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Could you give your reasons why you do/don't? Also what curriculum are you using now if you aren't using Saxon anymore?:)

 

My mom wants to use Saxon algebra 1 and their new geometry course this year for math, she doesn't want me to do the "Saxon order". My mom wants me to take seperate course for the PSAT this year (10th grade).

 

I have completed algebra 1, but my mom wants me to stick with reviewing and I think Saxon has that.

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Guest Cheryl in SoCal

We found it to be very "drill & kill" and "little bit of this, little bit of that." This lead to confusion and memorization of what to "do" instead of conceptual understanding, and an intense dislike of math. We used Saxon 6/5.

 

ETA that we use MUS with LoF.

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We did NOT like Saxon (used 8/7) for the following reasons:

1. The topics are touched on briefly, then the next lesson jumps to an unrelated concept, only to return to the first topic several days later for another little bite.

We found this approach not effective; our kids prefer to learn about one concept in depth until it is mastered and only THEN move on to the next topic (and we as instructors believe that this is a more effective way to learn).

2. The problems are very repetetive and a lot of drill; many problems follow the same format and don't require the student to think, but follow the prescribed procedure over and over again.

While this may certainly produce mastery, our children did not need that much repetition and were bored.

3. The book presents math as something useful - but utterly devoid of joy. At no point we got the feeling that the authors themselves were excited about the material. It felt like "take your medicine because it's good for you" .

We have switched to Art of Problem Solving, Intro to Algebra (DD is starting on geometry next). We found that this met all our requirements:

1. The material is presented in very much depth, with student led discovery of principles and relationships. The book goes well beyond the scope of the traditional algebra 1 text and includes much harder problems.

2. While there are a large number of practice problems available, they are very varied and require the student not only to master the topic, but also to think creatively and discover ways to apply the concepts to a novel problem.

3. You notice on every page that the author is excited about math, finds it tremendous fun - and this enthusiasm radiates out to the student. This is exactly the attitude we parents have towards math and which we like to instill in our children.

 

Please note that AoPS is not for everyone; there are kids for which Saxon may be the better fit. I can only say that for my kids who are interested in, and good at, math, AoPS was far superior to any other curriculum I have investigated.

Agnes

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:D We DO like Saxon (used 1-87) for the exact reasons regentrude doesn't like Saxon.

 

We did NOT like Saxon (used 8/7) for the following reasons:

1. The topics are touched on briefly, then the next lesson jumps to an unrelated concept, only to return to the first topic several days later for another little bite.

We found this approach not effective; our kids prefer to learn about one concept in depth until it is mastered and only THEN move on to the next topic (and we as instructors believe that this is a more effective way to learn).

 

For us, this meant that concept were introduced in babysteps. My children can intuit the next next step in the topic. The mastery approach we attempt produced tears because the conceptual leaps it demanded were too large. We ended up repeating sections again, and again, and again with little to no progress.

 

2. The problems are very repetetive and a lot of drill; many problems follow the same format and don't require the student to think, but follow the prescribed procedure over and over again.

While this may certainly produce mastery, our children did not need that much repetition and were bored.

 

Saxon's goal is for each student to master the procedure, so the problems are set up to be repetitive. Each lesson has a variety of problems with each type of problem becoming more difficult as the book progresses, but the goal is to teach the standard procedure, not to make kids think deeply about the problem. We use logic problems, verbal questions, and other sources to teach the children to think. My personal goal for our math textbook is for the kids to know how to do math and do it well. Dh and I will teach them to think. A side note, lol, my kids also hate doing a math lesson that encompasses only 1 type of problem. They consider it boring, and Saxon more interesting. ;)

 

3. The book presents math as something useful - but utterly devoid of joy.

At no point we got the feeling that the authors themselves were excited about the material. It felt like "take your medicine because it's good for you" .

 

Much to my kids' disgust, I provide the math excitement in our house. Being a math major, I'll often explain the overall concept Saxon is introducing and why it's important. With a lot of jumping and handwaving involved.

 

We have switched to Art of Problem Solving, Intro to Algebra (DD is starting on geometry next). We found that this met all our requirements:

1. The material is presented in very much depth, with student led discovery of principles and relationships. The book goes well beyond the scope of the traditional algebra 1 text and includes much harder problems.

2. While there are a large number of practice problems available, they are very varied and require the student not only to master the topic, but also to think creatively and discover ways to apply the concepts to a novel problem.

3. You notice on every page that the author is excited about math, finds it tremendous fun - and this enthusiasm radiates out to the student. This is exactly the attitude we parents have towards math and which we like to instill in our children.

 

The trauma this approach would produce in my house...:svengo:

...

Agnes

 

If you end up using Saxon, Art Reed's book Using John Saxon's Math Books might be very helpful to you. My only concern with your mom's plan, is that generally you need algebra 1 for geometry, although you can take algebra 2 and geometry at the same time.

 

Best of luck!

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We have used Saxon since 6/5. For geometry, we used a different text since Saxon hadn't come out with their separate geometry text yet. I would not recommend the geometry that we used without a teacher.

 

For SAT prep, doing Saxon Algebra I and II is more helpful than doing Algebra I and a separate geometry, in my opinion. Most of a geometry text is proofs, which are not on the SAT. You will need to know surface area, volume, etc and those are covered fairly well in the Algebra I and II. You can always use the prep books as a supplement and to find any gaps. The PSAT is given in October. For this year, 10th, you won't have much time to get up to speed in math, but it's good to take for practice.

 

My dd likes Saxon because she can read the text and the lessons are clearly explained. There are practice problems and then lots of review of everything else that she learned that year, so things aren't easily forgotten. The solutions manual is also very clear in showing each step. None of this applies to Advanced Math - or at least not today!!! :tongue_smilie:

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Our oldest son, who struggles with math, and our youngest son, who is a math whiz, both used Saxon with success. They self-taught through the Calculus textbook and did well on the ACT. They never complained about the drill aspect of Saxon. Both of them developed the ability to work math problems quickly and accurately. Our youngest finished Calculus right before his 17th birthday, and he ran through VideoText Algebra as a review before the ACT. He said there was nothing in VT that he had not learned in Saxon. It took dd a while to get off the ground with Saxon, but she is self-teaching through the textbooks as well and finally feels secure with math.

 

Check out the Robinson Curriculum to see the results of Saxon -- six children, all used Saxon, all earning Phd's in science.

 

In our house, we found that the strugglers need the repetition and review of Saxon while the mathie just flew through the books. He loved seeing how many weeks he could go with no errors.

 

Bonita

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I do not just like, I love Saxon Math. I have taught Saxon for years in private school and also when I homeschooled by first liter of children who are now grown up. I am now homeschooling my dgd who is entering 10th grade and will be doing Saxon Advanced Math/Trig. I have taught whole classrooms of students with a variety of learning styles, abilities, etc. and never had to fail one student. Some struggled if they didn't do the following:

 

1. Correct all their missed problems and note what kind of error they made-comp, procedural, etc.

2. Do all the problems in each problem set. (The exception was if you consistantly made 90 or above on each problem set and made 90 or above on each test, you earned the right to do only the problems without the answers in the back.

