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What are my options for math?

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My oldest is a 10th grader and will (finally!) be finishing ALgebra 1 in about a month or 2. She started when she was in 8th grade o.O  While she struggles with Algebra, she is making grades in the high 90's but she really has to fight for it. Her mind does not think mathematically. She will do Geometry, but beyond that we don't want to do Algebra 2 or anything else.

We also don't want basic Consumers Math or Business Math.  She already did Survival Math, and is currently doing Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace for Teens class with other homeschooled high school. She has the highest score in that class.  (just for some background)

Now, I want some kind of practical math that will stretch her and really challenge her (with just the right amount of frustration, but not to much) but that she can complete in a year (so we don't take 11th and 12th in the same book)  What is out there that meets these requirements?   College level is fine as long as it doesn't require Algebra 2 and beyond. I know there are many programs out there that fit this, I just don't know what they are or where to find them.   She is not going into a STEM career.  In fact, she will do something  until marriage and kids come, but wants to be a homeschool mommy :) 



We looked at High School level Consumers Math and Business Math but she knows all that already.... so I am lost.  Can you please help a lost mom? :)

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Is there a reason not to do geometry this year?   If she's considering college at all, geometry would be most helpful for the standardized testing.  Then after the year of geometry, maybe you can re-evaluate whether she'll work on algebra II or something else.  If she plans on homeschooling, that alone would be a reason to work on algebra II IMO.   Since you're looking for different ideas, maybe there's a statistics course that only requires algebra 1, but I don't know of any.  IMO it's better to get a B or a C in algebra II than to never attempt it at all.  It will stretch the mind, and you never know how much her math abilities may change in a year from now.

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I agree with Teachin'Mine.


If she wants to be a homeschool mommy, that's even more reason to take algebra 2.


Furthermore, if she knows consumer math and business math already, there's not a lot else to do ... since I doubt she'd be interested in number theory or probability.

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is she planning to attend college. Most of the colleges dd and I have visited are expecting to see Algebra 2 on  the high school transcript. I would research post secondary options before deciding not to try. My suggestion would be to start geometry as soon as algebra 1 is finished and continue it through the summer. I would not wait until next fall to start geometry. What you do after that is dependent on what you find for post secondary options. 


Additionally, most colleges require at least one math course for all students. At some colleges the lowest for credit course is college algebra (algebra 2). It would be better to have experience with this in high school before having to do the course in college. Be aware that some colleges the lowest for credit math course is precalc. 

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You haven't said what her goals are.


If she wants to go to college Algebra 2 isn't really optional. Even if she is only planning a CC degree she will have to have at least some level of math competency that will probably be beyond Algebra 2. I'd keep going with TT for Algebra 2 after Geometry.


Sorry to be so negative. If her goals don't include college and you aren't going to do Algebra 2 no matter what ;) then I think Consumer math is it. Financial Peace has basically no math in it, so that won't overlap. I don't know what Survival Math is to know what she has covered, but what about MUS Stewardship?

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Two random thoughts:


(1)  Is an LD an possibility (e.g. dyscalculia)?  I would look into whether that might reduce the math requirements at community or other college.  If so, I'd get that documented.


(2)  This is an unconventional idea, but if college is not in the plan and you're set on skipping alg 2 but are totally out of alternative math options, I'd consider spending a half-year or year in some sort of prealgebra that's more difficult than what she did before, or maybe from another perspective, for both mind-stretching and life-skill purposes.  I think it would be worth the effort educationally though I know nothing of credits or what one might call it.

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Hmmm... Most high school math program options come AFTER Alg. 2, not before, as the standard progression is assumed to be Alg. 1, Geom., Alg. 2, then other math (usually Pre-Calc, Trig, Calculus, Statistics). Non-STEM students would likely take Consumer Math -- but not what you're looking for.


If you want a math that would challenge her, but would not be above the level she is already at, you could go with something that focuses on problem-solving, such as Art of Problem-Solving (online class, or, curriculum) -- BUT, that would be at the Pre-Algebra / Algebra 1 level that DD has just completed. And sounds like you and DD want something other than Algebra, having spent 2 years on that topic...


Bookkeeping or accounting would be very useful skills, and could be counted as a either a math or an elective credit. DD may need/want to start a home business, or need to be able to assist an entrepreneurial spouse in a small business with those skills. Or be able to work part-time if that need arose at some point in the future:


Alpha-Omega Life Pac: Accounting  -- self-paced workbook series

- ALEKS -- online, self-paced courses; several options: Business Math; Accounting; Business Statistics

- Practical Accounting Fundamentals  -- NO reviews I've seen to know if this is any good or even worth a credit

Professor in a Box: Financial Accounting -- NO reviews I've seen to know if this is any good or even worth a credit



If you are dropping higher math at this point, you might consider switching to coursework that would be very desirable in many occupations: Computer/Tech (usually counted as an elective credit). Learn to be fluent with word processing, spreadsheets, basic design/layout software, even some digital image manipulation, and with specific current computer operating systems and software:


- Alpha-Omega Life Pac: Business Computer Information Systems -- self-paced workbook series

- Alpha-Omega Life Pac: Windows 7 -- self-paced workbook series

- Christian Light Education: Computer Basics Elective

- IT On Ramp -- online; short series of classes on variety of topics


Or, some vocational/tech coursework as dual enrollment through the local community college -- maybe even work towards an AAS in something that would allow DD to work at a higher rate-per-hour, and be more competitive in a field she enjoys and would also be a useful "fall-back" skill in case she needed to work at a later time.



