# Saxon Math question.... Hunter? Or anyone?

### #1

Posted 20 March 2017 - 06:15 PM

My understanding, John Saxon wrote his series because of problems his students were having. I understand too that he even have away books to high schools where the math programs were struggling, and the math scores rose.

So.... I am picturing the grade 9 class of fresh struggling math students.... I assume they would use Algebra 1/2..... presumably some of many students really were not ready for it..... Same with older students that were in the school... They might not have started at the best level for them..... Or did the schools do placement tests or something?

Still just trying to picture how that would have worked and if that affects how things might work with my kids.

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### #2

Posted 20 March 2017 - 06:22 PM

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### #3

Posted 20 March 2017 - 08:40 PM

Thanks.I dont know about the 1st edition, but 2nd edition Saxon Algebra 1 has an extensive review of arithmetic that is shorter in the 3rd edition.

I'm just trying to picture what would happen with my son. We have just switched to Saxon a couple of weeks ago because I have realized he probably needs the systematic review. He is 13 almost 14, and finishing up grade 8.... But doing the placement test available, it suggested 5/4. This after doing pretty well in RightStart (but, yes, behind).

I have actually started him in 6/5, which I realize could be a problem after about 30 or so lessons....

But I try to picture what would have happened in a school using Saxon.... Would they have had classes for those levels of would they have him in Algebra 1/2? And would be just have ended up struggling there? I just can't see him barely doing, say, Algebra 1 by the end of school....

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### #4

Posted 20 March 2017 - 09:46 PM

Some students are not going to make any real progress in upper math, until they want to. I had to let my oldest take a break from math for awhile and do things he was willing to buckle down and do. It seemed the most efficient thing to do. When it came time to take the math placement test at the community college, he was motivated to buckle down some, and spent 5 months accomplishing what would have taken me years of pushing.

If math is a priority, you can ease up on literature and content subjects and get more than one lower Saxon book completed in a year. That is if the student is developmentally ready for the text and is self-motivated to make progress.

To get a student used to working quickly, sit next to him and race him problem by problem for the right answer. Place a bag of chocolate chips or Skittles on the table and winner gets a piece of candy.

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### #5

Posted 20 March 2017 - 10:12 PM

Yes I figure that schools would throw kids in and not care of they failed... It was just the fact that scouts supposedly rose a lot with schools where they had struggled before.I think most schools throw kids in, and don't care if they are spending 3 hours on homework. Being placed too high means lessons take a long time, but often CAN be completed. Especially if all incorrect problems are redone. And extra problems are added in areas the student is struggling with most.

Some students are not going to make any real progress in upper math, until they want to. I had to let my oldest take a break from math for awhile and do things he was willing to buckle down and do. It seemed the most efficient thing to do. When it came time to take the math placement test at the community college, he was motivated to buckle down some, and spent 5 months accomplishing what would have taken me years of pushing.

If math is a priority, you can ease up on literature and content subjects and get more than one lower Saxon book completed in a year. That is if the student is developmentally ready for the text and is self-motivated to make progress.

To get a student used to working quickly, sit next to him and race him problem by problem for the right answer. Place a bag of chocolate chips or Skittles on the table and winner gets a piece of candy.

I am feeling like 6/5 is right for him at the moment and will see how I feel after a couple of months.

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### #6

Posted 20 March 2017 - 10:21 PM

The new editions are different and appeal to different schools with new ways of doing things.

I think that what Saxon wrote about was a combination. I'm sure some seriously remedial classes were using below level texts. And I'm sure some algebra classes were relying on the substantial arithmetic review included in the early edition algebra 1 texts.

**Edited by Hunter, 20 March 2017 - 10:22 PM.**

### #7

Posted Yesterday, 10:58 AM

I have a question about original Saxon Math...

I am not an expert, but I have shared my observations and thoughts. I have a Saxon Algebra 1 book that Ithinkis 1st edition.

My understanding, John Saxon wrote his series because of problems his students were having. I understand too that he even have away books to high schools where the math programs were struggling, and the math scores rose.

So.... I am picturing the grade 9 class of fresh struggling math students.... I assume they would use Algebra 1/2..... presumably some of many students really were not ready for it..... Same with older students that were in the school... They might not have started at the best level for them..... Or did the schools do placement tests or something?The first book written was Algebra 1, not Algebra 1/2. So Students--no matter their background--would have used Saxon Algebra 1 in those early days.

My "1st" edition of Saxon Algebra 1 has 126 lessons.

The first 110 lessons are marked "Basic Course" but then the next 15 lessons 111-126, are marked as "Additional Topic". There are 4 Enrichment Lessons in the Appendix. So, if teachers classes needed more days per lesson, they could afford to take that time (180 school days - 126 lessons = 54 extra days for lessons, if doing all 126 lessons. There are 180 school days - 110 basic lessons = 70 extra school days if NOT oing the "Additional Topics".

Students whounderstandthe lessons (either by reading and discussing, or having teacher explain and discussing),then go through the practice exercises.

Here is more of my opinion, but I hope that it can be helpful to you. If not, ignore and forgive me, please.

I think that allowing students to dawdle while they are doing the exercises (especially if the student is "struggling") is a disruption to their learning.

It is far better if you make sure that their mind stays put on the math so that they are building up the correct, ingrained mastery of the material. Many children who are "bad at" or "don't enjoy" math have learned through years of bad habits to be inattentive while they are doing their work. This increases their mistakes, which increases their frustration, which decreases their desire to pay attention and put forth the energy to learn. It is a negative cycle that wears down on the students spirit.

Instead, to boost students spirit make sure that the student digests the lesson from the book, you may do several problems together. Then stay near-by or with the student and moving at a brisk pace, work the problems together and aloud.

In this book, gaining competency and fluency in the skills of the first 15 lessons are crucial!!!

In lessons 1-15 students will drill the most fundamental procedures over and over again to gain competency andfluencyat them. Students are taught background concepts about the number system that they are familiar with from primary school, and gradually learn/master how to perform fraction arithmetic, simplify complex/convoluted expressions, evaluate expressions, manipulate integers and terms..

These are all things that many students of maths do not master soon enough in many of their traditional PreAlgebra/Algebra 1 courses. The concepts tend to be "easy", so students "get it", and they do not gain the attention to detail for it that would mean fluency. Thus students arrive to lessons on Differentials and are 50/50 likely to mess up something simple like simplifying expressions or manipulating integers and terms appropriately.Still just trying to picture how that would have worked and if that affects how things might work with my kids.

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