3. Graded the current PS from previous lesson first and retaught any problems that were not understood.

4. I also tested at least two weeks behind the lessons to give plenty of practice time to learn concepts before testing.

5. I followed the scripted lesson precisely so my students had my words in their books when they got home and perhaps forgot what they had been taught earlier that day. That worked for my students and their parents.

6. Saxon Math produces excellent math students and prepares them well for SAT, ACT and college math courses.

 

I have seen the product Saxon Math produces from beginning to end and I have not seen another program in my 25 years of teaching and homeschooling that can hold a candle to this program if it is taught and practiced as it is intended to be taught. I only would have reservations for students who have LD in math. They even have a separate curriculum and workbook with helps for that situation.

 

I hope this is helpful from both a professional teacher and a homeschool Mom and Grandmom. I have used it from the beginning. I did use ABeka and BJU and one year of Modern Curriculum at one time or another so I do have a comparison.

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It is a preference thing, look at the book and you will know right away if you like how Saxon teaches math. If you look at the Algebra 1 book and say you love how it teaches and does a little of this and that, it is for you, if you look at it and feel all of your energy going from you (like us), then you should look for something that teaches concepts in groupings in order.

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We did NOT like Saxon (used 8/7) for the following reasons:

1. The topics are touched on briefly, then the next lesson jumps to an unrelated concept, only to return to the first topic several days later for another little bite.

We found this approach not effective; our kids prefer to learn about one concept in depth until it is mastered and only THEN move on to the next topic (and we as instructors believe that this is a more effective way to learn).

2. The problems are very repetetive and a lot of drill; many problems follow the same format and don't require the student to think, but follow the prescribed procedure over and over again.

While this may certainly produce mastery, our children did not need that much repetition and were bored.

3. The book presents math as something useful - but utterly devoid of joy. At no point we got the feeling that the authors themselves were excited about the material. It felt like "take your medicine because it's good for you" .

:iagree:

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Guest Cheryl in SoCal
I do not just like, I love Saxon Math. I have taught Saxon for years in private school and also when I homeschooled by first liter of children who are now grown up. I am now homeschooling my dgd who is entering 10th grade and will be doing Saxon Advanced Math/Trig. I have taught whole classrooms of students with a variety of learning styles, abilities, etc. and never had to fail one student. Some struggled if they didn't do the following:

 

1. Correct all their missed problems and note what kind of error they made-comp, procedural, etc.

2. Do all the problems in each problem set. (The exception was if you consistantly made 90 or above on each problem set and made 90 or above on each test, you earned the right to do only the problems without the answers in the back.

3. Graded the current PS from previous lesson first and retaught any problems that were not understood.

4. I also tested at least two weeks behind the lessons to give plenty of practice time to learn concepts before testing.

5. I followed the scripted lesson precisely so my students had my words in their books when they got home and perhaps forgot what they had been taught earlier that day. That worked for my students and their parents.

6. Saxon Math produces excellent math students and prepares them well for SAT, ACT and college math courses.

 

I have seen the product Saxon Math produces from beginning to end and I have not seen another program in my 25 years of teaching and homeschooling that can hold a candle to this program if it is taught and practiced as it is intended to be taught. I only would have reservations for students who have LD in math. They even have a separate curriculum and workbook with helps for that situation.

 

I hope this is helpful from both a professional teacher and a homeschool Mom and Grandmom. I have used it from the beginning. I did use ABeka and BJU and one year of Modern Curriculum at one time or another so I do have a comparison.

 

We practiced and used it exactly as it was intended to be used, and neither of the students I used it with had any learning disabilities. One student was a model student (rarely got anything wrong) but didn't *understand* what he was doing, which was definitely not my goal!

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I did not like Saxon math for both of my sons, one who struggles a bit with math and one has more of an intuitive sense for math.

 

The one who struggles a bit used Saxon for years (way too many), and by the time he was in Advanced Math, I realized that even though he did well on the tests, he did not understand the concepts. Over one summer, I had him use a different Algebra 2 curriculum for review, and it was very apparent he couldn't apply math concepts at all and really struggled with even basic Algebra 1 concepts. We switched to Chalkdust, and he did very well with that. He enjoyed the more topical presentation, the DVD lectures, and the more visual approach with the graphing calculator.

 

The one who is more math intuitive used Singapore through PM6, then I needed a PreAlgebra year, so he used Math 87 since I had the book. He hated it. Way too much repetition, and the problems were all different variations on the same theme. He learned very little that year and came to hate math. We switched to the Dolciani/Brown series for Algebra & Geometry, and now he's happy again. He's thinking more deeply about math and can apply it to new areas.

 

Saxon works for some, but I'm convinced that it's not the right program for all kids.

 

Brenda

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Guest Cheryl in SoCal
I did not like Saxon math for both of my sons, one who struggles a bit with math and one has more of an intuitive sense for math.

 

The one who struggles a bit used Saxon for years (way too many), and by the time he was in Advanced Math, I realized that even though he did well on the tests, he did not understand the concepts. Over one summer, I had him use a different Algebra 2 curriculum for review, and it was very apparent he couldn't apply math concepts at all and really struggled with even basic Algebra 1 concepts. We switched to Chalkdust, and he did very well with that. He enjoyed the more topical presentation, the DVD lectures, and the more visual approach with the graphing calculator.

 

The one who is more math intuitive used Singapore through PM6, then I needed a PreAlgebra year, so he used Math 87 since I had the book. He hated it. Way too much repetition, and the problems were all different variations on the same theme. He learned very little that year and came to hate math. We switched to the Dolciani/Brown series for Algebra & Geometry, and now he's happy again. He's thinking more deeply about math and can apply it to new areas.

 

Saxon works for some, but I'm convinced that it's not the right program for all kids.

 

Brenda

This was our experience as well, only we weren't into Algebra yet and it was my student who is likely gifted in math. He "went along for the ride" when we switched his brother's math curriculum (because he WAS struggling) and it wasn't until we made the switch that we realized he didn't understand math. We never would have known based on his performance:eek:

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Could you give your reasons why you do/don't? Also what curriculum are you using now if you aren't using Saxon anymore?:)

 

My mom wants to use Saxon algebra 1 and their new geometry course this year for math, she doesn't want me to do the "Saxon order". My mom wants me to take seperate course for the PSAT this year (10th grade).

 

I have completed algebra 1, but my mom wants me to stick with reviewing and I think Saxon has that.

 

Well, here's our tale --

 

We tried Saxon early on, but hatedhatedhated the drill-n-kill approach. I have to give Saxon credit: when they say it's an "incremental program," they really do mean it...but those "increments" are truly glacial in speed. It emphasized repetition at the expense of true understanding, we felt, and when we switched to Miquon, the difference was quite evident. Miquon, with its use of concrete objects to help represent numbers, was far, far better at helping the child differentiate between (let's say) 1, 10, and 100.

 

Plus it's...well, it's pretty boring.

 

I have a long tolerance for works or books others consider "boring." Heck, I'm a classical educator: that alone says that I'd prefer to have my kid cuddle up with a good copy of Pride and Prejudice rather than The Lightning Thief. That said, though, Saxon seems designed to make kids hate math. If it can be made more boring and unfriendly and repetitious and dull, Saxon seems to do it.

