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LAmom

Math struggles--Saxon/ CLE

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My dd 12 (7th grade) is currently doing Saxon 8/7 after previous years of Math Mammoth.  We switched because she needed more of a spiral approach.  :(  Anyways, it takes between 1 hour and 2/12 hours for her to complete Saxon and constant tears.  Everything I read says to not skip any problems in Saxon.  I am not sure why it is taking her so long.  She understands her basic math concepts.

 

I was thinking maybe to lighten the load I would have her try CLE 700.  My other kids use CLE since we found that the spiral and lots of review it better for them (vs. MM where we lacked review in basic facts).  I really, really wanted MM to work since I love the whole idea of conceptual/mental math.  But, it is not working for us. 

 

With all that said, do I keep pushing dd to do Saxon and try to speed things up?  Or do I have her switch to a more doable CLE 700 (or 800??).  I am having her try out the 700 test right now.  She knows a lot of it already.  So, I'd have to try to place her in the right light units.  

 

I am hoping for Algebra I for 8th grade, whether that is Saxon I or something else.  Thanks for any input!  Math has been a real struggle in this house.  

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Saxon is a good program but as with anything else some programs will fit well for a particular kid and some won't.  My kids did not do well with either Saxon OR MM.  CLE has been terrific.

 

My suggestion is to look at her results of her placement test in CLE and maybe get just the light units that pertain to any topics she is shaky on.  If it looks like she is solid on the bulk of the material covered in 700, then maybe just get 801, since it reviews what was covered in the previous level.  If she does well with that, she can just do 800.  

 

If your child is that miserable, she isn't really learning.  It doesn't cost much money to try out one light unit.  

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

ETA:  I do not agree with the Saxon approach of drill and kill until tears by doing every.single.problem.no.matter.what.  Some kids absolutely do not need that.  In fact, for some kids that destroys any interest in math and has the opposite effect.  Some kids end up sort of unlearning.  It just is too much for them.  

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I agree with Onestep and would be a pretty easy transition to CLE.  I wouldn't be to tied to the idea of Algebra in 8th if she isn't really ready for it. It really is ok to cover it in 9th. ;)

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My dd 12 (7th grade) is currently doing Saxon 8/7 after previous years of Math Mammoth.  We switched because she needed more of a spiral approach.   :(  Anyways, it takes between 1 hour and 2/12 hours for her to complete Saxon and constant tears.  Everything I read says to not skip any problems in Saxon.  I am not sure why it is taking her so long.  She understands her basic math concepts.

 

I was thinking maybe to lighten the load I would have her try CLE 700.  My other kids use CLE since we found that the spiral and lots of review it better for them (vs. MM where we lacked review in basic facts).  I really, really wanted MM to work since I love the whole idea of conceptual/mental math.  But, it is not working for us. 

 

With all that said, do I keep pushing dd to do Saxon and try to speed things up?  Or do I have her switch to a more doable CLE 700 (or 800??).  I am having her try out the 700 test right now.  She knows a lot of it already.  So, I'd have to try to place her in the right light units.  

 

I am hoping for Algebra I for 8th grade, whether that is Saxon I or something else.  Thanks for any input!  Math has been a real struggle in this house.  

 

You are correct. Never skip any problems.

 

However, many people have found happiness in setting a time for their dc for 45 minutes, and letting them be finished for the day, wherever it is they stop. The pick up the next day at the same place. Many children found they were able to finish their lessons in that amount of time, even though it used to take longer. Who knows why? But it is so. Before jumping ship, I'd try that: 45 minutes a day, the end.

 

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You are correct. Never skip any problems.

 

However, many people have found happiness in setting a time for their dc for 45 minutes, and letting them be finished for the day, wherever it is they stop. The pick up the next day at the same place. Many children found they were able to finish their lessons in that amount of time, even though it used to take longer. Who knows why? But it is so. Before jumping ship, I'd try that: 45 minutes a day, the end.

 

 

 

Good idea, but she would never finish before the next year.  Right now she is on Lesson 54 and there are 120 lessons, plus tests.  She doesn't do the investigations....:/ and has been skipping the fact practice.  I think she would get 1-2 lessons done a week.  I told her she would have to work all summer but I'm still not sure she would finish by 8th grade!  

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Saxon is a good program but as with anything else some programs will fit well for a particular kid and some won't.  My kids did not do well with either Saxon OR MM.  CLE has been terrific.

 

My suggestion is to look at her results of her placement test in CLE and maybe get just the light units that pertain to any topics she is shaky on.  If it looks like she is solid on the bulk of the material covered in 700, then maybe just get 801, since it reviews what was covered in the previous level.  If she does well with that, she can just do 800.  

 

If your child is that miserable, she isn't really learning.  It doesn't cost much money to try out one light unit.  

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

ETA:  I do not agree with the Saxon approach of drill and kill until tears by doing every.single.problem.no.matter.what.  Some kids absolutely do not need that.  In fact, for some kids that destroys any interest in math and has the opposite effect.  Some kids end up sort of unlearning.  It just is too much for them.  

