cjgrubbs Posted April 15, 2014 Share Posted April 15, 2014 Please share advantages/disadvantages. I am capable of teaching all the way through but my son and I seem to clash over math. He is very stubborn and it doesn't come as easy as it once did...he tends to take out his frustration on the teacher aka mom. I've also been asked to do a weekly co-op class with some Algebra I students. They would obviously be working on lessons at home and we would meet to over new material, review old, etc. I'm wondering if Saxon with the DIVE CDs could work for this kind of structure or if Math-U-See would be better. And I now see there is a Saxon Teacher CD-Rom. Anyone know if this teaches the lesson or just shows how to work each problem? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Hunter Posted April 15, 2014 Share Posted April 15, 2014 I have always done best with Saxon, READING the books, not watching the DVDs. I think Saxon was a better teacher than the video producers. If using Saxon, I suggest printing out some basic charts and requiring 15 minutes of drill work a day of the material on the charts. With the charts you don't need a calculator but still cuts the time on task in half. Square roots. squares, cubes, pi, addition, multiplication up to 20, and a prime numbers chart. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Mom22ns Posted April 16, 2014 Share Posted April 16, 2014 Math U See is well designed for the once a week lesson in a co-op. However, having used it, I'm not a fan of MUS Algebra. That said, I've never used Saxon and that is no accident, so I don't mean to push you that direction instead. That really wasn't helpful was it. :leaving: Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Hunter Posted April 16, 2014 Share Posted April 16, 2014 Math U See is well designed for the once a week lesson in a co-op. However, having used it, I'm not a fan of MUS Algebra. That said, I've never used Saxon and that is no accident, so I don't mean to push you that direction instead. That really wasn't helpful was it. :leaving: :lol: Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Prairie~Phlox Posted April 16, 2014 Share Posted April 16, 2014 The Saxon teacher cd-roms just work each problem to show you how to get the final answer. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

swellmomma Posted April 16, 2014 Share Posted April 16, 2014 Funny you asked this today because I have been mulling the same thing. My teens are playing catch up in math working through MUS lower levels. DD14 will be starting epsilon this week finally (only took 2 years to get through delta), ds15 has another 2 weeks to go in delta if he doesn't get stumped again. That said both already work with fractions a lot so I suspect they will move through epsilon quickly and zeta won't take much longer, meaning they will be done both before they leave for summer camp. The issue now lies with what to do in the fall. Ultimately they have to be able to write the grade 12 diploma exam when the time comes to earn their math credits, but don't have to do the provincial integrated math annually to get there. I am trying to decide if we should proceed with MUS through the upper levels starting in the fall, and like the lower levels move as quickly or as slowly as needed, or switch to saxon for the algebra 1/2 course and on up. Will they have enough time to get through the saxon upper levels being that they will just be starting pre-alg in 10th grade? How easy/difficult is it to move faster or slower through saxon? For kids that had obviously struggled with math should I just stick with what is working though the upper levels? I have heard so many say the upper levels of mus are light but I don't want to overwhelm the kids with a math that will take all day either kwim. I noticed that saxon has the dive cd-roms to go with the course work too which is a nice thing to take some of the pressure off my shoulders and have them learn in another way, but does that impede the ability to change the pace? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Lori D. Posted April 16, 2014 Share Posted April 16, 2014 â€¦ I am capable of teaching all the way through but my son and I seem to clash over math. He is very stubborn and it doesn't come as easy as it once did...he tends to take out his frustration on the teacher aka momâ€¦. Outsourcing high school math to an online class may be a good option for preserving good parent/child relationship. ;) If you would like to consider that option, then Saxon is the program most frequently used by online homeschool courses. Both Derek Owens (using Saxon) and My Homeschool Math (taught by WTMer Jann in TX, using Lial's) are highly recommended by others on this board. Landry Academy and Veritas Scholars Online are both online class providers using Saxon, while The Potter's School uses UCSMP (the University of Chicago math program), and Art of Problem Solving uses (of course! ;)) AoPS. There is also VHSG (Virtual Home School Group), a free online option, which uses Saxon. Or, if a video lesson program would help give you and DS some additional ways of seeing the math (so that you can be there for DS as a cheerleader and occasional tutor rather than punching bag -- lol), there are a number of options: