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Middle School Math and High School Math
Which Math Course Should Your Child be Taking?


It all depends on a few factors:

  • Is your child in public school, private school, or homeschool?
  • What was your child's elementary math experience like? Did they excel? Did they struggle?


  • Let's look at each of these factors a little more closely!


    Is your child in public school, private school, or homeschool?

    If your child is in public school or private school then they will be following a certain curriculum set by the school system. However, once you reach middle school math, typically students are regrouped according to ability. Some 6th graders will be taking a pre-algebra course, while others will take a basic 6th grade math course. This all depends on your child's ability level once they enter middle school.

    Most schools will test at the end of elementary school or provide placement based on teacher recommendations.

    You should inquire about the different classes offered and make sure that your child is appropriately placed. If a student is placed in a middle school math class that is above their ability level, then they will become frustrated, overwhelmed, and eventually learn to hate math. You don't want this to happen!

    On the other hand, if a child is in a placement where the work is below their ability level, then they will become bored and lose interest in learning math. You don't want this to happen either!

    Check with your child's teacher about his/her placement and make sure that your child is being challenged, and not lost or discouraged.

    If you are a homeschool parent, the same rules apply. Make sure that you are providing a curriculum that is challenging, but not too far over their heads. Make sure your child has the proper foundation before starting Algebra 1!


    What was your child's elementary math experience like? Did they excel? Did they struggle?

    If your child is entering 6th grade, you will want to evaluate their progress from elementary school math. (Think about fractions, decimals, recall of basic math facts ...) Ask yourself the questions above: Did my child excel or did my child struggle? By answering that question, you can choose the proper 6th grade placement.


    Typical 6th Grade Placements

    Most students upon entering 6th grade will be placed in either a Pre-Algebra course or a Standard 6th grade math course.

    The chart below describes the typical path that a child will take based on their 6th grade math course. Remember, this is only a guide. You must follow the scope and sequence of your particular school district! This is by no means the same sequence required for every state. Check with your child's teacher!


    middle school math middle school math

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