Author Topic: Anyone know of an online accredited middle school math program?  (Read 1996 times)

green daisy

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Anyone know of an online accredited middle school math program?
« on: September 01, 2018, 01:30:11 PM »
My daughter doesn’t do well on standardized testing, so for 7th grade, she was not placed in Pre Algebra.  I’m concerned now that she’ll be off track in math for the rest of her schooling and possibly affect college acceptance. She is going into 8th grade this year and we are strongly considering a private school for high school.  I’m wondering if I can catch her up on math at home this year so she can go into Algebra 2 for 9th grade.  Has anyone here (maybe homeschoolers) used an online accredited program for math that you’d recommend?  I plan to contact the private school for suggestions, but would like to have an idea of what we think might work beforehand. 

I took college algebra myself last year and did really well in it, so I think it’s fresh enough in my memory that I can help her.  She’s a good student in general and is diligent with her school work, but doesn’t do well on the math portion of the PARCC tests.  I hear from some other mothers that they refused PARCC testing and were then able to get their kids into 7th grade pre Algebra because the school then based their placement on their regular school grades.  I wish I would’ve known that. 

MDM

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Re: Anyone know of an online accredited middle school math program?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2018, 02:53:56 PM »
...for 7th grade, she was not placed in Pre Algebra. 
I’m concerned now that she’ll be off track in math for the rest of her schooling and possibly affect college acceptance.
What math class would she most likely take in 12th grade if in 7th grade she
a) is in pre-algebra
b) is not in pre-algebra?

green daisy

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Re: Anyone know of an online accredited middle school math program?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2018, 03:18:30 PM »
...for 7th grade, she was not placed in Pre Algebra. 
I’m concerned now that she’ll be off track in math for the rest of her schooling and possibly affect college acceptance.
What math class would she most likely take in 12th grade if in 7th grade she
a) is in pre-algebra
b) is not in pre-algebra?

Pre-calc if she’d taken pre-Algebra in 7th.  Trigonometry if not. 

MDM

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Re: Anyone know of an online accredited middle school math program?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2018, 04:02:11 PM »
Pre-calc if she’d taken pre-Algebra in 7th.  Trigonometry if not.
If she wants engineering at a top school it might matter.  Universities, particularly in their engineering college, will consider the rigor of the student's high school schedule vs. what the high school offers. 

For non-engineering at good schools her HS grades (and, to some extent, SAT or ACT scores) will likely matter more than pre-calc vs. trig in 12th grade.


Cranky

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Re: Anyone know of an online accredited middle school math program?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2018, 05:09:54 PM »
It's the "doesn't do well on standardized testing" that will keep her out of engineering school long before "didn't take calculus in high school" will.

Place her in the appropriate math class, and get her a tutor if you think she can move faster.

Also, 7th grade is REALLY not a make it/break it academic year.

green daisy

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Re: Anyone know of an online accredited middle school math program?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2018, 05:38:24 PM »
Pre-calc if she’d taken pre-Algebra in 7th.  Trigonometry if not.
If she wants engineering at a top school it might matter.  Universities, particularly in their engineering college, will consider the rigor of the student's high school schedule vs. what the high school offers. 

For non-engineering at good schools her HS grades (and, to some extent, SAT or ACT scores) will likely matter more than pre-calc vs. trig in 12th grade.

I’m quite sure she will not want an engineering degree!  Who knows where she’ll end up, but I could see her potentially being interested in a health science or teaching degree.  Thank you for your help!

AMandM

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Re: Anyone know of an online accredited middle school math program?
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2018, 09:27:29 PM »
I've homeschooled 5 kids so far through high school and I also tutor math.  I agree with what other have said. 

However, if your daughter does well on the rest of the PARCC tests but not on the math, that suggests to me that test-taking in general is not the issue, math is.  Can you work with the school guidance counselor and/or the math teacher to figure out what's behind her low scores in math, and work on that problem?  I'm not familiar with PARCC, but one thing that keeps many kids from doing well on standardized tests is slow calculations due to not knowing basic math facts. Does your daughter know her addition and multiplication tables cold? That alone can make a huge difference in time.

If you and she really want to cover algebra 1 at home while she does pre-algebra at school, I can suggest a few options. I don't understand what you mean by an accredited program, because accreditation applies to schools, not individual courses, but these are all options that will give her the knowledge you are looking for.

1) Teaching textbooks (teachingtextbooks.com) Student works from a textbook and/or coordinated video lectures. You or your daughter can correct the exercises from the answer key, and in case she gets something wrong and doesn't understand why, each lesson's exercises are worked out step-by-step in the solutions videos. Also includes chapter tests.

2) Math Without Borders (mathwithoutborders.com). You buy the "Home Study Companion" from MWB and the textbook separately (Paul Foerster's Algebra 1). The HSC contains video lectures, a suggested assignment list, and step-by-step solutions for the suggested assignments. This is a more in-depth treatment than the TT one.

3) ALEKS math (www.aleks.com). I haven't used this myself, but I hear a lot of good things about it from fellow homeschoolers. It's a self-paced online program, withe several options for algebra. It also has a unit devoted to math facts mastery if that's an issue for your daughter.

Good luck! I'd be glad to hear what you decide and how it goes!

CrustyBadger

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Re: Anyone know of an online accredited middle school math program?
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2018, 09:55:37 PM »
When my daughter was in 6th grade her middle school placed her in 6th grade honors math.  Which sounded ok, until I learned that her school had three options for 6th graders in math:   6th grade honors, 6th-7th grade accelerated, and pre-algebra.   Out of 5 classes for her grade level, 1 was taking prealgebra, 2 were in 6th-7th grade accelerated, and 2 were in 6th grade "honors".  So, she was in the bottom of the math track.  And notice there is no "below grade level" class, or remedial class.   So "6th grade honors" math encompassed students working on or below grade level!

