# What grade do you start algebra in?

## Recommended Posts

My dh is seriously considering teaching some science classes next year. He's a civil engineer and has a math degree. We were talking about it last night, about what classes to think about, and he was wondering when homeschool kids, on average, take algebra. For the physics classes he wants to do, even at the jr. high level, he says they need to be able to do basic algebra, b/c it's solving equations. Would 6th/7th graders be able to do basic equations?

##### Share on other sites

My son's a little ahead in math, but he can solve algebraic equations with one variable now. It's a very mechanical skill. Once you learn the rules and steps for isolating the variable, it's not much harder that long division.

However, his logic/reasoning skills are not yet developed enough to convert a word problem into an equation.

So some aspects of algebra can certainly be started pretty early....

##### Share on other sites

We will be starting Algebra 1 in 8th grade.

##### Share on other sites

However, my daughter started algebra at 8, and my 11-year-old son is finishing algebra 1 this year. I think that's unusual, though.

I'd say it depends on just how "basic" the equations are. Simple equations with one variable are often introduced in pre-algebra in junior high.

##### Share on other sites

I took the "advanced" track for math in school, and I took pre-algebra in 7th and Algebra I in 8th. That's par for what I've seen from homeschool math curriculum too - Algebra I is typically 8th or 9th grade.

##### Share on other sites

Algebra 1 is typically taught in 8th or 9th grade depending on the program or ps system. However, more importantly, when it is taught should be dependent on the students abilities.

Our state is pushing the ps to teach Alg 1 in 8th grade. This is a fine idea in theory, but there are a number of children in this area that just aren't ready for it at that age. Some because they haven't mastered the required material; others, because, even though they know their facts, they aren't ready for the abstract nature of the material.

My middle ds will be in 7th next yr and he will be taking Alg 1. My youngest, on the other hand, probably won't take until 8th. But he may surprise me.

HTH

##### Share on other sites

Algebra 1 in 9th grade...prealgebra in 7th and 8th...

##### Share on other sites

The thing with Algebra is the needed brain development. That is why during middle school you really don't learn many new math concept; you just keep reviewing old concepts to allow the brain develop. You have to be able to think conceptually and abstractly. The actually math is not hard. It is the understanding of how to set up and do the problems. My friend who teaches ps math in high school wishes they wouldn't teach algebra to 8th graders. Not that 8th graders can't understand algebra, but because they have problems in later grades with higher math (algebra 2 and Calculus). They aren't developmentally ready for algebra 2 in 10 and Calculus in 11th. That is where they hit the wall!:001_huh:

##### Share on other sites

My local ps offers algebra I to the higher tracked 7th graders. The average performers get it in 8th grade, and the kids with some math struggles get it in 9th.

##### Share on other sites

Our ds took Algebra in 8th grade, geometry in 9th and struggled with Algebra 2 in 10th - Than received an A in college Algebra. So I think it depends on the child. :)

Blessings

Lisa

wife to Guy, mother to DS 18and dd 6 :auto:

##### Share on other sites

Instead of setting a minimum *grade* level, why not set a minimum math prerequisite? You could say "must be currently studying Algebra 1 or higher level math" or whatever is appropriate...

There's a really wide range of ages for algebra 1 study -- especially in the home school community!

##### Share on other sites

Of my three that have gotten that far, I had one do Algebra I in 8th and two take it in 9th.

##### Share on other sites

Of my three that have gotten that far, one had Algebra 1 in 8th grade and two in 7th/8th grade. My third has hit a wall with Algebra 1 so we're doing other things and will finish it next year.

##### Share on other sites

I've taught physics enrichment classes to that age group. I like to do as much math as possible but if its algebra I do it on the board as a demonstration. I tell them that what I am about to do is algebra and ask who has done algebra before. You'd be surprised how many have been exposed to it but many have not at all. So I tell them that I want to show them this math but I am not expecting them to do it. I tell them they will see it again soon in their studies.

I definitely teach above level material but because of this I have found that I need to be ready to change the class on the fly to meet the students. Different groups that I have taught have different abilities and attention spans. Sometimes there are a couple of kids who pull the whole class up to a higher level. Sometimes there are a couple of kids who pull the whole class down to a lower level.

Feel free to pm me if you have any other questions about teaching enrichment classes in physics. I've done it for a couple of years now.

##### Share on other sites

Our state (Michigan) has new graduation requirements. Beginning with the class of 2011, in order to receive a high school diploma, students in the public school system must have 9th gr Algebra. They must also have Geometry and Algebra II between 10-12 grades. They are required to have 4 credits for graduation, so the 4th math is optional, but they will not accept consumer or business math as one of the 4 credits. I don't think that leaves many options, so I'm thinking you have to have something like pre-calc or something. I'm curious to see how this turns out for the public school system in our state! Either the kids will have to become better educated in MI, or you'll have a lot less kids receiving a high school diploma!

##### Share on other sites

Our state (Michigan) has new graduation requirements. Beginning with the class of 2011, in order to receive a high school diploma, students in the public school system must have 9th gr Algebra. They must also have Geometry and Algebra II between 10-12 grades. They are required to have 4 credits for graduation, so the 4th math is optional, but they will not accept consumer or business math as one of the 4 credits. I don't think that leaves many options, so I'm thinking you have to have something like pre-calc or something. I'm curious to see how this turns out for the public school system in our state! Either the kids will have to become better educated in MI, or you'll have a lot less kids receiving a high school diploma!

That is interesting. SC requires you to have Algebra 1 to graduate. The public schools have what is called "Tech Algebra 1&2" this is Algebra 1 spread over 2 years and 2 credits are received. I'm not sure how Michigan is going to graduate kids when they require 4 credits of higher math.

##### Share on other sites

We're planning to try algebra in 7th grade.

##### Share on other sites

He might look at the Conceptual Physics series. I believe they use a way of either just teaching those basic equations needed, or use an entirely different method of covering the physics that allows for those who haven't done much algebra yet to still participate.....

##### Share on other sites

Instead of setting a minimum *grade* level, why not set a minimum math prerequisite? You could say "must be currently studying Algebra 1 or higher level math" or whatever is appropriate...

He is going to, he just wasn't sure what to expect....would a majority of jr high kids be able to solve equations? I'll have to look up the Conceptual Physics book. We're leaning towards (I say we even though it's going to be all him, LOL) the Real Science for Kids physics book for the jr high one. They must have some way of teaching it in there that jr highers can do that doesn't require much algebra. We're debating going to the MI hs conference in May to look at textbooks, but since there isn't a wide selection of jr high books, and it's \$30 just for the shopping pass, I don't know if we will.
##### Share on other sites

and wow, I hadn't heard about the MI requirements. Ha. I totally wouldn't have gotten my diploma....or I would have, but with a really bad GPA. That's crazy....some people are just not good at math. Or they could be but have had bad teachers. Wow.

## Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

Only 75 emoji are allowed.