Jump to content


Sorry...Another pre-algebra thread

Recommended Posts

I didn't want to hijack anyone else's thread so I'm starting my own.


My DD has about 2 weeks left of SM 6B. She does ok in math but it's not her favorite so I'd like to do a pre-algebra next year in 8th. Is MM7 considered a full pre-algebra program? It seems similar to SM and since that's what she's used to I'd like to use that if it is. (Really, I'd love to use AOPS but I don't think she'd like it.)


I also need to decide what to do to finish out this year. We also do some math in the summer. I know there will be some topics we'll need to review a little more after SM but that shouldn't take more than a couple of weeks. I was thinking of doing something like Challenge Math or Jousting Armadillos. Are either of these fairly short and something we could get through by September?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MM7 is considered a full preA program.


Both Challenge Math and Jousting Armadillos are short. Or, rather, Challenge Math is not "short" really, but nor is it something that you have to do in a totally linear way and check every box in order to get plenty out of it. You could just use it until you're ready to stop and do something else. Jousting Armadillos is very short for something that was intended to be used over the course of a year, but it was also meant to be supplemented. There are big concepts in there, but the problem sets are fairly short.


However... if you have finished SM6 and go through all of Jousting Armadillos, I would think MM7 would be redundant. Why not just move on to an algebra program. Many kids who finish SM6 are ready for algebra. And like I said, JA is a full preA program (it doesn't have any of the "pre-Geometry" topics that most preA programs have).


Of course, if you feel she needs more time, that could be good too. You could also just move right into MM7.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How comfortable is she with algebraic equations?  You could have her do Hands on Equations before MM7.


MM7 has a chapter on solving equations that uses illustrations of balance scales to help the student visualize what they are doing (very similar to the HoE approach).  HoE would give her a jump start on that chapter (and the HoE word problem book would take her further than the MM chapter).  When she got there in MM she could either cruise through that chapter or skip it if she has mastered solving equations, or that chapter could act as more exposure to it if she is struggling with the concept.  You could even work through the initial levels of HoE before MM7, and then work through the HoE word problems very slowly while doing MM7.


I am having my son go through Dragonbox 12+ and Hands on Equations while he works through MM5.  I want those foundational algebraic concepts to have a long time to roll around in his head.  I want him to give him time to start dipping his toe into algebraic thinking and problem solving gradually as we finish up arithmetic and pre-algebra.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks so much! I've considered skipping right to Algebra but we've us the US edition of SM and it hasn't covered negative numbers and only briefly touched on algebraic equations. Also, we'll need to go over decimals a bit more. I've thought about just covering those topics on my own and then jumping into Algebra but then there's the fact that 12 is turning out to be a rather emotional year for DD and I'm trying to avoid any additional crying. :tongue_smilie: Math isn't the only thing that makes her cry, just life in general if it's not smooth and easy and totally dictated by her whims. I've been told it's the age. Anyway, I don't want to push too hard with math because I don't handle all the crying well. I didn't do it as a teen and it makes no sense to me. I'm looking for a slightly easier math year. Maybe...


I've been looking at the Key to... books. Any experience with them? I haven't seen them in person and I haven't found many samples online yet. I like that they're separate topics and I can order just what we need. Also, they're pretty cheap. I thought maybe I could fill in the rest of this year with those and just work on reviewing where she needs it and filling in holes.


I'll check out the Hands on Equations too. That sounds like it may be something that would help DD11 too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Key to Math books are great. But... know what they're good for. They're very thin. They include only a little bit of instruction. They're definitely on the easy side. On the other hand, the problems aren't random - they are well written in that they build in difficulty and they throw in specific things to get kids to notice when they're going to have trouble - so in that sense, they have a mild discovery aspect - or a learning through doing aspect anyway. They have a good number of problems. They are very, very clear. Nothing tricky. They're perfect for when a kid needs extra review or is stuck on a topic and needs a new perspective.


The algebra course is very simplified, IMHO.


Seconding Hands on Equations and Dragonbox for making algebra seem fun and accessible. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...