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I have used Saxon for all of our homeschooling career, and both of my oldest two have gotten really bogged down especially when we hit Algebra 1. The oldest would spend hours and hours and hours getting overwhelmed by how much work there was.  We tried Teaching Textbooks, but he panicked when it was so easy, because he wanted to be prepared for public school in high school.  By his choice, we (painfully) finished Saxon, and he hit public school and has had a wonderful math experience.  He's good at it, and has had very little homework, yet has done very well on the county's supposedly very rigorous tests.  We've thought a lot about the fact that he was able to do so well with minimal homework (his first two teachers commented that they only believe in enough homework to achieve mastery-- he hated Saxon, but loved public school math), but also wondered if he's done well because of the rigorous preparation Saxon has given.  

 

In any case, my homeschooled just-finished-9th grade daughter has just completed Algebra 1 and is about 30 lessons into Saxon geometry, and while she isn't so math resistant as he was at home, Saxon math takes her so long to teach herself the concept and do it that she is getting further and further behind our math goals.  This is in large part due to the fact that she has rigorous homework with deadlines for outside teachers, so spending hours on math each day isn't practical. Yes, public school is an option, but there are definite trade-offs at our school.  At the moment, signing her up for a outside class isn't an option, but may be in future years. 

 

I feel like Saxon math is kind of math 'insurance' for me-- I know it is thorough and rigorous, but getting further and further behind is not sustainable for us. Does anyone have any suggestions for curriculums that will prepare her well without quite so much time investment?  Teaching Textbooks should take less time, but I'm concerned about its ability to prepare her for standardized tests, college, etc.  Is it still the best bet?  What are your experiences?  Is it possible to be well prepared with a little less time each day?  Anyone have experience with Math-U-See?  Part of the problem is how long (even with Saxon's teacher DVD roms) it takes her to understand the concept.  I'd love to have something solid that has video teaching directed at her, not at me.    

 

Thanks for any advice you have to offer!

 

SaraLyn 

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Have you looked at Math Without Borders?  It uses the Chakerian book for Geometry and the Forester book for Alg 2/Trig.  Both are rigorous and I thought that the video lectures were very well done.  You can watch a few lessons on the main page of their website.

 

Chalkdust.com might be another option.  Dana Mosley is a very good lecturer.  I know they use one of the Larson books for Alg 2 and I *think* the Geometry book is the Houghton Mifflen one?  Not sure about that, but they can give you more info.  Definitely college prep, though.

 

AskDrCallahan.com has bundles for high school math with lectures to go along with it.  Geometry is the Jacobs book and Alg 2 is Barnett and Ziegler - both texts are rigorous and well respected.

 

All three of these packages use good "public school" texts, which has some advantages with standardized testing like the SAT (IMO of course). 

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This is probably a stupid question, but my understanding is that if a student works through Saxon Algebra 1 and 2 ( 2nd or 3rd edition) that they have essentially completed the equivalent of Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Geometry?  If that's true, maybe it would be more time efficient to use those books and skip Geometry altogether?

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This is probably a stupid question, but my understanding is that if a student works through Saxon Algebra 1 and 2 ( 2nd or 3rd edition) that they have essentially completed the equivalent of Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Geometry?  If that's true, maybe it would be more time efficient to use those books and skip Geometry altogether?

You also need to do at least part (first half I believe) of Saxon Advanced Mathematics to get all of the Geometry. I don't know exactly how much of it you need to finish but Saxon Advanced Mathematics can take a while.

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Do you have your children do the entire lesson every day (the practice and all 30 questions)?  I love Saxon Math, but for the higher levels I reduce the number of "review" questions the student does everyday so we have time for other subjects and activities. I focus on the areas of review that the student needs work, include questions I want them to do, let them choose 5 from a give set of 10, "combine" two lessons where they do the practices and a few review questions, let them use a calculator for parts of questions, etc. to keep the program rigorous and specialized to our needs.

 

Another thing you can do to reduce time the student takes to do the new concepts and corrections, and reduce frustration and mistakes from exhaustion and diminished focus, is help walk them through the lesson description so that they understand the concept and how to show the steps. It's way more efficient to get the questions right the first time than re-doing mistakes and trying to find one's errors.

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In any case, my homeschooled just-finished-9th grade daughter has just completed Algebra 1 and is about 30 lessons into Saxon geometry, and while she isn't so math resistant as he was at home, Saxon math takes her so long to teach herself the concept and do it that she is getting further and further behind our math goals.  This is in large part due to the fact that she has rigorous homework with deadlines for outside teachers, so spending hours on math each day isn't practical. Yes, public school is an option, but there are definite trade-offs at our school.  At the moment, signing her up for a outside class isn't an option, but may be in future years. 

 

 

 

It appears that you may have used 4th Edition Saxon Algebra 1 (non-integrated  Geometry) and Saxon Geometry. Both would have medium blue covers.

Many of the people on this forum are more familiar with the 3rd Edition Saxon Algebra 1 (Dark blue and Orange cover).

 

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Do you have your children do the entire lesson every day (the practice and all 30 questions)?  I love Saxon Math, but for the higher levels I reduce the number of "review" questions the student does everyday so we have time for other subjects and activities. I focus on the areas of review that the student needs work, include questions I want them to do, let them choose 5 from a give set of 10, "combine" two lessons where they do the practices and a few review questions, let them use a calculator for parts of questions, etc. to keep the program rigorous and specialized to our needs.

 

Another thing you can do to reduce time the student takes to do the new concepts and corrections, and reduce frustration and mistakes from exhaustion and diminished focus, is help walk them through the lesson description so that they understand the concept and how to show the steps. It's way more efficient to get the questions right the first time than re-doing mistakes and trying to find one's errors.

 

I agree almost 100% (we do not love Saxon here- my girls preferred chapters with one topic at a time)

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Saxon math takes her so long to teach herself the concept and do it that she is getting further and further behind our math goals. 

 

Could you or someone else teach the lesson?  I think there are DVD lessons for Saxon--perhaps someone else will chime in here on that--though the best thing would be to be taught in an interactive way.

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Have you checked into the DIVE CDs for Saxon?  http://www.diveintomath.com/dive-math/   We never used Saxon (although I probably would have if I'd known right off about these CDs) but we love them for Science.  They're made to teach directly to the student and Dr. Schormann is available via email to answer questions.

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