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pmeilaen

Help: Saxon Algebra 1 Not Working for 10th Grader

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One of my daughters is using Saxon Algebra 1 and is not making any progress.  She is in 10th grade and has not even finished half of the book.  Most of her work has too many mistakes.  I am not sure what to do.  She says she does not understand it.  We have tried the DVDs for it, but it did not help.  I tried Developmental Math Algebra 1, but that was too easy  She did Singapore Math before and was an okay student, though very slow.  I was wondering if I should switch to Mr. D. Math, but I am hesitant to try a different program.  Mr. D would have her do his second semester of Algebra 1.  She says she does not like a video program, but the Saxon textbook does not seem to do the trick either.  She says she would like to continue with Saxon, but I don't see much hope in continuing.  I don't want to spend a lot of money and I don't know if an online program would do the trick.  I had her look at Teaching Textbooks, but she did not like that either.  Any ideas?    

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I think this is the time I'd scrap any progress, and start back at lesson one.  Sit with her.  Have her do the problems with you.  Find out where she's going wrong.  Algebra is a challenge for a lot of students.  I have yet to find a perfect teacher, but I do think that online supplements can help.  When my kid didn't understand something we'd look it up on youtube and Khan Academy.  Having someone else explain it usually helped him figure out what he missed the first time through.  A lot of it, though? Just going through the math slowly and carefully, and working together when he hit any sort of roadblock.

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1 hour ago, HomeAgain said:

I think this is the time I'd scrap any progress, and start back at lesson one.  Sit with her.  Have her do the problems with you.  Find out where she's going wrong.  Algebra is a challenge for a lot of students.  I have yet to find a perfect teacher, but I do think that online supplements can help.  When my kid didn't understand something we'd look it up on youtube and Khan Academy.  Having someone else explain it usually helped him figure out what he missed the first time through.  A lot of it, though? Just going through the math slowly and carefully, and working together when he hit any sort of roadblock.

 

I have already slowed down and have made her do every problem instead of every other one.  I am not able to sit with her to do her math, I have two many other commitments at this point.  Her older sister helps her quite frequently.  We have not used Khan Academy much, because so far those videos have not really helped my children either.  But maybe, we should just keep working at it, although if she does not get any faster, she will never be able to finish all her math for high school.  

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Was there a part of the book she didn't do every problem?  She could have missed something. Maybe backing up?  Is she getting 80 or above on the tests?

Could you get her a tutor?  I think children who struggle with a subject need someone to sit with them and help them figure out why they aren't understanding   I think children who can learn high school math on their own with a book or video are rare.  We are all pretty strong in math around here and all my kids need me actively involved in their math  even when I let them do the lesson on their own, I check answers and go over mistakes with them and start teaching daily if they flounder.  And I always teach Alg 1 daily myself because it is so foundational.

 

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If she is working independently, the first thing I'd try is presenting the lessons yourself and having her work the practice problems in front of you until she understands.  Then let her loose on the review problems, but have her check each one with you before she moves on to the next one.  If she doesn't get something right, have her rework it until it is correct.

If you want to make a switch, I highly recommend Lial's Introductory Algebra.

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1 hour ago, pmeilaen said:

 

I have already slowed down and have made her do every problem instead of every other one.  I am not able to sit with her to do her math, I have two many other commitments at this point.  Her older sister helps her quite frequently.  We have not used Khan Academy much, because so far those videos have not really helped my children either.  But maybe, we should just keep working at it, although if she does not get any faster, she will never be able to finish all her math for high school.  

She needs a human to help her.  Most people need another human to help them with the difficult aspects of math.  If you can't work with her, you need to find someone who can.

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14 minutes ago, EKS said:

She needs a human to help her.  Most people need another human to help them with the difficult aspects of math.  If you can't work with her, you need to find someone who can.

 

I might be able to have my husband help her.  

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37 minutes ago, freesia said:

Was there a part of the book she didn't do every problem?  She could have missed something. Maybe backing up?  Is she getting 80 or above on the tests?