 

Currently, we are using Life of Fred and Zaccaro's book on problem solving, both of which are challenging, intelligent, and funny without being fluffy or light on work.

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:iagree: that Saxon is not for everyone, and I am thinking about going into a math field, but it's an up in the air type thing for now. I like seeing all of the comments though, I am just curious to see who does/doesn't like Saxon, why and the curriculum you all use now.

 

Has anyone used Lial's or BJU?:bigear:

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I wanted to like Saxon, and tried it with each one of my childre, since they are all so different. My middle child did fine with it, really, but thought it was boring. My oldest and youngest disliked it IMMENSELY for the reasons mentiond above!!!

 

Oldest: We went from Saxon 87, which he did not finish and caused him MUCH angst, to Life Pacs 8th grade math, which he liked MUCH better. The next year he did VideoText Algebra 1 & 2 (Modules A-F). He did well with that. He didn't struggle much at all until he got to Module F. He had a little problem with how the concepts were presented, etc. This was before the VideoText Geometry came out. He went on to do Geometry in 11th at a Christian School (got an A), and Pre Calculus in 12th (got an A).

 

Middle: Did Algebra 1/2. He finished it, but didn't care for it a whole lot. He went to TT Algebra 1, and also did LoF Beginning and Advanced Algebra. This past year, for 10th, he was in the school older ds had gone to. He did Geometry, and will be doing Algebra 2 there this coming year.

 

Youngest: She did Saxon 76 when she was 10. She'd always loved math and done well. That year she learned to hate math, and never finished the 76. I got the advice to plow ahead, push her through it......but it wasn't the right thing to do in her case! :( I am STILL working through her dislike of math and insecurities of her math know-how from that year! So I tell others to beware that advice. If they decide to plow through, I hope they're hyper-aware of how their child is reacting to it all. I wish I would've figured it out sooner! We're making breaktrhoughs, but it's a slow process... So be careful!

 

If you get to a point where you're absolutely hating it, MOVE TO SOMETHING ELSE! It's not good to hop from one thing to another to another. However, it's not always the best advice to stick with it/plow through when it's hated so much! There are curriculums you could be enjoying much more and learning the concepts!

 

We have done some LoF with dd and some TT. This year she's working through the TT Algebras. Then we'll do Geometry (not sure which one), then we'll probably do another Algebra 2 with Trig.

 

Best wishes

!

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I have degrees in mathematics and statistics.

 

My daughters came home for school in 3rd and 7th grades (respectively).

 

My older daughter used: Saxon Algebra 1/2, Saxon Algebra 1, Jacobs Geometry, A Beka Algebra II, BJU PreCalculus, MUS Trigonometry, an old college textbook for Calculus I, an old college textbook for Statistics, and then entered the CC where she took College Algebra, PreCalculus, Calculus I, and Statistics before graduating from high school. (At the university, she completed the Calculus sequence, and moved on to complete a BA in mathematics, summa cum laude.)

 

My younger daughter used: Saxon 54, Saxon 76, Jacobs Elementary Algebra, Jacobs Geometry, Lial Intermediate Algebra, Lial PreCalculus, her big sister's old PreCalculus with Calc I textbook, and has now taken Statistics at the CC, and is planning to take College Algebra next spring (her fall semester is full). She has NO intention of majoring in mathematics, but she is working on an associate's in graphic design, and will continue her BA in marketing or business, both of which will include accounting and finance courses.

 

I say all that ONLY to show you that there is no "one" path, no "one" book and no "best" curriculum out there, other than the one you USE to practice mathematics until you understand it, and perform it accurately, and think about it logically. Some books are more self-teaching, some books require a teacher, and some kids need more explanation, while some kids require less.

 

Personally, I teach Saxon Course 2, Saxon Course 3 and Saxon Algebra I to 6th, 7th and 8th graders again this year. I love the books. I love the new editions by Stephen Hake, and I find the way they are organized to be a brilliant way for students to learn math. Not just learn to do it, but learn to think about number, patterns, spaces, relationships and geometry. I will probably teach through the Saxon sequence at my school's new high school (we add 9th grade next year, and I will get to order Geometry!), since we use Saxon K-8 currently. I add A LOT to the books. We are a classical school, after all. My kids do hand-on investigations, demonstrate problems on the board and outside, work a lot of math in science lab, and usually create a portion of their assessments themselves. By mid-year, my walls are covered with data displays the students have created to organize surveys they've written.

 

Anyway, the biggest mistake I've seen with any homeschooled math curriculum is that the parent-teacher buys the book and solutions manual, and assigns lesson one on Monday, lesson two on Tuesday, lesson three on Wednesday...and thinks that working a daily lesson set (right or wrong!) is "teaching" math. I'd have a riot in my classroom if my students worked 30 problems each day without time for instruction, discussion, modeling and graphing! Not to mention every single week we introduce some historical mathematician, or some bit of math history into their timelines...

 

Anyway, there is more to math than Saxon, sets 1-120. Even Saxon needs a teacher.

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I'll agree with this and add that for my younger son, I used the first grade materials and attempted to use the third grade materials the next year. The amount of repitition just about killed me (which is why I didn't use all the third grade materials). I really just wanted it for extra drill work, anyway, so it was no great loss to me....

 

I used their upper level maths with my older son during a gap year before he began algebra work, but agree that it just did not lend itself to conceptual understanding at all.

 

That said, it may be perfect for some people.

 

I used Singapore's programming through sixth grade with both boys. I used Key to... series to supplement with both boys (more with the older than younger). I have used Zaccarro's Real World Math with my younger son (beginning algebra work) and will use Russian Math 6 for drill and supplementation this year with him (he's also doing an outside algebra class using a Dolciani book). The older son used VideoText for Algebra I and II.

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Guest Cheryl in SoCal
I have degrees in mathematics and statistics.

 

My daughters came home for school in 3rd and 7th grades (respectively).

 

My older daughter used: Saxon Algebra 1/2, Saxon Algebra 1, Jacobs Geometry, A Beka Algebra II, BJU PreCalculus, MUS Trigonometry, an old college textbook for Calculus I, an old college textbook for Statistics, and then entered the CC where she took College Algebra, PreCalculus, Calculus I, and Statistics before graduating from high school. (At the university, she completed the Calculus sequence, and moved on to complete a BA in mathematics, summa cum laude.)

 

My younger daughter used: Saxon 54, Saxon 76, Jacobs Elementary Algebra, Jacobs Geometry, Lial Intermediate Algebra, Lial PreCalculus, her big sister's old PreCalculus with Calc I textbook, and has now taken Statistics at the CC, and is planning to take College Algebra next spring (her fall semester is full). She has NO intention of majoring in mathematics, but she is working on an associate's in graphic design, and will continue her BA in marketing or business, both of which will include accounting and finance courses.

 

I say all that ONLY to show you that there is no "one" path, no "one" book and no "best" curriculum out there, other than the one you USE to practice mathematics until you understand it, and perform it accurately, and think about it logically. Some books are more self-teaching, some books require a teacher, and some kids need more explanation, while some kids require less.

