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I just started using Saxon math everyday with my K and first grader. Last year I used Right Start but ditched it because it was pretty teacher intensive.

 

Now, with Saxon, I feel like the lesson are really long... even when we skip the meeting! I'm thinking about switching to Rod and Staff Math.

 

By moving through these curriculums, I'm beginning to see that we are a "traditional" math family :) If I wanted shorter lesson, more memorization, and less teacher intensive activities... would Rod & Staff fit the bill?

 

Or, should we stick with Saxon?

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By moving through these curriculums, I'm beginning to see that we are a "traditional" math family :) If I wanted shorter lesson, more memorization, and less teacher intensive activities... would Rod & Staff fit the bill?

 

Or, should we stick with Saxon?

 

Well, it depends.

 

R&S 1st grade math has reasonable length to the lessons. Grade 2 has loooooong lessons. One lesson I counted 90 problems (that is not all the time). When I say problems that would include what I consider math copywork. Have you seen the samples at Milestone Ministries? If you haven't they may help. The 3rd grade book drops back a little. One lesson I counted 57 problems.

 

At these grade levels the lessons are wrote for the teacher to teach, but they are not long. I can mostly let my dd work independently (other than flash card time) except when a new concept is introduced. By 4th grade I hear most children are working R&S independently.

 

As far a curriculum for memorization....I haven't found any better.

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What are you doing in Saxon that it takes a long time?

 

Today for example in Saxon 1 Lesson 2A/2B. It had you counting to 5. I didnt do the Meeting part. I just read through the script in the teachers manual and had her follow the instructions as I went. "Make a tower of 5 cubes", "Lets count from bottom to top". Then we did side 2A together. On the top it had her color in the blocks from 1-5, then on the bottom she had to draw a certain number of animals. She was done in lesson than 15mins. It was review for her, but it was still quick!

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R&S is teacher intensive, and like she said, lessons can be long. The 2nd grade wkbk has them doing 4 wkshts a day. I always had to cross off a line or two.

 

BUT, the wk is pretty mastery based. So if my child really gets the lesson, we might skip the teaching part once a week or so, and just have her get to the lesson if we have done it and done it and done it for awhile. I usually only have them do odds or evens after 2nd grade.

 

So today, my 3rd grader started multiplication. We did less than 10 min. of lesson time. She completed the day's assignment (but I only assigned her the evens) in less than 20 min. after that. easy peasy. But some days do take longer than others.

 

My 5th grader working in the 6th grade book takes more time from me. We went over the corrections from her last assignment. She had a quiz. Then she was able to jump in and do today's work just from reading the lesson. She rarely needs me to teach her the lesson, as it is all in her book. But her independent work took her closer to an hour, and that was still only doing the odds.

 

HTH

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I haven't used Saxon at that level, but I did start my third pass of the younger R&S math books this school year.

 

Grades 1-3 are dependent on the teacher time from the teacher's manual. When you get used to it and find your groove it will only take 10-15 minutes at most.

 

Today my little one in the grade 1 book did her fact families on her fingers with me (instead of working the flashcards like the TE says), we compared 2+3=5 with 3+2=5 and similar commutative examples, we counted to 100 together, she pointed to some numbers on a ladybug in my TE (it's an example to put on the whiteboard, she just points to my book), and we did some "more" examples orally (instead of the more flash cards). Then my book gets closed, and her workbook gets opened. She didn't need my help to complete her worksheet, because she's already learned how to do everything on it from previous lessons or that oral classtime.

 

My DD using the 3 book spends a similar amount of time with me. She does a few problems with the next step of her current concept, reviews a couple other concepts, skip counts in various ways, does a couple oral story problems, and such. Then she just opens her book and does her lesson; like her little sister she already knows how to do everything that will be on her page.

 

The teaching sessions teaches them all the parts and pieces they need before they're ever exposed to the whole concept. It sets them up for success every step of the way, and mine tend to think they're -so clever- for figuring all that out on their own. ;)

 

The 2 book did have longer lessons, but it's often -very- easy and repetitive. I found my kids didn't need all the drill included and had them skip sections I knew they could do blindfolded.

