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Saxon vs Horizons and what about Singapore?


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#1 Pine Ledge Academy

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 07:47 PM

Can anyone who has used Saxon and Horizons tell me the strengths and weaknesses of each? I have done Saxon 1 with 3 kids then moved them to MUS after that, but felt like I had to add in more math, so I added in Horizons as a supplement.Now I am considering dropping MUS altogether and am not sure what to choose. Thanks.
Any input on Singapore would be great too, I really only have time for 1 thing.

#2 hmschoolmom22

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 07:52 PM

so funny! I was just coming on here to ask something very similar.

My 2nd grader is using Horizons - it's moving much too quickly...considering switching to Saxon.

Am eager to hear the replies.

#3 fractalgal

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 08:47 PM

Can anyone who has used Saxon and Horizons tell me the strengths and weaknesses of each? I have done Saxon 1 with 3 kids then moved them to MUS after that, but felt like I had to add in more math, so I added in Horizons as a supplement.Now I am considering dropping MUS altogether and am not sure what to choose. Thanks.
Any input on Singapore would be great too, I really only have time for 1 thing.


I have not used Horizons, but I can compare Saxon and Singapore.

Saxon is broader in that it covers more topics than Singapore.

Singapore takes on fewer topics but goes much more in depth.

Singapore has excellent word problems.

Saxon has excellent drill.

HTH! :)

#4 Annabel Lee

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 03:52 AM

so funny! I was just coming on here to ask something very similar.

My 2nd grader is using Horizons - it's moving much too quickly...considering switching to Saxon.

Am eager to hear the replies.


I used some of Saxon 2 when my older son was in 1st grade. It does progress slower in ways, with a LOT of built-in review. In Saxon math 2, the child will learn multiplication but only certain number families, but they will also start working w/ fractions and by the end of the year have been introduced to very simple division using the same number families that they know for mulitplication.

I used Horizons for his K year with alot of my own little hands-on supplements and have switched back to it for 2nd grade. I'm still a little torn about math. I like Horizons, the pace is just right for him and I'm good at tweaking pace or hands-on supplements and adding living math books, etc. It's just things like this happen: The other day, all of a sudden my son's worksheet has all these questions about measures of time, including how many weeks per year and days per year (he was close - he thought it was 362). I have the TM, and we do all the exercises recommended like flashcards, going over time/money, etc. I even do some extra stuff w/ him. What bugs me is that this was not covered anywhere in the TM so it caught my son off guard. I should have at least been able to present him w/ a quick overview of those things to make sure he had them down before handing him a worksheet on them. The worksheet became our springboard for part of that day's instruction from me, which is usually out of the TM and usually completed before I hand my kids their worksheets. Does this irk you the way it does me?

We lived through it, it's not a big deal really, but what concerns me is this: What will I do when the math starts getting more complicated to explain and the TM leaves concepts completely or mostly up to me to explain? Saxon and Abeka maths may come across as overly scripted to some, but there is a reason for it. You don't have to follow the script, just present the concepts in your own words. Then, when a concept arises that you can't find a good way to explain or your dc just has a mental block to the way you present it, the TM provides a generally tried-and-true method.

I also like Saxon's math meetings - the weather, patterns, etc. Math is on my list of "curriculum to consider changing next year" - and CLE, Saxon, and Abeka are on the "look at these closer" list.

I look forward to hearing other people's pros and cons of Saxon and Horizons. :bigear:

#5 4blessingmom

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 01:23 PM

I've tried Saxon K and Horizon's K and settled on Singapore 1A.

I personally can't stand scripted lesson - that eliminated Saxon.

Horizon's, while having pretty pages, the lessons seem disjointed to me. There might be 4-6 different activities on a 2-sided page. My ds didn't do well with that. He could NOT do it independantly, and needed me to constantly remind him of the directions. I could tell he didin't quite understand what the author intended, and was happy to just fill in the blanks and go play.:glare:

Singapore TB (atleast 1a - I've not seen the rest) feels more like book than a textbook - nice pictures that make the concept clear. The WB is b/w and one concept per page - hallelujah!:tongue_smilie: He does the WB page independantly with little explanation b/c the TB makes it clear. I think we've found a keeper!;)

#6 Medieval Mom

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 07:26 PM

:bigear:

#7 Tree House Academy

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 07:42 PM

I love and would recommend Singapore to everyone. I was not a "math" person at all and Singapore intimidated me at first, but the program is PERFECT for both of my kids. My oldest just finished 3A and has started 3B and my youngest is finishing Earlybird B and getting ready to start 1A. I can't imagine using a different program!

#8 langfam

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 08:10 PM

I've used Saxon with 4 dc and with my youngest am using Horizons because at the time ( first grade) the print on the Saxon worksheets was too small for him. Now I wish I had used Horizons with all of them. Saxon moves very slowly and is not as challenging as Horizons. I find that my youngest can think in more directions than my others ever did at that age. I've always supplemented with Singapore word probelms with whichever program used.

