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Does anyone actually like Saxon Math?


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We love it! We've been using it for years. We don't start with it until middle school usually, though this year my 4th grader asked for it so she could be like her big brother. We enjoy it. We are rebels though and don't do every problem. If it's an even numbered lesson we do all the even numbered problems and likewise with the odd numbered lessons. I also don't do the practice sheets all the time. I do them occasionally when the kids seem rusty. However when they get into 7th grade and are getting ready to consolidate everything so they can do Algebra in 8th, then I get insistent with the practice sheets. They enjoy the mental math at the beginning of each lesson.

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It has worked very well for us. I moved oldest dd out of Saxon 76 and put her into TT. She did well with TT but her retention was poor. She is now back in Saxon for algebra 1 and doing very well again.

 

Youngest did Saxon K-3. We were given a complete set of BJU 4 math so we use that for 4. Again, we noticed poor retention and understanding. We went back to Saxon for 54 and 67. Now, at 76, I'm finding it to be overly challenging, just like for oldest dc. So, we are going to do TT 7 for 6th grade then go back into Saxon 76.

 

Saxon works for us. Some feel it is overkill on the drill. Others do not the approach. All I know is it works for us. The constant review is necessary for some dc (like mine). We do ALL the problems in EVERY lesson. If we start skipping, the test grades go down.

 

So, I'll give Saxon a very positive review. But, that is just our household.....what matters is what works in your household.

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I can say we don't dislike it. I wouldn't go so far as to say we're crazy about it. It has worked very well for at least three of my students. The last math program I can remember any of my children saying they loved, couldn't wait until their next math lesson, was Miquon.

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I love Saxon. We also start with the middle grades. I didn't really like the elementary grades. We use BJU for elementary.

 

The lessons progress in nice bite size pieces and my children are pretty good at learning the lesson independent of me. HOORAY! If I find a problem when I check their work then I will go over their tricky spots.

 

I personally don't get the drill and kill comments. When I first started with Saxon I scrounged up some used books and didn't have enough money for the answer keys. So I started a notebook in which I worked through the problems myself to develop an answer key. The problems are quite varied. I think it keeps you on your math toes with the constant switching from one kind of problem to another kind of problem constantly. You are not going to do a page of 30 problems that are all exactly the same like the math book I had in school. I also found that as you progress through the book the problems will take skills/information from multiple lessons in order to solve. So I think there is a nice synthesizing of the concepts.

 

My kids complained quite loudly in the beginning when we switched over. It takes about 1 1/2 hours working at an average speed, though they have finished in under an hour when they apply themselves.

 

I didn't listen to their complaints and did not revise anything. I expect them to do the work that is put in front of them and to develop their own inner resources to persevere. We are just scooting right along and haven't heard any complaints in several months...we even did Saxon over the summer...trying to hit Calculus by Sr. year and previous math program left us a bit lacking.

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We love it. In my opinion, people are most vocal about things that they have had bad experiences with rather than postitive ones.

 

I did not care for the elementary years as well, so I using Horizons/MM with my youngest.

 

We're doing great with 76 and 87!

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I am using a combo of Saxon and MM. Sometimes, I refer to Saxon to explain some concepts to my son if he can't grasp it in MM. Telling time to the 5 minute interval is one example that I can think of right away. We use mostly MM, but since I have 2 years of saxon with TM and workbooks, we use the drill sheets and reviews from them as well.

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Not meaning to hijack here, but how does Saxon compare to Rod and Staff math? I'm currently using Rod and Staff but I'm also considering Saxon for next year. My kids need a slow progression and repetition.

 

 

:lurk5:

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I also want to hijack if you don't mind. :)

 

I'm interested in those who used something else in K-3. How was the transition into Saxon 5/4? I'm considering using McRuffy for the early grades.

 

And for those who do start Saxon with 5/4, what year do you start it? I only ask b/c a lot of folks seem to start Saxon 1 in K, and hence are in 5/4 in 3rd grade.

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I have had a love/hate relationship with Saxon.

