View Full Version : How to postpone Algebra I?

Tricia O

05-22-2012, 07:48 PM

I know that sounds like a strange question, but I am wondering if anyone has been in this position before & how you handled it. My son is now in 3rd grade (as we have just started our new school year). He will be doing Teaching Textbooks 5 this year, TT6 in 4th grade, TT7 in 5th grade & TT Pre-algebra in 6th grade. I will not want him to do Algebra I until at least 8th grade, as I feel some maturity may be helpful in understanding & doing well.

So he will have a year somewhere in there where we may be able to go in a different direction, do a year of "fun" math or something. We could actually put off Pre-algebra until 7th grade, giving us his 6th grade year to do something else. Have you ever had a child in this situation & if so, what did you do? Thank you for any suggestions or advice. :)

ETA In our state if he does Algebra I in 8th grade, it can count toward his high school credits.

Rachel Jane

05-22-2012, 07:58 PM

You could spend the year doing business math or some Life of Fred stuff for fun.

Life of Fred: Fractions

Less Than, Billion, Cardinal and Ordinal Numbers, Diameter and Radius, Savings and Expenses, Definition of a Fraction, Sectors, Comparing Fractions, Reducing Fractions, Adding and Subtracting Fractions, Common Denominators, Roman Numerals, Least Common Multiples, Improper Fractions, Lines of Symmetry, Division by Zero, Circumference, Multiplying Mixed Numbers, Commutative Law, Canceling, Definition of a Function, Area, Unit Analysis, Division of Fractions, Geometric Figures, Estimating Answers.

ISBN: 978-0-9709995-9-7, hardback, 192 pages. $19

Life of Fred: Decimals and Percents

Number Systems, Adding and Subtracting Decimals, Multiplying by Ten, Functions and Inverse Functions, Pi, Multiplying Decimals, Whole Numbers, Squaring a Number, Subtracting Mixed Units, Sets and Subsets, Union and Intersection of Sets, Rules of Divisibility, Division of Decimals, Repeating Decimals, Bar Graphs, Prime and Composite Numbers, Consecutive Numbers, the Goldbach Conjecture, Area of a Circle, Dollars vs. Cents, Pie Charts, Conversion between Percents/ Fractions/ Decimals, 40% of 15, 30% off, Distance Equals Rate Times Time, 15% more, Area of a Triangle, Square Roots, Area of a Parallelogram, 13 Is What Percent of 52, Ratio, Ordered Pairs, Graphing, Negative Numbers, Elapsed Time, Probability.

ISBN: 978-0-9791072-0-7, hardback, 192 pages. $19

Life of Fred: Pre-Algebra 1 with Biology

Definition of Life, Sets, Fractions, Germination of Seeds, Area of a Rectangle, Volume of a Cube, Ordinal Numbers, Diameter and Circumference of a Circle, Definition of π, 2% of 500, Four Ways Plants Make New Plants, d = rt, 20% Discount, the Five Kingdoms, Phyla, Classes, Orders, Families, Genera, Species, Your Brain, Conversion Factors, Where the Non-Water Mass of a Plant Comes From—Plants Don’t Eat Dirt, Subsets of Sets, Digestion, Eyes, Negative Numbers, Dominant Genes, Genotypes, Phenotypes, Blood, Staying Alive, Solving Algebraic Equations, Volume of a Cylinder, Word Problems, Breathing, Chlorophyll vs. Hemoglobin vs. Hemocyanin, Avogadro’s Number, Stoichiometry, the Whole Numbers, a Proof that Division by Zero is Not Permitted, Bones, the Integumentary System, Epidermis and Dermis, Meiosis and Mitosis, Chromosomes, DNA, Alleles, Changing Your Phenotype.

ISBN: 978-0-9791072-2-1, hardback, 288 pages. $29

Life of Fred: Pre-Algebra 2 with Economics

Domain and codomain of a function, Conversion factors, Steps in Solving Word Problems, How Not to Bore Your Horse If You Are a Jockey, One-to-one Functions, Unit Analysis, Key to a Successful Business, Five Qualities that Money Should Have, the Tulip Mania in Holland, Definitions of Capitalism, Socialism, and Communism, Payday Loans, the Tragedy of the Commons, Partnerships, Cardinality of a Set, Four Ways to Kill Competition, Freedom vs. Liberty, Why We Have a High Standard of Living, Tariffs, Demand Curves, Venn Diagrams, Ricardo’s Law of Comparative Advantage.