Finally, JMO, FWIW ;), but agreeing with Teachin' Mine / Kiana / Betty / Momto2Ns -- even if it takes 2 years to get through Alg. 2, it would be well worth it to not shut any doors to your DD's future. Her interests, goals or needs could change even in the next 2-4 years, suddenly making a community college or university important to her future. (And that dratted Alg. 2 is increasingly becoming a requirement at so many schools...)


Just my observation, but due to both cultural changes and economic realities, it's increasingly valuable for women to have some sort of post-high school education in order to land a semi-decent job -- and SO many young women are more and more needing to work, for a variety of reasons:


- culturally in the West, men are putting off committing to marriage/families until much later (late 20s/30s), so women with homemaking dreams are having to work to support themselves (or even themselves AND a "failure-to-launch" boyfriend) until their deferred dreams can be realized


- so many young people have college (or other) debt, that newlyweds NEED 2 incomes -- sometimes for YEARS -- to pay off debt and build up a down payment for buying a home


- accident, illness, and downsizing happens, and many wives find themselves unexpectedly having to be the wage-earner these days


All that to say that by taking Alg. 2 now in high school, your DD would be eligible for many more CC or university options, should that be needed/desired.



My personal side note about the value of taking Alg. 2 in high school:


I do speak from experience: DS#2 has mild LDs and severely struggled through Algebra 1 and 2 -- it took us 1.5 years for EACH -- by doing Alg. 1 *twice* and Alg. 2 *three times* to get a C -- and that was using MUS, the easiest/"lite-est" of the high school math programs out there, IMO. Like your DD, our DS is also not a STEM student, and planned to only go the local CC, where math didn't appear to be needed. Last year, partway through work on his AAS, he learned that to be actually employable, he has to take a national certification test -- and the requirement for the test is a Bachelor's degree. Not just the AAS. Ug.


Fortunately, by having gone through the Alg. 2 in high school, it has meant that he scored high enough on the CC's assessment test, so DS only has to take ONE math class to complete his AAS -- AND that same math class will transfer to a 4-year institute and count for the BA. So, instead of the 3 math classes he would have unexpectedly have had to take (2 pre-requisites would have been needed if he hadn't taken the Alg. 2 in high school), DS will be able to get a degree with just ONE math class -- all because we sweated and struggled through the Alg. 2 in high school.)


Never would have thought we needed that Alg. 2, because back in high school it didn't look at all necessary. SO thankful now that we did it! :) BEST of luck as you and DD work through the options and in coming to the best decision for your family. Warmest regards, Lori D.

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Her ultimate goal is to be a mommy. There is no plans for college. Possibly a trade school but not positive. She is going to get a job after high school and see what happens. (if she wants to go to some sort of trade school before kids or just work and save for a while.) 


I DO hope that will work out for her!


Sadly, I know all too many lovely young ladies from church and from our homeschool group, all of them over 25yo, still waiting for that same dream to happen for them -- and finally just now realizing that they are going to have to support themselves until that dream might happen, if at all. :( But to do that, they need to go the vocational/tech route or CC route to get out of the dead-end retail sales job at Target or the fast food restaurant. :(


That's why I was encouraging the math that will leave the door open to CC or college, in case it becomes needful.


BEST of luck, whatever path DD's educational journey takes. Warmest regards, Lori D.

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I totally agree with Lori D.

Not taking Algebra 2 can be VERY limiting.


My oldest is 'artsy'.  She is not at all mathy.  It took her 9th and 10th grades just to complete Algebra 1 and 11th and 12th to complete Algebra 2... like your dd she earned high test grades--but getting there took FOREVER!  We did not get to Geometry--but she did basic geometry formula work in BCM and in the Algebras...


My oldest dd would LOVE to get married and start a family-- she is 23yr old and has NEVER dated... 'Mr Right' has not come her way (YET!).  She is having to support herself.  I'm so thankful that I helped her make it through Algebra 2 as she needed a college math course for her degree and Algebra 2 was a prerequisite-- she ACED the course-- math goes down so much easier with motivation!

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Like the others, I'm going to suggest you repeat with a different algebra 1 curriculum to give her a 2nd time through. 


The fact that it's hard does not mean it's the wrong thing for her to be doing.  It means it's working a part of the brain and needs more work, more time to make those pathways.  As the others said, MANY women end up needing to take math for some kind of degree and have to go back and battle their nemesis.  I remember my aunt, then in her mid 30s?, calling me while I was in high school asking me to help her, hehe.  She probably never thought she'd be going back, let alone for an accounting degree.  You just don't know. 


An old edition BJU algebra 1 text would be really affordable and a good way to do that review.  Anything in that vein would do. There will be review in the algebra 2, but it might be nice to go back and build her confidence by going through the algebra 1.  Make some crib sheets or manipulatives or things to help her, sort of external RAM.  

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