 

Prior to 54 Saxon makes me cross-eyed.

 

I love Saxon 54-87, but they did not work for my dyslexic oldest child. The incremental spiral that is the strength of the program didn't allow him to see the big picture or allow him enough practice to master a topic. For my middle ds this level of Saxon has yielded in-depth understanding and immediacy in the four operations with whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and negative numbers. It also prepared him very well for beginning algebra and basic geometry by introducing many of the topics covered in those courses. My little ds is following in his footsteps.

 

I have never used Saxon beyond 87, because just looking at it makes me feel like it overcomplicates the things. However, Saxon was working so well with my middle ds that I lament pulling him out of it, so I may try Alg1 with my little guy and see how it goes. OTOH- I am strongly leaning towards using AoPS with him.

 

HTH-

Mandy

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I love Saxon, we used level 3 last year and we are now in 5/4 (4th grade), it was definitely a transition in terms of writing but we're now working on the white board which makes things go a lot smoother and usually takes us under an hour as long as I'm right there on top of things. I love the incremental approach since ds easily forgets concepts that he hasn't used in awhile. We'll use LOF fractions once we're finished with 5/4. We used MUS before and hated it while others enjoy it, it just depends on your dc and their learning style. We still use the MUS blocks since ds is very hands on and he has to do every question but we don't do the drill sheets.

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I also want to hijack if you don't mind. :)

 

I'm interested in those who used something else in K-3. How was the transition into Saxon 5/4? I'm considering using McRuffy for the early grades.

 

And for those who do start Saxon with 5/4, what year do you start it? I only ask b/c a lot of folks seem to start Saxon 1 in K, and hence are in 5/4 in 3rd grade.

My oldest used ABeka before Saxon 54. Neither were a good fit. He should have been in MUS.

 

My middle ds used ABeka before Saxon 3- Saxon 87 alongside Singapore. He did Saxon 3 in 2nd grade and 54 in 3rd grade. There were no problems with transition.

 

My youngest used MUS Alpha, Miquon (the first book only), Singapore PM 1 and 2, and a bunch of Kumon before Saxon 54. There were no problems with transition.

 

If a child has mastered with immediacy his addition/subtraction facts and is working on/familiar with multiplication, then he should do fine beginning 54.

 

HTH-

Mandy

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I love Saxon and DD thinks its pretty fun. I know a lot of ppl who tried to use it with just the workbooks and thought it was boring. We do all the activities and have a lot of fun with it. We started with Saxon 1 in the middle of Kinder(when I pulled her out of PS). We will start Saxon 2 in Dec. If you plan to use Saxon 1-3 and HS yearround, you can cut out the first 20-30 lessons of each book since they are just review of the previous year. Saxon is definately heavily repititious, which is why I say it doesn't need any additional review lessons. I feel like DD is mastering the material, but there are still enough new concepts in each lesson to keep her interested. I don't force DD to do all the review items listed in the lesson, but she does do all the math fact worksheets.

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There are so many people saying how horrible it is. I was really considering it for my children, but I would really like to hear some positive reviews. Anyone?

 

:lurk5:

 

We've used Saxon exclusively. Not because I feel that it is the best math program out there, but because it does meet our needs.

 

I like the incremental approach, because my kids rarely have felt that a new concept was scary and beyond them. I'm now using it for my 3rd son. My older two skipped one book and are currently working on Algebra 1/2 in 6th and 7th grade, which I'm content with.

 

A couple things I've learned along the say:

Be careful cutting out the meeting and pre-lesson stuff.

At the lower grades, the meeting is where concepts like skip counting are introduced and solidified before multiplication is introduced. If you skip all of the meeting, then the new concepts are much newer and catch the student less prepared.

In the middle grades, the pre-lesson mental math and fact practice really add to fluency with calculations. And for some subjects like equivalent measurements, it is the main place where a new topic is practiced.

[i will cut back on some of the meeting stuff that I know my son has mastered. But not the whole meeting. I regretted that too much.]

