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How many pre-algebra programs do I really need?/ How do you pull off more than one?

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I might have a problem...

 

I *think* my son (turned 12 on Tuesday, starting 7th) will be using MM7 as his pre-algebra spine.  I got myself all confused researching which curriculum to use and ended up also buying Jousting Armadillos and Zaccaro (both Real World Algebra $8! and Challenge Math $3.85!).  I also have AOPS PreA and we tried that a bit last year but he's not a fan.  I think it's too hard for him.

 

For some reason, I am feeling like I should have a copy of Lial's PreA on hand as a reference or in case he likes that one better than MM7. (I found edition 3 for less than $20. Editions don't make much of a difference right?) But realistically I'm not even sure how I would have him go through MM7 and JA and Zaccaro. So...

 

1. Am I crazy for wanting to get Lials too?

 

2. How do/would you schedule MM7 and JA and/or Zaccaro?

 

And yes I have read the fence straddlers thread! :) Just in case you were wondering. I'm going all bug eyed and crazy from reading so much the last few days. 

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You need one program. Pick something and stick with it, unless it really does not work for your kid.

Edited by regentrude
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What's this "Fence Straddlers" thread?  

 

We chose AoPS, but once it arrived I'm just not sure.  It's so...textbooky.  Just very very dry.  My son is only 10, going on 11 and he's coming from Singapore and Beast Academy.  

 

So I'd like to see these other options, too...lol.  

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BTw, how do I read the fence straddler thread? I keep coming up with a "closed group" error when I click on the thread.

 

 

I had the same problem. It seemed like the illusive thread or maybe it just wasn't working somehow? Try this link...

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/342798-pre-algebra-fence-straddlers-master-thread/page-7?hl=%2Bfence+%2Bstraddlers&do=findComment&comment=7107192

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What's this "Fence Straddlers" thread?  

 

We chose AoPS, but once it arrived I'm just not sure.  It's so...textbooky.  Just very very dry.  My son is only 10, going on 11 and he's coming from Singapore and Beast Academy.  

 

So I'd like to see these other options, too...lol.  

 

The fence straddlers thread (there is one for preA and one for algebra) was created in 2012 I think and it's the longest thread I have seen with decisions back and forth about the various pre algebra programs. 

 

Check out Jousting Armadillos and Zaccaros for a less dry approach from what I have read. I have them both coming to me soon and then I'll really be able to tell. 

 

And I think this link hopefully works for the fence straddlers thread. http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/342798-pre-algebra-fence-straddlers-master-thread/page-7?hl=%2Bfence+%2Bstraddlers&do=findComment&comment=7107192

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What's this "Fence Straddlers" thread?  

 

We chose AoPS, but once it arrived I'm just not sure.  It's so...textbooky.  Just very very dry.  My son is only 10, going on 11 and he's coming from Singapore and Beast Academy.  

 

So I'd like to see these other options, too...lol.  

 

What does your kid think about it? I fretted about this about AoPS pre-algebra book, but my kid feels differently. I think that it has problems that come from some math competitions help, as she can't wait to sit for her first AMC8 this year.

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What does your kid think about it? I fretted about this about AoPS pre-algebra book, but my kid feels differently. I think that it has problems that come from some math competitions help, as she can't wait to sit for her first AMC8 this year.

 

 

He's not started it yet.  Or really sat and looked through it.  

 

He finished Singapore 5 this past spring, and has been working on Beast 5.  He could probably launch right into Pre-Al, but he's been pushing back a bit on his workload and how it's not fair that he has more math than the other kids, etc.  Clear signs that I needed to back off.

 

So I decided to let him finish Beast 5 this fall...with that being his only math, aside from Singapore's CWP and Process Skills.  He'll start AoPS in January.  

 

He HAS said that he's disappointed AoPS did not have a Beast Pre-Al and that he will miss the Beasts.  I completely agree.  Given that a high percentage of AoPS kids are younger than your typical Pre-Al and Alg. students, a program geared towards their younger maturity would be appropriate.  

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I might have a problem...

 

I *think* my son (turned 12 on Tuesday, starting 7th) will be using MM7 as his pre-algebra spine.  I got myself all confused researching which curriculum to use and ended up also buying Jousting Armadillos and Zaccaro (both Real World Algebra $8! and Challenge Math $3.85!).  I also have AOPS PreA and we tried that a bit last year but he's not a fan.  I think it's too hard for him.

 

For some reason, I am feeling like I should have a copy of Lial's PreA on hand as a reference or in case he likes that one better than MM7. (I found edition 3 for less than $20. Editions don't make much of a difference right?) But realistically I'm not even sure how I would have him go through MM7 and JA and Zaccaro. So...

 

1. Am I crazy for wanting to get Lials too?

 

2. How do/would you schedule MM7 and JA and/or Zaccaro?

 

And yes I have read the fence straddlers thread! :) Just in case you were wondering. I'm going all bug eyed and crazy from reading so much the last few days. 

