UPDATE: Shormann Pre-algebra, is now the recommended pre-algebra course.
Both Math 8/7 (2nd and 3rd editions) and Algebra ½ are pre-algebra courses. While Math 8/7 teaches all the prealgebra concepts required to succeed in Algebra 1, it also teaches students to memorize essential arithmetic skills like ratios, reducing fractions, converting a fraction to a decimal or percent that most often cause students to struggle in Algebra 1. Like memorizing multiplication facts is required to learn long division and fractions, memorizing and developing fluency in these essential skills is required to learn Algebra 1. Math 8/7, 3rd Edition does a much better job of this than any other curriculum I know of, including Saxon Algebra 1/2.
Therefore, Saxon Math 8/7, 3rd Edition is recommended instead of Algebra ½. Upon successful completion of Saxon 8/7, students should start Shormann Algebra 1.
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