 

Personally, I teach Saxon Course 2, Saxon Course 3 and Saxon Algebra I to 6th, 7th and 8th graders again this year. I love the books. I love the new editions by Stephen Hake, and I find the way they are organized to be a brilliant way for students to learn math. Not just learn to do it, but learn to think about number, patterns, spaces, relationships and geometry. I will probably teach through the Saxon sequence at my school's new high school (we add 9th grade next year, and I will get to order Geometry!), since we use Saxon K-8 currently. I add A LOT to the books. We are a classical school, after all. My kids do hand-on investigations, demonstrate problems on the board and outside, work a lot of math in science lab, and usually create a portion of their assessments themselves. By mid-year, my walls are covered with data displays the students have created to organize surveys they've written.

 

Anyway, the biggest mistake I've seen with any homeschooled math curriculum is that the parent-teacher buys the book and solutions manual, and assigns lesson one on Monday, lesson two on Tuesday, lesson three on Wednesday...and thinks that working a daily lesson set (right or wrong!) is "teaching" math. I'd have a riot in my classroom if my students worked 30 problems each day without time for instruction, discussion, modeling and graphing! Not to mention every single week we introduce some historical mathematician, or some bit of math history into their timelines...

 

Anyway, there is more to math than Saxon, sets 1-120. Even Saxon needs a teacher.

Perhaps part of the problem is that Saxon doesn't have enough support/instruction in teaching for homeschooling parents. Is it not teaching conceptually because it assumes the teacher/parent will be adding that as you have? What is the difference between the homeschool edition and the edition meant to be used in public/private schools? If one needs to add as much to Saxon as you have described then I wouldn't consider it to be a good curriculum for anyone to use unless they too have a degree in math.

 

Personally, I don't know any homeschool parent who "teaches" by just assigning homework (if that is what you meant). Not only did we use Saxon as the teacher manual stated but also used the DIVE CD for additional instruction and it was still a HUGE failure due to the format.

Edited by Cheryl in SoCal
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I really don't like dull work at all. That's what made me quit SOS!!!:glare:

 

But..... If I supplement or find a new curriculum will that work?

 

I think having dvd's or just a book that explains things well, is challenging and fun will do it for me! Can anyone give me a list of these type of books so that I can show my mom?:bigear:

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My children have used Saxon since the beginning with no issues, and they are all strong math students. My 9th grader took Algebra 1 last year and will do Algebra II this year. I have found that listening to everyone's input (especially since those that strongly dislike Saxon are very vocal) was very stressful to me.

 

SO, I called up Saxon Publishers and ended up talking with a Dr. Phillips. He explained to me that Alg. 1 has 30% of a geometry course, Alg. II has another 30%, and Advanced Math has the last 40% of a geometry course. If you follow these classes in order, then there is no reason to complete another geometry course.

 

Also, Saxon is set up spirally. There is constant, daily practice (just like you would do if you were learning to play the piano) with each concept learned, so you never leave one topic behind to learn another.

 

Dr. Philips also assured me that those students who faithfully complete Saxon as written (ie. not skipping lots of problems) do very well on standardized testing (SAT, ACT).

 

I would encourage you to call Saxon Publishers yourself, or have your mom call, so you can feel encouraged about what you are studying. I do know several families that have used only Saxon and their kids went on to do well in college. I also posted a thread a while ago with this question and got many favorable responses from those who had used Saxon.

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I would recommend buying the DIVE cd's, if your mom doesn't feel like she can teach the material. I love math, so I am happy to re-learn these concepts, but I totally understand that other people either don't love math enough ;) or just plain don't have time! In subjects that I am not strong in, I purchase materials to assist me in teaching. I have not personally used these cds, but friends have recommended them.

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SO, I called up Saxon Publishers and ended up talking with a Dr. Phillips. ..

Dr. Philips also assured me that those students who faithfully complete Saxon as written (ie. not skipping lots of problems) do very well on standardized testing (SAT, ACT).

 

I certainly believe that Saxon is a solid program that prepares the students well. However, if that was not the case, I think the publisher would be the last person to disclose this fact to a customer.

Agnes

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I used Saxon Math 8/7 for my 7th grader, hoping to improve her grade in math. We had used BJUP math in the past and she was just "not getting" a lot of it. I thought the more user-friendly approach would help my daughter. The first 1/4 of the school year was fine, but the 7th grade level math book started incorporating some pre-algebra stuff, and the assignments got longer and longer. She was practically CRYING and begging not to do math by the end of the school year. Even though I trimmed her assignments down as much as I could, it just got overwhelming. I switched her to Teaching Textbooks and she liked it much, much better.

 

In defense of Saxon, it is a very solid math program, but not for my struggling math student. My daughter did do exceedingly well on her 7th grade Stanford testing - she tested PSH -- but it came at a high expense -- many days of tears, anger, frustration, complaining, etc. at math time.

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Perhaps part of the problem is that Saxon doesn't have enough support/instruction in teaching for homeschooling parents. Is it not teaching conceptually because it assumes the teacher/parent will be adding that as you have? What is the difference between the homeschool edition and the edition meant to be used in public/private schools? If one needs to add as much to Saxon as you have described then I wouldn't consider it to be a good curriculum for anyone to use unless they too have a degree in math.

 

Personally, I don't know any homeschool parent who "teaches" by just assigning homework (if that is what you meant). Not only did we use Saxon as the teacher manual stated but also used the DIVE CD for additional instruction and it was still a HUGE failure due to the format.

 

My daughter has been using Saxon since 6/5. We did mental math orally, I gave her the timed fact sheet, and she read, learned and did the lessons herself. If she needed help, she asked. A lot of learning comes from correcting mistakes when going over the work with her. I can usually tell from her wrong answer what she did wrong. She prefers to learn from a text, so this works well for us. :)

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(especially since those that strongly dislike Saxon are very vocal)
:D Saxon doesn't have the corner on vocal opinions against it! We've used TT, and let me tell you, there are some very vocal statements for and against it! I'm guessing if you do a search, you'll find that those that strongly dislike any certain curriculum, no matter what it is, can be very vocal. Also those that really like certain curriculums can be very vocal! That shouldn't stop you from liking or disliking something yourself, or cause you to stress out. Take what you can use from what others and discard the rest. It's really what works best for you in the end that matters!:001_smile:

 

Dr. Philips also assured me that those students who faithfully complete Saxon as written (ie. not skipping lots of problems) do very well on standardized testing (SAT, ACT).

 

I would encourage you to call Saxon Publishers yourself, or have your mom call, so you can feel encouraged about what you are studying. I do know several families that have used only Saxon and their kids went on to do well in college. I also posted a thread a while ago with this question and got many favorable responses from those who had used Saxon.

I wouldn't expect a writer/publisher of a curriculum to say anything negative about their own product! If I wrote a curriculum, I'd be very positive about it because it was mine and I'd know I'd worked hard to make a good product!

 

If you look at some of the posts that say the kids did not like Saxon, you'll often see the parent's view that they wanted to use/like it, or that they know it works well for some. I rarely see anyone that is mean or rude about it, they're just stating how things went in their home.

 

It works well in your home, so you will definitely want to say positive things about it. It didn't work well in my home, so I can't go out and sing it's praises, though I can say, and have said, it is a good curriculum for some kids, it just didn't work with mine.

