# What did your child take the year before they did AOPS pre-algebra? Is MM5 enough prep?

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Really, what I am trying to determine is if MM5 will be enough or if we need to do MM6. But knowing what you all did and found to be enough prep would be helpful info. Thanks!

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My son went from Singapore 5B to AOPS Pre-Algebra.

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We went through SIngapore 6b and then he did AoPS pre-algebra

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We went through Singapore math 5b.

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Readiness for AoPS is more than just skill level, but willingness to wrestle with new and unusual problems.

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Well, dd has read all the Danica McKellar books. The last organized math program she did was MM4, plus assorted worksheets from 5 (can't remember how much of that we got through). And about half of Zaccaro's Becoming a Problem Solving Genius, and some of his Real World Algebra. And some of the counting lessons from Competition Math for Middle School, because I love that sort of problem.

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Can you tell we're not so good at sticking with things long term? Neither of us much likes repetition...

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Edited to add: Her main preparation is that she's always been expected to think her way through a math problem and to explain her reasoning. I never let her get by with just memorizing procedures. And she's stubborn with a strong perfectionist streak, so she hates to let a tough problem beat her.

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Ds completed MUS through Zeta (decimals), and TT level 6.

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My son went from Singapore 5B to AOPS Pre-Algebra.

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Same here. Also we did lots of competition math prep.

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• 7 months later...

Really, what I am trying to determine is if MM5 will be enough or if we need to do MM6. But knowing what you all did and found to be enough prep would be helpful info. Thanks!

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Would you mind sharing what you decided?Â  I'm trying to figure out the same thing.

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Thanks!

Debbie

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We went with MM6a and now b. I'm glad we did as there is a lot in there. We are doing 3 pages a day to speed through it. I also bought Dolciani used for like \$4 shipped used on amazon and may have him do that next and then try AOPS in the online class next year. Not certain yet, but think he needs a class setting for some challenge.

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One ds went through SM 6B and one ds went through SM 5B. They are doing equally well in AoPS pre-A. I think SM 5B is adequate preparation for most kids.

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As a pp stated, i think kids need to be willing to wrestle with math to be successful with this program. It will be too frustrating for some kids. My guys have adapted to the style. (One ds is very much a problem-wrestler to begin with. )

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I am having fun with the program, and I am not mathy. :)

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We haven't been there done that, but we opted to go with MM6 before AoPS after reading a multitude of threads and reviews last summer.

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I did do some other things though.Â  There are some topics not covered in SM at those levels that is kind of needed even for pre a.Â  Stuff like negative numbers.Â

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Which version of SM did you use? We used the standards edition and I'm almost certain negative numbers had been added.

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Lily went from SM 5b to AoPS Pre-A. There was a learning curve with the format, but she was prepared mathematically.

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I did do some other things though.Â  There are some topics not covered in SM at those levels that is kind of needed even for pre a.Â  Stuff like negative numbers.Â

That is a good point. I completely forgot (and left out of my pp) that we did the first three booklets of Key to Algebra as a bridge between SM and AoPS.Â  It covered negative numbers.Â  D'oh!Â  And that was just this past summer!Â

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There has been plenty of new material in AoPS pre-A, but my kids have handled it okay with the knowledge about negative numbers.

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We did SM 5B (Standards), but we're also using Dolciani alongside AoPS, taking 2 years to do Prealgebra. My son is doing very well with this combo. He hasn't really had enough work with negative numbers and exponents from SM alone, but Dolciani gave him that basic drill and kill practice he needed. Then he was able to do well with AoPS, focusing on problem solving more so than how to deal with tricky exponent combinations.

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My son went from Singapore 5B to AOPS Pre-Algebra.

My DD did this too

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For those of you who went on to do level 6 before continuing on to AoPS, which concepts from level 6 do you feel were most necessary to have down before moving on to pre algebra?Â  I know that one person mentioned exponents, anyone else?Â  Thanks.

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For those of you who went on to do level 6 before continuing on to AoPS, which concepts from level 6 do you feel were most necessary to have down before moving on to pre algebra? I know that one person mentioned exponents, anyone else? Thanks.