ISBN: 978-0-9791072-3-8, hardback, 288 pages. $29

Julie in AZ

05-22-2012, 08:00 PM

I don't think you need to worry about it, Tricia. That's the kind of thing that seems to work itself out. I thought my ds was behind where I'd like him to be then he did some math reading on his own and was able to skip TT7. I couldn't have planned for that.

You could easily add in some other math, such as Life of Fred. On the other hand, some friends of ours have their dc doing Algebra in 7th grade very succesfully. I think you'll have a better idea in a couple of years. :)

I had the same thought - other Fred books for fun... especially the Pre-Alg ones. He could also do a year of Consumer Math or Business Math if he wanted to.

:)

Gitel in nj

05-22-2012, 09:12 PM

I know that sounds like a strange question, but I am wondering if anyone has been in this position before & how you handled it. My son is now in 3rd grade (as we have just started our new school year). He will be doing Teaching Textbooks 5 this year, TT6 in 4th grade, TT7 in 5th grade & TT Pre-algebra in 6th grade. I will not want him to do Algebra I until at least 8th grade, as I feel some maturity may be helpful in understanding & doing well.

So he will have a year somewhere in there where we may be able to go in a different direction, do a year of "fun" math or something. We could actually put off Pre-algebra until 7th grade, giving us his 6th grade year to do something else. Have you ever had a child in this situation & if so, what did you do? Thank you for any suggestions or advice. :)

ETA In our state if he does Algebra I in 8th grade, it can count toward his high school credits.

REALLY? Why are you assuming in 3rd grade that your DS would not be ready for Algebra in 7th grade? Mine was and I had to fight that very same attitude to allow him to take it. You won't have to fight..you can do it. Or maybe, he wont be ready..but how can you know in 3rd grade? Why decide now? decide in 6th grade, who knows...he may be so very ready and he might not....

My son's Algebra 1 did not count towards hs. nor would it have counted in 8th grade. His Geometry in 8th did not count either. He still was more than able to get 4 years of math in hs: Algebra 2, Pre-Calc, Calc, and next year linear algebra. There is also Stats or game theory etc... Your son will have plenty of math to choose from!

Tricia O

05-22-2012, 09:41 PM

REALLY? Why are you assuming in 3rd grade that your DS would not be ready for Algebra in 7th grade? Mine was and I had to fight that very same attitude to allow him to take it. You won't have to fight..you can do it. Or maybe, he wont be ready..but how can you know in 3rd grade? Why decide now? decide in 6th grade, who knows...he may be so very ready and he might not....

My son's Algebra 1 did not count towards hs. nor would it have counted in 8th grade. His Geometry in 8th did not count either. He still was more than able to get 4 years of math in hs: Algebra 2, Pre-Calc, Calc, and next year linear algebra. There is also Stats or game theory etc... Your son will have plenty of math to choose from!

I guess I was concerned that if he took Algebra in 7th grade that he would run out of math he could do that we could teach at home & would count as credits for high school. :unsure:

I went to the MS School for Math & Science, and I took Algebra 1 in 8th grade, Geometry in 9th grade, Algebra 2 in 10th grade, Precalculus in 11th grade & Calculus in 12th grade (only 1 semester, as I hated it). I had to have another 1/2 credit of math, so I ended up taking a class called Math Art. :lol:

Neither my DH nor me liked or did well in Calculus, so I am pretty sure we wouldn't be able to teach it. :eek:

ETA He is very mathematically-inclined, which is totally the opposite of my oldest daughter, but she is great at reading/literature, drawing, etc. They do all have their own strengths & weaknesses. He would actually do more than 1 lesson a day but I want him to do other subjects besides just math. :D

CINDY LB OH

05-22-2012, 09:51 PM

My oldest dd started Algebra1 in 7th grade. She did great until about half way through the course, but this also was a course that didn't split algebra into a 1 and 2. All of if was in one book. I didn't realize it at the time.

