Posted 11 August 2010 - 08:12 PM
Our main thing to think about when choosing a program are 2 things: 1. We have several more kids coming up behind her so we need something that we're going to stick with and be able to use again and again, hopefully through high school. 2. My daughter is much stronger in language arts and does ok with math now but I don't want her to get to a place in that program where it gets tough and she gets frustrated and then doesn't like math anymore. That is what I did in school and I still am not fond of math today.
So in short I need something we'll stick with and something that she will feel like she can acomplish. I hope that makes sense?
One more thing to consider, our kinder girl is much more hands on and visual. I'm not sure if that makes any difference in either program or not?
I'd love to hear why you do or do NOT like either of these programs!
Posted 11 August 2010 - 09:15 PM
Posted 11 August 2010 - 09:21 PM
We chose Saxon over Abeka. In my research on this forum and others, Abeka did not seem widely liked after about 3rd or 4th grade. From what I read, it got way too intense drill-wise. I heard many more positive reports on a complete program for Saxon. In other words, I had a feeling if we went with Abeka we'd be changing programs down the road, but Saxon sounds pretty solid all the way through. (Or at least through Jr. High, which is as far as I'm willing to consider at the moment!)
My son is using Saxon 2 and we are enjoying it. Today he played with pattern blocks, so I do find it very visual and hands-on.
Another thing with Abeka is that I find the teacher's manuals hard to follow. I guess if you did every.single.thing they tell you and buy every.single.expensive thing they offer, it might be hands-on, but that gets to be a little too pricey and time consuming for me.
I like the Saxon manual being scripted and it doesn't take us all day. To consider - it is incremental and some people say that it beats a dead horse. (I did find this when we used a level that was below where we should have been.)
So, there's my humble opinion - good luck in your choice!
Posted 11 August 2010 - 10:25 PM
My second ds... theres no way he would be able to keep up with Abeka.
Right now we are using BJU (dvd's) like the pp mentioned. We are finishing week 3 and my 7 yr old is doing fine, but my 10 yr old is bored. He's a bit more advanced in math coming from Abeka 3 and Saxon 5/4.
I've decided to have my oldest do Saxon and MUS Epsilon, and my little guy do BJU and MUS Beta.
Posted 11 August 2010 - 11:22 PM
I switched back to Abeka1 for my son.
Now - I do leave Abeka for Saxon when they're ready for 5/4 (and just started RightStart for ds, who is a very visual kind of kid and I think will thrive with RS).
I like both Saxon and Abeka. A BIG plus for Saxon5/4 (we use the older, 2nd edition version of the textbooks) is that these are hardback and non-consummable, so all 3 of my kids will be using the same textbook. (and the black and white stuff doesn't drive me crazy when it's not worksheets... ymmv, of course).
Posted 12 August 2010 - 05:52 AM
Dd has commented lately on the way the lessons progress. She questioned the drill sheets, mental math, problem solving, and patterns as well as why a test is so many lessons away. She has recently noticed that the lesson contains very few problems on the content explained. However, her scores have always been great.
Sometimes, I think we look for faults with a program. I believe that with all of the visual medium (just watch Fox or CNN and look all over the screen) we tend to want something that is busy, bright, and colorful. I do not make this a factor. I look for layout, practice, and reinforcement with a math program. I want an adequate pace. I want a program that can be easily read.
At the beginning of any Saxon book, it appears to be dull and slow. In 54 for example, they are working on improving mental math skills. It appears that the student does addition and subtraction for days and days without or very few new concept problems, but incorporate the mental lessons and evaluate that lesson once again. You will notice that the problems have changed. There is a focus and a goal.
As with any program, you can skip too much and lose the value and effect. I would caution anyone if they chose Saxon that the lesson "boxes" should never be skipped. I say this now as I am setting out 100's charts that I personally think are silly, but I know this develops her reasoning and demonstrates to her the pattern. I have dd complete each and every problem. I check each and every problem.
I rambled a touch, but it is early! I hope this helps you evaluate Saxon.
Posted 12 August 2010 - 09:03 AM
SM Earlybird is so simply laid out and uncluttered. *I* got overwhelmed just looking at a page in ABeka K math. It looks like someone gathered a bunch of patterns, addition, subtraction, clocks, and various other things and threw them at a page. It's so random and cluttered.
Anyway, that's my thought on ABeka K math. I went through ABeka math and managed to pass Calculus 1 and 2 in college, so your child will learn. Just make sure they understand. That was and is my struggle. I tend to be a memorizer not a thinker.
Posted 12 August 2010 - 09:04 AM
Saxon's incremental (I believe that's the right term) approach meant they would introduce the topic and give very little practice. You would do more review of prior topics. So, with a child who "gets" math fairly easily, this was incredibly frustrating for both of us. I could "see" my child "got it" - but when we got to a new concept I had to "go hunting" through every lesson to find the actual practice he needed.
For us, Abeka in the early grades (we use the K-2 books) was perfect. My children could read and loved to do most of the work themselves. I never used the lesson plans, we just "did" it. If there was a new concept, we'd break out the manipulatives and play with it. I could easily scan a worksheet and say "skip", or circle the required problems.
After Abeka 2, my children all got very bored (lots more repetition, fewer new concepts), and quickly moved into math levels in other curriculum (such as Sadlier-Oxford) 2 levels ahead (difference in the scope and sequences of curriculum -- they both end up pretty much in the same place).
You may find that you can go from Abeka 2 into Saxon 5/4 -- just keep working on the math facts
Posted 12 August 2010 - 11:59 AM
Best wishes with your school year!
Posted 12 August 2010 - 12:05 PM
Posted 12 August 2010 - 01:30 PM
Posted 14 August 2010 - 09:38 AM