 of us at the end of Algebra, it was recommended that they retake Algebra 1 in 9th grade. Looking back, I'm a little mad that they didn't offer algebra earlier than they did. I don't remember a single thing from the 7th grade math textbook that I wasn't able to figure out on my own based on stuff I had learned in previous grades. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

boscopup Posted December 24, 2012 Share Posted December 24, 2012 When I was in school (early 90s), algebra in 9th was what the advanced track did. There were *2* students (out of a graduating class of 550) allowed to do it in 8th, and they had to be taken to the high school by their parents for that class. My progression was: 9th: Algebra 1 10th: Geometry 11th: Algebra 2/Trig 12th: AP Calculus (focus on AB materials, but we could self-study for BC exam) The private school my son was going to used Saxon, and they had the option of taking a test at the end of 6th grade which determined if they took 8/7 or Algebra 1/2 in 7th. If they took 8/7 in 7th, they went on to Algebra 1/2 in 8th and Algebra in 9th. If they took Algebra 1/2 in 7th, they took Algebra in 8th. They use an older edition, btw. I think it's the other way around for current editions. Anyway, I think algebra in 9th is still the norm in my state. They have not yet pushed for algebra in 8th across the board. But how people get to Algebra in 8th... Many elementary programs go to grade 6. Grades 7 and 8 are prealgebra and usually repeat themselves. So you can go from grade 6 (or 5 for an advanced student) to prealgebra, or you can skip grade 8 and go to algebra. But like PPs have mentioned... If the kid isn't ready for algebra until 9th, that's ok - the important thing is that they're ready when they take it. They need to be solid in elementary math and be mentally ready for algebra. Some kids are ready at a very young age, and some kids aren't ready until 9th grade or so. Taking algebra in 9th isn't the end of the world. I did it and still got a 5 on the AP BC Calc exam (and did well in post Calc math when I went to college). Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Rebel Yell Posted December 24, 2012 Share Posted December 24, 2012 There really is no such thing as "pre-algebra." It's a review of arithmetic and an early introduction to algebra. I typical to strong math student can go straight from elementary arithmetic (strong in everything through fractions, decimals, some exponents and square roots, negative numbers) directly into algebra. GIven the hope that multiplication and division are pretty well nailed down by 4th grade or so, hopefully it does not take 4 more years to get fractions, decimals, percentages, and exponents-- that would be an entire year per concept. Now, not all students are necessarily at the same place in math. Some kids read later than others. Some kids walk later than others. Some kids start to get the hang of math later than others. I would NEVER advocate rushing a kid into algebra before he is ready, and for many kids, this is not before ninth grade. That's perfectly fine. It is far more important to really nail down the basics before moving forward* if a student is not ready, and pre-algebra (which does not exist LOL) can really help with that-- see note below. Taking an extra year to work on more difficult problems can really help as well, to build confidence and competence. My kid would get killed on a football field. He is still working, at 9, on learning to run properly. Another kid may need more work on math before tackling algebra; given the extra time he may do just fine, and even learn to like it (I doubt my son will ever like football, and I'm great with that. Algebra does not cause concussions). *why would I advocate pre-algebra if I say it does not exist? Sometimes, including with my own kids, they still need more practice, but they have gotten so bored looking at the same old dumb problems that they insist they know the stuff (even if they don't, really) that they aren't very motivated to keep working at them any more. Sometimes, some somewhat more interesting material is just the ticket to get those underlying skills moving, and that early, easy, taste of algebra that you get in a typical pre-algebra course can be just right to accomplish making multiplicaiton, division, fractions, and decimals much more interesting and motivating. It kind of gives all that stuff a purpose. So algebra in 8th? Sure. Algebra in 9th? That's fine too. Algebra should happen-- when your kid is ready for it. Not before, and the elementary math doesn't need to be dragged out long after he's mastered it; there is nothing magical happening there if he has already built a strong foundation. Only you can determine whether you feel your child is being rushed or set at the right pace, but unless your child is doing something demonstrably behind (I would worry if a neurotypical student was only tackling algebra I at graduation time) or struggling aindi frustrated to tears, follow your child's lead, not so much what others are doing. What they are doing may not be right for you. Agreeing 100million%! Sometimes even the brightest, most obedient/willing child with the most patient teacher using the best books just is NOT ready. Sometimes a too-early push to do algebra can result in frustration and the child thinking they can't doit- rather than that they just aren't ready yet. I've heard, too, that there is a difference in developmental thinking--it's not just knowing the fractions/decimals/percents and basic arithmetic that leads into algebra, it's being able to "think algebraicly." Honestly, I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I've heard that kids may have procedures and concepts of the above stuff down pat and still not be ready for algebra. Maybe the "extra year" gives their minds time to mature into more abstract thinking that algebra demands. Here the progression in PS is 7th Alg if you are advanced, 8th Alg for most kids, and 9th Alg if you need more time. Dd qualified for Alg in 7th, but we decided to lessen her academic stress and give her one more year of pre-algebra. She is in honors, and they go into algebra. I don't know if this is helpful, but I'll post (in another post) what the topics are in her honors class. YeS< YES< YES! (to the parts above that I bolded.) I can see this with my 6th grader- she really really likes math, it comes very easily for her. But in every single algebra-type problem ( M + 36 = 97 ) she always forgets how to solve it and why- but if I walk her through it, she can do it. No way would I attempt to do algebra or even pre-algebra next year. One problem with public/private schools and math is this: each student can only take one math course per year. So if they don't do Algebra in 8th grade they are very unlikely to do Calc by 12th. even if they would be fully capable of excelling- they are stuck in the school's one-book/one-year pace. A homeschooler can start Alg. I in 9th grade and still do calc/pre-calc in 12th. The student can go through the book faster- skipping the first 20 lessons thatt, in most textbooks, are a nearly-insulting review of basic math that was likely forgotten over sumer break by typical students. The homeschooler can also skip those last few lessons that just introduce the next books' concepts without really doing anything usefull with them- usually the last few lessons are just there so the textbook sales people can say "BlahBlah 9th grade topic is included in the 8th grade book." So condensing the time needed to cover each book makes it possible to get through 5 levels in 3 or 4 years. At least that's what we're doing. :coolgleamA: Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

regentrude Posted December 24, 2012 Share Posted December 24, 2012 , and also for nearly any science: Genetics, Chemistry, Physics, maybe even ??Computer Science??....they all require a certain level of Calculus. Computer Science - most definitely. Our comp sci majors have to take two semesters of calculus and two semesters of calculus based physics. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

creekland Posted December 25, 2012 Share Posted December 25, 2012 One problem with public/private schools and math is this: each student can only take one math course per year. So if they don't do Algebra in 8th grade they are very unlikely to do Calc by 12th. even if they would be fully capable of excelling- they are stuck in the school's one-book/one-year pace. Students in ps can double up on Alg 2 and Geometry. They can be taken at the same time with no problems whatsoever. Many in ps who started late, but want to push forward, choose this option. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Pawz4me Posted December 25, 2012 Share Posted December 25, 2012 One problem with public/private schools and math is this: each student can only take one math course per year. So if they don't do Algebra in 8th grade they are very unlikely to do Calc by 12th. even if they would be fully capable of excelling- they are stuck in the school's one-book/one-year pace. Our public high school is on the semester system, making it very easy (and very common) for kids to take two maths a year. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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