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Saxon Alg I advice needed


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#1 48820592

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 11:08 AM

I am so frustrated with math!  We did Singapore up through 1/2 a year of Discovering Math Core 7 and then switched to Saxon 8/7.  We are now 1/2 through Saxon Alg I and every test lately is a D or E.  My son hates math now even though he has amazing number sense.  I feel like we should stick it out this year but maybe switch next year???  I like the spiral approach but  the problems are so fussy--meaning negative exponents in a rational expressions, etc.  I know that he has a better grasp on neg exponents than any students did when I taught in public school. However, it is demoralizing to continue to get these low test grades. We are using My Fathers World guide on which problems to assign--maybe that is not a good schedule to follow???  Does Saxon Alg 2 get less "fussy"? Should I go with an easier curriculum so that he doesn't hate math so and feels success when testing.  

 

Any advice/recommendations?

 

Thanks



#2 charlotteb

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 11:48 AM

What are his grades on theregular lessons? If he's doing better with lessons, maybe he has a test anxiety problem? I personally haven't used the tests with my kids because there is so much review in the lessons that I don't feel its necessary 


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#3 Ethel Mertz

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 12:32 PM

We did Singapore 1-6 and then started with Jacob's Elementary Algebra this fall. A couple of months into the fall, DS hit a wall and we switched to Saxon Algebra 1/2 (one half). One of the pieces that has helped the most is using Art Reed's dvd instruction. Perhaps that would help your kid? Going back to Algebra 1/2 has changed our math progression to the following:

 

9th - Saxon Algebra I

10th - Saxon Algebra II

11th - Saxon Advanced Math Part I

12th - Saxon Advanced Math Part II



#4 SparklyUnicorn

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 01:06 PM

Hm.  I didn't find it fussy at all.  Pretty straight forward.  Maybe even a little boring.  Could he be bored?

 

 



#5 kiana

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 02:14 PM

If there's a test anxiety issue of some sort, that's a different issue.

 

But if he doesn't have a test anxiety issue he's getting D or E on tests I would actually not continue to Algebra II at all. I think that in a self-paced curriculum it is not generally a good idea to continue on to new material at all if the test scores are so low, because you are stacking a bit more knowledge on top of a shaky foundation. So I would not even continue to try to move through Saxon. It is common for algebra students to be able to solve problems with the book open (i.e. lesson problems) and not with the book closed. 

 

I would either restart Algebra I with a topically oriented curriculum and test through it, or go back to where he started failing tests and start reworking daily assignments including all the problems, and then readminister the tests. Since he hates Saxon now I'd be more inclined to do the first but the second could work. Algebra I is a crucial foundation for all levels of upper math and you do not want to be setting him up for a patchy understanding all the way through math. It is better both for his scores on entrance exams and his performance in math to make sure that Algebra I is rock-solid even with the book shut, however long it takes. 


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#6 Calming Tea

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 02:44 PM

I am not a big Saxon fan...but then again...my son scored almost 700 on his math SAT as a freshman ....with no SAT prep or practice....so maybe it's not so bad.   :hurray: He has used Saxon for all but one year from 2nd grade through Algebra 2.

 

I will say that my kid always starts getting bad grades around lesson 70 and then we do as the Saxon method suggests, we go back and re-do every section until he can score an 80%...we never move on until he has re-done a section and scored 80%....then around lesson 90 things pick up...it has happened that way every year since 76....the lessons get very hard around lesson 50 and introduce a lot of new concepts...

 

So I would say you need to go back to where your son scored the first C....and start over from there.  Also, remember the Tests are on a set of lessons previous to the test lesson.  SO use the chart in the testing book, and make sure you go back far enough.

 

Hope this helps!


Edited by Calming Tea, 20 March 2017 - 05:23 PM.

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#7 SparklyUnicorn

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 02:45 PM

Sorry to hijack with this off topic question, but what is an "E" in terms of a grade?

 

 


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#8 Jann in TX

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 02:55 PM

This is a common problem with Saxon... Saxon is a great fit for some students and a poor fit for others...

 

With Saxon somewhere between lesson 30 and 50 the REVIEW problems actually change and start combining concepts-- and these 'new' problems are NOT taught in a lesson--so no examples for students to follow-- the little reference numbers begin to have limited benefit if any.  Some students are fine and naturally put the pieces together.  Other students (even ones with good number sense) need to have this 'combining of lessons'  modeled for them.

 

I taught Saxon for over 10 years at the high school level then my own girls hit a wall with it and we switched-- the program was not a good fit and going back and re-working lessons was not going to fix the issues.  They needed a different format.  A traditional text was like a breath of fresh air!

 

I suggest moving to a more traditional program.  He will be able to move quickly through the first chapters then he can settle down and find his pace through the rest of the text.  I use Lial with my online classes (and I used it with my girls), but I also like Foerster's and Dolciani (Structure and Method)...  If you would prefer video lessons then go with Derek Owens-- you will get some grading and email helps too (along with excellent lessons).

