Homeschool FAQs: Algebra 2 or Geometry?

After more than ten years of homeschooling you learn the most frequently asked questions. The ones that come up again and again. The ones that everyone wants to know the answers to…

One of the questions I hear most often:

Is there an advantage in splitting up Algebra 1 and 2 with Geometry in between?

Would it work just as well if all the Algebra is done first followed by the Geometry?

In other words, is the order like grade levels…something arbitrarily decided by the public school system? Or is there a really good reason for inserting Geometry in the middle?

My answer:

The reason you traditionally see Geometry thrown in between Algebra 1 and 2 is based on the public school model. There are two main reasons “they” do it that way. First, because most kids take Algebra 1 as a Freshman and they want to be sure to get in Geometry before the PSAT in the student’s Junior year. Second, many kids only take two years of math… and if you are only going to take two years, you want to have one year of Algebra and one of Geometry.

Whenever possible, it is best to take Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 back to back. That allows for a smoother transition and less review.

The exceptions? If you are really worried about the PSAT and your timetable is as described above. Personally, I don’t recommend making a choice for an entire year based on one standardized test. (Just my opinion there.) Also, if you have a student that isn’t doing well in Algebra and they absolutely hate it… they may be the kind of student that does well in Geometry. So switch. Algebra and Geometry use very different thinking skills. Two years of Algebra for a kid who is struggling is torture.

In the end… take all the advice, ponder it for a while, and filter it through prayer.

Always, do what is best for your child and ditch the public school model.