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mom2kando

thoughts on Saxon and MM

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My kids (4th and 2nd) have been using Math Mammoth since they came home from public school where they used Everyday Math (before the common core got a hold of it).

 

They have been successful with it, and most of the topics come easy to them. Really, I think they can thrive with any program and in fact, they have said this to me .

 

So we've never used Saxon but have the opportunity to attend a coop next year that uses it.

 

I'm sort of torn...

 

I like that Saxon has

  • video lessons
  • will be covered one day a week at co op

I like Math Mammoth because

  • we are familiar with it
  • kids tolerate it and are growing ('cause what 4th grader loves math right? :laugh: )
  • I like the approach and the way it stretches their thoughts at times

Any thoughts or advice? Really I could go either way. If we don't start Saxon now I doubt we ever will. We'll probably go with one of the MM recommended higher maths. Also, they each tested into a grade higher in Saxon and that's good because those are the only classes offered at co op now lol! (so 5th grader would be in 7/6 and 3rd grader in 5/4) the only thing my son (2nd grader) missed was the double digit by double digit multiplication which I can go over with him this summer.

 

(edited to make more concise)

Edited by mom2kando

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I absolutely would NOT recommmend switching to Saxon, especially for the sake of a co-op. I'd stay the course with MM and her recommendations for higher math beyond it. MM is conceptual, Saxon is not. It does not surprise me that your kiddos test a level ahead in Saxon.

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Math Mammoth is a good curriculum and your kids are doing well with it and do not mind it. If it is not broke there is no need to fix it. ;) You do not know for sure they would like Saxon. It is different in that there is a lot of problems you have to copy from a textbook and it is a very tight spiral that focuses more in procedures then concepts.

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No way. Stick with what's working. MM is very solid and if they're thriving, just stay the course.

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Saxon is not so liked on this board and I'll own that I'm one of its detractors, though I hardly think it's the worst thing ever. It's solid and dull and works for some people.

 

But even if this were the other way and you were considering switching because a co-op taught MM and your kids had been thriving with Saxon... I'd probably tell you not to switch. Why hand off math? And why change what's working? Just stay the course.

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Oh gosh.  I am a die-hard Saxon user (1st grade through calculus), but even I have to agree with the above posts.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.  If MM is working so wonderfully for your children, stay with it.  As for co-op... in my 17 years of homeschooling, I have never known a co-op to handle a math course effectively.  It's the nature of the beast that unless the class meets every day then a math class is not going to work very well.

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I absolutely would NOT recommmend switching to Saxon, especially for the sake of a co-op. I'd stay the course with MM and her recommendations for higher math beyond it. MM is conceptual, Saxon is not. It does not surprise me that your kiddos test a level ahead in Saxon.

Saxon is absolutely conceptual - it does not just teach an algorithm with no context, explanation, or linking it if to the overarching language of mathematics. I think what you mean is that it isn't focused on progressive mastery on a single topic for a set of lessons, but rather is a very gradual spiral with a lot of review built in compared to many other programs.

 

That said, MM sounds like it is working very well for you, OP. Don't switch if it isn't causing an issue!

Edited by Arctic Mama
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Thank you for your replies. After thinking about it some more and reading your replies, honestly, I think I was just looking for permission to NOT use the Saxon and the Co op morning. Yes, stay the course and don't fix what's not broken. I think one of the golden KEYS to homeschooling! Thanks!

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Hi OP and all,

 

Is it okay if I post my question in this thread instead of starting a new one?  We have been using Saxon for two years now.  It is a lot like how I was taught math (the "fact sheets" problems and word problems, that is)  and it is what I'd expect.  DS is doing very well with it.  I am not a strictly "by the book" teacher; I do skip what is too repetitive and modify lessons as I feel is needed.  However, I do have a few issues with Saxon.

 

First, the schedule is pretty intensive.  It's like built for 5 days a week.  Second, new concepts are taught every time.  The concepts are pretty easy-- sometimes too simple.  And a lot of Grade 2 seems like a review of Grade 1 (which I am okay with).  But I do not like how it goes back and forth.  I never wanted to do the incremental approach, but at the time WTM recommended it highly; Math U-See was said to be VERY expensive.

 

We do a lot of hands on math.  DS likes fractions, coins, telling time, and measurements (we love to cook).  We also use manipulatives and the abacus.  But he can also do "mental math." 

 

What I'm looking for now is something of a hybrid between incremental and mastery.  Is there such a thing?  Does MM do mastery with a bit of incremental lessons or is it strictly mastery?   Do you need lots of extra materials like manipulatives or videos?  Also what is it like price-wise? 

 

Also, has Susan updated her math recommendations?  I have an older edition of WTM. 

Edited by bluejay

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