Math Sequence - Algebra 2 before Geometry?

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Julie in MN
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Math Sequence - Algebra 2 before Geometry?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:17 pm

Geometry or Algebra 2 after Algebra 1
sbbrown425 wrote:Hey, does it matter if you take Algebra 2 after Algebra 1? Or should we follow most course sequences and take Geometry after Algebra 1?
What about for college entrance exams, eg PSAT and/or SAT/ACT?
Thanks for posts.
I've heard of folks doing algebra 1& 2 one after the other. My oldest son was public schooled and was in a special university program, and they did algebra 1 & 2 right in a row (in the same year). Then there is some natural carry-over from geometry towards calculus, so it can be okay to do it that way.

I think the reasoning for spacing them out includes:

(1) Geometry is big on the college tests. It isn't really high school geometry, in that there are no proofs on there, but there are plenty of angles and such. So keeping geometry skills current and strong could help with college admissions.

(2) I've never heard anyone say this, but my own opinion is that doing the proofs in between algebra 1 & 2 means kids stop and see the logic and reason behind what they are learning in math, especially Geometry of course but also math in general -- all of the theorums they will work with have a foundation behind them, they aren't just random things to memorize, made up by mean math teachers LOL. I'm not sure kids always notice this, but hopefully they have naturally absorbed some of it along the way.

(3) Going back over algebra again just before you move into higher maths can be helpful, since the basic ideas in algebra equations are the foundation of most higher math equations. And the year gap between isn't usually a worry as far as forgetting, because Algebra 2 goes over most of Algebra 1 at a deeper level (plus adds a few topics).

P.S. You can see the distribution of math questions on the ACT test on their website.
Breakdown of math questions: http://www.actstudent.org/testprep/desc ... ntent.html
Number of questions in math is 60 total, so for example if there are 7% trig questions, that means about 4 total questions will be on trig: http://www.actstudent.org/testprep/desc ... cript.html


HTH,
Julie
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MelissaB
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Re: Geometry or Algebra 2 after Algebra 1

Unread post by MelissaB » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:05 am

Excellent to know. Thanks for posting the question. And thanks for the great information, Julie.
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TriciaMR
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Can you stand another high school math question?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:00 pm

Amy C. wrote:I am wondering about the benefits of doing Algebra 2 right after Algebra 1. Then geometry after that. Is there a reason this wouldn't work? Is it better to do geometry between the 2 algebras?

My second ds is due to move into geometry this next year and I am contemplating him doing Algebra 2 instead and then do geometry the next year. He and his older brother could do Algebra 2 together. This might be helpful for them to help each other. (Or it might not be a good idea if one does better than the other. :~ ). Another reason is because there is a lady (a former public school math teacher) in our local homeschool group who is doing a coop class for Algebra 2 and geometry. It could be helpful in helping us get through these subjects.

I have talked to other mothers who remember doing Alg 1, Alg 2, and then geometry in public school. I am wondering if doing the geometry first helps with the geometry in Alg 2 but then I can see where it could be beneficial doing Alg 2 while Alg 1 is (fairly) fresh on the mind. I do know that my oldest ds has had some Alg in with his geometry this year but he has had to have me help refresh him on some of it.

I am just trying to figure out the best route to take and would love any feedback from you ladies on this.
Thank you!
Amy C.
I think it has to do with content on the PSAT. I believe it covers Geometry stuff.
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Julie in MN
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Re: Can you stand another high school math question?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:27 pm

I was curious whether there were particular reasons or whether it's become just a tradition that no one thinks about? I found this interesting Washington Post article that questioned school counselors on the subject: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer ... e-rig.html Over the years, I think almost all of the reasons they listed for doing alg-geom-alg became part of my thought process:

1. Geometry (at least the basics, not the proofs) is on the college tests - this is the reason brought up most often in that article.
2. Algebraic thinking is foundational to precalc/calculus and so it's good if it isn't too far in the past.
3. Cementing the all-important algebraic thinking might be better done by taking a break and then going back after a year and seeing what needs review a year later. (Luckily, Jacobs Geometry does regular algebra review.)
4. Stopping to do geometry proofs helps kids "get" what they are really doing in math in the upper years.