Chalkdust (Pre-Algebra through Pre-Calc, Calculus, Statistics) Teaching Textbooks (Pre-Algebra through Pre-Calc) Thinkwell (Pre-Algebra through Pre-Calc, Calculus) Kinetic Textbooks (Pre-Alg., Alg. 1, Geom., Alg. 2) Bob Jones University Press distance learning/DVD (Pre-Alg. through Pre-Calc) There are also free math video tutorials available to supplement whatever program you use, through such providers as Khan Academy. Please share advantages/disadvantages [saxon or Math-U-See] Saxon is spiral-based, and the Geometry is integrated in with the Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 programs. Saxon is abstract in presentation, and more about the algorithm (steps of solving equations). I would recommend a supplement to help encourage math thinking and problem-solving, to avoid the student possibly of just memorizing the wording of the word problems and then doing the "plug and chug" of equations without true understanding of concepts. (I know several students who have said this is how they passed Saxon, but did not really learn from it.) In addition to the Saxon DIVE tutorials, there is also the additional DVD instructional help of Mastering Algebra by Art Reed. MUS is mastery-based. It is concrete and visual based with manipulatives to show how the math concepts work. It is "lite", and I would recommend a supplement to make sure you are filling in any gaps with MUS, and to add some problem-solving from a different perspective. MUS provides supplemental honors material to add a bit of rigor, and has a video teaching for each lesson. The advantages/disadvantages of the 2 programs really depend on the student's learning style and needs, and your teaching needs, as what is an advantage to one family will be a disadvantage to another. :) I've also been asked to do a weekly co-op class with some Algebra I students. They would obviously be working on lessons at home and we would meet to over new material, review old, etc. I'm wondering if Saxon with the DIVE CDs could work for this kind of structure or if Math-U-See would be better. As far as doing a weekly co-op classâ€¦ I would think the families would want you to use whatever most of them are already using to be the weekly tutor. I can only give you what my experience is here: A majority of families I know do tend to use Saxon, or, those with math strugglers are starting to more frequently go with Teaching Textbooks, and a few go with MUS. At the high school level, a lot of families tend to outsource after Algebra 1 or Geometry with dual enrollment classes at the local community college. BEST of luck in sorting through all the options to find what works best for your family! :) Warmest regards, Lori D. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Lori D. Posted April 16, 2014 Share Posted April 16, 2014 RE: Math Strugglers and Saxon I will say that switching to Saxon, esp. at the higher levels is apt to NOT be a good match for a math struggler. Frequently, math strugglers are visual-spatial learners who need concrete explanations and good visuals to understand the abstract math concepts of Algebra topics. Saxon becomes increasing abstract (rather than concrete) in presentation the higher up in the levels it goes -- it is very much focused on algorithm (steps of equation solving), rather than the big picture connections that math strugglers often need to make sense of abstract math concepts. Math strugglers using Saxon try and memorize the algorithms, but have no understanding of how/why it works. Without any math connections to the "big picture", they cannot figure out what formulas to use and when -- much less why THAT formula. Saxon topics are broken into very small incremental steps, spread out over a number of lessons, often with 3-5 lessons in between one step and another. Each lesson has small "bites" of instruction on several topics, and also includes a good amount of review. This is the spiral method, and this small-bite-spread-out strategy works well for many math strugglers if they need to work slowly and have only small additions to the concept after they've had a number of days to process the step that came before. HOWEVER, the spiral method can ALSO completely destroy understanding for OTHER types of math strugglers -- those who need to focus on a single topic without distraction, and who need concrete explanations rather than abstract algorithm explanations. So, it is critical to understand specifically HOW your student struggles with math to know what to switch to. MUS is often called the "go-to" program for students who are REALLY struggling with math. BUT, it's not JUST for math strugglers, as I've also read about non-strugglers who did GREAT with MUS and have gone on to college and end up tutoring classmates through higher levels of mathâ€¦ Really, this is SO tricky to match up math with the student. :ohmy: Other math programs that work for some math strugglers: - Teaching Textbooks (I know a lot of math strugglers who have used TT successfully in high school; it is spiral, a bit like Saxon, and the DVDs show EVERY problem worked out) - Kinetic Textbooks - Math Relief (Alg. 1 and Alg. 2) -- videos and textbook - Lial's BCM (basic college math) -- textbook based; straight-forward, direct explanations, no frills - Jacobs (Alg. 1 and Geometry) -- textbook based; Dr. Callahan DVDs available -- this one often connects with for VSL because it shows the big picture connections of the abstract algebra concepts with real-world use; alas, there is only the Algebra 1 level â€¦ I am trying to decide if we â€¦ switch to saxon for the algebra 1/2 course and on up. Will they have enough time to get through the saxon upper levels being that they will just be starting pre-alg in 10th grade? How easy/difficult is it to move faster or slower through saxon? No, I would not plan on being able to move quickly through Saxon, even if it is the program DC click with. Saxon is NOT a fast program to work through in the high school levels -- average students take 60-75 minutes a lesson; it is not uncommon for me to hear that math strugglers take 2-2.5 hours a day to get through a lesson. I often hear people say to speed it up, just do all the odds or evens -- but then others say that defeats the special designing of the program and the student loses the advantage the program would giveâ€¦ Totally JMO, not knowing your students at all, butâ€¦ At BEST, if you worked year-round, I can't see that you could get through more than Algebra 2 at MOST by the end of 12th grade using Saxon, assuming you switch to Saxon for Algebra 1/2 at the start of 10th gradeâ€¦ And that's also assuming you don't run into any learning issues with Saxon or have any problems transitioning to a completely new style of math teaching from MUS... All I can tell you is that Saxon was just not a match for either of our DSs -- the tiny bites spread out drove our math-minded DS nuts. He needed mastery-based, and something more about making math connections rather than rote memorization of formulas. And for our math struggler DS -- beyond the fact that he completely could not connect with Saxon's abstract presentation of material and focus on algorithm -- the sheer volume of problems in a lesson, plus dealing with multiple topics and review in each lesson would have just made his eyes glaze over and he would have shut down. There is just NO way that child could have done Saxon in the upper grades, even if we had only done every other problem. He had about a 50 minute limit in ability to focus on math by the time he hit high school. Anything after that was complete loss. â€¦ My teens are playing catch up in math working through MUS lower levelsâ€¦. The issue now lies with what to do in the fall. Ultimately they have to be able to write the grade 12 diploma exam when the time comes to earn their math credits,.. I am trying to decide if we should proceed with MUS through the upper levels starting in the fall, and like the lower levels move as quickly or as slowly as needed, or switch to saxon... For kids that had obviously struggled with math should I just stick with what is working though the upper levels? I have heard so many say the upper levels of mus are light... Ouch! That's a pretty huge deficit you are having to bridge. My thought would be to not worry about the diploma requirements but instead, take the long view approach and make sure to do whatever math would make my students ready for REAL LIFE math needs that they will use for all of their lives. Is there the possibility of delaying graduation to give yourselves an extra year of time to get through the required math? Is there the possibility of just doing whatever you can reasonably accomplish and then take some remedial math courses, or adult education math courses, to prepare for vocational school or community college, or 4-year university once the math requirements are done? While I agree that you will probably fly pretty quickly through the lower levels of MUS (which was also our experience with math struggler DS), Algebra is a whole new ball game, because of the abstract nature of the topics. My opinion -- again, FWIW, not knowing your DC -- I'd continue to use MUS for the rest of high school, and school the math year-round to get the 15yo through Algebra 2 by the end of 12th grade. That's a LOT of math to get through if just finishing Delta right now, and it will suddenly get more difficult and abstract when you hit Algebra topics, which is going to slow things down a lot, so just be prepared to downshift into a slower gear for the Alg. 1 and Alg. 2 -- and maybe even in parts of the Pre-Algebra program. The MUS Geometry is very light, and likely to connect with your students (Geometry is a very concrete math topic, and many math strugglers really "get" Geometry easily) -- my math struggler whipped it out in a little less than 1 semester, so you'll likely make up a bit of time there. On the other hand, Alg. 1 and Alg. 2 each took 1.5 yearsâ€¦ Not trying to be a downer, but just giving you the realistic picture of MUS, higher math, and a math struggler here. :) BEST of luck in finding what works for your family! Warmest regards, Lori D. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Hunter Posted April 16, 2014 Share Posted April 16, 2014 Some students just are not going to "keep up" in math. I'm too busy self-educating to get into any serious math conversations, but I just know I've had a different experience with Saxon that some others have. I hopped in and out of Saxon with my youngest, and know we would have been best served by sticking with it, and supplementing as little as possible. I wish we had used charts though, and spent more time memorizing what is on those charts. I finished 3 Saxon lessons yesterday, and using the charts cut my time on task to 1/2 or maybe even 1/3. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