#9 RootAnn

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 11:33 PM

Saxon and Abeka maths may come across as overly scripted to some, but there is a reason for it. You don't have to follow the script, just present the concepts in your own words. Then, when a concept arises that you can't find a good way to explain or your dc just has a mental block to the way you present it, the TM provides a generally tried-and-true method.


This is what I like about ABeka (but you have to buy the Curriculum book to get the script)! Funny, though, another HS mom I know uses ABeka and said the Curriculum book (in this case, for math) was a waste of money. I'm a Professional Mechanical Engineer and I *really* like having the lessons ready for me to present, even if I don't do them exactly like they say to.

Okay, that said, I had my oldest do Singapore 1A & 1B workbooks for "review" this summer. They weren't any big deal for her and she was glad to get back to her full-color ABeka worksheets this fall. I worked through Singapore Earlybird 1b & 2a with my next dd and she flew through. She wasn't ready for 2B (especially with how much they want them to recognize number words at that age), so I let her do some Singapore 1A stuff. She liked to color the pictures the best. :tongue_smilie: She's now working in Horizons K workbook 1 at the pace of two lessons per day. I'm going to start her on ABeka 1 when she's done with workbook 1. Having dabbled with others, I'm happy with ABeka. It has its issues, but my kids like the spiral learning and me teaching them. But, I want to stress, that is what is good for _us_.

I think it really depends on your kids!! I have a new-to-HSing mom friend who has one kid in Singapore 1B and one in Horizons 3. She HATES Horizons and LOVES Singapore based on how her kids are reacting to their lessons. She didn't know it was going to be that way until she & the kids tried it. Sometimes, you just have to try it to find out. Neither Singapore or Horizons is very expensive if you just buy one workbook to see how the kid likes it. You can always add in the other stuff (TM, for example) when you've seen how the kids and you like it. Good luck!

#10 MerryAtHope

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 04:54 PM

We've used Singapore & Horizons, not Saxon though I've looked at it. One of my friends who is mathy & uses Saxon said Horizons is kind of like a colorful, advanced, Saxon. Some levels in Horizons tend to be half a year or a year ahead. (I long thought this & then last year I compared H4 to the scope & sequence in Ruth Beechik's You CAN Teach Your Child Succeffully for grade 5 & it lined up perfectly).

Horizons is colorful, has lots of review (generally one new topic--or a new twist on a recently learned topic), and then review of 3-5 other topics. They are very incremental in teaching things like long division--each day they teach another new twist.

Singapore is well-known for its word problems and mental math. It is a mastery program vs. being a spiral type program like Horizons (technically Saxon isn't a spiral program--they explain their particular method for review--but it's more like a spiral than mastery let's say). If your child needs lots of review or they'll forget a topic, then you probably want a program that is spiral. If your child doesn't enjoy the variety of topics in one lesson, he or she might enjoy a more mastery-oriented approach.

HTH some!

Merry :-)

#11 Annabel Lee

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 05:09 PM

You know, we should just take copies of all these math curricula posts and send them to the Saxon, Horizons, etc. authors/publishers and ask them to consider what their customers have found as their program's strengths and weaknesses when doing their next revisions. If only it were that easy!

I'm going to order some of the free samples from CLE, look at the Saxon 3 and 4 scope/sequence, debate whether I want to jump into Abeka as it gets pretty time-consuming around 4th grade, etc. I too strayed from Saxon because of it being so slow and my son wanting to move on. Since we didn't complete Saxon 2, he doesn't know division yet and Horizons doesn't do that until 3. So we'd be all over the place on the Saxon scope/sequence. Something tells me I should just stick it out with Horizons and my own little homemade math meetings & supplements. If it isn't broke, don't fix it - KWIM? Alas, I have a severe case of wandering eyes, always gazing at the "greener" grass on the other side... :)

#12 Pine Ledge Academy

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 10:43 AM

Thanks for all of the input, I have dropped MUS for the rest of the year, dd9 will finish Hor 4bk2, dd8 Hor 3bk2, and ds6 Hor 2bk1 by the end of the year. Where to go in Singapore from there is the next question, I like the idea of using their mental math and word problems as a supplement, but am still undecided as to Saxon or Horizons.

#13 Cornerstone Classical

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 01:10 PM

I started with Saxon, switched to Horizons, and 2 weeks later went back to Saxon because the scripted lessons have me confidence that I was acutally teaching the concepts, it is open and go, and I bought the manipulatives, so that really helped dc understanding. Horizons tells you what the objectives are for each lesson, but they don't tell you how to explain/teach the concepts and they give you ideas for manipulatives, but none are included. I like Saxon because it is open and go, no planning, you are actually "teaching" and the manipulatives are right at your finger tips. We use the program to a tee, except we only do side A of the worksheet, then we do a lesson in Singapore a grade down from Saxon, example, Saxon 1 with earlybird, and Saxon 2 with Singapore 1. That way you don't have to teach anything new with Singapore, it is like a review but from a different "word problem" perspective.


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