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Upper-Level Saxon Math Difficulty?

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Would you consider Saxon at a lower level than other math programs? I'm just wondering because I've done Saxon Alg 1 & 2 and I have friends in public school doing similar level math but they cover many concepts I've never covered or even heard of. I just want to know where Saxon stands in the world of math books :P


I want to know because I may have to do a little extra math prep before college (It's senior year for me).


Thank you very much! 

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Not in the slightest. They have a different scope and sequence but my husband did the entire thing through calculus and ended up being well prepared for college Calc 2, with much of it being review, along with calculus based physics and chemistry also at the university level.


It covers topics so different than other books, especially the sequence for geometry, but it's all there and well developed if you work it as intended from start to finish. Husband is now a civil/structural engineer and excelled in two of the best engineering programs in the country available for his discipline. And he was the kid in fourth grade who was last in his class in math and had to be pulled out and completely remediated. Saxon isn't the best for for every student, and it's not competition math, but the rigor is plenty for the vast majority of students. For the most highly gifted they may be very bored or accelerate through the sequence and be done early, but for an average to bright kiddo, or even one needing more help and repetition, it's absolutely solid.



Comparing programs at various points is really difficult because the speed and order with which they cover topics, or sometimes call the same concepts by very different names. The best way to evaluate the programs is by how hey progress in broad types, and where the students are in terms of proficiency by the end of the complete program. In those terms Saxon is a gradual and spiraling program and students end up highly competent in operations and mathematical thinking. It isn't the best pick for a student who prefers a more topical approach with mastery in a type of concept in a block, or who needs a challenge or puzzle to stay engaged. There are way better choices for those kiddos.

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It isn't at a lower level; it is different.  It isn't an apples-to-apples comparison to virtually any other curriculum.


We've seen very bright students switch from Saxon to traditional coursebooks and struggle mightily.  Others do just fine.  It really depends on the student, the teacher, and the supplementation added.  It also helps to finish the full sequence before transitioning from it.


Saxon is strong at application, and weak at theory.  Future objectives do matter when deciding whether to use Saxon as a base for high school.

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Are your public school friends doing integrated math or the traditional algebra 1/geometry/algebra 2 sequence? That will make a big difference in their scope and sequence of topics as well, from what I understand.


As was said above, Saxon integrates geometry into alg 1/alg 2/first half of Advanced Mathematics. For instance, my daughter is now doing two-column proofs in Advanced Math.


Have you had any standardized testing (ACT, SAT)? Did you feel you did as well as you expected on the test? 

Edited by KarenNC
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Have you done the Advanced Math book? If you haven't, you'll be missing some geometry topics, some advanced algebra topics, and all of precalculus, and that's something you probably do want to work on before college if you need to take more math than your general education credits.


Someone who's done and understood Saxon's algebra 1 and 2 and can apply it out of context (a few students become remarkably good at recognizing what Saxon wants them to do but cannot do well outside of the structure of the curriculum) should be ok starting in college algebra or lower, but if your major requires calculus you'll be spending time and money taking classes in college that would have been covered by the advanced math book. I did have one student come into my precalc class with nothing more than saxon's algebra 2 and do just fine, but he was very mathematically talented and ended up majoring in math. Someone who's done and understood the advanced math book should be fine starting in calculus or anything lower. 

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I did Alg 1 and 2, and Geometry from a different curriculum in between. I'm currently taking AP Stat.

I got a 28 on ACT math, which is a little better than I expected.

As for topics they're covering that I haven't seen covered...hmm. I can't think of topic names off the top of my head, but graphing comes to mind. I don't see as much graphing in Saxon Alg. 


I don't plan on going into any sort of math-related field :P

Thanks everyone!

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