The reality of the school system where we live is that is is definitely possible for kids to get a great education... if they are in the top track.  People can argue about whether tracking is fair or not, if it is beneficial to all students or to only some students or to no students.  But when you are dealing, in the moment, with your own child, and your school has a system which tracks kids into different math levels... in my opinion, the better education comes at the top track.   The students are often better prepared, have pushy parents (which can be a good thing in getting good teachers and good instruction), are often better behaved.  This isn't just a question of what math program is right for the student right now, it is about getting into a good cohort of students and getting a good teacher.

I can't say what a good online program is for learning algebra.  I will say that my very smart daughter seemed to do poorly on math tests because in reality, she really hadn't mastered below grade level math!   Basics of 3rd-5th grade math were not solid.   

I took her to a place called Mathnasium for 3 hours a week all 6th grade.  It was incredibly expensive and took a lot of time.  It was not frugal.   But they took her back to the missing skills she was unsure of.   They gave her a lot of time to master these skills, instead of teaching her one way to solve a problem and then quickly moving on.  She developed skill with mental math.

Even though she wasn't working on 6th grade skills, the extra instruction helped her enormously.  In 7th grade she placed into the accelerated 7th grade math group (pre-algebra) which I feel is an appropriate track for her.

If your daughter has any underlying math deficits, it would be worth knowing that before spending any time trying to teach her algebra.  If you try to master algebra without a solid grasp of the underlying math needed, it will be a very shaky foundation.   I was extremely pleased with the curriculum at Mathnasium for our purposes.

(The online programs I have heard good things about are through Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, but there is a minimum test score needed to take these classes.)

« Last Edit: September 02, 2018, 11:53:21 AM by CrustyBadger »

AMandM

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Re: Anyone know of an online accredited middle school math program?
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2018, 11:45:34 AM »
If your daughter has any underlying math deficits, it would be worth knowing that before spending any time trying to teach her algebra.  If you try to master algebra without a solid grasp of the underlying math needed, it will be a very shaky foundation. 

Thank you! This is what I was trying to say, but you put it much better.

AMandM

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Re: Anyone know of an online accredited middle school math program?
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2018, 07:55:21 AM »
Thought of another source for math courses: Homeschool Connections. They have live courses, which probably wouldn't fit with a regular school schedule, but they also offer prerecorded courses that you can watch on your own schedule. I think one course is $60, or you can get a monthly subscription that gives you access to all their courses. homeschoolconnectionsonline.com

mm1970

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Re: Anyone know of an online accredited middle school math program?
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2018, 09:38:53 AM »
If your daughter has any underlying math deficits, it would be worth knowing that before spending any time trying to teach her algebra.  If you try to master algebra without a solid grasp of the underlying math needed, it will be a very shaky foundation. 

Thank you! This is what I was trying to say, but you put it much better.
I agree with this.

My big kid is in 7th grade.  He has a friend who has been having problems with math.  It started with 3rd grade when the teacher went out on mat leave and almost the full school year was substitutes.  They didn't get through multiplication tables.

So this year, first year of junior high, they have her in TWO math classes.  Both standard and remedial.  She's doing incredibly well - it has been well worth the extra, concentrated effort.

There's nothing wrong with taking your time and making sure that the concepts stick.  There's more than one way to go to college and to get through college.

I interviewed an engineer 20 years ago.  Fresh graduate.  "Why did you choose chemical engineering?"
Well, she was a student at a community college studying art history.  Working full time at a grocery store making $20 a hour.
She heard a bunch of teenage boys/ men at lunch complaining about how hard calculus is.  "Ha, Calc isn't hard!"   They bet her $10 that she couldn't get an A in calc.  She took it, got an A, asked herself "Why am I in art history?"  Switched to chemistry, transferred to the State U, changed to engineering.

Not a linear path by any means.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Anyone know of an online accredited middle school math program?
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2018, 09:47:55 AM »
It's not accredited, but if you are using it to "catch her up" Khan Academy is phenomenal for math.

mxt0133

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Re: Anyone know of an online accredited middle school math program?
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2018, 10:39:19 AM »
+1 on Khan academy, even if you use it as a supplement to practice key concepts.  The fact that it focuses on mastery instead of just covering a topic and moving on is why it has been very effective for my kids.  They will spend as much time as needed without moving on to the next topic just to fulfill some artificial schedule.

a-scho

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Re: Anyone know of an online accredited middle school math program?
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2018, 01:15:02 PM »
If she is having trouble at the level she is currently in, it is because there are previous concepts(in previous grade levels) she did not fully master. I used to teach a summer school math class(four hours a day, five days a week, three weeks, 60 hours total) that was basically a "catch-up"/ redo class. The first day was giving a diagnostic test to find out where each student stopped understanding. Then give them work at that level, wherever that may be. Their grade level/age did not determine what I taught. But, where they stopped mastering the concepts. I was able to get those students to raise their math mastery an average of four grade levels within those 60 hours.  This was before Khan Academy existed. It is free. Have her start from the very beginning, like kindergarten beginning. If she truly understands, she will fly through the first few grade levels in one day. Every new concept is DEPENDENT on the previous ones. so, it is MANDATORY she master them before she moves onto the next one, and then the next, etc. My spidey sense says she will start to slow down about 5th/6th grade level. That is where most "stuck" students tend to get stuck, when fractions, prime factorization, and lowest common denominator are introduced.  Khan is great because it will not allow you to move onto the next concept until mastering the one you are on, mastery is 80% or above, last time i checked.