Could you get her a tutor?  I think children who struggle with a subject need someone to sit with them and help them figure out why they aren't understanding   I think children who can learn high school math on their own with a book or video are rare.  We are all pretty strong in math around here and all my kids need me actively involved in their math  even when I let them do the lesson on their own, I check answers and go over mistakes with them and start teaching daily if they flounder.  And I always teach Alg 1 daily myself because it is so foundational.

 

We started out using a lesson plan that told her to only do every other problem, so she skipped half of the problems.  Then we used the DIVE syllabus that does it differently.  Then we switched to doing every problem.  No, she is normally not getting 80 percent.  

We are going to England for a semester.  I don't think there would be a tutor for her.  The only other option would be my husband, but he is very busy himself.  

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38 minutes ago, EKS said:

If she is working independently, the first thing I'd try is presenting the lessons yourself and having her work the practice problems in front of you until she understands.  Then let her loose on the review problems, but have her check each one with you before she moves on to the next one.  If she doesn't get something right, have her rework it until it is correct.

If you want to make a switch, I highly recommend Lial's Introductory Algebra.

 

I would never be able to present a lesson (there is the time factor because of other commitments) and also because I learned math in a German school.  I am not familiar with the English terminology and I would not be helpful at this point.    

Edited by pmeilaen
I need to add something.

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4 minutes ago, pmeilaen said:

 

I would never be able to present a lesson (there is the time factor because of other commitments) and also because I learned math in a German school.  I am not familiar with the English terminology and I would not be helpful at this point.  Thanks for the Lial link.  I never looked into that one.  

 

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Some ideas to try....

Give her the solutions manual and have her check the problems as she does them.  Figure out of the problem is understanding how to do the problems, or silly mistakes.

Have her take notes in a notebook, even if she thinks she knows the material. 

Give incentives for good grades on tests.  Also let her use a an index card for notes. 

Cut back on the number of problems by cutting out the 10 from lessons furthest back.  For example on lesson 80, cut out the problems from lessons up to 30 or 40.  You can look at the tiny number under each numbered problem to see which lesson it's from.  

I use Saxon and my kids need hands on instruction.  Carve out 15 minutes and teach the lesson.  I'd go back to lesson 40, and sit with her through every problem to make sure she understood, and go forward from there, teaching every lesson.  If you can't teach, maybe try Teaching Textbooks?  I don't think it's fair to your DD to expect her to read it and teach herself.  Most people cannot do that, even if they have books with clear instruction.   They need a real person walking them through it.

 

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10 minutes ago, BusyMom5 said:

Some ideas to try....

Give her the solutions manual and have her check the problems as she does them.  Figure out of the problem is understanding how to do the problems, or silly mistakes.

Have her take notes in a notebook, even if she thinks she knows the material. 

Give incentives for good grades on tests.  Also let her use a an index card for notes. 

Cut back on the number of problems by cutting out the 10 from lessons furthest back.  For example on lesson 80, cut out the problems from lessons up to 30 or 40.  You can look at the tiny number under each numbered problem to see which lesson it's from.  

I use Saxon and my kids need hands on instruction.  Carve out 15 minutes and teach the lesson.  I'd go back to lesson 40, and sit with her through every problem to make sure she understood, and go forward from there, teaching every lesson.  If you can't teach, maybe try Teaching Textbooks?  I don't think it's fair to your DD to expect her to read it and teach herself.  Most people cannot do that, even if they have books with clear instruction.   They need a real person walking them through it.

 

Thanks for the ideas.  I thought the DIVE dvd should be helpful for her, but she does not think it helps.  We tried Teaching Textbook, but she said she did not like it.  My two oldest went through their high school math by themselves and did very well.  I do help my children with math in the lower grades and my husband helps with math in the higher grades, but we don't teach lessons per se.    

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Three ideas!  One, try the homeschoolconnectionsonline.com RECORDED Saxon Alg 1 class, its an actuallive class that has been recorded so it has complete instructions...and yiu can add grading and/or tutoring by an actual teacher 😃for additional fees. It’s $30/ mo for unlimited classes so not to much to try and its $1 for the first week so yiu can try it out. They've been beyond helpful and responsive to me. She could potentially join a live class midyear, but they start back next week and thats a lot more $.  Two, try virtualhomeschoolgroup.com for the AYOP Saxon Alg 1 class. This is the integrated geometry Alg 1, the Homeschool Connections is the newest version where Alg is separated from geometry  

Three, if Saxon is giving her too many difficulties, I read great things on multiple sites about Jacobs Algebra (geometry too).  It’s also a spiral curriculum but has more flash and real world type of app,ication problems. Homeschoolconnections may have that option as well, they have several for math. 