 

Do all the problems (or at least most of them):It will seem very basic and repetitive in the early lessons. But once you get to the middle of the books, there are only 10 + 30 problems in which to practice the new concept as well as practice all the concepts they have learned previously. That means that some type problems may only make it into 2-3 lessons a week. If you are skipping all the even problems, then a student might go a couple weeks, missing practice on a topic.

 

Don't be afraid to stick with a lesson topic longer.

If your student did the lesson on dividing fractions, but still doesn't understand what is happening; it is ok to reteach the lesson, do supplemental problems or even get an explanation from somewhere else. We had to stick with one lesson for a week before it sunk in. But at the end, I at least had a good understanding of what was happening and could remind them why they were doing a particular technique.

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i used saxon k with my daughter, but it was too slow moving (although i loved it!!! it just was too slow for my daughter). my son actually needs something that moves slower though, so i specifically chose saxon 1 for him this year. it is such a wonderful fit & math is a real joy each day. next year, we'll probably switch to CLE (because i just love it), but i've been very pleased with saxon. i think it just depends on the child.

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Haven't had a chance to read all the posts. I have considered posting on these boards about Saxon, out of my sheer love for it. I had heard the awful things and had avoided it. After trying several other math programs, I resorted to Saxon. I am in my 7th year of HS and am just now delighted with our math. I can't say enough about Saxon. It is 10 times more thorough, teacher and student friendly, and understandable than anything else we have tried. Even my ds who hated math before and has been so scared of math, is succeeding beautifully. He even told me today that he just "gets it" better the way they explain the concepts so thoroughly. Plus, the constant review gives them confidence. My dd who is strong in math also loves it. It is a winner for us, all the way around.

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We switched from Singapore (earlybird through 4A) to Saxon this year (into 7/6 this summer, after a few Key to books this past spring) and it's been wonderful. My daughter grew to hate Singapore and much prefers Saxon. Her retention seems better as well.

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My dds in 7th grade using Algebra 1/2 have used Saxon all the way through, and they really like it. They enjoy the humor in the word problems, they have good retention and understanding, and they like math. My others are doing Singapore for the elementary levels, as I have outgrown the Saxon elementary style, and I and they like the Singapore. I don't know if I will switch DS to Saxon later, or reevaluate. He's a very different student from my dds, so it will be interesting to see him develop. :)

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So, if you don't like it for the elementary years do you switch for 4th? We have used Abeka and I like it but I heard it is not great for the upper grades. I was thinking of switching next year to Saxon (at least for my oldest).

 

Just an FYI, if transferring from Abeka to Saxon, Mr. Reed suggest not taking the placement test because it would give a false high score. He said that Abeka is somewhat parallel methodology wise with Saxon (1-4) and his recommendation is to make the switch from Abeka to Saxon between 4th or 5th grade.

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This was very helpful, thank you.

 

We've used Saxon exclusively. Not because I feel that it is the best math program out there, but because it does meet our needs.

 

I like the incremental approach, because my kids rarely have felt that a new concept was scary and beyond them. I'm now using it for my 3rd son. My older two skipped one book and are currently working on Algebra 1/2 in 6th and 7th grade, which I'm content with.

 

A couple things I've learned along the say:

Be careful cutting out the meeting and pre-lesson stuff.

At the lower grades, the meeting is where concepts like skip counting are introduced and solidified before multiplication is introduced. If you skip all of the meeting, then the new concepts are much newer and catch the student less prepared.

In the middle grades, the pre-lesson mental math and fact practice really add to fluency with calculations. And for some subjects like equivalent measurements, it is the main place where a new topic is practiced.

[i will cut back on some of the meeting stuff that I know my son has mastered. But not the whole meeting. I regretted that too much.]

 

Do all the problems (or at least most of them):It will seem very basic and repetitive in the early lessons. But once you get to the middle of the books, there are only 10 + 30 problems in which to practice the new concept as well as practice all the concepts they have learned previously. That means that some type problems may only make it into 2-3 lessons a week. If you are skipping all the even problems, then a student might go a couple weeks, missing practice on a topic.