I think it could be done either way, but it occurred to me when reading that article that sometimes it would be best to use the order suggested by a particular textbook author, because they may expect certain knowledge coming into the course. (This won't necessarily matter in Saxon 3rd edition, but Jacobs Geometry I think assumes only Algebra 1 has been completed -- I don't think he wrote an Algebra 2 textbook, so probably that material won't be included in the algebra review sections.)

Julie
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Poohbee
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Re: Can you stand another high school math question?

Unread post by Poohbee » Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:03 pm

Very interesting article, Julie. Thank you so much for finding it and sharing it. It does shed light on the issue. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, as well. :-)
Jen
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TriciaMR
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9th grade math - Alg2 or Geometry?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:36 pm

Cyndi (AZ) wrote:
Fri Aug 12, 2016 4:40 pm
Hi All! I haven't been around here in awhile, but in getting ready for high school, I'll take all the help I can get. :-)

I've read through the archives and looked at the website, but I still can't find a compelling reason to do Jacob's Geometry before taking Saxon Algebra 2. My daughter started Algebra 1 later in the year (due to unforeseen events :-) ) for 8th grade and has absolutely flown through it. Flown. Usually doing two lessons per day, and earning over 95% consistently. At times, I felt like it was a waste of her time. She didn't need the DIVE cd at all. Not trying to "brag," just setting the stage. If she's already got this "algebra brain" going, it seems like it might be better to go forward with Algebra 2 before doing a year of Geometry.

I have seen a lot of literature recommending doing Algebra 2 immediately after Algebra 1, even from those who still recommend a year of Geometry instead of going into Advanced Math. MFW seems to be the only place recommending a break. Maybe I should call the office? Thought I would ask here first. Thanks!
Mostly that is because there is a geometry portion on the PSAT, and so that needs some coverage if you're going that direction. If she did great in Algebra 1, though, I'd jump into Algebra 2.
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ruthamelia
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Re: 9th grade math - Alg2 or Geometry?

Unread post by ruthamelia » Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:13 pm

One opinion I read recently suggested that jumping from geometry to precalculus could be harder than from algebra 2 to precalculus. That might be another reason to do geometry before algebra 2.
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Poohbee
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Re: 9th grade math - Alg2 or Geometry?

Unread post by Poohbee » Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:04 am

Hi Cyndi!

Great to "see" you again! :-)

You know, I think you could go either way with it. If you feel that going into Algebra 2 directly following Algebra 1 will be a good fit for your daughter, then do it. :-)

My dd, who will be in 10th grade this year, completed Saxon Algebra 1 halfway through 9th grade. (She took about a year and a half to do Saxon 8/7, so she started Algebra 1 about halfway through 8th grade). She started Jacobs Geometry and got 2 chapters into the book, but it was just not a good fit for her. I already had Saxon Algebra 2 on my shelf, so my dd and I decided that she would go ahead and do Algebra 2 next followed by geometry after that.

While searching for new geometry, I was researching geometry vs. algebra 2 following algebra 1, and the reviews were mixed. Some do one sequence, and some do the other, and it works out either way. I think that with Saxon in particular, because there is geometry throughout the algebra texts, students are getting some geometry while doing their algebra, so I don't know if waiting to do a full year of geometry will be a huge problem. I don't think it will. Of course, I haven't had experience with the testing (PSAT, ACT, SAT) yet, so I don't know about that aspect of it.

In my limited experience, I'm thinking it will be fine for your dd to do Algebra 2 followed by geometry. Hope that helps. :-)
Jen
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Julie in MN
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Re: 9th grade math - Alg2 or Geometry?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:48 pm

ruthamelia wrote:One opinion I read recently suggested that jumping from geometry to precalculus could be harder than from algebra 2 to precalculus. That might be another reason to do geometry before algebra 2.
This was kind of my thinking.

I feel that algebra dexterity is important in upper maths, so doing it in 8th and then again in 10th seemed like a good way to keep up the skills long-term.

Also since there is some review of Algebra 1 built into most Algebra 2 textbooks (due to the typical gap year between them), it seemed a better fit for us to wait and do that later.

I don't think it's crucial either way, though. I remember looking up others' opinions when we were in your shoes. http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 99#p100999

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
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