I am not sure how other schools advanced in math from kindergarten to middle school, but i recall spending 6 years (K-5) in classes learning arithmetic and identifying shapes. And then 3 years (6-8) in classes learning extremely basic algebra and some geometry. However, when I was in 4th grade, I found a math book that was full of "algebra" problems. It would consist of words being added/subtracted/multiplied to one another making new words, like cat+dog=goat (not a real example from the book). The objective was to figure out what each letter was through reasoning and algebra, and this heavily boosted me in math. I ended up creating algebraic concepts in class solving problems in the book, while other students were just adding fractions. After completing all the problems and advancing several grades, I simply sat and was "taught" everything I had already figured out myself. Now my problem is, I can't find this book!!! Every time I search "Adding Words" or something of the sort I receive word problems about addition. If anybody has an idea of the book I'm talking about, it would be HIGHLY appreciated. I am still on the search for this book.