We did MM as written through 5B, then skipped around through MM6. The parts of MM6 that we reviewed thoroughly before moving on: integers/negative numbers, factoring, ratios, and getting very comfortable doing all four operations using fractions, decimals, and percents, especially focusing on word problems. Re-teaching wasn't so much an issue, just needed to reinforce and re-familiarize. I've found that even after successfully completing those chapters individually in MM5 and/or 6, we still need to review and keep the skills fresh, or else puberty brain fog sets in and DS might sometimes looks blankly at me as if he's never seen those types of problems. We heavily relied on MM chapter reviews, chapter tests, and the MM worksheet generator. I don't regret taking the extra time to review.

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The sections of MM6 that we skipped in favor of coverage elsewhere: geometry, statistics, and probability.

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HTH.

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Yep, just exactly what Taryn said (meaning, that's what we're in the process of doing before AoPS, too, for the exact same reasons).

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Edited to say:

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We had finished half of Saxon 7/6 and it was not enough. Â I think that if you have a solid foundation through the end of 6th or even 7th grade math, so that some of the concepts are repeats, you would be better off than we were.

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Thanks so much, this does help.Â

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SM through 5B (with LOF Fractions and Decimals), then LOF pre-Algebra, and now AOPS Pre-algebra. Mostly, that was to give her a little more time to grow up a bit (she was only 7 when she finished SM 5B) and get used to transferring problems from a book. If she'd been older, we could have skipped the LOF step.

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Older went from SM5b to AoPS intro algebra with some adjustment but not huge troubles (there was no preA back then)

Younger has had a miserable time going from SM5b to AoPS preA.Â  We are taking a detour to MEP year 8 using the E plan for quick students.

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So I think it definitely depends on the student!

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Ruth in NZ

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• 3 weeks later...

One ds went through SM 6B and one ds went through SM 5B. They are doing equally well in AoPS pre-A. I think SM 5B is adequate preparation for most kids.

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Â  :)

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We're finishing up 5B now... my son is very mathy, it's his easiest subject. Â We did RS A-E, and then switched to Singapore 4B, 5A & 5B. He's whizzing through 5B like its review. He's in 6th grade.

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Do I go into 6A - do I just straight to AoPS pre-A. Having done both, tell me your experiences?

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What does 6A/6B teach - what new?

And what is AoPS pre-A like?

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Thanks!!!

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Which version of SM did you use? We used the standards edition and I'm almost certain negative numbers had been added.

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Lily went from SM 5b to AoPS Pre-A. There was a learning curve with the format, but she was prepared mathematically.

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Same as I asked above, why did you skip SM 6A/B? I see lots of discussions, and wondering if I ought to as well... what's the merit of jumping ship?

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Mine did MM5A/5B, MM integers workbook, Key to Fractions and Key to Decimals.

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We got through Singapore 6A before starting AoPS Prealgebra.Â  I hadn't planned on switching; I had planned on sticking with Singapore through Discovering Mathematics.Â  But dd was getting cranky with 6 (it is a lot of review), so after 6A she decided to try the AoPS.Â  We're over halfway through Intro Algebra now.

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Thanks for the reply! We've decide to just go for it... ordered AoPS PreAlgebra tonight. Wish me luck! So we'll have gone from SM5B to AoPS Prealgebra. I did buy SM6A also, and if that should arrive first, may look through it to see if we need any review.

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So we'll have done RightStart A-E, then SM 4B-5B, then AoPS Prealgebra

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My son went from Singapore 5B to AOPS Pre-Algebra.

This is what my son did, too.Â  He also did the IPs and does the CWP in the summer months.

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He's currently on Chapter 7 of AoPS Pre-Algebra, and so far it's been going well for him.Â  He will occasionally spend a whole day on just reading a section, then the next day he does the problems.Â HeÂ often takes several days for the Challenge section problems; sometimes an extra day or two really makes a difference in understanding them.

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No, finish MM6 - Math Mammoth Level 6 A and B.Â  Not for the concept but for the arithmetic mastery.

