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Ok my 16 yr old son has done well in math, last year in Algebra 1 he did good. This year we’ve started with Algebra 2 and he’s just not getting it. We sit together and correct and go over problems and he’ll get it with me and then he’ll go to do a lesson and it’s just not there again.

What can I do?

I have to say, all my kids have really, really benefitted from the time spent on geometry to mature a little and handle the much tougher algebra. I KNOW my youngest could simply not handle algebra 2 yet. Algebra 2 is tough. *I* have a tough time retaining it. I tend to start struggling about halfway through.

So do I understand Bookworm correctly that you do the following sequence:

PreAlgebra

Algebra 1

Geometry

Algebra 2

Is there a reason you skipped Geometry Misty? (I just peeked in my PreAlgebra book and Bookworm’s sequence matches what MUS has in the book).

We’re in PreAlgebra with Makayla right now, just started lesson 13 today. We had planned to finish the book this past summer but decided to wait as math is not her strong suit, to give her a bit more time to mature before plowing in to Algebra 1. So she’s going to finish PreAlgebra up this year (8th grade) and then start Algebra 1 next year, adding in the Life of Fred books this year for another, more enjoyable to her, math input. 🙂

Yes, I do that sequence, and specifically to let my kids get a little older and a little smarter before tackling Algebra 2. (Also it can help in taking standardized tests like the PSAT which cover geometry, so it’s best to know some before taking that test junior year.)

We did that sequence as well..

Why? Well we all sat down (dh, son and I) to decide about math and my son really wanted to just continue with Alegra. He felt like he wanted to just continue on instead of stopping doing geometry and then going back to algebra.

But I guess I am hearing that maybe that isn’t the best idea. Did your kids all pick algebra 2 back up then with no hickups?

Misty, You really don’t have to do geometry before algebra 2. The reasons that most curriculum have the scope is so that kids have at least some algebra and some geometry before taking the standard testing for college (SATs, ACTs, etc.) since they all have some geometry to them. Also it is best to have algebra 2 right before pre-cal and not have a gap.

Is your son planning on a career that needs a lot of Math? As a former math teacher that would influcence the order that I taught math.

No my oldest is not college bound. He is a trades man like his dad. He’s actually working 2-3 days a week with him and learning the trade. He will not need algebra as a carpet installer but we want to continue to have him grow.

Maybe we’ll see how and goes and if need be we buy geometry and change pacee. Thanks

Hi Misty.

I am not using MUS, but I do have three children in high school math. Two of my children have been using The Art of Problem Solving which has wonderful, short algebra videos. My oldest is using Saxon with the DIVE video lecture cds which are making quite a difference. Maybe explore free video options like AoPS and Khan Academy.

If he is learning to install carpet is he learning the measurements and things as well? If so, I would bet that Geometry would be a great asset to him, if not now, but later. Algebra 2 is hard work, but if he is determined he will learn it.

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