So when she got stuck we just put it away for a while. She then reviewed algebra with the Keys to Algebra series in 8th grade, and had no problem jumping into Alg 2 in 9th grade and Geometry in 10th. I still listed Alg 1 on her high school transcript.

I like the Life of Fred idea though. And you never know, he may be ready to start algebra 1 in 7th grade and you could just go at slower pace so it takes both 7th and 8th grade to complete. Also, he may not need both TT7 and TT Pre-algebra. If he's very good at math then most likely not, and you'll have to fill in even more time. That's where Fred can come in.

I understand exactly what you mean. I also felt like I didn't want my dd to do Algebra I before 8th grade. She's good at math, but not a math genius by any means. I didn't want to rush it. Also, if you do in fact have a math genius on your hands, it'll work itself out. You have plenty of time during high school to tweak what you're doing to make the most of your child's best talents and interests. You'd be able to find someone to teach what you can't, whether it's an outside class or a DVD class or something online.

I was in the same boat with my dd. I had her do TT7 in 6th and then pre-algebra in 7th. (TT pre-algebra is about 1/2 math review followed by 1/2 algebra concepts.) Up to that point we use a traditional math textbook (MCP Math), and then switch to TT in either 6th or 7th grade.

This is one drawback of TT that's hard to explain to someone who's not using it. We still use MCP math through Book F for this very reason -- so they don't get too far ahead, too fast. It's not that you're holding them back, it's just that TT is "lighter" program than many math programs out there and I do think it's easy for a child who's pretty good at math to get really far ahead really quickly.

Gitel in nj

05-23-2012, 07:13 AM

I guess I was concerned that if he took Algebra in 7th grade that he would run out of math he could do that we could teach at home & would count as credits for high school. :unsure:

I went to the MS School for Math & Science, and I took Algebra 1 in 8th grade, Geometry in 9th grade, Algebra 2 in 10th grade, Precalculus in 11th grade & Calculus in 12th grade (only 1 semester, as I hated it). I had to have another 1/2 credit of math, so I ended up taking a class called Math Art. :lol:

Neither my DH nor me liked or did well in Calculus, so I am pretty sure we wouldn't be able to teach it. :eek:

ETA He is very mathematically-inclined, which is totally the opposite of my oldest daughter, but she is great at reading/literature, drawing, etc. They do all have their own strengths & weaknesses. He would actually do more than 1 lesson a day but I want him to do other subjects besides just math. :D

Whew..I thought you might be a bit annoyed with my comment. I'm glad you took it the way I intended it. I had a feeling it was more of the --"what will we do with him?", then that he would not be ready.

I understand not being able to teach high level math, I wouldn't be able to, but here is the thing..home schooling doesn't always mean mom or dad have to be the teacher--especially in high school. There are community colleges that offer math courses, there are online classes (way back in 5th my DS did a JHU pre-algebra class on line), there are other home school families that can help (this was how we got the Algebra 1 in 7th grade, a friend's dad taught the boys on Saturdays and then the boys took the final with the 8th graders and aced it. The 2 boy's transcripts shows Algebra 1 in 7th but they didn't actually take it in the school) There are many alternatives and being a home schooler you can do it however you want.

Oh, if your DS loves math so much look into math competitions. JHU offers classes for that kind of math online too. Even in 3rd or 4th grade, Math league offers kids the opportunity to start participating in math competitions. It is fun for a math kid to do.

wende

05-23-2012, 08:07 AM

We are postponing Algebra 1 for a couple of months. DD14 is finishing up Life of Fred pre-algebra 2 w/ economics, and we are slipping in an economics unit before moving on to Algebra 1.

Also, there are a lot of math tutors available on DVD. Standard Deviants can take you all the way through Calculus. We use The Teaching Company dvd along w/ Fred.

Sunshine C

05-23-2012, 09:35 AM

Oh, if your DS loves math so much look into math competitions. JHU offers classes for that kind of math online too. Even in 3rd or 4th grade, Math league offers kids the opportunity to start participating in math competitions. It is fun for a math kid to do.