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What are you doing in Saxon that it takes a long time?

 

Today for example in Saxon 1 Lesson 2A/2B. It had you counting to 5. I didnt do the Meeting part. I just read through the script in the teachers manual and had her follow the instructions as I went. "Make a tower of 5 cubes", "Lets count from bottom to top". Then we did side 2A together. On the top it had her color in the blocks from 1-5, then on the bottom she had to draw a certain number of animals. She was done in lesson than 15mins. It was review for her, but it was still quick!

 

Was this the K curriculum? The K is pretty easy. Some lessons take a bunch of material, which I don't like, so I modify it. But usually with the K lessons there is only one worksheet. It's significantly different when you get 3/4 way through the first grade math. Sometimes we have three worksheets per day, with a lesson and we've always skipped the meetings. It just seems like we do math ALL day sometimes.

 

Some ladies I know only do the worksheets and don't bother with the lesson book.

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Was this the K curriculum? The K is pretty easy. Some lessons take a bunch of material, which I don't like, so I modify it. But usually with the K lessons there is only one worksheet. It's significantly different when you get 3/4 way through the first grade math. Sometimes we have three worksheets per day, with a lesson and we've always skipped the meetings. It just seems like we do math ALL day sometimes.

 

Some ladies I know only do the worksheets and don't bother with the lesson book.

 

Its Saxon 1. Its not Saxon K.

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Although I like Saxon from Math 54 and up, I prefer R&S for primary levels. I prefer its very traditional approach, and I like the scripted lessons (I'm not always about scripted stuff, but I like this).

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Although I like Saxon from Math 54 and up, I prefer R&S for primary levels. I prefer its very traditional approach, and I like the scripted lessons (I'm not always about scripted stuff, but I like this).

 

I have to say the script of Saxon looks scary at first, but it helped me today. It helped me more so than just a worksheet with directions on it. I planned to use R&S 1st grade math for L. I like the ABC series so far for her.

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I just started using Saxon math everyday with my K and first grader. Last year I used Right Start but ditched it because it was pretty teacher intensive.

 

Now, with Saxon, I feel like the lesson are really long... even when we skip the meeting! I'm thinking about switching to Rod and Staff Math.

 

By moving through these curriculums, I'm beginning to see that we are a "traditional" math family :) If I wanted shorter lesson, more memorization, and less teacher intensive activities... would Rod & Staff fit the bill?

 

Or, should we stick with Saxon?

At that age *all* math curriculums are going to be teacher intensive. What you are describing sounds like CLE math, though. Definitely not Rod & Staff...the meat of the daily lesson in 1st and 2nd grade is the teaching portion; the workbook stuff is just to reinforce the teaching portion and is only necessary in the areas that the child needs more work. The workbook can be done mostly orally - for my second child I just included it in the teaching portion and she wrote only a very small amount (it was a fight getting her to write, and I did not want that to get in the way of her learning math). But I would not use Rod & Staff if I were looking for less teacher intensive, especially not as I reached the higher grades - much of the review and just about all of the mental math work is done during the teaching time, and the curriculum would appear to be a very poor one without those two elements.

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At that age *all* math curriculums are going to be teacher intensive. What you are describing sounds like CLE math, though. Definitely not Rod & Staff...the meat of the daily lesson in 1st and 2nd grade is the teaching portion; the workbook stuff is just to reinforce the teaching portion and is only necessary in the areas that the child needs more work. The workbook can be done mostly orally - for my second child I just included it in the teaching portion and she wrote only a very small amount (it was a fight getting her to write, and I did not want that to get in the way of her learning math). But I would not use Rod & Staff if I were looking for less teacher intensive, especially not as I reached the higher grades - much of the review and just about all of the mental math work is done during the teaching time, and the curriculum would appear to be a very poor one without those two elements.

