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My 7th grade son is struggling with Saxon 8/7. He has completed Singapore up to book 6b (US edition). I feel like Saxon overwhelms him with the mixed review. We are doing the warm up, lesson practice and the first 15 problems of the mixed review one day and then problems 16-30 the next day. He still seems to get mixed up. He feels like it briefly goes over a new topic and then moves on. He wants to stay on that topic for a while. There are so many math programs, I really don't know what to go with! Part of me wants to stick with Saxon, but this kid normally doesn't get upset over math, this year we have had many crying spells!  So I don't know. I don't like to bounce around but I don't like to see my son crying over math. Any suggestions? I should add that he took the placement test for Saxon and placed in Saxon 8/7. 

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9 minutes ago, Smiles said:

My 7th grade son is struggling with Saxon 8/7. He has completed Singapore up to book 6b (US edition). I feel like Saxon overwhelms him with the mixed review. We are doing the warm up, lesson practice and the first 15 problems of the mixed review one day and then problems 16-30 the next day. He still seems to get mixed up. He feels like it briefly goes over a new topic and then moves on. He wants to stay on that topic for a while. There are so many math programs, I really don't know what to go with! Part of me wants to stick with Saxon, but this kid normally doesn't get upset over math, this year we have had many crying spells!  So I don't know. I don't like to bounce around but I don't like to see my son crying over math. Any suggestions? I should add that he took the placement test for Saxon and placed in Saxon 8/7. 

Saxon teaches differently, and *really* different from Singapore. Encourage your ds to stick with it. Every topic that is introduced is touched on in every lesson for the rest of the book. And not just reviewed or practiced, but developed along the way.  You're doing the right thing by having him do all of the problems, by the way. Skipping problems means skipping all the continued instruction and whatnot.

 

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Also, what lesson is he on now? John Saxon recommended starting back at the beginning sometimes when a student is having problems; I believe it may even be in the introduction to your book. Starting back at the beginning would not be delaying your ds in math, as the text after Math 87 would be Algebra 1, so actually your ds is ahead. 🙂

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We’ve moved away from Saxon this year but when we were using it I would find I would have to re explain things for several lessons until they stuck.  But once they did stick they tended to stay.  I do wish there was a happy medium program with the level of circular review that Saxon has but a better way of teaching new concepts.  
 

If there’s anything specific you’re stuck on there’s some YouTube videos for some things that are helpful just search Saxon 8/7 and the lesson number 

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I would also say it takes about a year to get used to doing things the Saxon way. Saxon is just different, but I like the mixed review. I think it makes kids solid with the constant review.

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Since we are only doing half the problems one day and the other half the next day we are on lesson 70 something. I did not realize he could do Algebra 1 after this. Thanks for mentioning that. Thank you all for the advice. 

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We are using 7/6 this year, and to break things up I have my son do his facts sheets in the morning. Then we do LA and reading. After lunch we do his math lesson and complete the warm-up orally when his lesson is complete. I hope you find a way to make it work for your son. It really is a great program. 
Also, we do his practice problems together on the board. 
 

ETA: We also use the mixed review answer sheet. So basically the only writing he has is one worksheet front and back, other than his facts, which by the time we do his lesson is no longer on his radar. This may not work for you, but really helps for us. It just seems to keep it from feeling so overwhelming. 

Edited by Cammi
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15 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

Was he enjoying Singapore better? Is he intuitive at math? 

He did seem to enjoy Singapore. Some of the word problems stumped him. He is pretty good at math, but it seems to take him a little longer to get a concept down. Once he gets it, it seems to stick. 

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1 minute ago, Smiles said:

He did seem to enjoy Singapore. Some of the word problems stumped him. He is pretty good at math, but it seems to take him a little longer to get a concept down. Once he gets it, it seems to stick. 

Then it sounds like Saxon isn't a match for him. I've heard a few people on here say that Saxon was just torture for their kids -- they never had enough time with a concept to fully understand it, since the book moved on so quick. 

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Just now, Not_a_Number said:

Then it sounds like Saxon isn't a match for him. I've heard a few people on here say that Saxon was just torture for their kids -- they never had enough time with a concept to fully understand it, since the book moved on so quick. 

I've wondered about this. I'm just not sure where to go next if I switch. A lot of the math programs are pricey. I don't think I can make it to a convention this year to be able to look at the different math programs. I wish their was a curriculum fairy that could tell me what to go with! Lol. I get overwhelmed looking. Thanks for the feedback. I am looking and praying on what to do. I've considered Math U See, I just read mixed reviews. I guess I will find that with all of them though. Teaching Textbooks is another one I have looked at. The reviews on TT seem to say not a lot of review, I don't know. 