Edited by Sblora
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Saxon is just not a good fit for some people. There are other books if she prefers learning from books. I would consider looking at different books -- Lial is fine, Martin-Gay is another developmental college series that I like a bit better -- and I also like the algebra I:fresh approach book, which is written to the learner. 

If she does want to continue using Saxon after looking at others, I would seriously recommend going back and starting over. She needs to be able to check her work every problem or two, so that she's not doing the entire set incorrectly. She may end up needing to work some lessons more than once even as you go through. But it is better for her in the long term to move more slowly and understand it than to try to hurry through and end up learning nothing in high school math.

I teach math at the college, and a lot of my students have just moved through without understanding, and many have to start in algebra 1 or even pre-algebra. They would have been much better off if they had taken only algebra 1 and understood it, because then at least they could start in intermediate algebra. 

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26 minutes ago, kiana said:

Saxon is just not a good fit for some people. There are other books if she prefers learning from books. I would consider looking at different books -- Lial is fine, Martin-Gay is another developmental college series that I like a bit better -- and I also like the algebra I:fresh approach book, which is written to the learner. 

If she does want to continue using Saxon after looking at others, I would seriously recommend going back and starting over. She needs to be able to check her work every problem or two, so that she's not doing the entire set incorrectly. She may end up needing to work some lessons more than once even as you go through. But it is better for her in the long term to move more slowly and understand it than to try to hurry through and end up learning nothing in high school math.

I teach math at the college, and a lot of my students have just moved through without understanding, and many have to start in algebra 1 or even pre-algebra. They would have been much better off if they had taken only algebra 1 and understood it, because then at least they could start in intermediate algebra. 

Thanks so much!  I have not head of Martin-Gay.  My other daughter used Jacob's.  I agree that moving on without truly understanding what she is doing is not good.  More things to think about.  

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3 hours ago, Sblora said:

Three ideas!  One, try the homeschoolconnectionsonline.com RECORDED Saxon Alg 1 class, its an actuallive class that has been recorded so it has complete instructions...and yiu can add grading and/or tutoring by an actual teacher 😃for additional fees. It’s $30/ mo for unlimited classes so not to much to try and its $1 for the first week so yiu can try it out. They've been beyond helpful and responsive to me. She could potentially join a live class midyear, but they start back next week and thats a lot more $.  Two, try virtualhomeschoolgroup.com for the AYOP Saxon Alg 1 class. This is the integrated geometry Alg 1, the Homeschool Connections is the newest version where Alg is separated from geometry  

Three, if Saxon is giving her too many difficulties, I read great things on multiple sites about Jacobs Algebra (geometry too).  It’s also a spiral curriculum but has more flash and real world type of app,ication problems. Homeschoolconnections may have that option as well, they have several for math. 

Thanks for those ideas.  We have used Homeschool Connections once for an English class for another child.  I am not familiar with the Virtual Homeschool Group.  I will look into it.  My other daughter has used Jacob's and liked it a lot, but I don't think this one would enjoy it as much.  

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9 hours ago, kiana said:

Saxon is just not a good fit for some people. There are other books if she prefers learning from books.

 

Yes, seriously.  There are so many other math programs out there.  I have two kids who use/like Saxon and I found the high school Saxon very hard to teach to the point where I really don't feel like using it with any of my younger kids.  Even directly working with my daughter, it took F O R E V E R  to get through Saxon Algebra 1 and 2.  She should've made it to calculus by graduation, but she won't now, thanks to how long it took us.  I'm using Mathusee's high school courses with the younger group.  It's a gazillion times easier to teach.  It doesn't jump randomly from one topic to another and each lesson doesn't contain 500 practice problems.  You can also quickly accelerate through a topic if they have a good understanding of it.  You can also double up on MUS algebra + geometry if you get behind.  My son is doing that right now.  He's working on two years of MUS at once.