 

I am struggling with putting her too far behind.  She did not know everything on the 700 test.  Needs review in many of the areas.  I found a scope and sequence but a table of contents would be more helpful for me...with samples..lol.  I guess I could splurge and buy the whole 700 and have her do what she needs to do.  I was hoping not to have to buy all the Light Units.  I hate to jump around with math but she is just not getting it done in a timely manner and I don't know how to change that.  I hate the set up of Saxon...she likes the review which she did not have in MM.  Anyways, I will talk to her and have her look at CLE.

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Did you give her the placement test for 87? It sounds like she might not have the right placement in Saxon if it is taking her so long. My dd just switched into Saxon 87 this year and is on lesson 67. It only takes her about an hour to do a lesson. I'm only mentioning that to let you know that the lessons shouldn't be taking so long. (DD isn't a math genius or anything).

 

I have a friend who loves CLE, but it takes her slow son a long time to do a lesson--so, again, make sure she does the placement test. It's better to put her in the right placement than to have her start Algebra and flail b/c her basic arithmetic isn't solid.

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Did you give her the placement test for 87? It sounds like she might not have the right placement in Saxon if it is taking her so long. My dd just switched into Saxon 87 this year and is on lesson 67. It only takes her about an hour to do a lesson. I'm only mentioning that to let you know that the lessons shouldn't be taking so long. (DD isn't a math genius or anything).

 

I have a friend who loves CLE, but it takes her slow son a long time to do a lesson--so, again, make sure she does the placement test. It's better to put her in the right placement than to have her start Algebra and flail b/c her basic arithmetic isn't solid.

Agree, make sure your child is placed correctly, no matter what program you use.  Rushing to Algebra if they aren't ready just causes you to both be frustrated and lose more ground.

 

I would do two things.

1.  Make certain she is placed correctly in Saxon if you want to stay with Saxon.

 

2.  If you really want to switch from Saxon, don't buy all of the 700's for CLE.  Buy 701 and have her go through that.  See if there are any gaps from earlier levels.  If so, target those gaps before moving her into 702.

 

3.  If she does really well with 701, then maybe skip to 705.  If you have the TM you can review with her on a dry erase for anything that she hasn't covered, then just move her through 705.  There is a LOT of review in CLE.  Anything she really has solid you can skip some of the review problems but since you will have already skipped over several light units, I would do all of 705.  

 

3.  If she does well with 705, then with 706 you might be able to cut out some of the review in areas she is super solid.  Just move through the rest of the 700s, cutting out unnecessary review, drop quizzes if you don't feel you need those, and if CLE is a good fit, and she is really understanding the material, finish out the 700s.  If she starts really moving through well, you can condense lessons.  Do the new material for two lessons but only the review for the second lesson.  If she needs all of the review, maybe do new material in the morning and review in the afternoon.

 

4.  Depending on how 700 goes, then you can make the decision on whether to try to do 800 (maybe even in a condensed format) and then Algebra I or just go on to Algebra I (with CLE or another program). 

 

The main thing is not too look too far ahead.  Get her in a better place in math before making plans for next year.  Better to go slower now, and really get her solid then rush her through now and have her flail in Algebra and have to go back again.

 

Hugs and good luck.

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Good idea, but she would never finish before the next year.  Right now she is on Lesson 54 and there are 120 lessons, plus tests.  She doesn't do the investigations....:/ and has been skipping the fact practice.  I think she would get 1-2 lessons done a week.  I told her she would have to work all summer but I'm still not sure she would finish by 8th grade!  

 

But I said that many children, when given a time limit, suddenly are able to complete the lesson. It would be worth it to try it and see what happens.

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Just tossing this out there--could skipping the fact practice really be slowing her down? Has she reached automaticity in her facts? If not, the fact practice will help her achieve speed in solving the problems. It's been a while since I've seen the sheets, but don't they also have some other memorization (like squares or other "facts") that might be helpful in solving the problems in the set?

I'm with Ellie in the "don't skip" camp.

 

Could you maybe try breaking the math lesson up, such that the lesson is given (with all the parts) and then the practice is started, but then time is given later to complete it? I found doing this helped my dd. She would get started on the problems, then math would be over, and she'd do the rest after lunch (or even in the evening sometimes, but we usually avoided that). She'd come back fresh later, and was able to go faster.

 

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We went through exactly what you are going through with Saxon 8/7. It was a disaster and no matter what we tried, the day felt consumed by math. There was crying and procrastinating and just all about irritation by about a quarter through. We kept plugging because I didn't want to give it up due to the reputation I thought Saxon had. I finally hit a point though where math couldn't rule our homeschool life.

 

We ended up switching to TT Pre-Algebra and I used some of the CLE units to plug some holes between previous math issues and the changes in the programs, since stuff is covered in a different order. This worked well for us. We liked CLE, and I plan to use it with other children going forward- I wish we had started with it for dd. But she prefers the computer so I went ahead with TT and it's a great fit. I think if you're having these struggles you should absolutely go ahead with CLE-- they review so much I wouldn't worry about previous units. Just go where the placement test takes you. You can always skim over the redundant material and resell any books you don't use....

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