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Should I change Saxon Math 1 to something else?


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Last year I bought Saxon Math K and Saxon Math 1 for $10 each. It was a good deal and Saxon was recommended in TWTM so, I bought them. I also got the manipulatives on Rainbow Resource.


I neither love nor do I hate Saxon. I was irritated sometimes by the amount of parent prep. My son has done well with it. While he's never cried because of math, he protests the calendar routine and some other repetitive tasks the curriculum assigns. I want homeschool to be enjoyable, not to see the light in his eyes dim with boredom. We changed the calendar routine (colorful magnetic calendar) and we skip some of the routine sometimes or we will do a game or play with the abacus.


As far as the rest of the lessons, I get the feeling that sometimes Saxon is moving a little slow, probably due to the spiral nature of it.


Today, after filling out a drill adding doubles up to 9, my son asked me how much was 200 + 200 and I showed him how to do it... we went off on a tangent. But if you would have seen his delighted face, you wouldn't have stopped either! We started adding other simple numbers like 100 + 100, 1000 + 1000, 400 + 400... Then we had to go back to the worksheets (because I'm that mom that likes to check boxes), that are all very similar and of course, my son can finish with no trouble. He does not mind a page with 20 addition problems. He actually gets a kick of completing them fast. lol


I do not do 2 or 3 lessons in one day because we have other subjects to complete and he is still too young to sit still for too long. In fact, sometimes we complete Saxon in two chunks with a break. Sight word drill is enjoyable for him. Probably because we get off the table and he wiggles while he reads them...


I downloaded a sample of Life of Fred Apples and read it to my son and he liked it. A lot. I ordered the apples book to use at bedtime. I think it will be a nice supplement and we may get the whole set if the religious content isn't too overt. 


After all that, I would like some opinions. Should I stick with Saxon while doing Life of Fred for fun? Or should I switch him to something else? I want a rigorous math curriculum that does not repeat itself so much? Something that will make me feel like we are indeed covering all the bases. Drill is fine. I am sure we can slow down if we need to, but its hard for me to figure out how to get Saxon moving without missing things. We are secular, but we are not offended by a religious curriculum as long as the religious content isn't a central part of the content.

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How about skipping the worksheets?


I mention that because I almost needed somebody to give me permission to do that with my little "caboose baby", even though it was a random stranger on the internet.


Saxon was the newest hottest thing the first time I did it with my now-twentysomethings, and an enormous chunk of our curriculum budget. The manipulatives only came in one ginormously expensive set for grades K-3. We had loads of fun with it, even I learned new things about Math that I'd never really understood before, just recited from rote memory because the teacher would mark it "wrong" if I didn't but still, it was just so much STUFF and the teacher prep sometimes felt like another kid or a part time job.


It's much more fun and I have a much better attitude towards it now that it's a $10 castoff from the bargain bin. ds didn't miss the worksheets for K-1. I have the second half of 2, so we'll try just side A when we get there and see how that goes. We also skip lessons if it's something he already knows or if it requires a manipulative that isn't in our budget or prep time that just isn't available. We adapt the lessons that are dated or inappropriate, such as calling up 20 of your closest friends and relations to ask them what their favourite day of the week is. ;)


I think you'll enjoy it if you don't take it too seriously, supplement with Fred for bedtime stories, and relax, since you can always switch to MEP or MM if the hokey, schlocky $10 dumpster diver special doesn't work out.


Just please remember that this is the ultimate fate of all shiny new curricula before you pull out your checkbook...er...I mean click on the "buy it now" button....for today's $200...er...I mean $2,000 not covered by your charter school's funds......latest and the greatest, manipulative kit sold separately. ;)

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I always did Saxon math 1 level above the states level. So we did 1st grade math in K, 2nd grade math in 1st grade etc... Done that way, it was perfect!


Yes! My son is in Kinder, I didn't mention it above. This is why he wiggles a lot and we do a lot of breaks. He loves the manipulatives. We homeschool with a charter and they got us MBTP and ABeCeDarian plus the Saxon that I already had. I think its too much work. I've already been alternating days for MBTP and skipping some of the busy work he really doesn't like (coloring!) but I do not like to skip math or reading practice. So if there's a lesson he already knows, we skip it but then do all the work on MBTP, which is a nice change.


I know it would be cheaper to stick with Saxon for now. We will use a different math curriculum next year. I'm very intrigued by that Beast Academy. I looked them up and my son was in the room and he thought I found him a new game.  :lol:  But I told him that was a possibility for when he was older as it is for third grade, I think. So I'm still wondering about what to use. And since my Saxon was only $10 I'm open to buying something else.


Ds is my oldest and I always wonder if all the work and repetition that seems pointless to me, may not be pointless to him and may be good for his development. I want to teach at the correct pace for him. I just don't know what that is. 

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Sometimes making Saxon fun is just a matter of changing up what we adults view as school. Soneone suggested we do jumping jacks during mental math. My son loved it. Never woukd have crossed my mind to have him do anything but sit in a chair. Another fun thing is a numberline on the floor. The student moves as they add or subtract. Three plus five becomes starting at three and jumping five segments up. It is the exact same thing, only wiggly. For some kids, this is the ideal way to do very formal math in a less formal way.


My kiddo hated Saxon from the beginning. He is visual though and very much whole to parts. Basically, everything Saxon isn't :) We did not use it much. BA did not exist when Ds was that age, but we use AoPS. The grade levels are really loose. He could start whenever as long as you do not push a pace. They are fun and silly, great bedtime fun reading.

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I've had only one really "mathy" kid. With him I skipped a lot of the busy work. often we only did math 2-3 times a week because he didn't need the repetition, in fact it just frustrated him. He is in second grade now, and about a fourth of the way through his math curriculum for the year already. He just gets it, so I don't make him do a lot of the extra repetitious work and I pull out the new concepts and we work on that.

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