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Should I have my son do a separate Geometry or just the Geometry in Saxon?


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I have read the information at the DIVE website and Art Reed's and looked through my son's Saxon Math Algebra 2, and I feel confident that 1 semester of formal proof Geometry is covered in Alg 2.  Assuming we use Advanced Math (which is the plan), I also feel confident that the other half of Geometry is covered.  

 

However, my son had a very hard year with Algebra 1, using AOPS.  He finished the last 6 weeks of the year with Jacob's and took a test showing he mastered what is covered in Jacob's Algebra.  He finished the book.

 

According to both he and his former math tutor, he truly shines in Geometry and he really loves it.  He feels extremely bummed to have a year of Algebra with Geometry thrown in at the end...he was SO Excited to spend the year doing proofs (he has a very logical mind as he is a high level computer programmer in multiple languages- his current skills equal his dad's junior programmers at Google.)

 

So what should I do?  I think he needs the review and solidifying of Algebra, contained in Saxon....and I would like for him to get a head start as I have read several times that Advanced Math often takes kids a year and a half to complete.  I think being stronger in Algebra is a bonus and getting ahead is a bonus, too.

 

On the other hand I feel bad for him....he loves Geometry and he wants to use Jacob's (he saw it at someone's house and was reading and solving it for fun) and he looked at the Derek Owens website and felt that would be a great option. (I think he also hopes that if Derek Owens goes well, we will use that instead of Saxon for the future...Saxon works REALLY well for him but he really hates it.)

 

What would you do?  

 

(PS he is going to community college for a math major and then transferring for computer science, unless we decide to take the traditional route and let him apply as a freshman...)

 

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He wants to do Jacobs geometry for fun, he is asking for it, and he is potentially headed toward a math heavy area.  This wouldn't be a close question for me - I'd order the Jacobs already.  (or if he wanted, maybe even AoPS, as geometry is more in his wheelhouse than algebra - I happen to prefer it, myself).

 

I can't remember exactly, but Jacobs may have a bit of algebra review within somewhere.  If it doesn't, it shouldn't be too difficult to find something to occasionally review algebra.  Typically some algebra is necessary for geometry problems anyway.

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Trying to flesh out your question - you're unsure whether the algebra review in Jacobs geometry would be sufficient for him?  Why consider Saxon for a Jacobs-geometry-loving, AoPS algebra veteran who is known to dislike Saxon?

 

Is the real issue what to use for Alg 2 or is Saxon for Alg 2 already underway?

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Good question, I can see why you are asking.

 

AOPS was not a good fit for him.  Even though he is nearing the gifted range in mathematics skills, AOPS was just too much of a stretch.  COmbined with the fact that I am not a math person, and was unable to help him, the difficulty level and the Discover Method was NOT ok.

 

He is resigned to going back to Saxon for Algebra 2 and Advanced Math and maybe even Calculus.  With Saxon, according to both Dr. Shormann and Art Reed it is completely redundant to do a separate Geometry course.  Derek Owens also mentions that the Geometry included in Saxon Algebra 2 and Adv Math is a complete full year of Euclidean Geometry.

 

However, he was really excited about a year of just Geometry!  So my options are:

 

1.  Do a year of Geometry just because he will enjoy it and maybe it will give him time to mature before tacking the harder Algebra courses.  

2.  Just start Saxon Algebra 2 now, with the benefit of more time to do Adv Math later on (again, Geometry is included in the original Saxon books)

 

 

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OK I think I see.  I would ask yourself why you feel inclined to limit the choice to Saxon for Alg 2 if he would have to "resign" himself to it.  That doesn't sound pleasant - it sounds like a way to spoil one of his favorite subjects.  The enjoyment you saw when he played around with Jacobs geometry, you can't buy that.  If it were me, I wouldn't hesitate to do the year of geometry with Jacobs, which you seem certain he'll enjoy, and then look around for algebra 2 options afterward.  There are lots of options that are not Saxon.

