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Need Help from the Saxon Experts...! (longish)


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We have been using Saxon for a couple of years...with, I thought, some success:glare:.

Dd is doing 5/4, ds is doing 7/6. They are both on lesson 65...

We switched last year to the instruction CDs available ("SaxonTeacher"), which has been a great relief for me (and for the kids, as far as "motherly harassement" has been concerned:tongue_smilie:).

We/the kids religiously do the program as written, my involvement is limited to administering and marking the tests every Friday.

The results of the tests have been about 4-6 mistakes, out of 20. This was hugely due to sloppy/careless work, rather than because of conceptual difficulties...

I kept on marking harshly (every non-reduced fraction a full mistake, etc.), preaching better attitude and keeping on...

Because of different circumstances we did not do the tests for the last three weeks before Christmas break. When we started school again after a three week break a couple of days ago, I thought that doing the tests was a good way to ease back into Math...:lol:.

The result has been catastrophic!

Both kids scored 50% on all three tests...half of these due to carelessness...the other half because of non-understanding:crying: I am annoyed about the first group...and seriously worried about the latter.

...actually I am at a loss...:confused:

What would you advise me to do:

I am seriously tempted to go back to the very beginning of the books and work our way through again, I do not want to risk pulling along serious gaps...

OR, do I spend some extra time working through the concepts the kids had trouble with in these famous last tests?

OR, do I start administering all the test again since the beginning and pick up where the results drop?


What are acceptable scores for you - Lessons and Tests?

How tough are you with grading? On one hand I do not want to waste time in math when the issue is attitude, on the other hand the two are dependent, and in the end it will not matter WHY the answer to the problem is wrong...!


I really thought we had a great thing going with Saxon in our house, done almost independently. Now I am so unsure and wondering whether I was just incredibly naif...:glare:


Thank you so much for having read that far!!


P.S. To top my misery, I just read on the "Robinson-Curriculum" website that his kids would have about 1 wrong problem PER WEEK:ack2:!!!

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If I understand you correctly, you gave your kids a math test the first day back after a 3 week break?! I don't know many kids who would do well on a test after a 3 week break. ;) At this point, I wouldn't panic. Whenever we take a break from school, we spend the first few days just reviewing- bc they forget sooooo much with time off from school.

- I would have them correct all their mistakes by looking back at each lesson for the # they missed. If they get them all corrected without any problems/confusion, I'd say they are fine. If they get lost on the problems, spend time reviewing or give them the extra practice for those problems at the back of the book. As far as mistakes go, I set a limit at what is acceptable for hw (usually 3 or less). If they miss more, they get extra hw for that type of problem. Usually, if your kids know they will have to do more work, they won't be careless.

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Saxon points out a problem immediately. You never get to play ostrich. Every break, or even a weekend, shows a loss, as is normal.


I remember hearing that for ballet dancers, that when they take one day off their teacher notices, 2 days off they notice, 3 days off the audience notices.


You and Saxon are like a ballet teacher. You notice there was a loss.


Back up just a few lessons, and see if they get back into the groove. I've started Saxon books over entirely with my boys and in my own self-learning, but usually a few lessons was enough.


I'm about to start back in Saxon again and I'm putting myself all the way back to Algebra 1, and want to work on extreme accuracy and speed, but I'm not having to report to anyone or engage in yearly testing. It's important for students to at least be introduced to all topics that will be on any yearly tests they take, rather than to be totally accurate on just the easiest ones, otherwise the test will feel scary.

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