Sorry, Saxon!  (and my youngest dd loves and still uses Saxon, so arrrgh!  I'm still trapped teaching it.)

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48 minutes ago, Evanthe said:

 

Yes, seriously.  There are so many other math programs out there.  I have two kids who use/like Saxon and I found the high school Saxon very hard to teach to the point where I really don't feel like using it with any of my younger kids.  Even directly working with my daughter, it took F O R E V E R  to get through Saxon Algebra 1 and 2.  She should've made it to calculus by graduation, but she won't now, thanks to how long it took us.  I'm using Mathusee's high school courses with the younger group.  It's a gazillion times easier to teach.  It doesn't jump randomly from one topic to another and each lesson doesn't contain 500 practice problems.  You can also quickly accelerate through a topic if they have a good understanding of it.  You can also double up on MUS algebra + geometry if you get behind.  My son is doing that right now.  He's working on two years of MUS at once.

Sorry, Saxon!  (and my youngest dd loves and still uses Saxon, so arrrgh!  I'm still trapped teaching it.)

I have had a very similar experience.  My oldest used Saxon and made it through half of Advanced Algebra, but it took him a long time.  He did teach himself, though.  He did very well in his calculus class at college.  My second one has been using the Jacob's materials.  The third wanted to try Saxon, but that is when disaster struck.  Then I decided to start Math-U-See with my fourth for Pre-Algebra after finishing Singapore Math.  I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one!  Is your daughter going to college?    

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11 minutes ago, pmeilaen said:

I have had a very similar experience.  My oldest used Saxon and made it through half of Advanced Algebra, but it took him a long time.  He did teach himself, though.  He did very well in his calculus class at college.  My second one has been using the Jacob's materials.  The third wanted to try Saxon, but that is when disaster struck.  Then I decided to start Math-U-See with my fourth for Pre-Algebra after finishing Singapore Math.  I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one!  Is your daughter going to college?    

 

Yes, my oldest two are planning to go to nursing school together (I have a girl and a boy 13 months apart).  She wants to do something like Doctors without Borders (eventually) and he wants to be an emergency flight nurse.  lol

I really like MUS at this point.  I regret not trying it earlier.  It's been easy to teach, the kids seem to have a good understanding of it, it's easy to accelerate, etc.  I was afraid to try it, because reviews said it wasn't rigorous, but my kids are not going to be engineers.  The highest math they take for nursing school is college algebra.  I would rather spend the time working with them on stuff like science and English. 

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I'm not super familiar with curriculums for that age, but do you know what she's having trouble with? How strong is she in her arithmetic? 

I also find that it's useful to have an actual person teach you math, but I understand that doesn't look like an option. Could you get a tutor or is that not feasible? 

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16 minutes ago, square_25 said:

I'm not super familiar with curriculums for that age, but do you know what she's having trouble with? How strong is she in her arithmetic? 

I also find that it's useful to have an actual person teach you math, but I understand that doesn't look like an option. Could you get a tutor or is that not feasible? 

I think it is partly not paying attention to plus and minus, partly not understanding the concepts behind algebra, and partly that she does not like math.  Her arithmetic is quite good and she is also finishing up the highest levels of CalcuLadder.  Her scores on regular standardized tests are good, above average, but I don't see how she will be able to take the PSAT and SAT and do well.  

We cannot get a tutor right now because we will be in London for a semester.  We might be able to get one next fall.  

 

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12 hours ago, Evanthe said:

 

Yes, my oldest two are planning to go to nursing school together (I have a girl and a boy 13 months apart).  She wants to do something like Doctors without Borders (eventually) and he wants to be an emergency flight nurse.  lol

I really like MUS at this point.  I regret not trying it earlier.  It's been easy to teach, the kids seem to have a good understanding of it, it's easy to accelerate, etc.  I was afraid to try it, because reviews said it wasn't rigorous, but my kids are not going to be engineers.  The highest math they take for nursing school is college algebra.  I would rather spend the time working with them on stuff like science and English. 

