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For Saxon Math users who have read Liping Ma's book


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Did you do anything to apply the book to Saxon Math, or is Saxon thorough enough?


We're starting Saxon 2 today, for 1st Grade. I like Saxon and want to stick with it, but would like to incorporate some of Liping Ma's theories into it.


Does anyone have experience or suggestions with this?



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What I did when I used Saxon math after reading Ma's book (and what I still do while using Singapore) was to make sure that I was always correctly emphasizing place value. Many of the issues she discusses in her book are related to an immature understanding of place value. So, in the case of Saxon 2, when she learns the algorithm for adding double digit numbers, always call a ten a ten. For example, with 28+56, 8+6 is 14, carry the *ten*, not the one. Same with when she learns to multiply by a two digit number (not in Saxon 2, but later on)--for example, 32 x 12, when you get to the second row where you're multiplying by the ten in 12, call it a ten. It can be a bit cumbersome at times to always use the correct terminology, but it pays off handsomely in the end.


The issue I have with Saxon is that the incremental development can obscure the big picture and the continual review can allow kids who don't get the concepts to get by with rote memorization. Saxon generally introduces the concepts well, just be sure to keep a conceptual dialogue going beyond the introductory lesson.

Edited by EKS
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Saxon generally introduces the concepts well, just be sure to keep a conceptual dialogue going beyond the introductory lesson.

:iagree:I have not used Saxon 2. My oldest used Saxon 54-76; middle ds used Saxon 3-87; my youngest has used 54-65 and is currently using 76.


I have Liping Ma's book and agree that Saxon introduces concepts well. I would have a problem using Saxon as a self-teaching course, because I also agree that the conceptual dialogue of a specific topic can be lost in the incremental spiral. This is why I used Singapore alongside Saxon for my middle ds and why I supplement little ds's math.


Then, why use Saxon at all? Well, middle school Saxon texts cover numerous topics in a problem set. So, rather than having a whole page of problems that look exactly alike, this keeps the lesson interesting. Also, instead of a student not seeing a topic again until the next year, it keeps topics fresh in a student's mind. Some children will not remember a topic if they only see it for a period of time and then don't see it again until it is to be built upon.


However, as I have said repeatedly, if I had another dc, I would not use curriculum prior to Saxon 54. What is taught prior to that can be taught with manipulatives and Kumon workbooks.




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Thanks! These responses are helpful.


I think I'm on the right track: I'm going to really focus on place value and I bought some manipulatives to help with that.


I do like Saxon (I know people either like it or hate it), and dd does fine with it, but we are adding a few things to help her understand and see what she has learned (like an addition table to consolidate her addition facts).


Thanks again!



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