 

Don't be afraid to stick with a lesson topic longer.

If your student did the lesson on dividing fractions, but still doesn't understand what is happening; it is ok to reteach the lesson, do supplemental problems or even get an explanation from somewhere else. We had to stick with one lesson for a week before it sunk in. But at the end, I at least had a good understanding of what was happening and could remind them why they were doing a particular technique.

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We've used Saxon K-8/7. K is more of a preschool program, imho, but it still has value. I usually skip the meeting now that I've done several years worth, but I agree that concepts are often taught here. Make sure you aren't skipping any concepts. Either occasionally do the meeting or introduce the concepts in another way. I also agree that Saxon is not a skip a few problems type program. If you do all odds or evens you may do well in the book you are in, but it could show up in later books. Around lesson 30ish is usually when it shows up. Most of the problems are pretty varied despite what a lot of people claim. We will continue to use it.

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We are very pleased with Saxon. We are at the end of Saxon 1 and will be moving to Saxon 2 after the first of the year. After Saxon K, we used another math curriculum for about 5 months and it was just not working, so we switched back and we are enjoying it.

 

HTH

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I'm not a fan of the early grades, either. We're currently doing 5/4 and really like it. Prior to switching to Saxon, we used ABeka, and we had no trouble jumping right in to 5/4. I'm probably going to go the same route with my younger child, too.

Edited by papillon
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This was very helpful, thank you.

 

It's also worth reading the introduction to the books and how to implement them. It gives some insight into why the lessons are laid out the way they are.

 

I know that with the meeting, it can seem like the lesson just goes on forever. One thing you can do is to move the meeting to a different time. I like it right at the beginning of the day. In fact I'm trying to move it to around breakfast time, so my youngest son does the calendar and temp and meeting strip before we've even officially started school.

 

And I could kick myself for not staying on top of the older kids doing fact sheets every single lesson. It ended up that the time they saved in not doing the fact sheet was time added (and more) because they weren't as fluent with the facts when it came time to do the mixed practice and tests.

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This is our first year using it and so far its a success for us! We've used Rod & Staff through Gr. 6 (using it one year ahead) and now my son is flying through Saxon 7/6 (he tested into 8/7, but since we were going to such a different curr. I started him on the easier book). He doesn't seem to mind the Incremental approach so far, but its all been pretty easy stuff after our R&S lessons. When I first looked at the book I thought "NO way!" But, we're almost half way through the book now and he's doing very well with this method. Still, I'm so glad I used something like R&S in the beginning...I really didn't want to switch, but they don't have High School maths.

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Not meaning to hijack here, but how does Saxon compare to Rod and Staff math? I'm currently using Rod and Staff but I'm also considering Saxon for next year. My kids need a slow progression and repetition.

 

See my message further down the line. I used R&S for 6 years and loved it! Saxon doesn't separate their chapters based on topics...Like in R&S the 4th chapt. might be on Division, then the 5th chapt. will cover fractions..on to Decimals in the 6th ch. Saxon has a lesson that covers 1 or 2 concepts, then the next lesson usually has nothing to do with the prior one...but you'll have review problems from all prior chapter sprinkled throughout. Very odd for me to get used to, but since my son is using it mostly independantly this year and is happy with it I have no complaints!

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We chose 8/7 this year with hesitation. I too was discouraged by some of the negatives review. However, the clear lessons and spiral approach are helping our ds retain the concepts well. We are finishing up our 9th week, and we have seen his confidence grow in what has been a sometimes difficult subject for him.

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There are so many people saying how horrible it is. I was really considering it for my children, but I would really like to hear some positive reviews. Anyone?

 

:lurk5:

 

I haven't read any other responses....

 

Just chiming in to say that I gave dd6 some Saxon 1 worksheets today during her sister's piano lessons because...

 

1) They are a nice break for me from the hands-on teaching of RS

2) She loves worksheets

3) They teach reading/decoding as well as math (and she can finally read them!!! happy dance!!!

4) They are excellent for review

5) They have math-facts sheets

6) I know that if she can do Saxon then we're on track with our local private schools & homeschool friends who use Saxon successfully.