 

My two oldest are also very close in age, but one studies political science, the other one wants to major in classical ballet.  But even the older one takes classical ballet classes as part of his curriculum.  Maybe children so close in age are almost like twins.  

I think I will stick with MUS with my fourth child, especially because she likes it and does well.     

 

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3 minutes ago, pmeilaen said:

I think it is partly not paying attention to plus and minus, partly not understanding the concepts behind algebra, and partly that she does not like math.  Her arithmetic is quite good and she is also finishing up the highest levels of CalcuLadder.  Her scores on regular standardized tests are good, above average, but I don't see how she will be able to take the PSAT and SAT and do well.  

We cannot get a tutor right now because we will be in London for a semester.  We might be able to get one next fall.  

 

Would you mind giving me an example of not paying attention to plus and minus? 🙂 In general, I'd love to see examples of questions she struggles with. That's too bad about her not liking math... has there ever been a type of math she likes? 

Arithmetic-wise, is she solid on what an equals sign means? When you say she's struggling with algebra, could you give me an example of what kind of problem she doesn't get? I've taught a bunch of math classes, so I'm fairly familiar with issues of algebra, even though my daughter is only 6 :-). 

Edited by square_25

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4 minutes ago, square_25 said:

Would you mind giving me an example of not paying attention to plus and minus? 🙂 In general, I'd love to see examples of questions she struggles with. That's too bad about her not liking math... has there ever been a type of math she likes? 

Arithmetic-wise, is she solid on what an equals sign means? When you say she's struggling with algebra, could you give me an example of what kind of problem she doesn't get? I've taught a bunch of math classes, so I'm fairly familiar with issues of algebra, even though my daughter is only 6 :-). 

She simply does not pay attention to negative or positive numbers, as if it did not matter.  No, she never liked math.  Yes, the equal sign is not the problem.  I cannot look at problems she does not get right now because we have packed all her algebra things to take to London.  Maybe next week I can give an example.  

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I was going to recommend MUS. I see @Evanthe already did. My kids have all completed MUS alg 1 and geo in a single yr. I use it and follow it with another alg 1, but my kids have never struggled in math. For kids that are struggling and are older like your student, I would use MUS's sequence through graduation. Its instructions are clear and students can easily grasp what is being taught.

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1 minute ago, pmeilaen said:

She simply does not pay attention to negative or positive numbers, as if it did not matter.  No, she never liked math.  Yes, the equal sign is not the problem.  I cannot look at problems she does not get right now because we have packed all her algebra things to take to London.  Maybe next week I can give an example.  

 

I'll say that I've seen a good number of advanced students who still aren't quite on top of "equals sign means that the two things are the same," and that all of algebra is just... doing the same thing to two equal things, and as a result continuing to get equal things. Somehow, lots of kids get the idea that an equals sign means "Now do something" and will write down things like "3 + 3*4 = 12 = 15." But if you've never seen her put an equals sign between two unequal things, then never mind. 

If you do find an example, that'd be very helpful! Whenever is convenient for you, of course. 

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One strategy with not paying attention to positive and negative is to have her write the negative with a colored pencil. It will go slower at first, but may help her pay closer attention. 

Eta:no idea why everything is underlined. 

Edited by freesia
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Did she take the placement test and actually place into Algebra I?  If not, she may be missing pre-requisites.  IF so, she just may not click with Saxon and I would try another program. 

Edited by Reefgazer
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1 hour ago, square_25 said:

 

I'll say that I've seen a good number of advanced students who still aren't quite on top of "equals sign means that the two things are the same," and that all of algebra is just... doing the same thing to two equal things, and as a result continuing to get equal things. Somehow, lots of kids get the idea that an equals sign means "Now do something" and will write down things like "3 + 3*4 = 12 = 15." But if you've never seen her put an equals sign between two unequal things, then never mind. 

If you do find an example, that'd be very helpful! Whenever is convenient for you, of course. 

We used Miquon Math as a supplement and that series really stresses that the students understand what equal signs are all about.  I don't think she is having problems with that.  