R&S's first three grades of arithmetic *all* depend on the oral "class time." There is no instruction in the 1st and 2nd grade workbooks or the 3rd grade text. The instruction is in the oral classtime; the seatwork reinforces what was taught.

 

4th grade and up are intended to be done independently. Everything the students need to know is right in their textbooks; the oral classtime is completely optional. The authors wrote them that way because they knew that most of the schools which use their materials are one-room, multi-grade classrooms with one teacher, where the teacher doesn't have time to lecture and do projects and all that stuff--she just has time to pick up homework and give the next assignment. The children need to be able to work independently.

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R&S's first three grades of arithmetic *all* depend on the oral "class time." There is no instruction in the 1st and 2nd grade workbooks or the 3rd grade text. The instruction is in the oral classtime; the seatwork reinforces what was taught.

 

4th grade and up are intended to be done independently. Everything the students need to know is right in their textbooks; the oral classtime is completely optional. The authors wrote them that way because they knew that most of the schools which use their materials are one-room, multi-grade classrooms with one teacher, where the teacher doesn't have time to lecture and do projects and all that stuff--she just has time to pick up homework and give the next assignment. The children need to be able to work independently.

My oldest child uses R&S math; she began with the 1st grade book and is currently in the 7th grade book. I can see that the books for 4th and up *could* be used independently; but no, I do not agree that they were intended to be used that way and I still stand by my opinion that *I* would not use them that way because in my opinion it would be a sub-standard program without those two elements. The books contain some review, but not enough in my opinion. The teaching portion of the lesson takes the child step-by-step through the new material, gives a heads-up to the teacher about any possible problems the student could encounter with the material, gives an extension of the new material for students that are up to the challenge, and provides mental math problems. None of this is in the student book...there is a basic explanation for the student to refer back to if they forget a step during the written work, but it is not introduced as well as it is in the TM, and I would not want my daughter to rely on it to teach herself the new material.

 

I don't fault anyone who does use it that way, I just stand by my original post that *I* would not use it that way. My oldest is intuitively mathy and working above grade level in math, and without the teaching portion of the lesson *I* would not find it to be challenging enough or have enough of a conceptual explanation of the concepts to be an acceptable math curriculum.

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I was in your shoes several years ago. The length of time and teacher-intensity of Saxon was what led me to switch to R&S. I also was not overly impressed with Saxon's presentation of the facts, especially the ones they call "odd-ball" facts. (Additionally, as a former math teacher, I couldn't get my head around the lack of continuity in the lessons.) Switching to R&S was like a breath of fresh air. The teacher's manuals are extremely well laid out and the lessons much more do-able for our family. Like you, I realized I am much more a traditionalist and R&S fit the bill perfectly. My opinion of R&S grows the more we use it. We've now gone through R&S 1-4 and are currently in 5. What some call busywork, I call necessary drill. Though the younger grades do contain a lot of repetition and emphasis on fact memorization, they have laid a solid foundation for my ds and have taught him how to work hard, even when a task is not the most exciting. Most importantly, they have produced great results. By grade 4, my ds had all his facts down cold, so we were easily able to move on to harder material. He has breezed through long division, double-digit multiplication, fractions, etc., partly because the facts are so automatic for him and partly because of the conceptual preparation he gained through the oral lessons preceding the new topics.

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My oldest child uses R&S math; she began with the 1st grade book and is currently in the 7th grade book. I can see that the books for 4th and up *could* be used independently; but no, I do not agree that they were intended to be used that way and I still stand by my opinion that *I* would not use them that way because in my opinion it would be a sub-standard program without those two elements. The books contain some review, but not enough in my opinion. The teaching portion of the lesson takes the child step-by-step through the new material, gives a heads-up to the teacher about any possible problems the student could encounter with the material, gives an extension of the new material for students that are up to the challenge, and provides mental math problems. None of this is in the student book...there is a basic explanation for the student to refer back to if they forget a step during the written work, but it is not introduced as well as it is in the TM, and I would not want my daughter to rely on it to teach herself the new material.