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3 hours ago, Smiles said:

I've wondered about this. I'm just not sure where to go next if I switch. A lot of the math programs are pricey. I don't think I can make it to a convention this year to be able to look at the different math programs. I wish their was a curriculum fairy that could tell me what to go with! Lol. I get overwhelmed looking. Thanks for the feedback. I am looking and praying on what to do. I've considered Math U See, I just read mixed reviews. I guess I will find that with all of them though. Teaching Textbooks is another one I have looked at. The reviews on TT seem to say not a lot of review, I don't know. 

You might want to post for advice -- I haven't use curricula, so I don't know. (We write our own.) 

I think both Math-U-See and TT are fairly light programs -- better for math strugglers than math intuitive kids. You'll probably want something for relatively mathy kids 🙂 . 

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Just wanted to let you know that Saxon worked fine with my mathy kids. I jumped my oldest into the program at the Algebra level (we really did not use curriculum before then with him). For the youngest three we did Saxon2 up through Calculus. My youngest is currently a college junior majoring in math. The oldest majored in EE. The middle two are a software engineer and a nurse. All did well in college. All made A's in college. Saxon did well with them.

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16 minutes ago, LinRTX said:

Just wanted to let you know that Saxon worked fine with my mathy kids. I jumped my oldest into the program at the Algebra level (we really did not use curriculum before then with him). For the youngest three we did Saxon2 up through Calculus. My youngest is currently a college junior majoring in math. The oldest majored in EE. The middle two are a software engineer and a nurse. All did well in college. All made A's in college. Saxon did well with them.

I’m not arguing it can’t work, but if it’s causing math dislike where there was none, I’d do something else.

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1 hour ago, Not_a_Number said:

I’m not arguing it can’t work, but if it’s causing math dislike where there was none, I’d do something else.

I just would not be quick to jump ship if this is the first year using Saxon. My son hated it that first year. But after he got used to it, he was fine. We never used Singapore. When I started choices were very limited. Even Saxon K 1, 2, and 3 were not available. I did not like Abeka or BJU, so Saxon helped me with Algebra and above because I could not keep doing my own thing with the 3 younger ones around (and one of those was my surprise newborn🙃).

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15 minutes ago, LinRTX said:

I just would not be quick to jump ship if this is the first year using Saxon. My son hated it that first year. But after he got used to it, he was fine. We never used Singapore. When I started choices were very limited. Even Saxon K 1, 2, and 3 were not available. I did not like Abeka or BJU, so Saxon helped me with Algebra and above because I could not keep doing my own thing with the 3 younger ones around (and one of those was my surprise newborn🙃).

But there are so many programs nowadays... and I know I’d personally hate breaking things up into bitty pieces like it does. So that does prejudice me.

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On 4/5/2021 at 8:44 PM, Smiles said:

My 7th grade son is struggling with Saxon 8/7. He has completed Singapore up to book 6b (US edition). I feel like Saxon overwhelms him with the mixed review....  He feels like it briefly goes over a new topic and then moves on. He wants to stay on that topic for a while. 

This is exactly what my math-minded DS#1 disliked about Saxon. It is "spiral" in approach, (a "bite" of a topic here, then spiral back around to it 2 or 10 lessons later for another "bite"). Singapore is more mastery-based, building on one topic for a series of lessons in a row. 

Our experience:

DS#1 did Singapore up through 6A/B and LOVED it. Then we tried Saxon 8/7 but I ended up having to pull together all the "bits" that were about the same topic that would be spread out over 15-18 lessons, and have him focus on that for a few days, then pull together all the "bits" about a different topic that were spread out over those same lessons... rinse.repeat. It was the only way he could tolerate Saxon -- and it is completely opposite of the way the program is set up, so CLEARLY not a good fit. (And that's okay! Not every math program is going to fit for every student!)

We then tried Singapore's OLD program of New Elementary Math I, but after half a year, it was getting too hard for me to keep up with it to be able to help him out when he hit something that didn't immediately click, although he liked it. We finally moved into Jacobs Algebra 1, which he loved.

On 4/5/2021 at 8:44 PM, Smiles said:

... There are so many math programs...
... Part of me wants to stick with Saxon, but this kid normally doesn't get upset over math, this year we have had many crying spells!  
... I don't like to bounce around but I don't like to see my son crying over math. Any suggestions? ...

Math melt-downs usually come from a poor fit (I know from experience with math struggler DS#2... 😬)

You said here yourself -- there are so many math programs, there is NO reason to stick with a particular style of instruction that is clearly frustrating the student. You might look at Math Mammoth to finish going through any Pre-Algebra topics of interest. Math Mammoth is a bit similar to Singapore.

