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    Joined: Apr 2014
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    Originally Posted by Val
    The best advice I can give is to tutor your daughter at home if her school uses a textbook produced by a mainstream publisher like Pearson or Prentice-Hall. US math textbooks are generally very bad, and are downright confusing starting at the algebra level.
    Up.

    Also, a math-minded child (and even some not exceptionally math-minded HG+) may be able to sail through typical alg I material in far, far less than a school year. Some members of my family did not actually take alg I at all (straight into algebra II), and one learned all of it in one week home "sick".

    If you want depth in your algebra text, you'll have to look internationally (or back in time).


    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...
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    My DD12 took Algebra in 6th grade and is now in 8th/9th Honors Geometry in 7th grade. Her first grading period she had something like a 99.3 average.

    My DD17 took Algebra in 7th - the normal honors/accelerated path and is now in her 2nd year of Calculus as a senior.

    Neither has expressed any regrets - other than trying to figure out how my younger will meet the requirement for 4 yrs of HS math when she exhausts the courses by 11th grade.

    It's obviously an individual situation, but neither had issues, and I view Math as a bit different than many of the other subjects. It's so factual/concrete that maturity levels, age differences, etc., aren't that meaningful.

    Personally, I skipped a grade in elementary school and accelerated math, and never had any concerns - but that was long ago.

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    Originally Posted by Cranberry
    It's obviously an individual situation, but neither had issues, and I view Math as a bit different than many of the other subjects. It's so factual/concrete that maturity levels, age differences, etc., aren't that meaningful.


    While I don't expect the OP's child to have any problem with algebra, I think this may be going a bit far. There's an abstraction level in algebra 1 that I think you have to be developmentally ready for, just like you have to be developmentally ready to learn to read.

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    Val Offline
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    Originally Posted by ElizabethN
    Originally Posted by Cranberry
    It's obviously an individual situation, but neither had issues, and I view Math as a bit different than many of the other subjects. It's so factual/concrete that maturity levels, age differences, etc., aren't that meaningful.


    While I don't expect the OP's child to have any problem with algebra, I think this may be going a bit far. There's an abstraction level in algebra 1 that I think you have to be developmentally ready for, just like you have to be developmentally ready to learn to read.

    Agreed.

    That said, and going off on a tangent, today's books are much less abstract than they were up until about ~25 years ago, with the decline starting in the 80s or so. I have old high school math books that are breathtakingly abstract. Modern Introductory Analysis (1964) is a good example of a deep, proof-heavy book. A newer edition called Introductory Analysis was published in the late 1980s and is much less proof-heavy than the first book.

    I have a 46-page booklet called The Complex numbers (1965) that's supposedly aimed at high school students through interested adults. It contains a proof that took two pages to develop.

    Today, math education is way more concretely focused than it used to be. I understand the need to apply math to solve problems, but think that the drastic loss of the theoretical stuff is a problem ---there's a lot to be gained from grinding out some proofs. And the old books also had a lot computation.

    To the point about readiness for algebra, I used to present my kids with algebra-like problems to gauge their readiness. I'd see signals indicating readiness or not. In particular, before they were ready, they wouldn't retain what I'd taught them. Now, it's normal to forget stuff --- especially when you're learning a lot at once, but it was different when they weren't ready. I'd have to re-explain everything all over again next time, and there was basically almost no memory of the previous round. It was also extremely difficult for them to apply ideas before they were ready.

    I once overheard a conversation about reading with the same conclusion: "I've been teaching him for almost a year, and he hasn't really improved." "Yes, me too."

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    At our public school, probably 50-75 kids take Algebra I in 7th grade. It's not called that anymore with Common Core.
    My 8th grader did that and did really well. He took a 5-week geometry class last summer at the community college, and his school skipped him into Algebra II as an 8th grader (Integrated Math 2). He should be able to take two full years of AP Calculus at the high school and then just enroll at our local 4-year university as a senior in high school for math.
    He had to pass an algebra-readiness placement test to take Algebra 1 in 7th grade. He got a 93% and you had to get at least a 75%.
    If a child couldn't pass an algebra readiness test, I wouldn't do it since the skills build on each other and it will just be frustrating.

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    DD is in 7th grade and taking algebra I . She is finding it very easy and received an "A" for her 1st trimester grade.

    Her class is mostly 8th graders with a few 7th graders. That being said, there are probably 6 or 7 algebra classes at her school.

    Last edited by frannieandejsmom; 11/15/16 07:27 PM.
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    DD took algebra I as a 7th grader, I believe-- I'd have to look, as it's been quite a while.

    Anyway, she had been ready for quite some time, and found the material theoretically very simple indeed-- mostly giving formal names to things that she'd already found quite intuitive.

    Quote
    To the point about readiness for algebra, I used to present my kids with algebra-like problems to gauge their readiness. I'd see signals indicating readiness or not. In particular, before they were ready, they wouldn't retain what I'd taught them. Now, it's normal to forget stuff --- especially when you're learning a lot at once, but it was different when they weren't ready. I'd have to re-explain everything all over again next time, and there was basically almost no memory of the previous round. It was also extremely difficult for them to apply ideas before they were ready.

    Agreed-- and ditto.

    DD didn't have that basic readiness until about 4th-5th grade. Then, it was EASY.

    Like reading was easy to learn when she was almost five-- same developmental champing at the bit.


    For reference, though, that developmental arc is vastly different for different children-- DD was either 9 or 10 when she took algebra, and was 12 when she was tutoring other students in it quite successfully.




    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    FWIW the district here routinely routes our version of the gifted and talented program into Algebra at 7th grade and usually has a class or two accelerated one year earlier and starting in sixth. I don't love the curriculum but it seems to work out.

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    As others have mentioned, AoPS is a great resource and is used by many kids that accelerate in math. I think the problem will not be if your child can do Alg I, the problem will be the issues of keeping them challenged if they get accelerated too far.

    After reading, The Calculus Trap, by Ruscyzk, we slowed DS down by having him take several of the AoPS courses like Number Theory and Counting & Probability. It worked fine for him as he likes math. He is now in 8th grade and doing independent study taking AoPS PreCalculus. We buy the books for him and he works through the books and then he does the online course. He likes this method of reinforcement.

    There are quite a few kids on the same path as DS but unfortunately not at his school. He is friends with them through a local math club. It has been difficult to keep him challenged/interested as he typically works alone in math.

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    My DD10 is taking Algebra 1 now as a 7th grader. So far she is sailing through. She is working with the tutor at Algebra 2/Pre-calc level. I am conserned with her possible future burnout from time to time.... So far she is having fun (tutor comes once a week for an hour).






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