 

The whole Saxon high school math series is this way--

 

Saxon is a popular program among homeschoolers-- mostly because it was one of the first to openly sell teacher's editions.  Popular does not mean the best and doing this program (or any other program) does not guarantee top test scores. 

 

 


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#9 scoutingmom

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 07:05 PM



I am so frustrated with math! We did Singapore up through 1/2 a year of Discovering Math Core 7 and then switched to Saxon 8/7. We are now 1/2 through Saxon Alg I and every test lately is a D or E. My son hates math now even though he has amazing number sense. I feel like we should stick it out this year but maybe switch next year??? I like the spiral approach but the problems are so fussy--meaning negative exponents in a rational expressions, etc. I know that he has a better grasp on neg exponents than any students did when I taught in public school. However, it is demoralizing to continue to get these low test grades. We are using My Fathers World guide on which problems to assign--maybe that is not a good schedule to follow??? Does Saxon Alg 2 get less "fussy"? Should I go with an easier curriculum so that he doesn't hate math so and feels success when testing.

Any advice/recommendations?

Thanks


You said... "We are using My Fathers World guide on which problems to assign--maybe that is not a good schedule to follow??? "

Saxon is designed really simply.... You do ALL the problems. If MFW says to skip problems, then I would say that that is the problem. You need to back up a lot, and do all the problems.

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#10 Jann in TX

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 07:12 PM

You said... "We are using My Fathers World guide on which problems to assign--maybe that is not a good schedule to follow??? "

Saxon is designed really simply.... You do ALL the problems. If MFW says to skip problems, then I would say that that is the problem. You need to back up a lot, and do all the problems.

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I agree that this (skipping problems) is probably part of the problem...

 

Saxon's problems are not distributed so only evens or odds covers everything-- each problem was hand-picked with a purpose.  There will often be 2 'almost' identical problems but the simple change of position of a negative makes them VERY different in how it would be worked out... these are 'teachable moments' are within the problem set (NOT THE LESSON) and some, who do not know better, just have students do one of them-- thus loosing the 'teachable moment' where the student would go 'huh'- that is different/unexpected...

 

But at this point (half school year gone), I would still switch programs for a fresh start-- so the love of Math is not completely squashed.

 

 


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#11 Calming Tea

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 09:31 AM

I agree.  We did try to skip problems for about 6 months one year and that was a disaster.  We had to go back about 25 lessons, and my son ended up doing math over the summer.  

 

We have never tried that since.  Saxon is designed to be used with every problem, because, generally speaking, the review sets are where the material sinks in.  There's not much mastery work, only a few problems the first day the topic is introduced and then the concepts are expanded on over the ENTIRE rest of the course.  If you skip half the problems every day, you are skipping half of the learning, because the problems increase in complexity.


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#12 carlamom2ansnm

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 07:48 PM

I would look into virtualhomeschoolgroup.com - they have an at-your-own-pace Saxon Alg 1 course. It has REALLY helped my daughter. It is immediate feedback for grading, and she has to work every single homework problem until she gets full credit for it. So if she misses something, she has to another of the same type of problem until she gets it right 2 times in a row. It has caused her to do LOTS better on her quizzes!



#13 EKS

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 08:51 AM

Sorry to hijack with this off topic question, but what is an "E" in terms of a grade?

 

It's a nice way of saying F.



#14 hsmom10

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 04:45 PM

We have used Saxon for many years, I had one child hit a wall and we had to switch programs and that was after backtracking about 50 lessons and trying them over again- but my older child is still thriving with Saxon. I am not sure what I would do mid-year, other than reassess and see where the problem lies. Go back and redo lessons. Do EVERY problem. Are they watching a DVD with the lessons? I would do that if they aren't currently. I will say that I have not met anyone that has had success with Saxon when skipping problems. Every problem is meant to be completed. Whenever I hear someone say their child skips problems, or does evens/odds, I wonder how long it will be until Saxon doesn't work for them. I am sure there are exceptions to this rule, but I have not encountered any. Overall, we found Alg. 1 to be a lot easier than Alg. 2. 


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#15 theelfqueen

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 11:15 AM

There's a teacher named Alise Weber who has an excellent youtube channel of lessons to go with the Saxon Algebra 1 and 2 (3rd ed) books.

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#16 wintermom

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 11:53 AM

Which Saxon 1 and 2 editions are you using or thinking of using. We have the older editions, with geometry mixed in. Yes, Saxon 2 is "fussy" in that the expectation is to write out the steps, keep track of all the signs, numbers from one step to another, etc. The normal math details every student needs to do. It can certainly help a student develop a solid math foundation on which to build upon. It may not be the best fit for every student.