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Is prealgebra necessary?

Is prealgebra necessary?

I'm was looking toward the future last night thinking ahead (I'm a planner) for math. Right now we are using Math Mammoth and love it. It goes up to 6th grade and then for 7th grade you can do pre-algebra and then algebra. She says on her website that if you master 6th grade that that pre-algebra is pretty much a review. There may be a couple new concept but a lot is a review. My boys are really strong in math and I'm afraid they will be bored with a whole year of review.

I am really strong in math as well so I feel confident that I could teach them anything that they might have missed by not taking pre-algebra when working in algebra 1. I was thinking of doing Algebra 1 in 7th, then algebra 2 in 8th. Does anyone else do this? Will they miss a lot by not taking a whole year for pre-algebra?

Ericka

re: Is prealgebra necessary?

No, it's not necessary. My son is in 7th and is doing well in Algebra I
We use videotext algebra. His entire belief system is that pre-algebra is not necessary. The program we use covers 2 years and will count as algebra I and II. Not that you have to use videotext, but I think it's true of all the math programs. Pre-Algebra is mostly elementary review with a little bit of algebra. That little bit is reviewed in algebra I, so if you already have a strong math foundation, pre-algebra is really not necessary.
My dd used Saxon pre-algebra and Saxon algebra I before switching to videotext. My ds used Saxon, but when he would have used Saxon pre-algebra, started using videotext algebra instead. He hasn't had any trouble. My dd is also doing well. I don't think having pre-algebra hurt her, but I don't think it helped either.

re: Is prealgebra necessary?

My DD11 is taking pre-algebra from A Beka. I was told she could skip 7th or pre=algebra. What I did was go ahead and do 7th, but only the parts that were new. Then I'm doing the same with the pre-algebra. So she ends up finishing both 7th and pre-algrebra in a little less than one year. I'm glad I did it this way because she's young and getting new concepts in smaller doses works well for her.

re: Is prealgebra necessary?

Well, I remember when I was in school that I actually tested out of what was suppose to be 6th grade math and did pre algebra that year instead. So I would say that perhaps the last year of "regular" math is pretty much the same as pre algebra. If you have a child who is strong in math they can likely skip one or the other (depending on curriculum).

re: Is prealgebra necessary?

Depends on how much Algebra your current math curriculum has covered already through the years. Algebra is touched upon each year. You would have to judge how your student handles these concepts during those brief weeks of content during your math program at each level. A great book to be sure the bases are covered is the 300 page workbook "The Complete Book of Algebra and Geometry" Grades 5-6. By American Education Publishing. I highly recommend it as it perfectly preps them for high school levels of the material. It comes with complete instructions and answer key, so you don't need a separate teachers book. It is on Amazon for about $12. I have had my kids do one page of this book each day during the grades 5-6 levels, in addition to our regular math curriculum. It worked great for us. Then you don't have to "waste" a year on pre-Algebra. I highly recommend that workbook! Well-written and not too difficult, yet it is thorough.

re: Is prealgebra necessary?

Pre-algebra can help firm up and review concepts that will be used in Algebra and give an additional year for growth and development. Algebra does involve skills that require higher maturity and logic. My experience is that algebra can be like reading. Some students simply won't get it until certain connections are made in their brains -then it is like a switch was turned on.

Each child can be different - I have one that I did not do pre-algebra, but algebra was done for 7th and 8th grade. My second child - we are doing pre-algebra (LOF) and then will move on to algebra. Child #2 simply wasn't ready to handle algebra.

I work with math students and have seen over the years the struggles that students have that are simply not developmentally ready to handle algebra even if their arithmetic is fine.

re: Is prealgebra necessary?

I found out that it was for my son. I thought I had covered what I thought pre-alg. was and put my oldest in Alg 1 last year. He was not ready for it and he had done all the MUS up to Zeta, 6th grade math, LOF up to pre-alg - those weren't ready, all the Key To's for fractions, decimals and percents. I thought I had it covered. But, I had to back up and take him through Kinetic Books pre-alg. Then, we started TT Alg 1 this year and he is doing well - still makes tooo many mistakes, but is finally enjoying math! We also tried VT and it was just too hard to understand - I think cuz he didn't have much easy alg and it got harder faster. My youngest two are using CLE and they have so much pre-alg so easily and gently slipped in that they are way ahead in that regard and love it!! They will go right to Alg with no problems! So, it probably depends on the kiddo and their understanding and math ability.

re: Is prealgebra necessary?

You don't need to spend a whole year firming up concepts. We used Basic Not Boring Middle School Math workbook to go over/firm up elementary info before moving on to Alg. We spent about 3 months doing it.

Spetzi

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