 

TT has worked in my home, but some people can't stand it. I don't take them not liking a curriculum that works for my kids as an offense or a stress producer, otherwise I'd be stressed all the time! :D

 

Most math curriculums can work well for SOME kids, and those kids will end up doing well on SATs and ACTs and in college. The real thing is finding what works for yourself and your child, and using that curriculum to the best of your abilities! If you do that and are happy with what you've chosen, you'll do well!

Edited by Brindee
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I've been homeschooling for 13 years and have used most levels of Saxon with my children. While it may work with some children very well, it did not with my 3 older children.

 

My oldest started at Saxon 7/6 and at first liked it. He could do it fine. Then when he started getting into the higher levels he could not understand it, even with the help of the DIVE CDs. We eventually hired a math tutor to help him finish high school. He detests math now and would never willingly take another math class. But, pre-Saxon, he liked math.

 

My second child used Math 1 through 54. She is unable to problem solve and did not retain what she learned. Because of her dyslexia, she had a very difficult time learning the math facts. She hated the DIVE CD for 54. She will tell you that she hates math. She now uses MUS.

 

My third child was the most harmed by Saxon because she developed a math phobia. She used Math 1 and seemed fine. We started Math 2 and I started having to bribe her with chocolate chips used as manipulatives. Halfway through Math 2 she had a complete meltdown. She felt like she never understood anything! This child has a very extreme "I don't get it" reaction to anything she doesn't know. It takes her several days to get comfortable with a concept. Saxon did not allow that (and I only understand this about her now, in retrospect). Saxon would introduce something and she wouldn't get it. The next day it would drop that and bring up something else and she wouldn't get that. Then the next day...ad infinitum! She felt stupid and she is actually a very bright girl. After her meltdown we just stopped. We did no math for a while. Then I bought Singapore and we did that for a bit but neither of us liked it. Now she is using MUS and four or more years later is starting to recover from Saxon.

 

So, here we have three children with three very different learning styles. None of them like math. None of them benefitted from Saxon. None of them can problem solve. The incremental approach never led to true understanding. I personally have no problem with math and considered majoring in it (in case you think I passed on my own math phobia).

 

I will not use Saxon again with any of my children. My younger children will use Right Start (I have one finishing up A and he loves math, loves doing problems and worksheets and demonstrates true understanding). When they finish RS, they will use MUS most likely.

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Saxon is great if you prefer the spiral method. However, If your child needs to focus on a topic one at a time, then Saxon may not be the right fit for your child. Since my son learns better with mastery programs, Saxon was not the right curriculum for us. My son needs to focus on one topic and master it before moving on to the next topic.

 

However, just because a program does not work for one family, it does not mean that it is a bad program. With this said, each family must decide which method is best for their children. :001_smile:

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Perhaps part of the problem is that Saxon doesn't have enough support/instruction in teaching for homeschooling parents. Is it not teaching conceptually because it assumes the teacher/parent will be adding that as you have? What is the difference between the homeschool edition and the edition meant to be used in public/private schools? If one needs to add as much to Saxon as you have described then I wouldn't consider it to be a good curriculum for anyone to use unless they too have a degree in math.

 

Personally, I don't know any homeschool parent who "teaches" by just assigning homework (if that is what you meant). Not only did we use Saxon as the teacher manual stated but also used the DIVE CD for additional instruction and it was still a HUGE failure due to the format.

 

I have always added to any curriculum--literature, history, Spanish, Chemistry, you name it--and I didn't need a degree in each of those to konw that a book alone is insufficient for learning. Even a book and a solutions manual. Or a book, a solutions manual, and video lectures. It didn't mean that my Campbell Biology was a bad curriculum, or "didn't fit" my child's learning style. It simply meant that there are more ways to approach learning Biology than just reading the book and answering the questions in each chapter.

 

Most curricula I bought for my children did not have a teacher's manual. I had to use my expertise in learning and teaching (and when I didn't have expertise, I got resources to *give* myself expertise), and more organization and planning than anything else, to ensure my children learned material. I had to talk with them about the subjects they were studying, and I had to assess their learning daily, weekly, and monthly, and make sure we were on track for their goals in each field.

 

My rant of the day (LOL) is that math is NO DIFFERENT from literature, history, or any other classical subject. You need a plethora of materials--that bring in math history, allow for math projects, get to organize real data, and yes, practice the basic facts. One math textbook just won't cut it. Not if you are trying to have a classical education...which is why I think we are all still here at WTM. :) I don't know if you noticed, but my own children used Saxon, Lial's, Jacobs, BJU, MUS, and some traditional texts. I added history, projects, conversation, and real world math to *every* one of them.

 

I also teach from PH science texts--and I add reams of stuff to them as well. I guess I just can't imagine teaching any "program" the way a teacher's manual tells me to. LOL. :) I don't teach programs. I teach children. If I have to stand on my head or recite poetry or sing really cheesy algebra songs to get them to learn math, that's what I do.

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I've complained a lot about Saxon Math on this forum. 2 of my eldest dc used Saxon through Advanced Math. Then we switched to different progarms. Both of these dc are now sophomores in college and have both credited their years of Saxon to success with math in college. :001_huh: It is the "automacity" that was achieved through Saxon that they are grateful for.

Having said that, I do have one child that absolutely cannot use Saxon. I am rethinking whether I should go back to Saxon for some of my other kids who can "handle" the Saxon style.

Postscript:

After looking at Saxon Alg 1 all morning and working out a few lessons, I think I'll stick with Foerster's. All the jumping around of topics reminded why we left Saxon. It might be fine at the lower levels, up to 7/6, but beyond that I think for many children can't make the connection between topics. It's safer, I feel to use a more traditional text.

Edited by langfam
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The spiral/integrated method requires a student to be working at a lower level. Most students and parents want to place the student at the highest level possible. Saxon immediately halts a struggling student, showing their true deficiencies.

 

Many math students need to be working below grade level, and need to repeat lessons, if the book moves too fast for them, when using the spiral/integrated method.

 

Completing Saxon algebra 1 will prepare a student for "College Algebra" at most junior colleges and provide all the math necessary for most junior college science classes.

 

Many families would do well to stick with Saxon as the spine, SLOOOOOW DOWN, and add some enrichment.

 

A student who spreads Saxon 1 and 2 out over 4 years will be well prepared for most 4 year program schools. They will be ready for statistics or college algebra, and that is all most 4 year schools require for many degrees.

 

The Aufmann textbooks are the ones used at many junior colleges for remedial math and the ones the placement tests are based on. Old editions can be purchased dirt cheap to get an idea of what should be covered. Many times the "college algebra" class is only the intermediate algebra book, not the college algebra book, and the hardest problems are skipped and the book not finished. I like the software for these books, as it generates unlimited problems for the word problems.

 

A combination of Saxon and Aufmann math, even just through algebra 1, will produce very high scores on placement tests at a junior college.

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Guest Cheryl in SoCal
I have always added to any curriculum--literature, history, Spanish, Chemistry, you name it--and I didn't need a degree in each of those to konw that a book alone is insufficient for learning. Even a book and a solutions manual. Or a book, a solutions manual, and video lectures. It didn't mean that my Campbell Biology was a bad curriculum, or "didn't fit" my child's learning style. It simply meant that there are more ways to approach learning Biology than just reading the book and answering the questions in each chapter.

