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Is there any reason why I ought to tackle a big scary looking algebra book (Foerster) with my 11 yr old if what we're doing now is working great? Last year we finished SM through 6b. Now we've just about finished SYRWTL Maths 2 and I think we'll just move along to book 3 which reviews more arithmetic and goes further into algebra and geometry and introduces some basic trigonometry. She likes it fine and we move through the review bits fairly quickly. We also use a bunch of supplemental pre-algebra and algebra materials and it's going so well and we've got plenty more to get to. There's no real reason to get out the algebra book yet, right? I had been planning to use it next fall, but it seems so soul-suckingly dull in a way that Zaccaro and Keys to Algebra and Algebra Survival Guide and Murderous Maths and AOPS videos aren't. And there's so much there... Just reassure me that another year of doing pre-algebra is totally appropriate for a bright 11 yr old who doesn't like math.

And when it comes to starting Algebra officially, remind me it's okay to accelerate those first chapters that have been fully mastered...

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Goodness, she's so far ahead it's certainly ok! And I'd definitely fast-track through anything mastered when you do get there.


And when you are ready--nothing says that you have to use Foerster. Maybe there's another Algebra program that would better suit her and you.


Merry :-)

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Okay, trying this again (the site crashed just as I was posting). As I was saying, I agree with Merry. I think I was 13 and in 8th grade before my school tackled Algebra (granted, this was eons ago). So I figure, if your dd is enjoying what you're doing and it's working, keep it up!

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I would not tackle Alg until 8th grade for different reasons. Right now you don't know what her interests or major might be for college. Alg at 11 could put her so far ahead by 10th or 11th grade with maths she might not even need for college. Also, depending on the state, some will not accept Alg in a grade BEFORE 8th - we had this situation years ago in TN. A friend's son took Alg in 7th grade (he was an older 7th grader) but when he was ready for college, she had to jump through hoops to get it accepted by the state and the college of his choice.


Ever child is different, but I can tell you that enjoying them at 11 and spending quality time with them will be better time spent then pushing Alg on everyone. Let her enjoy what she is doing and continue on your path - daughters are so precious at this age.


Good luck,


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I would let her be your guide through this. There is no significant reason not to continue with Pre-A at this stage. The only one I could think of would be for those STEM directed kids who plan on taking advanced math in high school and possibly dual enrollment at a local college. Our ds11 is headed in that direction. But he likes math and wants to pursue a STEM career. So it really does vary per child.


OTOH, I wouldn't hold her back unnessarily either if/when she is ready for the next level of challenge. While math may not be her favorite subject science or another related field may be some day. And math becomes necessary for those courses requiring a solid math foundation.


Another option is to ease her into Algebra next year vs. all or nothing. You could have her start with it one day a week while continuing with the Pre-A supplementals. Or start her with an easier Algebra 1 like MUS or Jacobs. There comes a point of saturation I think when a child gets bored going over the same old things and its time for them to move on mentally. Nothings says you can't stretch Algebra 1 out over two years vs. Pre-A. If you did Algebra over two years it would allow you some time to introduce a Pre-Geomtry like Patty Paper Geometry the second year.


Lastly, while Foerster is a great classic text it may not be the best fit for her. As you've noticed its a bit boring compared to other options. We have several of the classic Algebra Texts including Foerster. But AoPS turned out to be a better fit for ds11. I would at least allow her to look at a few options which will help her to not dislike math as much and gain a greater sense of ownership. Maybe consider an online option as well such as Derek Owens or TabletClass to provide in a little more variety/interest.

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