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9 minutes ago, Reefgazer said:

Did she take the placement test and actually place into Algebra I?  If not, she may be missing pre-requisites.  IF so, she just may not click with Saxon and I would try another program. 

To be honest, I don't remember if I made her do the Saxon placement test or not.  She did several other placement tests and always placed into Algebra 1.  

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20 minutes ago, pmeilaen said:

We used Miquon Math as a supplement and that series really stresses that the students understand what equal signs are all about.  I don't think she is having problems with that.  

 

Cool. That's good! 

Did she like anything in Miquon or no? 

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I switched my daughter from Saxon to Derek Owens and it’s been great. And in  future, if you want to consider live classes, I hear MyHomeschool Math Class is good. 

Edited by Maryam
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On 1/7/2019 at 7:26 PM, pmeilaen said:

We cannot get a tutor right now because we will be in London for a semester.  We might be able to get one next fall.  

I am sure high school math tutors exist in London! 😉

Though who would want to do school during a semester there!?!

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We use Saxon.  My oldest two have used the Art Reed dvds.  Dd16 has done especially well with them.  

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My dd is doing great with Teaching Textbooks! She stays on track, is doing very well on all of her assignments, and just scored very well on her SAT practice test, which is even more surprising considering she's doing Geometry and her Algebra is pretty shaky this year (TT does definitely review Algebra during Geometry, as well as integrate it, but I wouldn't say it's every day)...

My dd loves the way he teaches, and the entire system and wants to stay with it through high school math.  I have no complaints and if she gets to a rough spot, we have her go see a tutor in town who can usually fit her in for a few weeks, and then let her go when she's past the rough spot.  However, we haven't needed that for TT at all! 🙂 We are very very happy customers!!!

Edited to say: YOU HAVE TO ENFORCE that your dd will do the problems, written out, on paper! Lots of kids using online math programs will do a lot of it in their head and then not practice properly working out problems on paper, and then when it gets much more complicated, they literally start failing.  BE SURE to enforce that with any online/computer based math program.  I allow my dd to do the Practice problems in her head but all the regular problems she has to show all her work on paper.

Edited by Calming Tea
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Also as an FYI Saxon did not, and never would work for my dd. She is bright with concepts and always does well with math.  No, she is not going to be a math major, but she's ok....

Saxon completely overwhelms her.  The presentation is difficult, the typeface is hideous, the amount of problems per day induces anxiety, and how it moves onto a new concept every single day makes her feel like she's never quite grasping the material.  

I am not a Saxon hater and in fact I believe strongly in the program, my son used nothing but Saxon all along and is now a math/computer science community college/high school student and went straight into college math with all A's at age 15.  

But, Saxon is just extremely overwhelming and in a strange juxtaposition it is repetitive and also moves too fast at the same time. 

I definitely would switch your dd to TT or MUS.  I personally am a total fan of TT because it's working so well for us here.  

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13 hours ago, Calming Tea said:

Also as an FYI Saxon did not, and never would work for my dd. She is bright with concepts and always does well with math.  No, she is not going to be a math major, but she's ok....

Saxon completely overwhelms her.  The presentation is difficult, the typeface is hideous, the amount of problems per day induces anxiety, and how it moves onto a new concept every single day makes her feel like she's never quite grasping the material.  

I am not a Saxon hater and in fact I believe strongly in the program, my son used nothing but Saxon all along and is now a math/computer science community college/high school student and went straight into college math with all A's at age 15.  

But, Saxon is just extremely overwhelming and in a strange juxtaposition it is repetitive and also moves too fast at the same time. 

I definitely would switch your dd to TT or MUS.  I personally am a total fan of TT because it's working so well for us here.  

My second daughter also was not the person to use Saxon, we used Jacob's for her.  I do agree that Saxon is not for everyone and it depends on your learning style what works for you.  The daughter I am talking about in this post claims to like Saxon, though!  She is just not making progress and is making too many mistakes.  

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16 hours ago, Calming Tea said:

My dd is doing great with Teaching Textbooks! She stays on track, is doing very well on all of her assignments, and just scored very well on her SAT practice test, which is even more surprising considering she's doing Geometry and her Algebra is pretty shaky this year (TT does definitely review Algebra during Geometry, as well as integrate it, but I wouldn't say it's every day)...