 

Most curricula I bought for my children did not have a teacher's manual. I had to use my expertise in learning and teaching (and when I didn't have expertise, I got resources to *give* myself expertise), and more organization and planning than anything else, to ensure my children learned material. I had to talk with them about the subjects they were studying, and I had to assess their learning daily, weekly, and monthly, and make sure we were on track for their goals in each field.

 

My rant of the day (LOL) is that math is NO DIFFERENT from literature, history, or any other classical subject. You need a plethora of materials--that bring in math history, allow for math projects, get to organize real data, and yes, practice the basic facts. One math textbook just won't cut it. Not if you are trying to have a classical education...which is why I think we are all still here at WTM. :) I don't know if you noticed, but my own children used Saxon, Lial's, Jacobs, BJU, MUS, and some traditional texts. I added history, projects, conversation, and real world math to *every* one of them.

 

I also teach from PH science texts--and I add reams of stuff to them as well. I guess I just can't imagine teaching any "program" the way a teacher's manual tells me to. LOL. :) I don't teach programs. I teach children. If I have to stand on my head or recite poetry or sing really cheesy algebra songs to get them to learn math, that's what I do.

While I agree with you about using multiple curricula and adding to curricula (because I do the same, LOL) I think that it's more difficult for parents to add to a math curricula on their own, especially if it's to teach it more conceptually. I also think Saxon does not lend itself well to this if used as Saxon intends for it to be used because it is already a lot of work and time consuming. I'm quite sure if one was to ask the publisher that they would say it is not necessary to add anything to Saxon. It seems like parents who aren't successful with Saxon get criticized for either not using Saxon as intended if they don't follow the instructions religiously or not using it as intended by the publisher because they don't add to it, making any failure their fault. I would have to add too much to and leave too much out of Saxon to make it usable for us. Instead, I choose curricula whose method I believe in and are easier to combine.

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Not sure if this has been mentioned because I haven't read many of the posts. :001_smile: BUT, I just received Art Reed's CDs for Saxon 2. I am SO excited to have these. He encloses a very cute note about being a retired math teacher and how he feels about teaching. My dd used Algebra 1/2 and 1. She is NOT a math person, BUT after using Teaching Textbook 7, Abeka for 6th grade, MUS, and Singapore Math (and probably something else I can't remember!), I can say that she is finally understanding the computational end of math. Now, if only we can get to where she knows what computations to do when she sees the problem. I think Mr. Reed will definitely help with this if his samples are any indication of how this is taught.

 

Just another vote for Saxon, but I think any added help (like these CDs) are totally worth it. Oh, I did have Saxon Teacher, but decided to try a different format.

Edited by LatinTea
added MUS to the line-up
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I am getting a headache!:confused1::banghead:

 

Here is the problem, my mom doesn't want me to bounce from curriculum to curriculum, we don't have the money or time to do so. So that being said.....

 

What to do! Do they show any samples of Saxon math, BJU math, or Lials online? Please help a little!

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Not sure if this has been mentioned because I haven't read many of the posts. :001_smile: BUT, I just received Art Reed's CDs for Saxon 2. I am SO excited to have these. He encloses a very cute note about being a retired math teacher and how he feels about teaching. My dd used Algebra 1/2 and 1. She is NOT a math person, BUT after using Teaching Textbook 7, Abeka for 6th grade, and Singapore Math (and probably something else I can't remember!), I can say that she is finally understanding the computational end of math. Now, if only we can get to where she knows what computations to do when she sees the problem. I think Mr. Reed will definitely help with this if his samples are any indication of how this is taught.

 

Just another vote for Saxon, but I think any added help (like these CDs) are totally worth it. Oh, I did have Saxon Teacher, but decided to try a different format.

 

Maybe I should order the Dive cd's as well, maybe then I could do math!

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Hey, I have an idea! What if I use Lial's as the main course and use Saxon as a supplement? Would that seem impossible? Or should I use Saxon as the main course and Lial's as a supplement?

 

One last question, is TT geometry a complete course? I won't be going into a field that requires hard geometry, so I don't need a hard to understand course. Is it better than Saxon geometry?

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We have done Saxon from the beginning with all my kids and they have done great! My oldest is using Art Reed's DVDs for Algebra I. They are fantastic. I highly recommend his book. I wish I had read it a long time ago - it is a great resource for those who do want to use Saxon.

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Guest Cheryl in SoCal
Hey, I have an idea! What if I use Lial's as the main course and use Saxon as a supplement? Would that seem impossible? Or should I use Saxon as the main course and Lial's as a supplement?

 

One last question, is TT geometry a complete course? I won't be going into a field that requires hard geometry, so I don't need a hard to understand course. Is it better than Saxon geometry?

I think it would result in you spending the bulk of your day on math unless you really stripped down Saxon, which would kind of defeat the purpose. I supplement with Life of Fred because it's fun and doesn't take an exorbitant amount of time but makes the student think.

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I am getting a headache!:confused1::banghead:

 

Here is the problem, my mom doesn't want me to bounce from curriculum to curriculum, we don't have the money or time to do so. So that being said.....

 

What to do! Do they show any samples of Saxon math, BJU math, or Lials online? Please help a little!

 

LuvingLife, you've been trying to figure out what to use for math for a couple of months. It's never an easy decision and you are going to get all different opinions, because all students are different and all home schooling families are different. Fortunately, you only have to figure out what will work for you. :)

 

What I would suggest, is to sit down with your mom, and read through all the threads about your math curriculum and make a list of the possibilities, and next to each, write down what might be potential pros or cons of each. You may also look at the option of taking an online course, such as Jann offers, or taking the course through a correspondence school. But I think it's important that you and your mom come up with a plan together. She has some ideas of what she'd like to see you doing, and will be able to help you make a decision.

 

I think that what's even more important than the text you choose, is how much work you put into your learning. Math takes time. Give it the best part of your day, whether that's first thing in the morning, or later in the afternoon, and don't just skip over something you don't understand. Keep working to understand and you'll do fine. There are thousands of students in schools who have no say over what text they use, and yet they manage. :) Give it some good thought, but don't give yourself a headache over it.

 

You can do some searching here to find sites that you can see what some of the different texts are like. I believe you can see inside Saxon books at Christian Book Distributors - hopefully others will have info on the other programs, or searching should help too.

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Saxon isn't the only option, but it is a curriculum that can be completed by most students, independently and without supplementation, which it sounds like is your mom's first priority.

 

I mentioned Aufmann mostly because you can get the texts used for $5.00 or less. A mom can call the local junior college, and find out the level of the book used for freshman math, buy it and sees how easy it is. Then if it takes you 2 years to finish Saxon, she won't be panicking, because she can SEE that you will be ready. And now you have another math book to read if you get stuck understanding a Saxon lesson and need an alternative explanation. I love the word problems as a supplement to Saxon...but they are not necessary. Not at all.

 

The good thing about Saxon was that it was designed to be completed, one lesson at a time in order, without a teacher picking and choosing to use what (s)he wants to teach from it.

