# Saxon vs. Singapore

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The math website I was planning to use with my son is now down. Who knows if or when it will return, so I thought it best to check out new math programs. We currently have Saxon 1, but my son says it is too easy, although he could still go over higher number subtraction, and double digit addition and subtraction. Saxon seems very repetitive, which can get boring, but it does seem thorough. I don't have any experience with Singapore, but I do like that it introduces multiplication and division at an early age. My son seems ready.

Which do you prefer and why?

Christine

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I prefer Singapore, b/c of how simple it is to teach, how solid it is, how it shows relations between operations (mult/div. taught together, add/subt taught together), strong mental math component, teaches kids HOW to use math and WHEN to use math so that the steps to get the answer make sense. There's not many problems per page, only takes about 20 min. per day total, and generally there's no need to drill. They way they teach, the kids pick up the facts rather naturally. Kids are able to visualize problems with the text book, they use real items to build a problem and physically have to borrow from the tens column to subtract the ones, etc. The info sticks! And it makes sense of the steps.

Saxon is a very different approach. It teaches the steps that need to be memorized, lots of repetition, can take quite a bit of time each day (1+hrs) and has many problems per page and drill, drill, drill. There's quite a problem with retention b/c there's no reasoning behind the steps so it's easy to forget why you change those numbers that way when you have to borrow in a subt problem, etc.

Any math I've taught dd with a program like Saxon, I am having to go back and reteach it all b/c she doesn't remember it. Everything she has learned in Singapore has stuck even after a 3 month break now. We use HOD for our hands-on lessons for Singapore Earlybird through 2B, and I'll use the HIG for 3A up. It has suggestions for quick and simple review items and how to teach the lessons pictorally and with manipulatives. I've never seen a more incredible program than Sinagpore and it's very economical too!

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I started with Saxon. We really didn't like it at all. I was frustrated because when my child needed to learn a new concept, there were very few problems to cement it. When we worked on addition with carrying, we ended up going through the book lesson by lesson finding all the addition with carrying numbers. Then when we did subtraction with borrowing, we went through and found all those problems and did those.

I just don't agree with the spiral approach. I want my child master a concept before throwing another one at them. Singapore introduces the concept, the child works on it consistantly for a few days, then goes on to another concept. After every few concepts, it has a review over all the information. I figured if my child was still not getting a specific concept at the review, we would go back and work on that one again, but we never had to do this.

I do know a lot of people who like the spiral approach, but it's not for us.

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For the younger grades, I prefer both :001_smile:

We do a mix of Saxon and Singapore from 1st through 3rd grade. We don't do every bit in every book (we don't duplicate telling time or all the weights/measurment stuff), but for other topics, the contrast in teaching style is very helpful.

Singapore tends to be more challenging and thought-provoking; Saxon has the drill that Singapore lacks. If you already own Saxon, I would buy Singapore to complement it. Use the drill sheets daily, and the lesson sheets as you feel needed.

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I agree both. Then you will have the best of both worlds. I have used Saxon and Singapore together and it works nicely because they each have something the other doesn't.

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We use Saxon and have since the beginning. In the fall, I will have a child in 7/6, 6/5, 3, 1, & K. I use it 1 grade level ahead, and start my boys with Saxon 1 when they turn 5.

I like that it is easy to teach and it is very thorough. I like that once they hit 5/4, I am able to transition them to being mostly independent. I like the manipulatives in the lower levels, and I like the spiral approach. I like that facts are drilled. I like that 5/4 and up have mental math exercises every day. In the younger levels it takes us about 15-30 minutes for a lesson, and 5/4 and up take anywhere from 20-45 minutes.

We're on vacation at my parent's house, and my Dad asked each of my boys (out of earshot from the others & me) what their favorite subject in school is. All 4 said either Math & History or Math & Science. Thought I'd throw it in here because Saxon does tend to get a bad wrap on the likability-by-children factor :001_smile:.

We supplement with Evan Moor's Daily Word Problems so they encounter Word Problems out of Saxon context, and this fall my older 2 will do Life of Fred Fractions 1 day a week for fun. We used to use Singapore CWP, but I could not explain the Singapore way and I found it frustrating. Maybe if we'd used the rest of the program it would've made more sense to me, but since we didn't I struggled.

If you decide to go with Saxon, give your ds the placement test (you can get it from their website).

I would say go with the one you are most comfortable teaching.

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I've only used Singapore Earlybird, so I can't say too much, but I have used Saxon k-3 and really liked it. Like JudoMom, I use it a year ahead. I don't like the change in 5/4, so I may investigate something else.

I think you can combine a bit--Singapore is cheap, and you can always take a break and approach the same concept in a different way, if you want to.

I will say, tho, that I believe Saxon gives plenty of practice on concepts--some say it skips around and their child doesn't achieve mastery. For us, the "concept of the day" keeps my kid's interest, and the practice is found on the worksheets--many, many people (not everyone, but many) using Saxon have this "not enough practice before moving on" criticism, but I find they are not assigning the whole worksheet, or skip the meeting. Both are important if your child is more of a mastery kid.

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I prefer Miquon for 1st-3rd grades and then Singapore Primary Math after that, starting with 3A. Miquon didn't work for my youngest, so she started Singapore with 1A.

Saxon doesn't make any sense at all to me. It covers tiny little pieces of topics in a random order and doesn't offer enough practice with the new topic to really learn it. I know it works great for some kids. I know one girl who thought she wasn't good at all with math when she was using Singapore, but is thriving with Saxon. My kids have all looked at Saxon. Each of them looked at me with tears and begged me not to force it on them. Saxon would be the end of the world here.

I'm a very mathy person, but I would have failed math miserably if I had been forced to attempt to learn it with Saxon.

It all depends on how your ds learns.

Also be sure to realize that what works for your ds in 1st grade won't necessarily work for him in 5th grade.

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Thank you for all the helpful replies. I think I will have my son take the Saxon assessment on their website first. We currently have Saxon Math 1 but he looked through part two this morning and said it's too easy. I just wonder if he assesses at a higher level if that will make a difference. Although my intuition tells me to go with Singapore. So, I'll keep you posted.

Christine

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I am beginning our 3rd year with saxon math and I plan on using it through high school.

Repetitive and boring? I must have a different version than everyone else. And I have never spent over an hour on math. I don't think we spend more than 20 minutes. And that's with me adding in all different things that are not even part of Saxon.

If your son is advanced in math you do not need a math program to teach him multiplication and division. There are a ton of free worksheets available online.

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We are new to HSing but do like Singapore quite a bit. I really like the approach that it takes, although I am still working out exactly how to use it best.

I supplement it with free worksheets I print offline for additional practice, and may be thinking of adding in Miquon for something more independent for practice, but overall I really like Singapore.

I use 2a and 1b right now btw.

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