My dd loves the way he teaches, and the entire system and wants to stay with it through high school math.  I have no complaints and if she gets to a rough spot, we have her go see a tutor in town who can usually fit her in for a few weeks, and then let her go when she's past the rough spot.  However, we haven't needed that for TT at all! 🙂 We are very very happy customers!!!

Edited to say: YOU HAVE TO ENFORCE that your dd will do the problems, written out, on paper! Lots of kids using online math programs will do a lot of it in their head and then not practice properly working out problems on paper, and then when it gets much more complicated, they literally start failing.  BE SURE to enforce that with any online/computer based math program.  I allow my dd to do the Practice problems in her head but all the regular problems she has to show all her work on paper.

I like your tip for writing out the problems on paper!  I agree, that is very important.  

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21 hours ago, Junie said:

We use Saxon.  My oldest two have used the Art Reed dvds.  Dd16 has done especially well with them.  

A friend just let us borrow those dvds.  We will see if they are helpful.  

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On 1/9/2019 at 4:31 PM, ScoutTN said:

I am sure high school math tutors exist in London! 😉

Though who would want to do school during a semester there!?!

Oh yes, they exist, but as everything else here, they are very expensive and the way math is taught here is different enough that it bothers my daughter.  

Well, New York State wants to see standardized test results at the end of the school year, not doing anything might not be the best idea.  This is our third time here (we always stay for a semester).  We do school in the mornings, "educational trips" in the afternoons, and longer family activities on Sundays (when my husband does not have to work).  That mix of routine and getting to know London and the surroundings has served us well.  

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On 1/7/2019 at 10:33 PM, square_25 said:

 

Cool. That's good! 

Did she like anything in Miquon or no? 

No, she did not.  

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4 hours ago, pmeilaen said:

No, she did not.  

 

Hmmm, that's too bad :-(. Do you know what it is she dislikes about math? I'm asking about this because it does tend to be easier to get kids to do things correctly if they take at least some pleasure (if only the pleasure of accomplishment) in it. 

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I realize you have multiple demands on your time, but I think more hands on with your dd during math would help her. 

What math looks like at our house is both of us sitting together at the table with the math books. I set a timer for 1 hour. We work out any sample problems in a lesson and take notes of new definitions and formulas or relationships we want to be able to refer to. 

Then we work through end of lesson problems. Each of us solves the problem. We check our answer with each other and in the solution manual. We compare how we solved it if there were multiple approaches. This lets us immediately see if there is a gap in understanding. 

At the end of the hour we evaluate how close to the end of the lesson problems we are. If we are within a few minutes then we just finish. But often we stop at 1 hour and pick up at that place the next day. 

I think the spiral method of Saxon may not be a match for this student. You may need to consider a curriculum that sticks with a topic longer before adding new ideas.

I think self-teaching and trying to apply video lessons to what she is seeing and doing may also not be a good fit. 

My son and I have been doing this approach with math for a few years now. When I just left his brothers to work through math on their own it meant I was so unfamiliar with the lesson content that I couldn't help them see their errors. Even with only an hour a day, he has made steady progress. He isn't as prone to skipping math because he knows it is only an hour and he wont be left to figure it out on his own. I think most students don't really do well self-teaching math. 

I know this would be a change in approach, but it doesn't sound like what you are doing is working for this student. I found that in high school some of the time economies of homeschooling dwindled. The only way we could do consistent half days in high school would be if most reading were done separately from the school day (ie reading Literature novels in the evening or on weekends or doing History readings outside our "school day" time). It would be very easy for one of my kids to spend hours with a math lesson if left on their own. Keeping the momentum going and catching misunderstandings right away was where I was able to find time economy.

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4 minutes ago, Sebastian (a lady) said:

I realize you have multiple demands on your time, but I think more hands on with your dd during math would help her. 

What math looks like at our house is both of us sitting together at the table with the math books. I set a timer for 1 hour. We work out any sample problems in a lesson and take notes of new definitions and formulas or relationships we want to be able to refer to. 