 

For many students the problem is that they are often working from a book that is too hard for them, and then trying to complete that-too challenging book-in a rush in just one year, without the parent devoting enough of the schedule, to it.

 

If you place yourself low enough in Saxon and either devote 2 hours a day to math, or spread it out for 1 1/2- 2 years at one hour a day, you should do fine, steadfastly working one problem at a time. Boring yes, but safe and predictable, and a pretty sure thing. No properly placed, properly paced student has ever died from using Saxon :-)

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Guest Cheryl in SoCal
Saxon isn't the only option, but it is a curriculum that can be completed by most students, independently and without supplementation, which it sounds like is your mom's first priority.

 

I mentioned Aufmann mostly because you can get the texts used for $5.00 or less. A mom can call the local junior college, and find out the level of the book used for freshman math, buy it and sees how easy it is. Then if it takes you 2 years to finish Saxon, she won't be panicking, because she can SEE that you will be ready. And now you have another math book to read if you get stuck understanding a Saxon lesson and need an alternative explanation. I love the word problems as a supplement to Saxon...but they are not necessary. Not at all.

 

The good thing about Saxon was that it was designed to be completed, one lesson at a time in order, without a teacher picking and choosing to use what (s)he wants to teach from it.

 

For many students the problem is that they are often working from a book that is too hard for them, and then trying to complete that-too challenging book-in a rush in just one year, without the parent devoting enough of the schedule, to it.

 

If you place yourself low enough in Saxon and either devote 2 hours a day to math, or spread it out for 1 1/2- 2 years at one hour a day, you should do fine, steadfastly working one problem at a time. Boring yes, but safe and predictable, and a pretty sure thing. No properly placed, properly paced student has ever died from using Saxon :-)

This is why so many loathe Saxon. No student should have to spend 2 hours/day on a math course unless it's AP. If my students had to work that long it would be a clear indication that they needed a different math curriculum.

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Hey, I have an idea! What if I use Lial's as the main course and use Saxon as a supplement? Would that seem impossible? Or should I use Saxon as the main course and Lial's as a supplement?

 

I wouldn't go with that simply because of the completely different structure of the courses.

 

Here's a preview for Lial. (I think -- I found it by going to pearsonhighered, finding the book and clicking on online preview). http://www.pearsonhighered.com/showtell/lial_0321557123/lial_0321557123.html

 

Given, however, that if you go back to the 7th edition there are several copies on amazon for less than a dollar (+3.99 shipping), I'd go ahead and order it to check it out. If you decide not to use it, you really aren't out much.

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This is why so many loathe Saxon. No student should have to spend 2 hours/day on a math course unless it's AP. If my students had to work that long it would be a clear indication that they needed a different math curriculum.

 

Most children-if the parent wants them to be proficient, at grade level-need to spend 2 hours a day on math, to accomplish that. To spend less than 2 hours usually means accepting less than proficiency or not reaching calculus/precalculus by 12th grade. Some curriculums don't require a student to become proficient at one level, before moving on to the next, and initially can be more attractive to mom and student, allowing a student to progress to the higher level, without putting in the work.

 

For the average student, it's often better to keep the goal of proficiency, and just give up the goal of calculus by grade 12. Whatever curriculum they use, it's okay to spend more than one year on a level. They will usually test better in college placement tests (although maybe not the PSAT) if they choose proficiency over rushing ahead.

 

I'm all for parents and students only spending 1 hour a day on math. And I'm just pointing out that Saxon is still an option for those parents, if they are willing to have their children work in a book labeled below grade level.

 

Many students don't end out taking the PSAT and just start out at the local junior college. They do NOT need to get past Algebra 1 or 2, and will test quite well, and avoid remedial classes, if they MASTER the lower levels of math. 2 year and even many 4 year schools are constantly placing students in remedial BASIC math, that took trig in high school.

 

I'm not saying Saxon is the only or the best option. I'm just saying it IS an option for the student who wants to do just one hour a day. Just slow down and only do 2 lessons a week and spread the book out over 2 years and be HONEST about the level the student is PROFICIENT at.

 

PROFICIENCY at the higher levels of math requires a large investment of time for the vast majority of students. There is just no getting away from that. Yes...there are the few gifted ones who can reach proficiency at calculus before the end of 12th grade spending an hour or less a day on math...but that is very rare indeed.

 

Grade level proficiency at any skill, takes at least 2 hours a day, whether we are talking about Latin, music, dance, writing or math. Parents and students are often loathe to use below grade level materials and instead choose survey materials instead. Sometimes it's better to just spread out a proficiency curriculum, though, than to use a survey course.

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Grade level proficiency at any skill, takes at least 2 hours a day, whether we are talking about Latin, music, dance, writing or math.

 

That can't be, because that would make it impossible for a child to be grade level proficient in all her subjects. No highschooler works 14 hours a day to be grade level proficient for all her credits.

 

My 5th grader went through Saxon 8/7 in five months; doing a subset of the problems was sufficient to reach proficiency and get him ready for algebra.

My 13 y/o has reached proficiency in algebra with 4-5 hours a week through AoPS and has better algebra skills than many of my college students.

(DH and I are physics professors; so we definitely recognize math proficiency)

If my child had to spend 2 hours a day on math I would seriously question whether they are placed correctly - because they will also need time to devote to science, foreign language, history and electives. Two hours a day is what we expect a college student to put in for a 3-credit-hour class.

 

regentrude

Edited by regentrude
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Most children-if the parent wants them to be proficient, at grade level-need to spend 2 hours a day on math, to accomplish that. To spend less than 2 hours usually means accepting less than proficiency or not reaching calculus/precalculus by 12th grade. Some curriculums don't require a student to become proficient at one level, before moving on to the next, and initially can be more attractive to mom and student, allowing a student to progress to the higher level, without putting in the work.

 

For the average student, it's often better to keep the goal of proficiency, and just give up the goal of calculus by grade 12. Whatever curriculum they use, it's okay to spend more than one year on a level. They will usually test better in college placement tests (although maybe not the PSAT) if they choose proficiency over rushing ahead.

 

I'm all for parents and students only spending 1 hour a day on math. And I'm just pointing out that Saxon is still an option for those parents, if they are willing to have their children work in a book labeled below grade level.

 

Many students don't end out taking the PSAT and just start out at the local junior college. They do NOT need to get past Algebra 1 or 2, and will test quite well, and avoid remedial classes, if they MASTER the lower levels of math. 2 year and even many 4 year schools are constantly placing students in remedial BASIC math, that took trig in high school.

 

I'm not saying Saxon is the only or the best option. I'm just saying it IS an option for the student who wants to do just one hour a day. Just slow down and only do 2 lessons a week and spread the book out over 2 years and be HONEST about the level the student is PROFICIENT at.

 

PROFICIENCY at the higher levels of math requires a large investment of time for the vast majority of students. There is just no getting away from that. Yes...there are the few gifted ones who can reach proficiency at calculus before the end of 12th grade spending an hour or less a day on math...but that is very rare indeed.

 

Grade level proficiency at any skill, takes at least 2 hours a day, whether we are talking about Latin, music, dance, writing or math. Parents and students are often loathe to use below grade level materials and instead choose survey materials instead. Sometimes it's better to just spread out a proficiency curriculum, though, than to use a survey course.