 

I don't fault anyone who does use it that way, I just stand by my original post that *I* would not use it that way. My oldest is intuitively mathy and working above grade level in math, and without the teaching portion of the lesson *I* would not find it to be challenging enough or have enough of a conceptual explanation of the concepts to be an acceptable math curriculum.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

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My oldest child uses R&S math; she began with the 1st grade book and is currently in the 7th grade book. I can see that the books for 4th and up *could* be used independently; but no, I do not agree that they were intended to be used that way and I still stand by my opinion that *I* would not use them that way because in my opinion it would be a sub-standard program without those two elements. The books contain some review, but not enough in my opinion. The teaching portion of the lesson takes the child step-by-step through the new material, gives a heads-up to the teacher about any possible problems the student could encounter with the material, gives an extension of the new material for students that are up to the challenge, and provides mental math problems. None of this is in the student book...there is a basic explanation for the student to refer back to if they forget a step during the written work, but it is not introduced as well as it is in the TM, and I would not want my daughter to rely on it to teach herself the new material.

 

I don't fault anyone who does use it that way, I just stand by my original post that *I* would not use it that way. My oldest is intuitively mathy and working above grade level in math, and without the teaching portion of the lesson *I* would not find it to be challenging enough or have enough of a conceptual explanation of the concepts to be an acceptable math curriculum.

And it's ok that you don't want to do it that way. I'm just quoting indirectly from the publisher/authors as to how they wrote the texts to be used (independently) and why (because most of the schools they polled were one-room, multi-grade, single-teacher schools).

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And it's ok that you don't want to do it that way. I'm just quoting indirectly from the publisher/authors as to how they wrote the texts to be used (independently) and why (because most of the schools they polled were one-room, multi-grade, single-teacher schools).

 

I'm wondering where this idea originated. I've read the R&S catalog cover to cover, own several of their educational books, including their "Handbook for Creative Teaching." and have thoroughly read through their teacher's manuals. Everything I've read from R&S supports having the teacher present the lesson; I have yet to read anything that would suggest teachers just give the students the text and have them work independently.

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I'm wondering where this idea originated. I've read the R&S catalog cover to cover, own several of their educational books, including their "Handbook for Creative Teaching." and have thoroughly read through their teacher's manuals. Everything I've read from R&S supports having the teacher present the lesson; I have yet to read anything that would suggest teachers just give the students the text and have them work independently.

R&S sends out regular "letters" to its customers. Many years ago, early 90s, R&S began rewriting its existing series (such as English and math), and explained its reasoning. They sent questionaires to the schools which they knew were using its materials, and that was the information they received, and what they included in one of those letters.

 

I don't believe I said that parents shouldn't be "present." I just don't believe that math 4th and above, or the English series, and so on, are *teacher intensive,* because of the way they were written.

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I looked over the sample lessons last night and I really like the lay out. My son needs more of the drills and I really feel like he would soar if he had them more. Although the teacher intensity seems like it is for Saxon, I'm just not satisfied with the layout of Saxon.

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R&S sends out regular "letters" to its customers. Many years ago, early 90s, R&S began rewriting its existing series (such as English and math), and explained its reasoning. They sent questionaires to the schools which they knew were using its materials, and that was the information they received, and what they included in one of those letters.

 

Oh ... now I understand. I do get their newsletters, but I didn't discover R&S until about 2006, so all that discussion was before my time. I did wonder why the teacher's manuals often seem to repeat what is in the student book. Now it makes more sense. (Now I also don't feel so guilty about skipping all but the oral and written reviews in the English TM.:))

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Oh ... now I understand. I do get their newsletters, but I didn't discover R&S until about 2006, so all that discussion was before my time. I did wonder why the teacher's manuals often seem to repeat what is in the student book. Now it makes more sense. (Now I also don't feel so guilty about skipping all but the oral and written reviews in the English TM.:))

:D

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