Or, you might look at the Keys to Algebra series, as a sort of Intro to Algebra, and then move on to an Algebra program when ready. The Keys to Algebra series were done by the son of the woman who created Miquon -- if your student liked Miquon, he might also like Keys to Algebra.

Or, he might be ready to move on to Algebra 1. Jacobs worked well for our DS#1, but I've also heard good things about Foerster Algebra 1 -- both tend to be frequently suggested for "what to do after Singapore 6A/B".

BEST of luck in finding what is a great fit! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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11 hours ago, Smiles said:

... A lot of the math programs are pricey...
...  I've considered Math U See, I just read mixed reviews
... Teaching Textbooks is another one I have looked at...

Teaching Textbooks is pretty similar in spiral approach to Saxon, so I would NOT go there if Saxon is causing tears.
Math-U-See is very visual and gentle (which is what our math struggler DS#2 needed), BUT it is definitely "light." 


Keys to Algebra is about $75 for the complete set.

Foerster Algebra 1 is about $120 for the text + solutions manual.
(used it looks like text = $20 and up + shipping; I don't see the solutions manual used...)

Jacobs Algebra (new Master Books edition) is $106 for: 
student text + teacher guide + solutions key <-- use the see inside option for these links to get an idea of what the program is like

You can get the 1979 original edition used by piecing it together:
- student text = $41 and up + shipping
teacher guide = $3-20 + shipping
If you can't find the solutions key, the teacher guide DOES have the answers for set I (review), set III, and set Iv (challenger problem) -- set II and set III are identical (problems that build up the lesson topic), just with different numbers. I was able to do without the solution key about 99% of the time, as Algebra 1 problems are not THAT tough... 

From what I can see from our copy of the original edition and the online samples of the new Master Books edition, they are virtually identical.

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Just now, Lori D. said:

Foerster Algebra 1 is about $120 for the text + solutions manual.
(used it looks like text = $20 and up + shipping; I don't see the solutions manual used...)

Jacobs Algebra (new Master Books edition) is $106 for: 
student text + teacher guide + solutions key <-- use the see inside option for these links to get an idea of what the program is like

And I've seen excellent reviews for both of those from parents with mathy kids. 

Edited by Not_a_Number
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59 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

This is exactly what my math-minded DS#1 disliked about Saxon. It is "spiral" in approach, (a "bite" of a topic here, then spiral back around to it 2 or 10 lessons later for another "bite"). Singapore is more mastery-based, building on one topic for a series of lessons in a row. 

Our experience:

DS#1 did Singapore up through 6A/B and LOVED it. Then we tried Saxon 8/7 but I ended up having to pull together all the "bits" that were about the same topic that would be spread out over 15-18 lessons, and have him focus on that for a few days, then pull together all the "bits" about a different topic that were spread out over those same lessons... rinse.repeat. It was the only way he could tolerate Saxon -- and it is completely opposite of the way the program is set up, so CLEARLY not a good fit. (And that's okay! Not every math program is going to fit for every student!)

We then tried Singapore's OLD program of New Elementary Math I, but after half a year, it was getting too hard for me to keep up with it to be able to help him out when he hit something that didn't immediately click, although he liked it. We finally moved into Jacobs Algebra 1, which he loved.

Math melt-downs usually come from a poor fit (I know from experience with math struggler DS#2... 😬)

You said here yourself -- there are so many math programs, there is NO reason to stick with a particular style of instruction that is clearly frustrating the student. You might look at Math Mammoth to finish going through any Pre-Algebra topics of interest. Math Mammoth is a bit similar to Singapore.

Or, you might look at the Keys to Algebra series, as a sort of Intro to Algebra, and then move on to an Algebra program when ready. The Keys to Algebra series were done by the son of the woman who created Miquon -- if your student liked Miquon, he might also like Keys to Algebra.

Or, he might be ready to move on to Algebra 1. Jacobs worked well for our DS#1, but I've also heard good things about Foerster Algebra 1 -- both tend to be frequently suggested for "what to do after Singapore 6A/B".

BEST of luck in finding what is a great fit! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Thank you so much for sharing your experience! He did Miquon with Singapore when he was younger and loved it. I will definitely check these out. 

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So far I've had 4 kids do Saxon 87, and I had all of them also do Algebra 1/2.  Not because they didn't learn the first time, because I don't want to argue about math at a time when kids hormones are wacky.    My goal was to keep skills fresh and math easy for a year.  87 is the thickest Saxon book, and it doesn't always have the best explanations.  

If he liked MM6, try MM7.  You may also want to look at the Arbor School books for a different approach.   

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