:yes: I did these when I was a kid, and for kids who like to figure things out and do problem solving that is not just "follow this pre-taught formula" then these are great! The university closest to us sponsored them.

Gitel in nj

05-23-2012, 09:51 AM

:yes: I did these when I was a kid, and for kids who like to figure things out and do problem solving that is not just "follow this pre-taught formula" then these are great! The university closest to us sponsored them.

:clap: Exactly!

So here (http://www.mathleague.com/homeschool.htm) is the home school page for Math League--it starts in 4th grade but who says you can't let a 3rd grader try the 4th grade stuff?

And here (http://www.home-school.com/Articles/think-math-contests.html) is some information from Homeschool world on math competitions.

and this site (http://www.homeschoolmathcontests.com/page.php?7) lists regional competitions that home school students can participate in.

Enjoy!

Susan Seaman

05-23-2012, 03:31 PM

Mine all did Pre-Algebra in 6th and Alg. I in 7th. They were ready. By starting early, we went through more slowly when needed. If they take two years to complete Alg. I, then just count one year of math and one year of Alg. I on their transcript. The only thing that really "counts" is the math on their high school transcript. I was more interested in thorough understanding than how fast they finished the books, and starting early let me slow down where needed to really work on a concept.

Becky in CA

05-23-2012, 05:02 PM

SingaporeMath.com has a few supplemental series you could do alongside your math. There are Intensive Practice series and Challenging Word Problems series. It might be a little more difficult trying to figure out exactly which level you'd use if you're not using SM.

Also, SimplyCharlotteMason.com has the business math book you could add in there somewhere. ;)

Anjie in PA

05-23-2012, 08:00 PM

I will ditto Susan's response! My girls both needed two years to fully understand Alg. I, so I'm glad we got there "early."

Susan Seaman

05-24-2012, 10:07 AM

For mine, the "slow down" has come in Algebra II. We used Saxon, so there was Geometry and Trig. mixed in, and Saxon himself said it was designed to be two full years of credit. I counted it as a year and half of credit, but two of mine took two years to finish it. The other one did it in a year and a half.

Linda

05-25-2012, 11:32 AM

Do you think some of that slow down is due to the fact they are younger than "average". :unsure:

I've heard several people talk about the maturity level and getting the concepts easier when the student is a little older. This was in reference to two different families whose children went through math quickly, and did very well, only to reach a point where they had to redo some math (due to changing schools and the higher math not being offered at the new school for that age). The second time around the kids were the ones who were saying, "I get this so much more now than I did the first time around" They were a few years older than the first time they encountered it, more along w/ the "advanced" student than the "average" math student. Did that make sense? It totally does in my brain! :roflol:

That said, I agree w/ everyone else, you move along w/ their pace. There are plenty of supplemental programs to add in to the mix. My sister had her kids take Algebra a second time using a different curriculum, just to make sure they really had it down. They did. ;) Once they hit the higher maths, you don't have to be the one teaching it to them! :no: There are a lot of options out there, but don't worry about that bridge until you get to it. Just enjoy the fact you have a kid who loves math and is good at it. :thumb:

Tricia O

05-25-2012, 11:52 AM

Do you think some of that slow down is due to the fact they are younger than "average". :unsure:

I've heard several people talk about the maturity level and getting the concepts easier when the student is a little older. This was in reference to two different families whose children went through math quickly, and did very well, only to reach a point where they had to redo some math (due to changing schools and the higher math not being offered at the new school for that age). The second time around the kids were the ones who were saying, "I get this so much more now than I did the first time around" They were a few years older than the first time they encountered it, more along w/ the "advanced" student than the "average" math student. Did that make sense? It totally does in my brain! :roflol:

I think I get what you are saying, which is one of the reasons why I thought it might be better to wait until at least 8th grade for Algebra 1. I have found with other areas like certain math concepts & even with reading, that no matter how much they understood the previous material, they reached a point where they just weren't mentally ready for the next step. This is why I have always said that sometimes the best gift you can give your child is the gift of time. After taking a break and allowing them time to mature a bit, it often seems that things appear to "click" so much easier for them. Does this make sense to you? ;)

With some things, it seems like if you start later that they are able to learn quicker & understand easier, and it all evens out in the end. :unsure:

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