swellmomma Posted April 16, 2014 Share Posted April 16, 2014 Thanks Lori D. THe issue with graduation is tricky, ds will already be turning 19 when we finish up grade 12 so I don't want to delay him further. In order to actually graduate high school in alberta they need to at least finish grade 11 math, but since it is integrated that is not always easy when using curriculum outside of what the gov't approves in schools/distance ed unless you get through all the levels. Grade 12 focuses heavily on trig so in order to pass grade 12 math which you need for acceptance into any science program at university they will need to have gotten that far in their math learning. Division was one of those concepts they just could not get their heads around. It finally clicked for dd14 and she is now flying through, ds15 is still struggling even as he works through the work. It just makes no sense to him at this point, and this after 2 years of working on it, adding is extra supplements, extra worksheets, making it real etc. I would love to only work through some levels of higher math and leave it for college remedial classes but both want to go into environmental science in university to study conservation. They will not need higher level math in their course work itself for most courses but certainly just to graduate and apply they do, as well as they move through the science sequence I don't want that to hinder them in chemistry for example. Both want to take physics but I think we will stick with just 11th grade physics and not the grade 12 level. Good to know on the geometry, dd14 is talking about taking an online class with our board of euclid's elements next semester(our school board offers 3 levels of this), so before they get to geometry in MUS, that will probably make her blast through the geometry much faster I would think. It's weird not really having covered geometry yet with MUS, here in Alberta math is integrated from K up, geometry is covered all through elementary and junior high etc with less of it in high school so this is a different approach to us having it in high school in one course. So as much as I was worrying about rigor vs lite, it looks like I was worrying about the wrong things, and sticking with MUS is the best option. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

1Togo Posted April 16, 2014 Share Posted April 16, 2014 Based on your post and experience with our dc; i.e. whizzer, plodder, and basher/clasher, I would stay with MUS and go as far as you can. Go through the Honors problems even if you have to whiteboard the work. Also, after your dc finish MUS Algebra I and Geometry, you could use other materials to assess mastery; i.e. ALEKS, Saxon tests, and you could supplement with algebra word problems, etc. Assessment with unfamiliar materials is a good idea with struggling students. I would get a foundation in place with the least stress possible. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Lori D. Posted April 18, 2014 Share Posted April 18, 2014 THe issue with graduation is tricky,... In order to actually graduate high school in alberta they need to at least finish grade 11 math, but since it is integrated that is not always easy when using curriculum outside of what the gov't approves in schools/distance ed unless you get through all the levels. â€¦ It's weird not really having covered geometry yet with MUS, here in Alberta math is integrated from K up, geometry is covered all through elementary and junior high... â€¦ So as much as I was worrying about rigor vs lite, it looks like I was worrying about the wrong things, and sticking with MUS is the best option. I was thinking you were in Canada, and so that the diploma would be a bit trickierâ€¦ :( Well, I DO think the MUS Geometry is a bit lite. You can try adding a bit of supplement to help them branch outâ€¦ My math struggler was able to handle the Singapore 4A/B while doing Epsilon; it will also introduce a few things your DC won't have seen yet with MUS, but at a gentle level. You can do some Singapore 5A/B while doing MUS Zeta, and Singapore 6A/B while doing MUS Pre-Algebra. You might also check out the Keys to Algebra and Keys to Geometry series when you hit MUS Algebra 1 and Geometry for a little more coverageâ€¦ And then, there's always Khan Academy videos on Trig while you're doing MUS Algebra 2 to help prepare for your national diploma testingâ€¦ BEST of luck!! Warmest regards, Lori D. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

1Togo Posted April 18, 2014 Share Posted April 18, 2014 Fwiw, we are doing a 2-month free trial with ALEKS. Dd thinks it works well with MUS. MUS is the teaching/learning new concepts portion of her math, and ALEKS is the review. With ALEKS, you pay a monthly fee, but can move to another course if you finish a course or need different placement. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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