 

It sounds like perhaps you, too, want him to enjoy Jacobs geometry, but you yourself are feeling resigned to Saxon for alg 2 - maybe you'd feel better about a Jacobs plan if you further explore possible alg 2 alternatives right now?

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Good question, I can see why you are asking.

 

AOPS was not a good fit for him.  Even though he is nearing the gifted range in mathematics skills, AOPS was just too much of a stretch.  COmbined with the fact that I am not a math person, and was unable to help him, the difficulty level and the Discover Method was NOT ok.

 

He is resigned to going back to Saxon for Algebra 2 and Advanced Math and maybe even Calculus.  With Saxon, according to both Dr. Shormann and Art Reed it is completely redundant to do a separate Geometry course.  Derek Owens also mentions that the Geometry included in Saxon Algebra 2 and Adv Math is a complete full year of Euclidean Geometry.

 

However, he was really excited about a year of just Geometry!  So my options are:

 

1.  Do a year of Geometry just because he will enjoy it and maybe it will give him time to mature before tacking the harder Algebra courses.  

2.  Just start Saxon Algebra 2 now, with the benefit of more time to do Adv Math later on (again, Geometry is included in the original Saxon books)

 

I am a firm believer in Saxon and doing it the way Art Reed lines out in his book. I don't like the new Geometry book put out by Saxon as a separate course. I've had 5 kids use Saxon through high school even if they were going to a public high school. You will get geometry in Saxon Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and the Advanced math books. It is enough geometry and it's thorough in my opinion. 

 

That being said, I don't see anything wrong with your son continuing on with Saxon and adding in the Jacob's geometry.  You said he would do it for fun anyway, so what's the big deal in adding it into his day as just another subject. If he likes geometry so much and wants to do Jacob's, I don't see that he would balk at this idea and it gets everything covered. I am not a proponent of switching programs especially when the student is in high school so sticking with Saxon through Calculus, if he has time for it, and adding in the Jacob's geometry would be what I would do.

 

I had a son who loved geometry too, and in fact he never missed one problem the whole year he took geometry. This year he was also taking Algebra 1, which is what all of my older kids did in public school. If I had know about Jacob's geometry, I would've made this available to him just because he would have loved to do it just for fun.

 

 

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He wants to do Jacobs geometry for fun, he is asking for it, and he is potentially headed toward a math heavy area.  This wouldn't be a close question for me - I'd order the Jacobs already.  (or if he wanted, maybe even AoPS, as geometry is more in his wheelhouse than algebra - I happen to prefer it, myself).

 

I can't remember exactly, but Jacobs may have a bit of algebra review within somewhere.  If it doesn't, it shouldn't be too difficult to find something to occasionally review algebra.  Typically some algebra is necessary for geometry problems anyway.

 

I'd certainly go with the Jacobs Geometry too.  We used it, and it worked great for us; I was very busy when my DS did geometry, and he was basically able to do the course with just the book, which is a big plug for the clarity of the book.  I would not, however, use the algebra review in the book.  It's just a bunch of routine calculations, one topic per chapter, which I consider a terrible review.  Fortunately, there are many options for algebra review at that point.  You could also continue with algebra, slowly, at the same time.  Jacobs Geometry can probably be covered in well under a year if done full time, so if you add in some algebra in may take the full year; even if it were to take a little over a year, you'd still be on track and not need to re-learn the algebra. 

 

If you decide to move away from Saxon, you could consider the algebra 2 books by Foerster or Brown & Dolciani which are about the same level of difficulty as Saxon but IMO more "fun" and with better problems.

 

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Why not do both?  For example, do Jacobs Geometry this year, which has Algebra review in it.  Next year, start Saxon Algebra 2 and continue from there?  Your ds will fly through the Geometry topics or let you know he's already covered such and such in Jacobs, so he can move on to the next chapter in Saxon.  I do think Saxon is flexible enough to do that, given there is so much cumulative review in the problem sets.   For a kid who loves Geometry, he might just want to do the lessons/problems in Saxon to tackle things from a slightly different perspective -- nothing wrong with that.  Just a suggestion....

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