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No, finish MM6 - Math Mammoth Level 6 A and B.Â  Not for the concept but for the arithmetic mastery.

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Totally agree with this, now that I'm in the middle of it. Â To me, this doesn't mean they have to do all the problems in MM6, but they need to show mastery of all the concepts via the chapter reviews or chapter tests. Â So MM6 will take us less than a year to complete, but I am so glad we are using it for those concepts that do need review/solidification. Â Particularly ratios - she goes into ratios way deeper in MM6 than in the previous years. Â Also unit conversions, which is covered both in the decimals chapter and in the ratios chapter. Â I would have hated to miss the extra practice on that.

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So far we skipped most of the first chapter and most of the integers chapter, but did most of the decimals and all of the ratios chapter. Â I'm guessing we'll skim through the fractions chapter and do the percents in its entirety. Â We are planning on skipping geometry and statistics in MM6 in favor of its coverage in AoPS. Â We're also using Jousting Armadillos for the algebra part, rather than MM6.

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We're also using Jousting Armadillos for the algebra part, rather than MM6.

I have at least a year before I have to worry about preA, but I can't help but to start planning. Can Jousting Armadillos be used as preA before Aops preA, or is it solidly an algebra book? I know there are three books in a series and I am under the impression that the first one is preA. Is the book intended for the full year?

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And more questions :)

I am very confused why MUS Algebra is used as preA text. I saw a sample chapter online and loved the visuals. Does Aops algebra have a similar visual component?

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I have at least a year before I have to worry about preA, but I can't help but to start planning. Can Jousting Armadillos be used as preA before Aops preA, or is it solidly an algebra book? I know there are three books in a series and I am under the impression that the first one is preA. Is the book intended for the full year?

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And more questions :)

I am very confused why MUS Algebra is used as preA text. I saw a sample chapter online and loved the visuals. Does Aops algebra have a similar visual component?

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Yes, that's correct - JA is basically PreAlgebra, while the other two books are Algebra 1. Â More or less. Â I can't imagine JA taking a whole year on its own, but it's nice when you are a chronic curriculum combiner (c-cubed?) in math the way I am.Â  ;)

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JA's 6 chapters are:

Reasoning

Writing Algebra

Negative Numbers

Algebra & Fractions

Equations & Inequalities

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I think you could do it and still have plenty to learn from AoPS preA - if for no other reason than it doesn't cover a lot of topics AoPS does (geometry, statistics & probability, exponents & square roots (which comes in one of the later books), or a whole lot on ratios/rates/unit conversions or decimals & percents.

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Same as I asked above, why did you skip SM 6A/B? I see lots of discussions, and wondering if I ought to as well... what's the merit of jumping ship?

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We skipped SM 6A/B because it was time for a change. There weren't any problems, but something wasn't quite right either.

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I have never used MM, so I can't speak to that.

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We have taken AoPS pre-algebra slowly. Maybe she could have gone more quickly had we not skipped 6A/B, but I have no regrets following the path we did. The approach has been wonderful for Lily.

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HTH.

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(Sorry it took so long to respond; I've been on a board break.)

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Yes, that's correct - JA is basically PreAlgebra, while the other two books are Algebra 1. More or less. I can't imagine JA taking a whole year on its own, but it's nice when you are a chronic curriculum combiner (c-cubed?) in math the way I am. ;)

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JA's 6 chapters are:

Reasoning

Writing Algebra

Negative Numbers

Algebra & Fractions

Equations & Inequalities

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I think you could do it and still have plenty to learn from AoPS preA - if for no other reason than it doesn't cover a lot of topics AoPS does (geometry, statistics & probability, exponents & square roots (which comes in one of the later books), or a whole lot on ratios/rates/unit conversions or decimals & percents.

So JA is more of a supplement than substitute. That's good to know. I will drawn in math books pretty soon. :)

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Well, theoretically they say it covers PreA & Algebra 1 over 3 years, but with no probability/statistics and no geometry, I do think you'd need to supplement, right? Â It seems like those topics are generally included, at least in PreA.