 

I do have one question for you. There are only so many hours in the day as we all know. How would you go about getting it all done with 2 hours devoted to more subjects than just math? :confused:

 

I think this year, we will take the hour of math a day route and see where that gets us. I do believe in teaching to proficiency, but have been sorely lacking in this area. Pride does push me forward when, in reality, I need to slow down. Not every student achieves proficiency in math easily. Well, none that I know of. My dd needs lots of attention to math details and I am hoping those CDs from Mr. Reed will help. I know it will help ME. :)

Edited by LatinTea
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FWIW and just our experience, when dd started Saxon we started below where she tested as I didn't want to miss anything. We had done just a variety of workbooks before then. In the first two books, she was doing a lesson in 1/2 hour, so we did two a day to bring it up to one hour. When she reached a level where she needed to work at the lesson, 8/7, she was taking about an hour per lesson, so it was one a day. Algebra was probably closer to 1.5 hours a day, and geometry (not Saxon) easily 2. :tongue_smilie: Algebra 2 was approx. 1.5 hours, and the beginning lessons in advanced are 1.25 to 2 hours. When it gets beyond review, I think we can expect 2 hours to be the usual - especially considering that proofs will be back. I'm hearing the music to Jaws right now. :lol:

 

For us, math is subject that takes the most time, but my dd enjoys it and doesn't mind putting in the time. The subjects that are the most challenging she usually enjoys the most. If someone hated math, then two hours a day would probably be way too much, or at the least, it would need to be broken down into two different sessions in the day IMO.

Edited by Teachin'Mine
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Guest Cheryl in SoCal
Most children-if the parent wants them to be proficient, at grade level-need to spend 2 hours a day on math, to accomplish that. To spend less than 2 hours usually means accepting less than proficiency or not reaching calculus/precalculus by 12th grade. Some curriculums don't require a student to become proficient at one level, before moving on to the next, and initially can be more attractive to mom and student, allowing a student to progress to the higher level, without putting in the work.

 

For the average student, it's often better to keep the goal of proficiency, and just give up the goal of calculus by grade 12. Whatever curriculum they use, it's okay to spend more than one year on a level. They will usually test better in college placement tests (although maybe not the PSAT) if they choose proficiency over rushing ahead.

 

I'm all for parents and students only spending 1 hour a day on math. And I'm just pointing out that Saxon is still an option for those parents, if they are willing to have their children work in a book labeled below grade level.

 

Many students don't end out taking the PSAT and just start out at the local junior college. They do NOT need to get past Algebra 1 or 2, and will test quite well, and avoid remedial classes, if they MASTER the lower levels of math. 2 year and even many 4 year schools are constantly placing students in remedial BASIC math, that took trig in high school.

 

I'm not saying Saxon is the only or the best option. I'm just saying it IS an option for the student who wants to do just one hour a day. Just slow down and only do 2 lessons a week and spread the book out over 2 years and be HONEST about the level the student is PROFICIENT at.

 

PROFICIENCY at the higher levels of math requires a large investment of time for the vast majority of students. There is just no getting away from that. Yes...there are the few gifted ones who can reach proficiency at calculus before the end of 12th grade spending an hour or less a day on math...but that is very rare indeed.

 

Grade level proficiency at any skill, takes at least 2 hours a day, whether we are talking about Latin, music, dance, writing or math. Parents and students are often loathe to use below grade level materials and instead choose survey materials instead. Sometimes it's better to just spread out a proficiency curriculum, though, than to use a survey course.

 

My children are very proficient in math (though they wouldn't be if we had remained with Saxon), understand math, and will reach Calculus by or before 12th grade. One is likely gifted but the other more average. We are currently doing Algebra 2. Saxon may take 2 hours but I don't for a moment believe that amount of time is necessary for proficiency for all math curricula.

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My eldest used Saxon for 3 levels & my middle one for 1.5 levels.

 

Saxon did its job for my eldest for the most part. There was far too much review in it. We schooled year round and were skipping many chapters at the beginning of each book. My eldest didn't need any review--she has a mind like a stainless steel trap for math. The incremental method it uses was not a good fit here and I was disappointed with the heuristic approach although I did like the mental math part of it.

 

My eldest tried a number of Algebra 1 books. The two she liked best that were also good books were Lial's Algebra & an OLD Dolciani (1965). My personal favourite is Gelfand's, but she hates the long problems even though she liked the theory part of it.

 

My second dd did LoF Beginning Algebra and is now doing Algebra 1 with Foerster's, which also has merits.

 

Books we did not like for Algebra 1 were Jacob's (not that it's bad, but dd found it boring & too gentle) and Teaching Textbook. I realize that some swear by TT and that some dc get math for the first time with it, but it's not for a child who needs a rigourous program.

 

ETA Although I normall read all posts before posting, I didn't today because of a shortage of time, and this way I can answer the OP's questions as I would have if I were the first poster.

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I think I wil buy Saxon and Lial's, then if one fails, I will have the other on hand and will continue with it. My mom said we will get the Art Reed's lectures and will buy a copy of Lial's to have on hand.

 

Algebra 1 is a review this year and I am trying to see if I have any learning gaps, SOS didn't do it's job for me. I am doing geometry as well and my mom said we will be doing either Saxon or TT for that. I hate being a bugger, but it's can get really confusing!!:001_smile:

 

Thanks for all the posts and help, and if anyone knows where I can get copies of Saxon cheap, please let me know!

 

P.S. Keep posting!

 

P.S.S. I won't be posting anymore math questions unless it's where I can find them for a cheaper price!:party:

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I think I wil buy Saxon and Lial's, then if one fails, I will have the other on hand and will continue with it. My mom said we will get the Art Reed's lectures and will buy a copy of Lial's to have on hand.

 

Algebra 1 is a review this year and I am trying to see if I have any learning gaps, SOS didn't do it's job for me. I am doing geometry as well and my mom said we will be doing either Saxon or TT for that. I hate being a bugger, but it's can get really confusing!!:001_smile:

 

Thanks for all the posts and help, and if anyone knows where I can get copies of Saxon cheap, please let me know!

 

P.S. Keep posting!

 

P.S.S. I won't be posting anymore math questions unless it's where I can find them for a cheaper price!:party:

 

LuvingLife, my D, 17, is in the same boat you are in now. I have spent weeks going in circles over this :willy_nilly: and I have purchased hundreds of dollars worth of math materials to figure out what is best. I am remediating her by going ALL the way back to Grade 1 to fill in lots of (yet unknown) missing gaps. I am using Math-U-See to bring her up through Pre-Algebra. I want her using her hands to realize that math is not just memorizing a bunch of numbers.

 

When she gets to Algebra 1, however, I am torn between continuing with MUS OR going over to Lial's. Over the past month we have purchased--and owned--Foerster's, Teaching Textbooks, Singapore, Dolciani, Life of Fred...the list goes on, they are sitting here in a big pile, waiting to be sold.

 

Lial's seems to be very user friendly--very clear--without being too chatty nor too dry.

 

Lial's is cheap.

 

You can do Lial's on your own.

 

Good luck!

Edited by distancia
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