# Vent about Saxon math facts, am I alone?

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We are doing Saxon 1 this year, and ultimately it has been fine. It takes awhile, but we don't hate it. However, recently, I have been super frustrated with the addition/subtraction facts and the way they teach them. For example, dd just asked me, "what do you do with 8+9?" ugh double the lower number and add one. OK, I get the helpful way of doing it, but dd gets all caught up in the "rule" I wonder if she really gets what she is doing. Yesterday's was worse. (-2) The rule is when you subtract two the answer the lower odd or even number. seriously? that was way more confusing for her that just "take away 2". Eventually I scrapped that idea and just had her subtract 2, she was done in a flash.

Am I missing something? I do math (I think) the asian way, so to me 8+9 = 10+7. It is exactly this reason that I am contemplating a switch to MM. :001_huh:

so, did/does this frustrate anyone else? does it get better? Should I get over the initial frustration for the sake of what is to come? I just feel as though she is memorizing the "rule" without the concept, even though we have spent the time with the manipulatives to try to explain the concept behind it.

help! :001_huh:

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I say if teaching them a different way works for you and your dd go for it. I use Saxon and although it's scripted I don't always read that script. I usually use it to see what I need to teach and then go about it my own way.

My dd thinks like saxon so to her -2 meaning you jump from one even to the next lower even number, or from one odd to the next lower odd number made sense, just taking away two didn't.

Sometimes you have to find a program that presents things the way your child understands them. If saxon would work with just a few tweaks then I say go for it and just tweak, if after tweaking it really doesn't resemble saxon at all and looks more like MM or something else, then I say go that other route.

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I didn't like the way they taught addition/subtraction as well. I never followed the script. I just looked at the material and presented it in a way that I thought would be easy for my ds to follow.

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They do get faster with the strategies. And Singapore and Math Mammoth actually do use strategies. Not everything is easily taken to 10. I show them to dd, practice them, review them and let her end up doing them however she wants.

We are now in the process of reviewing strategies. Last week, we did doubles and near doubles. This week, 10's and near 10's. Some of those overlap doubles, which is fine. I don't care how she gets them. Obviously, 11+1 makes the most sense to add on. But, 11+8 is nicely done as a near 10. My goal is that by constantly reviewing them, she'll get faster.

ETA. I've seen the odd/even thing other places and it never did make sense to me. Too much thinking.

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We used Math-It for the add. & Sub. facts and drilled with the Saxon flashcards. Math-It was fun and taught little tricks that stick in the children's minds forever.

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We are doing Saxon 1 as well. At first, I did not like the "double plus one" approach, but my son got it after a couple days of coaching and helping him recognize which problems that worked on. I also want him to see 9+8 as 10+7, as a former math teacher, I want their minds to be able to approach it in many ways. So I am hoping to eventually get BOTH concepts in his head! =) But....the -2 was dumb. I agree. We scrapped that and just went with how he was already processing it....I think he visualizes the number line...and we all had less frustration.

I agree with PP, that you have to take what is good and change what doesn't work. ANY program will require that. There is no such thing as THE PERFECT PROGRAM, because every child will process it differently.

What I do appreciate about Saxon is the drill. My 5 year old son has far more comfort with basic math facts than the majority of my 6th graders in ps had. No kidding. Because my son has learned if he just memorizes the dumb facts, he gets done quicker. =)

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IMO, you teach a variety of ways to do them. The kids will see which ways make sense for them & use that in the future. If, at some point that way doesn't stick, you can go back and teach all sorts of different ways again. (Miquon has them figuring out all these combos themselves, for example. Then, they can "see" which way works.)

One doesn't have to teach JUST the way the program shows it. That's one of the things Liping Ma points out in her Elem Math book. If the teacher really understands the material, the teacher can present it in lots of different ways and if a student brings up a new way, the teacher can see if it works/makes sense & add that to his/her toolbox.

It is one of the great things about homeschooling - the ability to be flexible in *how* to teach the material. As someone said on another thread, I work the program, I don't let the program work me.

And, on a side note, if Saxon is working for you/your kid, I wouldn't switch just because you didn't like how they do one thing. Just teach their way & your way both when you intro stuff.

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