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Okay, I have to take it all back!Â  :lol:Â I've had dd working on the Ratios chapter of AoPS this week, and she loves it! She asked if she could move to AoPS instead of MM for the rest of the year. Â Um, ok!Â  :hurray:

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I still think I did the right thing not starting her on chapter 1 at the beginning of the year . . . she did a lot of new hard things at the beginning of this year, and I suspect it would have been overwhelming. Â But now, she feels ready! Â

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I also think saving Ch. 2 (exponents) till later will be a wise move - let her get used to AoPS on some of the easier/more fun chapters and then go back to the trickier ones.

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I am glad to have MM6 for chapter reviews, tests, etc. though! Â And grateful that it has taken her this far. Â It really is a solid program but it does get . . . dry after awhile.

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Okay, I have to take it all back!Â  :lol:Â I've had dd working on the Ratios chapter of AoPS this week, and she loves it! She asked if she could move to AoPS instead of MM for the rest of the year. Â Um, ok!Â  :hurray:

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Welcome to the dark side! We have cookies! :D

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Welcome to the dark side! We have cookies! :D

And more math books bwahahaha!

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Okay, I have to take it all back!Â  :lol:Â I've had dd working on the Ratios chapter of AoPS this week, and she loves it! She asked if she could move to AoPS instead of MM for the rest of the year. Â Um, ok!Â  :hurray:

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I still think I did the right thing not starting her on chapter 1 at the beginning of the year . . . she did a lot of new hard things at the beginning of this year, and I suspect it would have been overwhelming. Â But now, she feels ready! Â

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I also think saving Ch. 2 (exponents) till later will be a wise move - let her get used to AoPS on some of the easier/more fun chapters and then go back to the trickier ones.

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I am glad to have MM6 for chapter reviews, tests, etc. though! Â And grateful that it has taken her this far. Â It really is a solid program but it does get . . . dry after awhile.

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Interesting... We are doing MM6 and will be done in about 10 weeks. I need to decide where to go from there. I wanted to do MM7, but we are flying through MM6 way too fast. At this point, I am torn between MUS Algebra and AOPS PreA.

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So you jumped right into Ch. 7? Is this typical of AOPS PreA that the chapters can be done out of order? Will you go back to Ch. 1 from here?

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Hmm, I haven't figured that all the way out yet. Â Well, let's think it through:

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What we've done so far is review of basics (MM), Integers (JA), Decimals (MM) and Ratios (MM+AoPS). Â I was going to review percents and fractions with MM, then move on to the PreA stuff using JA. Â Then I was going to do the geometry and statistics chapters in AoPS (10-14), then do the AoPS Exponents (ch. 2) and Square roots (Ch. 9). I had intended to save those to the end anyway, because I had read that they were the hardest.

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So we were almost "done" with MM anyway. Â I think we'll just do the AoPS chapters on percents and fractions, instead of MM, then do JA as planned, maybe adding the chapter on equations & inequalities (she really likes JA, I'm sure she'll still want to use that), then circle back around to AoPS and do the rest of the book. Â I doubt if we will go back and do chapter 1, because honestly I think it is the worst chapter in the book in terms of wordiness and overcomplication, and she is totally solid on basic operations and integers.

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Its kinda nonstandard as far as scope & sequence goes, but not too much. Â All the books I've looked at do this stuff in different orders, so I don't think it matters too much. Â I actually like how MM does Decimals before Fractions, and treats Decimals as a special case of fractions - those with base 10 denominators. Â It really helps kids connect those concepts, like I was saying above.

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Sounds like a good plan, for today! Everything subject to change without notice, though, of course.

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Hmm, I haven't figured that all the way out yet. Â Well, let's think it through:

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What we've done so far is review of basics (MM), Integers (JA), Decimals (MM) and Ratios (MM+AoPS). Â I was going to review percents and fractions with MM, then move on to the PreA stuff using JA. Â Then I was going to do the geometry and statistics chapters in AoPS (10-14), then do the AoPS Exponents (ch. 2) and Square roots (Ch. 9). I had intended to save those to the end anyway, because I had read that they were the hardest.

