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I was going over my son's math homework, and I noticed that the work they're doing isn't just prealgebra, but the type of work I learned in Algebra I at the very least, and possibly Algebra II.
He's in fourth grade. I had absolutely no idea they started it this early. I was in the higher level math class in school, and we didn't start prealgebra until 67th grade.
Is this typical for schools? I am genuinely curious. It just shocked me a bit that they're moving so quickly through math.
Replies

I agree with your first sentences completely. I feel the same way.
I think for most kids, math is a bit like a chore, even if they do really well. Maybe she'll love it when she gets older.
Quoting honeyrder:
I didn't feel like my daughter should have been learning about algebraic terms in third grade. I do feel like she should be able to think algebraically. She's not about it at all, though. Sad face for me. I love it. I wish she did, but I didn't at her age, either.

I teach third grade, and we do a lot of algebraic thinking. The kids have to know terms such as: inverse operations, commutative property, associative property, identity property, zero property, etc. They have to be able to use these terms with ease and understanding. We use algebraic thinking constantly,as well, with missing addend or factor problems: 6 x _=36, 789_=645, etc. The kids have to not only solve these problems, but also explain the steps (in mathematic terms) of how to they reached the answer.
Common core is all about algebraic thinking, and explaining thinking. I love it! It gets kids ready for what is coming next. It will help students from having the 6th or 7th grade drop because they have been thinking like this from the beginning.

by AnonymousDecember 5, 2012 at 9:57 PMYep. DS is a rock star in math. He is testing at a 6th grade level right now and his math grade is a 98. He can figure stuff out in his head without writing down how he got the answer. He amazes me. Im an English/language arts person. He hates that.
Quoting Cymbeline:
Quoting Anonymous:
yep. Luckily DS rocks in math. They are doing some type of algorithims(or whatever) He is in 4th. I HATE math.I hate math too! It's so incredibly boring.. blech
Both of my boys love math and are math whizes. I demand a maternity test... lol It's odd how our children can be so different from us.

You know what's driving my 4th grader a bit crazy? They teach them like 15 different ways to solve the problem.
Like right now he is doing large number multiplication and division. Tonights paper was the 6th different way to do the work. I remember leaning to multiply the long way. Now they teach that last lol.
Poor kid is getting so confused I told him tonight to do it the way he knows how. He got them all correct and it wasn't such a long drawn out battle. 
I didn't love it until I was 35. Now I teach it. I play with it. I love it. I really hope it won't take so long for her. I would be an engineer now if I had known that I could do it. I'm afraid that there is still a stigma about girls doing math and being good at it. :(
Quoting Cymbeline:
I agree with your first sentences completely. I feel the same way.
I think for most kids, math is a bit like a chore, even if they do really well. Maybe she'll love it when she gets older.
Quoting honeyrder:
I didn't feel like my daughter should have been learning about algebraic terms in third grade. I do feel like she should be able to think algebraically. She's not about it at all, though. Sad face for me. I love it. I wish she did, but I didn't at her age, either.

Quoting LCWAmommy:
Can you give an example of a problem? My 14 year old is in algebra 2 it's not your average 4th grade stuffAfter looking at my Algebra 2 papers from 7th grade, I would put it more on the level of Algebra 1. Yes, I still do have some notebooks, but I swear I'm not a hoarder. >.> Unless they slow down, I see them moving to the next level by the end of this year, or early next year.
That's why I thought it was odd, particularly for this small school district. 14 is the normal age to see Algebra 2 for many, and earlier than some.
A standard question on his homework would have him solving for at least one letter, with most, if not all, aspects of PEMDAS included. It started with simple questions, where you might see one set of parentheses, and then moved up to more involved questions as the year went on.
This all makes me quite happy that DF was a math major; I hate it with a fiery passion.

Quoting honeyrder:
I didn't love it until I was 35. Now I teach it. I play with it. I love it. I really hope it won't take so long for her. I would be an engineer now if I had known that I could do it. I'm afraid that there is still a stigma about girls doing math and being good at it. :(
Quoting Cymbeline:
I agree with your first sentences completely. I feel the same way.
I think for most kids, math is a bit like a chore, even if they do really well. Maybe she'll love it when she gets older.
Quoting honeyrder:
I didn't feel like my daughter should have been learning about algebraic terms in third grade. I do feel like she should be able to think algebraically. She's not about it at all, though. Sad face for me. I love it. I wish she did, but I didn't at her age, either.
I believe there is more and more support for those females who break out of the stereotype.
I don't think you should give up your dreams of being an engineer.