 

Yes.   :laugh:   I know lots of people recommend it, but as soon as I opened the book I knew I could never use it with anyone.  The pages are horribly busy - to the point of being unusable, at least for us.  

 

But, really, I agree with everyone else.  Pick one and do it well.   

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He's not started it yet. Or really sat and looked through it.

 

He finished Singapore 5 this past spring, and has been working on Beast 5. He could probably launch right into Pre-Al, but he's been pushing back a bit on his workload and how it's not fair that he has more math than the other kids, etc. Clear signs that I needed to back off.

 

So I decided to let him finish Beast 5 this fall...with that being his only math, aside from Singapore's CWP and Process Skills. He'll start AoPS in January.

 

He HAS said that he's disappointed AoPS did not have a Beast Pre-Al and that he will miss the Beasts. I completely agree. Given that a high percentage of AoPS kids are younger than your typical Pre-Al and Alg. students, a program geared towards their younger maturity would be appropriate.

My DS is nearly the same, turning 11, coming from Singapore, my plan was for AOPS pre-A in January. We've been watching pre-A videos from AOPS and Derek Owens samples just to get a feel for it, and I think DO just feels more accessible for the younger age group. I need to get the AOPS pre-A text ordered, but I'm considering doing DO first, then lopping thru AOPS. Whine, like what I did with Singapore and beast. Be interested to hear what you all do!

 

 

Pre-Algebra curriculum is worse than learn to read curriculum! Too many choices and too much angst! I seriously think I could actually teach pre A in less time than I've spent researching and worrying about it!

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In hindsight, as the owner of nearly every pre-algebra program, we didn't really like any of them. Yes, we had Dolciani, AoPS, MM, JA, etc. I mashed it all together and made it work because we just weren't happy with any of them. But we did spend a lot of time playing games, reading, working with manipulatives so it wasn't a total loss. That was in 6th.

 

Then, we got to algebra in 7th, and I realized it's because I don't think we actually needed pre-algebra. It was this weird year of making sure you had everything covered in arithmetic before moving to algebra. In hindsight, I probably should have just gone to algebra. 

 

As it was, we did Forester's algebra in 7th, and although we completed it, I missed AoPS. Since DD is a strong math student, but not a math lover nor interested in pursing it as a career, we've decided to do a second year of algebra 1 this year (8th) with her doing AoPS algebra independently. It's been our smoothest math year ever so far. She now loves Alcumus and working through everything on her own, which she didn't like with their pre-algebra book. 

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If MM has been working I would stick with that. I'd think about doing some Zaccaro on the side for something different and a break and forgot the rest.

 

Fwiw we did BA and RS through, then JA and I felt he needed more practice so he did AoPS pre-A. Once we started AoPS I didn't feel the need to do that much extra as it is pretty intense although we did bits of this and that for problem practice since AoPS is mastery.

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Just need one, though I did have a second one on hand to supplement when needed. We used AoPS Prealgebra, and in the first couple chapters, he needed a litle extra hand holding, so I pulled out Dolciani Prealgebra and did a little bit of the offending topics in there. Once we hit chapter 3 of AoPS, I didn't have to pull out Dolciani again.

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Yes.   :laugh:   I know lots of people recommend it, but as soon as I opened the book I knew I could never use it with anyone.  The pages are horribly busy - to the point of being unusable, at least for us.  

 

But, really, I agree with everyone else.  Pick one and do it well.   

 

Oh, oh what a relief.  

 

You are the only other person I've seen to say this.  

 

I bought Lial's, sure that it would fit our needs.  And it would have.  But, oh my.  

 

DS has had vision therapy, and we still work on vision issues.  For the most part, he can handle anything, but if the font is too small or the page is too crowded, his brain is working harder than most to make sense of it - and it's exhausting.  

 

We had to shelve Lial's, thought I admit that I briefly considered typing it out on the computer so he could do it in a larger format.  Uh... No.  That was a very brief consideration.

 

 

 

 

Didn't mean to sidetrack, but it was such a surprise to see someone say the same.  If it's been said before, I've missed it.

 

 

 

 

I also agree that picking one program and sticking to it is the way to go.

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I might have a problem...

 

I *think* my son (turned 12 on Tuesday, starting 7th) will be using MM7 as his pre-algebra spine.  I got myself all confused researching which curriculum to use and ended up also buying Jousting Armadillos and Zaccaro (both Real World Algebra $8! and Challenge Math $3.85!).  I also have AOPS PreA and we tried that a bit last year but he's not a fan.  I think it's too hard for him.

 

my then-6th grader also hated AoPs Pre-A - and he's a strong mathy kid. We then jumped to Dolciani's Pre-A and never looked back. One book, one program, and he was well on his way to Dolciani Algebra by 7th - then we outsourced to Jurgenson's Geometry (through WHA) by 8th. Still strong mathy kid going into 10th now.

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