Sounds like a good plan, for today! Everything subject to change without notice, though, of course.

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My two cents: Â at a minimum, you want to do exponents before square roots and you want to do square roots before the Pythagorean Theorem (ch 12). Â I'd also do ch 5 (equations) in order, as that will come up in subsequent chapters.

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This may depend on a student's prior knowledge coming in to the book, but FWIW, to me, it makes the most sense to at least attempt to do the book in order and then come back to any particularly difficult chapters later (e.g. ch 2 and 5), to re-do or review. Â There are lessons involving exponents in places you might not expect (e.g., in ch 4 fractions, even though IIRC we usually skip much but not all of ch 4).

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Also, IMO, rather than skipping a chapter entirely (say, ch 1), it is worth doing the chapter review to make sure all the concepts covered there are understood.

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Also, IMO, rather than skipping a chapter entirely (say, ch 1), it is worth doing the chapter review to make sure all the concepts covered there are understood.

Yes, this. If you find she has difficulty with a certain segment of the review and challenge problems, go through that particular section in the book.

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Dd has moved into AoPS Intermediate Algebra (the book they use for their Algebra 3 course). The first four chapters are essentially review of parts of Introduction to Algebra. Dd is working through those review and challenge problems now instead of skipping the chapters entirely.

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(Good thing that it's corresponding to Nutcracker performance weeks---I don't know how she'd get through entirely new material now!)

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My two cents: Â at a minimum, you want to do exponents before square roots and you want to do square roots before the Pythagorean Theorem (ch 12). Â I'd also do ch 5 (equations) in order, as that will come up in subsequent chapters.

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This may depend on a student's prior knowledge coming in to the book, but FWIW, to me, it makes the most sense to at least attempt to do the book in order and then come back to any particularly difficult chapters later (e.g. ch 2 and 5), to re-do or review. Â There are lessons involving exponents in places you might not expect (e.g., in ch 4 fractions, even though IIRC we usually skip much but not all of ch 4).

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Also, IMO, rather than skipping a chapter entirely (say, ch 1), it is worth doing the chapter review to make sure all the concepts covered there are understood.

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Ok, thank you! Â I will reorganize my thoughts. Â If I had been starting the year with this book, I definitely would have done it in order, I'm not suggesting that doing it out of order is preferable or anything . . . I'm just trying to make sense of where to go from here, exactly. Â But this suggestion is extremely helpful.

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ETA: Ok, I figured it out, how to meld JA with AoPS (I think this will help with Ch. 2 & Ch. 5 of AoPS, actually) and how to do AoPS in order. Â We won't finish it this year, for sure, but I'm excited and a bit scared to get started!

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Wow, I'm in a totally different math world than when I woke up this morning. Â Ima hafta get my game on.Â  :scared:

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But seriously, it's a good example of how quickly things can change at this age. Â Best laid plans and all.

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Thanks, Rose. I totally understand how fluid this is. I enjoy your musings even if they are subject to change. They help me think through options, too.

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Â Is this typical of AOPS PreA that the chapters can be done out of order? Will you go back to Ch. 1 from here?

My geometry loving kid started from Chapter 10 until the end before going back to Chapter 1.Â  That is not typical of course.Â  My older would be doing the trigonometry ratios chapter 18 in the AoPS Geometry book as enrichment to his school's pre-algebra book. There are someÂ topics in the Algebra book that is covered in his pre-algebra course.Â  I would say doing out of sequence is more likely for afterschoolers like my kids than for homeschoolers.Â  I do not expect AoPS to match California's scope and sequence after all.

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• 3 weeks later...

Thank you for this discussion ladies! I have been reading all the AoPS posts lately in preparation for next year with my 10yo. She attended a charter school for 4 years before we began our homeschooling journey in 4th grade. We have done a lot of curricula hopping in math and are currently using California Math (Macmillan)

because SM and Saxon were not challenging enough. AoPS pre-algebra looks like it will be the perfect next step for dd. She took the placement test last night and is excited to start next fall.

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