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This is our third year using Saxon (currently in Saxon Algebra 1, 3rd edition). Every so often, DS12's performance starts to deteriorate. His scores on tests and homeworks drop from 90s to 80s or less. Time spent on math increases dramatically, sometimes to as much as three hours for one lesson. This is especially common in the latter third of the book. When this happens, my advice is to WALK IT BACK. If you re-do the last 5 or 10 lessons, you will probably see a huge improvement in your child's speed, accuracy, confidence, and attitude.
Have any of you transitioned from CLE Math to Saxon? I just gave my 11 year old son the placement for Saxon. He missed 5 on the 8/7 portion so that's where I'll place him...into 8/7 from CLE 610. When I looked through the Saxon text, it just seems like there is so much he already has learned and knows well. I'm not sure I'm making the right decision, but would like to transition for high school. I'd love to hear your experience if you've transitioned from one to the other, what grade you decided to do so and how the transition went for you.
DS12 will finish up Saxon Algebra 1, 3rd ed., in a few months. He does well with Saxon and we plan on eventually proceeding to Saxon Algebra 2 and Saxon Advanced Mathematics. He has been doing fine, scoring 85 or so on most of his tests. I think his conceptual understanding is excellent, but he is prone to making sloppy mistakes. After he finishes the Saxon Algebra 1 book, here are some options: proceed directly to Saxon Algebra 2, assuming he scores 85 or higher on his last three tests; spend a couple of months reviewing Algebra 1 using AoPS, Lial, Foerster, or Jacobs. I think he'd be fine proceeding to Saxon Algebra 2. However, he is quite young and I worry about him falling into the "Calculus Trap." At his current pace, he'll finish Calculus at age 15. I like the idea of building in some "detours" in between Saxon texts. He will probably tackle Jacobs Geometry after Saxon Algebra 2, for example. I am a little concerned about his sloppiness and would prefer to see him scoring a bit higher on his tests. So I am leaning toward option #2. However, I am not sure which book to use for Algebra review. We tried AoPS a few years ago and it didn't go well. My son is not passionate about math and is not a math genius. I own Jacobs' Algebra book; it looks relatively easy compared to Saxon Algebra 1. I don't know if this would be the right book for us. I have not seen Lial or Foerster. I know they are popular here.
Last year I bought Saxon Math K and Saxon Math 1 for $10 each. It was a good deal and Saxon was recommended in TWTM so, I bought them. I also got the manipulatives on Rainbow Resource. I neither love nor do I hate Saxon. I was irritated sometimes by the amount of parent prep. My son has done well with it. While he's never cried because of math, he protests the calendar routine and some other repetitive tasks the curriculum assigns. I want homeschool to be enjoyable, not to see the light in his eyes dim with boredom. We changed the calendar routine (colorful magnetic calendar) and we skip some of the routine sometimes or we will do a game or play with the abacus. As far as the rest of the lessons, I get the feeling that sometimes Saxon is moving a little slow, probably due to the spiral nature of it. Today, after filling out a drill adding doubles up to 9, my son asked me how much was 200 + 200 and I showed him how to do it... we went off on a tangent. But if you would have seen his delighted face, you wouldn't have stopped either! We started adding other simple numbers like 100 + 100, 1000 + 1000, 400 + 400... Then we had to go back to the worksheets (because I'm that mom that likes to check boxes), that are all very similar and of course, my son can finish with no trouble. He does not mind a page with 20 addition problems. He actually gets a kick of completing them fast. lol I do not do 2 or 3 lessons in one day because we have other subjects to complete and he is still too young to sit still for too long. In fact, sometimes we complete Saxon in two chunks with a break. Sight word drill is enjoyable for him. Probably because we get off the table and he wiggles while he reads them... I downloaded a sample of Life of Fred Apples and read it to my son and he liked it. A lot. I ordered the apples book to use at bedtime. I think it will be a nice supplement and we may get the whole set if the religious content isn't too overt. After all that, I would like some opinions. Should I stick with Saxon while doing Life of Fred for fun? Or should I switch him to something else? I want a rigorous math curriculum that does not repeat itself so much? Something that will make me feel like we are indeed covering all the bases. Drill is fine. I am sure we can slow down if we need to, but its hard for me to figure out how to get Saxon moving without missing things. We are secular, but we are not offended by a religious curriculum as long as the religious content isn't a central part of the content.