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So, when you child is not allowed to take an algebra class with any of the home-school coops or private schools due to his age but is ready and wants to learn, you come up with a way to do it yourself.  Here is how our son is learning algebra: Online Programs:

  • Alcumus (Must sign up to access the problems, but this part is free)
  • Mathletics
  • Study Island
  • EPGY Algebra (It is no longer independent study, and only available with tutor.  We had to stop when EPGY switched to redbird math as part of giftedandtalented.com as it was no longer part of our bundle.  In the 7th grad part of EPGY K-7 lots of pre-algebra exposure.  Son has about 10 more sessions and will have EPGY 7th grade finished.)
  • Khan Academy
  • Mobymax (The program ends with 8th grade and has lots of pre-algebra exposure.  Mobymax goes at a faster rate than EPGY and he is half way through the 8th grade.)
  • Descartes’ Cove Math Series for Middle School & Early High School Students (This is a CD rom math game from John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth.)


Textbooks and workbooks:

  • Groundworks Algebra Puzzles and Problems (More like real life mathematical story puzzles and a fun way of doing algebra.)
  • The Penguin Dictionary of Mathematics (Very useful as a resource.)
  • Mathematics for Electricity & Electronics 2nd Edition (Not an algebra textbook but a math book specifically for those interested in electrical engineering and field of electronics.  He found it at half price books and wants to master it.  This is why he has been flying through math and wanting to learn algebra so badly.  He wants to get to the math he needs to do what he is interested in.)
  • Mathematics Enhancement Programme Demonstration Project Practice Books (This is the UK math system and presents problems very differently than US.  The project practice books all have answers online.  He enjoys them as they are very different from traditional US math problems.)
  • Art of Problem Solving Algebra (This is a highly recommended algebra curriculum for gifted math students.  This curriculum is not used in traditional public schools but in some gifted enrichment programs, home schools, and some private schools.)
  • Algebra 1 (Was given this traditional textbook by Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.)
  • Beginning & Intermediate Algebra (Found this traditional textbook at half-price books really cheap and the textbook still had the DVD too.  This textbook is by Elayn Martin-Gay.)

Math story books:

Videos: The following are math videos our son has watched and enjoyed:

Joy of Math The Story of Maths
Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land The Story of One
Solving for X with Bill Nye Power of 10
Schlessinger Media Math for Children Series Vi Hart videos on YouTube
Standard Deviants Art of Problem Solving

Free Algebra Resources (beyond Mobymax, Khan Academy, and Alcumus):

See, teaching algebra can be done!  Best part, the above materials will go beyond a typical algebra class and total out of pocket was cheaper than what a coop or private school class cost.  In addition, we get to work at our son’s pace.  For others in the same situation, the public library has tons of materials (all the videos and some of the story books were at ours).  In addition, our public library has used book sales and often has textbooks.  Half-price books also often has textbooks.  In our area homeschoolers also swap materials.  I also picked up some online on sale or used.  John Hopkins periodically has sales for their Descartes’ Cove math program too. We got it on sale last year and they are running the same sale again this summer ( http://cty.jhu.edu/descartes/ and use code YJUL between July 20th and August 17th 2015).

We won’t hold our son back. And, we won’t let him being denied access to a class keep him from learning.  Once we finish this, we will move on to the next level.  There really are tons of resources out there!