 

This list probably made no sense. (long week:))

 

What's not to love? Saxon is wonderful but I would NOT use it exclusively. That's just me. I'm on the Asian-math bandwagon....:auto:

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Just agreeing about the earlier grades. I have one child in 8/7, one in 5/4, and one in 3. I love, love, love the 8/7 and 5/4. I think that Saxon 3 is very light-just my opinion. The structure and layout of levels k-3 is completely different than for 5/4 and up. My kids love that, beginning in 5/4, everything they need is in their books. There isn't a teacher's guide (just a solutions manual) because everything is thoroughly explained for them in their own books. They love this. It is also very freeing for me. With BJU, I was often required to sit and teach a lesson thoroughly before their independent work. Since my kids are best at comprehending what they read, math is extremely independing with Saxon. Occassionally they will not understand a concept and I will sit down and work through it with them until they "get it", but that is rare.

 

I was using two math curriculums before we switched to Saxon, because I never felt like one was enough. Even using two totally different curriculums, I felt there were things missing. Now, I am only using Saxon and I feel like my kids are really learning what they need...thoroughly and with understanding - and no gaps!!! I can't speak highly enough about this math. :tongue_smilie:

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We started using Saxon for the first time this year. My daughter hates math. We used BJU for K and Horizons for 1st and 2nd grade. We are using Saxon 5/4 for third grade. I am so glad we switched. We got the Saxon teacher CD's. They aren't necessary, I could have done it myself, but my daughter loves being able to pop the CD into the computer and do it herself. I rarely need to explain anything because the CD is very thorough.

 

Suzanne

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This is our first year using it and so far its a success for us! We've used Rod & Staff through Gr. 6 (using it one year ahead) and now my son is flying through Saxon 7/6 (he tested into 8/7, but since we were going to such a different curr. I started him on the easier book). He doesn't seem to mind the Incremental approach so far, but its all been pretty easy stuff after our R&S lessons. When I first looked at the book I thought "NO way!" But, we're almost half way through the book now and he's doing very well with this method. Still, I'm so glad I used something like R&S in the beginning...I really didn't want to switch, but they don't have High School maths.

 

I've used R&S since first grade with my son and he's getting ready to finish the 5th grade book. I have been planningn to continue on and then switch to Lial's and I may still do that. However, I started using Saxon Grammar and Writing this year and he is doing so well with that, I am really tempted to give Saxon Math a try since that goes all the way through high school. Is there some reason you made the transition after R&S 6? Since my son is a little ahead of the game, finishing R&S 5 probably next month in 5th grade, I was thinking this would be a good time to try Saxon 7/6 just to see how it goes.

 

Lisa

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I have had a love/hate relationship with Saxon.

 

Prior to 54 Saxon makes me cross-eyed.

 

Mandy

:iagree: For me, it is the TM that kills me. I think I could seriously hurt someone with it since its so big and heavy ;)

 

I will say that I have looked at several math programs. I used Rod & Staff last year and my kids loved it. However, this year I went back to Saxon and what is different is the variety in the problems. There are some problems Saxon always has the kids do, but they also add in some new things each lesson. The variety is nice. I don't recall RS having as much variety. What I liked about RS is there was less prep as teacher since there was less variety.

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We chose 87 this year with hesitation. I too was discouraged by some of the negatives review. However, the clear lessons and spiral approach are helping our ds retain the concepts well. We are finishing up our 9th week, and we have seen his confidence grow in what has been a sometimes difficult subject for him.

But there are as many positive reviews as negative. Now yours can be one of the positives :-)

 

Just for clarification: Saxon is incremental, not spiral. :-)

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We like it!

 

I've tried other programs and Saxon just works for us. I've got one in 7/6, 5/4 and 3rd grade. I read a lot of complaints about all the drill work in K-3rd, but I just choose which ones to do. We don't do every drill every day. I like the mixture of new problems and review problems. The books are easy for the older kids to read and understand on their own.

 

HTH

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