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Does anyone else's children take 3-4 HOURS to do Saxon math???


chocoholic
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I don't want to get into math wars or write a big ol' post about this, but I do want to share my experience with Saxon because I've heard others have the same experience and reach the same conclusion:

 

If the student has the kind of brain that makes big leaps and draws conclusions without a lot of help, the teeny increments of the Saxon style make learning HARDER. Because the brain skips forward past two or three steps, doing those intuitively or subconsciously or whatever, but the next step isn't easy to see because Saxon insists on spelling out all the tiny steps. It's a connect-the-dot picture with way too many dots, but the student can't just ignore the dots he doesn't need because the later dots aren't visible yet...does that make sense? So the student thinks he's misunderstanding when he doesn't "follow" the lesson or the style of working the problems, but really it's that he went way past that already and Saxon is constantly jerking him up short. It's very confusing for the student. He can't slow down his mind. He's working with video, mentally, but Saxon is doing a flipbook, and testing him on each and every little change.

 

I don't know if this post makes sense to anybody else. I just want to share it in case anyone else frustrated by Saxon recognizes their child in these descriptions. It's not that the child is "too smart for Saxon," but that his mind works an entirely different way and the Saxon method is crippling to his learning.

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I don't want to get into math wars or write a big ol' post about this, but I do want to share my experience with Saxon because I've heard others have the same experience and reach the same conclusion:

 

If the student has the kind of brain that makes big leaps and draws conclusions without a lot of help, the teeny increments of the Saxon style make learning HARDER. Because the brain skips forward past two or three steps, doing those intuitively or subconsciously or whatever, but the next step isn't easy to see because Saxon insists on spelling out all the tiny steps. It's a connect-the-dot picture with way too many dots, but the student can't just ignore the dots he doesn't need because the later dots aren't visible yet...does that make sense? So the student thinks he's misunderstanding when he doesn't "follow" the lesson or the style of working the problems, but really it's that he went way past that already and Saxon is constantly jerking him up short. It's very confusing for the student. He can't slow down his mind. He's working with video, mentally, but Saxon is doing a flipbook, and testing him on each and every little change.

 

I don't know if this post makes sense to anybody else. I just want to share it in case anyone else frustrated by Saxon recognizes their child in these descriptions. It's not that the child is "too smart for Saxon," but that his mind works an entirely different way and the Saxon method is crippling to his learning.

 

 

Make sense to me. This is also the impression I got. I dump the book in 1 month. I was bored teaching it

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I don't want to get into math wars or write a big ol' post about this, but I do want to share my experience with Saxon because I've heard others have the same experience and reach the same conclusion:

 

If the student has the kind of brain that makes big leaps and draws conclusions without a lot of help, the teeny increments of the Saxon style make learning HARDER. Because the brain skips forward past two or three steps, doing those intuitively or subconsciously or whatever, but the next step isn't easy to see because Saxon insists on spelling out all the tiny steps. It's a connect-the-dot picture with way too many dots, but the student can't just ignore the dots he doesn't need because the later dots aren't visible yet...does that make sense? So the student thinks he's misunderstanding when he doesn't "follow" the lesson or the style of working the problems, but really it's that he went way past that already and Saxon is constantly jerking him up short. It's very confusing for the student. He can't slow down his mind. He's working with video, mentally, but Saxon is doing a flipbook, and testing him on each and every little change.

 

I don't know if this post makes sense to anybody else. I just want to share it in case anyone else frustrated by Saxon recognizes their child in these descriptions. It's not that the child is "too smart for Saxon," but that his mind works an entirely different way and the Saxon method is crippling to his learning.

 

.

 

Which program seems to work better with this kind of mind?

 

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I don't want to get into math wars or write a big ol' post about this, but I do want to share my experience with Saxon because I've heard others have the same experience and reach the same conclusion:

 

If the student has the kind of brain that makes big leaps and draws conclusions without a lot of help, the teeny increments of the Saxon style make learning HARDER. Because the brain skips forward past two or three steps, doing those intuitively or subconsciously or whatever, but the next step isn't easy to see because Saxon insists on spelling out all the tiny steps. It's a connect-the-dot picture with way too many dots, but the student can't just ignore the dots he doesn't need because the later dots aren't visible yet...does that make sense? So the student thinks he's misunderstanding when he doesn't "follow" the lesson or the style of working the problems, but really it's that he went way past that already and Saxon is constantly jerking him up short. It's very confusing for the student. He can't slow down his mind. He's working with video, mentally, but Saxon is doing a flipbook, and testing him on each and every little change.

 

I don't know if this post makes sense to anybody else. I just want to share it in case anyone else frustrated by Saxon recognizes their child in these descriptions. It's not that the child is "too smart for Saxon," but that his mind works an entirely different way and the Saxon method is crippling to his learning.

 

 

Thank you. THIS Is helpful information as to why it might not be a good fit for some. You just helped me to reinforce why Saxon WILL be good for my kid that needs all the dots. :)

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If the student has the kind of brain that makes big leaps and draws conclusions without a lot of help, the teeny increments of the Saxon style make learning HARDER.

