View Full Version : Algebra I in 8th grade if returning to PS in 9th?

04-28-2013, 04:31 PM
Looking forward to 8th grade, were trying to come up with a tentative list for curriculum before going to all the used curriculum sales. I am struggling with the direction to take for his math. Its helped in the past to talk it out here, so thanks in advance if you make it through this post.

We were all set to have a gap year for math and concentrate on applications. Id loop back through 8th grade math (which we finished this year) while introducing Algebraic concepts. Hed be doing more lab work with less content than in a normal Algebra class. Our hope is that hed have a greater interest in math - he thinks it is boring and beneath him now.

Whats throwing me off, though, are two things.

First, we had originally planned for him to re-enroll in PS for 9th grade. They rarely give middle school students high school credit without jumping through hoops we dont even have access to. So, wed plan to go in a different direction for one year instead of having him take Algebra twice. But now were looking at a charter school for high school. Then, he could get credit for Algebra in 8th grade IF I teach a more standard full blown course and be on track to take more advanced math and, therefore sciences, while in high school.

Second, Ive been seeing math ability in him to do so much more at this point. I am afraid that by delaying his Algebra I that I may be holding him back in the long run. Or, that hell get so bored hell just turn off. Talking through his progress with one of his former math teachers just makes this feeling even stronger. She was having trouble in 6th grade keeping up with his logic jumps. Her vote is to get him into the meatier math ASAP.

So it comes down to surging ahead with what I know he can do, but run the risk of his having to repeat Algebra I. Or, have a play year and explore a little, but more in-depth, this time running the risk of boring him with not enough challenging concepts.

Ive been coming to terms with the idea that we may need to homeschool through high school (in which case this is all moot), but its plan B at this point.

04-28-2013, 04:39 PM
what curriculum were you looking at? because you could always do AOPS either prealgebra to dig deeper in review, or algebra 1 if you want him to move forwards?

04-28-2013, 04:51 PM
I am a former Algebra teacher so I write my own math curriculum and problems, pulling from a wide variety of workbooks and old lesson plans as needed. If I saw a good one on sale, I'd probably use a traditional book as a spine to prove we covered what we're supposed to, to get him credit.

04-28-2013, 05:33 PM
I would go ahead and do the full algebra curriculum. I mean, being bored in school is no fun... on the other hand, there are worse things than having to redo a math class - it may help him in terms to making him comfortable adjusting to a new school.

04-28-2013, 08:05 PM
have you ever looked at the videos on the art of problem solving website? alcumus? their approach is totally different than the way most people and texts teach, which is why its a sideways step in my thinking

04-28-2013, 08:17 PM
have you ever looked at the videos on the art of problem solving website? alcumus? their approach is totally different than the way most people and texts teach, which is why its a sideways step in my thinking
And its a great suggestion! However - our current dilemma is more about which course to teach than how to teach it. My husband and I just had another discussion about this and talked ourselves into circles yet again.

04-28-2013, 08:28 PM
I definitely vote for going for it. I can't imagine holding my son back. He will be "8th grade" in the fall also. He did Life Of Fred for Algebra I, Algebra II and now Geometry. We have backed that up with a Udacity Physics course that required Algebra (and introduced Trig). He is a happy camper and absolutely "gets" it. Because he is so young, when we get to a standardized testing point (like PSAT), I will have him review with Khan Academy.

06-15-2013, 10:28 AM
I would have him do Algebra now and you can always have him "test" out of it if he goes back to public school. Nothing wrong with being a 9th grader in the 10th grade math class...just means he will take something else senior year (9-geometry 10 - algebra II/trig 11 - calculus 12 - ?, one of our schools allows the kids to walk to the college campus next door if they need higher math than the school can offer). DON'T HOLD HIM BACK! That way lies boredom and a transition from loving math to hating it.

06-20-2013, 08:52 AM
Definitely do Alg I now. Even if he ends up not getting credit for it, it doesn't mean taking it over again in most schools. The schools that don't give credit for 8th grade Alg I don't necessarily make all the students repeat it. Instead, they want the required math credits to start with Geom, Alg II, etc. So it could mean not getting high school credit for it but not needing to repeat it either. It's become the norm for the advanced students to do Alg I in 8th grade. (And unfortunately, the norm for the average kids to do Alg I in 8th grade in some areas). We also love AoPS. And as a former middle/high school math teacher (when I did middle, it was 8th grade Alg I for high school credit), I've been very impressed with the rigor of it. It's much more of a challenge than any honors Alg I course I've ever seen.

06-20-2013, 05:17 PM
I'd go for it (and if it just doesn't click, drop it). I took it in 8th and then went to a school with "Accelerated Algebra" for freshmen who'd had Alg. I... and then transferred to a school where I had to take two math courses in 10th grade because I hadn't had geometry yet (and wanted to get to calculus)--and wound up in basically a remedial geometry class. Geometry is a big whompin' gap in my education to this day.

If a kid has had Algebra I in 8th grade and his mom is a former professional algebra teacher, they will put him into geometry in 9th, not make him repeat algebra.

06-20-2013, 11:59 PM
I'd say go for it. When I was in PS it was not unusual for 8th graders to take Algebra I, it was considered an honers class that geared the kids up for taking dual credit classes later in high school. Another pro, if you go for it, is that if he needs extra time he will have that time, the way you describe it he probably won't need it though.