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Which edition of Saxon Algebra 1 & 2 should I use?

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My daughter is currently in Algebra 1/2. I'm planning ahead for the next 2 years and wondering which editions of Algebra 1 & 2 I should use.


I'm aware that if I use the 3rd editions, then the next course would be Adv. Math. I also realize that if I use the 4th editions, the next course would be Geometry.


Has anyone used the 3rd editions and wished they had used the 4th or vise versa?


Another question I have is regarding Algebra 2. What's the difference between the 2nd and 3rd editions?

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I have worked through both myself as an adult math learner. They are pretty different. 4th edition was originally meant for public schools, and Saxon doesn't seem to support it well for the homeschool market. Not only are there no DVDs for 4th edition (except for the Geometry book), but the homeschool solution manual has several errors in it. 4th edition covers more topics, moves at a faster pace, and has more varied story problems, but requires an involved teacher because of the errors in the manual, and also some questions were not phrased clearly. Also, 4th edition uses calculators a lot more. This was not generally a problem, but towards the end of the course, virtually ALL of the work with quadratics relies on a graphing calculator, none of it is done 'by hand'. From lesson 96 on this is a huge problem, so pretty much the last quarter of the book. I would suggest skipping those problems and doing a chapter on quadratics in a better text instead - I used Foerster's.


That said, I'm using 4th edition with my DD this year, largely because of the explanations. The explanations of how & why the math works are so much clearer to me with 4th edition. There are a lot of questions that require you to explain why a problem works the way it does, and it really increased my understanding.


I would however suggest you use 3rd unless you (or someone else who can help your DD regularly) is familiar enough with algebra to be able to spot the incorrect answers in the manual. If you do decide to use 4th edition, be prepared to make alterations - it's not going to be 'pick up and go' like 3rd edition is. It is a more challenging text, but it is also flawed.


Hope that helps!

Edited by Deniseibase
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