 

Not for ALL students like this. My younger son was just 10 years old when he did Saxon Algebra 1, and definitely was capable of making huge leaps and even invented his own ways of doing math. We used other maths too, and he didn't do better with them, but they certainly were harder for me to teach. Despite how gifted he was, he was disorganized, and steady progress through any subject depended on MY ability to understand and teach the subject and keep him on track.

 

I know this sounds HORRIBLE, but for any student that is not capable of completely self-teaching a subject, the teacher needs to be catered to more than the student. Teaching is harder than learning. The teacher cannot teach, if she is in over her head, but a student can be dragged over an awkward spot, until he makes the very leaps we are talking about. And the most gifted will leap on the first lesson when the very first bit is taught. All they need is a hint.

 

After just 8 months of homeschooling, my son had the highest standardized 5th grade test scores in the entire town and all we used was Saxon for math for the last 7 months. He had taken another test 10 months before that test, while still in PS, and he made at least a 6 year leap and was testing at the grade 12.9+ level.

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We haven't done Saxon for 3 years but we will use it in the fall for 8/7 with prealgebra. I read a mom's post where they watch the Dive cd first, without taking notes because it was distracting. Then they do the mental Math, work a few problems together, assign the odds only. If they needed more practice then would do some of the even problems. She said they finish within 30 to 45 minutes. I thought it sounded like a good plan and we will try it.

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We haven't done Saxon for 3 years but we will use it in the fall for 8/7 with prealgebra. I read a mom's post where they watch the Dive cd first, without taking notes because it was distracting. Then they do the mental Math, work a few problems together, assign the odds only. If they needed more practice then would do some of the even problems. She said they finish within 30 to 45 minutes. I thought it sounded like a good plan and we will try it.

 

My deal with DD is that if she gets 90% or better (18/20) correct on the test, then she only has to do 15 problems for each of the next five sets (until the next test). This has worked well to encourage her not to make careless errors (which are by far the biggest reasons she gets things wrong). I usually hand-pick the 15 problems to make sure she hits all of the problems from that day's lesson. I know not everyone agrees with this method, but it does seem to be working for us.

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  • 6 months later...

I haven't read every reply to the original poster.  All I can say is that I feel your pain and I hope you've found a satisfactory way to deal with the dilemma.  Be aware that between the advice of the instructor on the DIVE cd and even the textbook suggested time allotments, it works out to 1 1/2 - 2 hours per day on the long side.

 

Neither of my girls love math, but they didn't seriously dislike it until Saxon 5/4 and beyond.  My 4th grader just started Saxon 5/4 after successfully completing Saxon 1, 2 & 3... so she is obviously in the appropriate level according to Saxon's progression.  I see her starting to repeat the pattern of my now 7th grader in that math is taking progressively longer as she progresses through Saxon.  Our 7th grader completed Saxon 1, 2, 3, 5/4, 6/5, and started 7/6.  By 7/6 it was taking 3 hours or more and she was doing poorly on the tests.  Finally, I had to cry uncle and switch to a curriculum with a mastery approach -- we chose Math-U-See.  Now, she takes no more than an hour and seems to really understand the concepts.

 

Right now we are sticking with Saxon for our 4th grader unless the problem grows.  We schedule 1 1/2 hours for math each day.  Two hours is our absolute threshold and if we routinely go beyond 2 hours for her to understand, I will have to switch to something else.  There are a couple concepts that I feel Saxon teaches better than Math-U-See, so I want her to get that foundation before we switch... if it becomes necessary.  Saxon's structure shifts radically between Saxon 3 and 5/4, so it's almost as though we had never used Saxon before either! :001_smile:  Anyway, don't be afraid to switch if necessary.  ~Talya

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Saxon is so boring.  My now 6th grader used it for 4 years and hated math more and more with each year.  I cannot conceive of a more boring way to teach math.  

 

Saxon DOES work, long term, in creating people who are excellent at computation and then, if they are able to make the leap themselves or take a few SAT prep classes or supplements, they probably can then use those good computational skills to actually apply the math (IF)

 

BUT it is so boring!  And so illogical. My dd9 is pretty good at math and a quick thinker, and she hated Saxon.  She tried so hard and I  am so proud of her, as she really gathered all her courage every day.  She would actually have mini anxiety attacks and I would find her praying while working through the problem set (even though I did all the practice set orally with her.)  

 

These SAME kids, do other math programs with joy and happiness! My dd uses HOrizons and she loves the fast- paced challenge and the colorful problems, as well as the fact that she can write in the book.  And even though it spirals, it does stay on one topic longer before fading it out into the spiral review.  It also moves super fast.

 

MY son is loving AOPS.  He is flying through it and enjoys understanding math and applying math and he loves to try to find new ways to group things, new ways to think about math.  Even though AOPS is seen as harder, and "for gifted kids" I think it's just better for kids that don't like rote repetition and want to actually understand something.

 

If you are bent on staying with Saxon, there are a few options.  You can break the lessons in half, do some orally, do more problems with your students, and things like that.  

 

But..obviously I don't think that's the best idea.

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