Then we work through end of lesson problems. Each of us solves the problem. We check our answer with each other and in the solution manual. We compare how we solved it if there were multiple approaches. This lets us immediately see if there is a gap in understanding. 

At the end of the hour we evaluate how close to the end of the lesson problems we are. If we are within a few minutes then we just finish. But often we stop at 1 hour and pick up at that place the next day. 

I think the spiral method of Saxon may not be a match for this student. You may need to consider a curriculum that sticks with a topic longer before adding new ideas.

I think self-teaching and trying to apply video lessons to what she is seeing and doing may also not be a good fit. 

My son and I have been doing this approach with math for a few years now. When I just left his brothers to work through math on their own it meant I was so unfamiliar with the lesson content that I couldn't help them see their errors. Even with only an hour a day, he has made steady progress. He isn't as prone to skipping math because he knows it is only an hour and he wont be left to figure it out on his own. I think most students don't really do well self-teaching math. 

I know this would be a change in approach, but it doesn't sound like what you are doing is working for this student. I found that in high school some of the time economies of homeschooling dwindled. The only way we could do consistent half days in high school would be if most reading were done separately from the school day (ie reading Literature novels in the evening or on weekends or doing History readings outside our "school day" time). It would be very easy for one of my kids to spend hours with a math lesson if left on their own. Keeping the momentum going and catching misunderstandings right away was where I was able to find time economy.

Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply.  I do think that this daughter does better with somebody next to her and I do readings with her in the evenings.  I might try and see if she can work next to her father on her math in the evenings.  I like your 1 hour limit.  I do have 1 hour assigned for math, but my daughter normally tries to work longer because she does not get very far during that time limit.  Maybe really enforcing the 1 hour would be helpful.  

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I also think that having someone sitting with her would be very helpful. It's so easy with math for misconceptions to proliferate if they aren't caught. 🙂

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On 1/11/2019 at 10:44 AM, square_25 said:

 

Hmmm, that's too bad :-(. Do you know what it is she dislikes about math? I'm asking about this because it does tend to be easier to get kids to do things correctly if they take at least some pleasure (if only the pleasure of accomplishment) in it. 

I think she does not like to figure things out for herself.  There is a certain dreaminess about her.  She does not like to sit down and get to work and work hard.  Miquon Math is more for people that like to understand how things work.  

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1 minute ago, pmeilaen said:

I think she does not like to figure things out for herself.  There is a certain dreaminess about her.  She does not like to sit down and get to work and work hard.  Miquon Math is more for people that like to understand how things work.  

 

Yeah, I agree with you about Miquon. That's what I like about it, really, but of course that doesn't work for everyone. 

Does she enjoy the feeling of being good at things or is that not a big motivator? Does she like "cool ideas" or any science? 

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1 minute ago, square_25 said:

 

Yeah, I agree with you about Miquon. That's what I like about it, really, but of course that doesn't work for everyone. 

Does she enjoy the feeling of being good at things or is that not a big motivator? Does she like "cool ideas" or any science? 

No, she does not like science.  She does not care so much about being good at something.  She is good at art, she reads a lot, but still more or less children's literature, she likes to read the newspaper (sometimes), and loves to travel.  Miquon Math was perfect for my two older children, who are very different.  She also does not know what she wants to do after school so far.  

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12 minutes ago, pmeilaen said:

Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply.  I do think that this daughter does better with somebody next to her and I do readings with her in the evenings.  I might try and see if she can work next to her father on her math in the evenings.  I like your 1 hour limit.  I do have 1 hour assigned for math, but my daughter normally tries to work longer because she does not get very far during that time limit.  Maybe really enforcing the 1 hour would be helpful.  

The excessive amount of time spent on math is probably because she is self teaching.  If she were working with someone who could present the heart of the lesson to her in a streamlined fashion and then provide coaching as she works through the practice problems followed by immediate feedback on the review set (assuming you stick with Saxon), I suspect that the lesson time would be significantly reduced.

Edited by EKS
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As a broader question, what's your goal for her mathematics? It sounds like she isn't likely to use it for her eventual career, given her interests. Would you mostly like her to do well on her SATs? 

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