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Order of Algebra? Cover all Linear Relationships first?

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This is across-post with K-8 because I just realized the people who can best answer this question most likely have kids who have finished Algebra and might be in high school. 

My 7th grader is using Foerster Algebra. When I looked around online to see the sequence people were using with the book, I came across Kolbe Honors Algebra syllabus, which lists the order as:

Chapter 1 Expressions and Equation:           Chapter 2 Operations with Negative Numbers;                                           Chapter 3 Distributing: Axioms and Other Properties

Chapter 4 Harder Equations ;                        Chapter 7 Expressions and Equations Containing Two Variables                Chapter 8 Linear Functions, Scattered Data, and Probability

Chapter 13 Inequalities                                Chapter 5 Some Operations with Polynomials and Radicals                             Chapter 6 Quadratic Equations

Chapter 9 Properties of Exponents Chapter 10 More Operations with Polynomials

He is finishing up Chapter 4 so I am debating whether to move to Chapter 5 and then 6 or skip to 7, then 8, then 9, and maybe 13 and then back to 5 and 6.  Anyone have any pros/cons with this idea? The reason I think this might be better is that I am not sure how long he really wants to homeschool. This is his first year homeschooling and he misses his friends at school. If I put him back into school in February or March he would go back to a small private school where all 7th graders are doing pre-algebra and then half of 8th grade does Alg, while the other half continues in pre-alg. When I look at what they do in Pre-Alg this year, they briefly touch on two variables, slope, functions, and exponents. It might be better he is solid in these areas then I can do chapters 5 and 6 over the summer with him. 

I just looked at the Table of Contents for his Algebra book next year and it has Linear Relations first (functions, equations, inequalities) in the first half of the book then exponential and quadratic equations. 


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Very interesting...I was not aware that Kolbe had an honors algebra 1 course plan.  I have the plans for the non-honors version and it covers the chapters in order.  My daughter completed the book straight through as well.  The honors plans look new and maybe they have decided it is better.  I do like that my algebra 2 plans from Kolbe show regular and honors side by side so you can see the differences.  I think Foerster does cover quadratic equations earlier than many algebra texts.  I have plowed into chapter five a couple of weeks ago with my 8th grader so we will see how it goes.

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Is it possible that people are trying to make Foerster more like the Common Core sequence?

Here is the sequence from the CC Holt Algebra 1 book:

  • Equations (prealgebra equation solving)
  • Inequalities (extends the above to inequalities)
  • Functions
  • Linear functions
  • Systems of (linear) equations and inequalities
  • Exponents and polynomials
  • Factoring polynomials
  • Quadratic functions and equations
  • Exponential functions
  • Data analysis and probability

That said, I tend to prefer to use books in the order the author intended.  Especially with an author like Foerster, who obviously put a great deal of thought into his books, there is probably a reason they have things in the order they do.


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