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People have strong opinions about Saxon on both sides.  In general, I think Saxon is regarded as strong.  After years of avoiding it, I tried it and lived it for my kids.  I’ve just taught through the Algebra for my second child and think it is strong.  We do use the 4th edition.

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Yes! Saxon is known for being academically rigorous. A lot of people don't like it because it's time consuming. It is a solid math program and many of the private schools in my area use Saxon as their math program.  I've also heard of school using a different program for the lower grades and then switching to Saxon beginning with book 5/4. Susan Wise Bauer used it with her kids, I believe. She has recommended it in all four edition of The Well Trained Mind. The strengths of the program is that it is incremental and students practice, practice, practice the skills learned throughout the entire book. Many math programs take a mastery approach when teaching skills. Students work out problems until they master the concept and then they move on. My experience has been that, even if test show you've mastered a concept or anything, but you don't use it again for a while, you tend to forget it. I think Saxon has worked in our home because my kids don't have a chance to forget the new concepts. I also like that Saxon teaches the concepts and has the student apply them across different situations/scenarios. This give the student an understanding of when they're likely to encounter and use their newly acquired math skills. 

As you can tell, I'm a huge fan, however, the truth is that every child is different and every teacher/parent is different. You'll have to find a program that works well for your child(ren) and that you're comfortable teaching. 

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On 8/3/2019 at 7:38 AM, stlily said:

...the truth is that every child is different and every teacher/parent is different.

I agree.

My husband has been teaching and tutoring math for more than fifteen years now; he teaches group classes to homeschoolers. He uses Margaret Lial's books for pre-algebra, algebra I, and algebra II. He uses Jacobs for Geometry.  He gets a goodly number of students who were poorly served by Saxon.

We used  Lial and Jacobs with our daughter when she was homeschooling.

Regards,

Kareni

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I agree with those above who say every child is different.  I used it all the way through with my oldest.  Am doing different things with the next two once we hit PreAlgebra.  We used the third edition Saxon and then used a separate geometry course with my first daughter.  She did decently on her ACT math, but what she knows how to do, she knows how to do well.  But, I don't think the spiral approach works as well with the high school level classes.  She found the jumping from topic to topic, which she enjoyed in middle school, to be less helpful in Algebra studies.  I am currently using Jacobs Algebra I with ds and Derek Owens PreAlgebra with dd2.  Both are going well so far, but it is too early to form a strong opinion, though.  I have two more little ones that I will use Saxon with for intermediate grades most likely.

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On 8/4/2019 at 9:17 PM, Kareni said:

I agree.

My husband has been teaching and tutoring math for more than fifteen years now; he teaches group classes to homeschoolers. He uses Margaret Lial's books for pre-algebra, algebra I, and algebra II. He uses Jacobs for Geometry.  He gets a goodly number of students who were poorly served by Saxon.

We used  Lial and Jacobs with our daughter when she was homeschooling.

Regards,

Kareni

Would you mind sharing which particular book titles from Lial? Thank you!

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10 hours ago, Paradox5 said:

Would you mind sharing which particular book titles from Lial? Thank you!

He uses old editions:

Prealgebra, 2nd edition

Beginning Algebra, 7th edition

Intermediate Algebra, 8th edition

If you'd like the isbn numbers, let me know.

Regards,

Kareni

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Saxon is a solid curriculum, but it is somewhat different in philosophy/approach. So when it works, it works. And when it doesn't, it really doesn't.

It has been a great fit for my dd. She switched from CLE to Saxon 87 at 11 and hasn't looked back. She's tackling Advanced Math now.

It's too early to tell if it will work for my ds, but I doubt it will work as well for him. It's likely to overwhelm him. But we will see.

If it works for your student, go for it!

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On 8/2/2019 at 11:31 PM, lgliser said:

Do people generally consider Saxon Algebra 1 a good curriculum?

 

On 8/2/2019 at 11:31 PM, lgliser said:

Do people generally consider Saxon Algebra 1 a good curriculum?


Yes.

On 8/3/2019 at 9:38 AM, stlily said:

 

As you can tell, I'm a huge fan, however, the truth is that every child is different and every teacher/parent is different. You'll have to find a program that works well for your child(ren) and that you're comfortable teaching. 


I think that, with respect to unique differences, if a teacher is skilled and comfortable, they can teach a multitude of children with the same curricula because of their grasp of the subject matter.  That said, that isn't something we see often in high school homeschooling.  How many of us think of ourselves as comfortable and skilled in algebra, geometry, calculus, chemistry, physics, foreign language?

And so enters the issue of having to "settle" for a curriculum that may not be the "best" but is one that is usable/teachable by the homeschooling mom?
 

On 8/4/2019 at 9:17 PM, Kareni said:

I agree.

My husband has been teaching and tutoring math for more than fifteen years now; he teaches group classes to homeschoolers. He uses Margaret Lial's books for pre-algebra, algebra I, and algebra II. He uses Jacobs for Geometry.  He gets a goodly number of students who were poorly served by Saxon.

We used  Lial and Jacobs with our daughter when she was homeschooling.

Regards,

Kareni


I'm curious as your husband has been teaching in both a traditional classroom and to homeschool students if he would agree with what I said above?  Because a traditional classroom often has curriculum chosen for the teacher rather than by the teacher.  But when  you say "poorly served" by Saxon, do you feel that the homeschooling mothers' varying abilities lend to the child being poorly served by the curriculum?  ETA: Curious because I am one who stumbles through upper level math and while I feel there is curriculum that is better than Saxon, I am limited by what I can explain, understand, and teach.  That said, due to my discomfort/abilities, I feel my children are only moderately served by the curriculum due to my own limitations rather than the limitations of the curriculum.  I feel my explanation is muddled, but I hope you understand the gist.

Edited by BlsdMama

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2 minutes ago, BlsdMama said:

I'm curious as your husband has been teaching in both a traditional classroom and to homeschool students if he would agree with what I said above?  Because a traditional classroom often has curriculum chosen for the teacher rather than by the teacher.  But when  you say "poorly served" by Saxon, do you feel that the homeschooling mothers' varying abilities lend to the child being poorly served by the curriculum?  Curious.

My husband has taught in non-traditional classrooms (for example, his current classes are filled with homeschoolers and previously he taught in charter schools). He had/has the luxury of choosing his own curriculum. He likes the way Lial develops the topic. He feels that Saxon has disconnected lessons that do not progress in a logical fashion.

I suspect he would say that the student who does well with Saxon would likely do well with most curriculum, but there are many students who struggle with Saxon.

Regards,

Kareni

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Saxon gets strong reviews from both sides.  I've taught one kid from 87 to Advanced Math and it worked well, she scored well on her ACT and placed into Calc 1 at the CC.  I'm currently on Al1 with me second kid- a completely different learner, but it seems to be working well.  I think my understanding is good in Algebra, okay in Algebra 2, and by Advanced Math I'm done.  

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The key to doing Saxon is doing every problem.  I'm guessing that a good number of students who didn't do well with the program, didn't do all of the problems.  However, I get that doing all of the problems is tedious and that is not suited to many students;  it just takes up a lot of time out of the school day.   Too much, unless a kid is a math whiz.   My boys used the Art Reed DVDs, read the lessons, and then did the problems.  When my younger son hit Advanced Math, he did odds one day, and evens the next, and it still took him a long time. 

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