My 12 year old son is just starting 7th grade, and almost ready to start Algebra. At least I think he is ready to start Algebra, but how can I be sure? Seventh grade is kind young for Algebra, so maybe I am just pushing him into Algebra early and becoming one of those annoying homeschoolers who likes to say her child is advanced! I recently had the chance to have my son take an algebra readiness assessment test, so I could get an outside evaluation of his skills, and feel confident about what class to teach him.
To help all parents, not just homeschoolers, find out if their child is really ready for Algebra, Sylvan Learning has developed the Fit 4 Algebra screener. This is an algebra readiness assessment test which helps you understand if your child should tackle algebra this year. The test is very simple to take. You create an account, register you child, and have him (or her) take the test. It took my son about 15 minutes to complete the screener, so it isn’t a big time commitment. The short time is a big plus for this test, since it isn’t easy to get teens to spend hours taking a test unless is is required.
After the test is completed the results are available online right away. Algebra readiness is broken down into 7 main components, and each area is rated as strong, moderate or build. For example, my son rated strongly in fractions and decimal operations, and moderate in most other areas.
The screener agrees with me that my son is ready, so when he finishes the last chapter of his pre-algebra book next month we are starting Algebra. One very nice thing about the tool is you also are given resources to help you close gaps and get your child ready. There are links to websites, and a whole series of video tutorials on each of the 7 components. So since my son was weakest in Coordinate Graphing, I can have him watch these videos to review. Let’s face it, it would be much easier to encourage him to watch some video tutorials than read an algebra readiness book.
Algebra is a critical subject, because proficiency in algebra is necessary not only for college, but also influences success in future careers. But it is also a subject that makes parents nervous, in fact a recent study by Sylvan shows that 71% parents believe that helping children with algebra work is harder than teaching kids how to drive a car. I am in the other 29% on that one, I have no problem with algebra homework, but I made my husband teach my oldest how to drive. But a tool like this screener can help an unsure parent feel more confident and find resources to get help. So if you are wondering whether or not your child is ready for Algebra, check out the the Fit 4 Algebra screener and get an evaluation.
Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Sylvan Learning and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.