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Advice Request for Skipping Ahead in Math


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Hello, I'm a new homeschool parent this year and still sorting things out. Our oldest is 6, turning 7 in May. She is very into Math and enjoys Saxon. We just wrapped up Saxon 2 and it was engaging, but not overly challenging. She does a lot of conceptual work on her own with books from the library and she likes to work on independent work with worksheets, writing in chalk on the sidewalk, etc. It's play based, but she's working on basic Algebra, exponents, things like that. She's learned her multiplication facts up to 12's, but the higher numbers she uses skip counting.

 Looking at the new book it looks like a lot of the stuff, up to 1/2 of the book, is review of level 2 or stuff that she's learning on her own. I want to skip ahead to a place where she is engaged, but not over her head. Is anyone has experience with this I would love to know how it worked out. I want to stay with Saxon because she likes the format. I'm just afraid that she'll miss something in the 30 or so lessons that we'll skip ahead.

Also, I'm aware that this is a good problem to have. Still, I want the best for my kids and I don't want her stuck on a manufactured timeline.

Thanks!!

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I know you say you want to stay with Saxon, but its format changes in 54 and it is an approach that spends too much time in the bark of a tree, not even the whole tree, for kids who grasp the forest.

I have had a child who did the same sort of thing (on his own playing with Legos, he discovered the concept of multiplication and taught himself multiplication tables without even knowing what the x sign even meant.) He did that when he was 6. I had him skip ahead to a text with x/. He moved through concepts quickly and took his first alg course when he was 10.  In my lack of understanding of just how gifted he was in math, I made him spend time doing things he didnt need to, but thankfully I did let him advance to books where most of the content was new. (All's good. He is now a physics grad student.)

 

 

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You might take a look at Beast Academy. It's a fantastic resource for kids who love math and don't need lots of review. 

You could also move from a spiral curriculum (like Saxon) to a mastery curriculum like Singapore, Beast, or Math Mammoth. The mastery curriculums focus on one topic at a time, without a lot of built in review. You can move more quickly through the lessons / topics because you can more easily compress or skip lessons if the child doesn't need them.

There's also something to be said about allowing the child to explore more deeply rather than more quickly - sounds like you are already doing this. Some other good resources might be Zaccaro's books, Critical Thinking Company's Balance Math and Balance Benders series.

 

Edited by WTM
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2 minutes ago, WTM said:

You might take a look at Beast Academy. It's a great resource for kids who love math and don't need lots of review. 

You could also move from a spiral curriculum (like Saxon) to a mastery curriculum like Singapore, Beast, or Math Mammoth. The mastery curriculums focus on one topic at a time, without a lot of built in review. You can move more quickly through the lessons / topics because you can more easily compress or skip lessons if the child doesn't need them.

 

I agree with this.  Saxon would have been a joy killer for my kids who grasp math easily.  We love Beast Academy, but any mastery program will have the advantage of being able to easily move on when it is clear your child has grasped the material. 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for all of the feedback. I kind of wish that I hadn't thought the Saxon 3 already. I think that I will skip a bit ahead and then take my time with Saxon 3 while supplementing with the Zaccaro and/or Balance Math to see if she takes to a different style of program. I'd rather know for sure that she likes it before changing the program completely.

Edited by JMyers0365
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Just now, JMyers0365 said:

Thanks for all of the feedback. I kind of with that I hadn't thought the Saxon 3 already. I think that I will skip a bit ahead and then take my time with Saxon 3 while supplementing with the Zaccaro and/or Balance Math to see if she takes to a different style of program. I'd rather know for sure that she likes it before changing the program completely.

You could let her try some of the Beast Academy online problems and see if she takes to them? 

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1 hour ago, Not_a_Number said:

You could let her try some of the Beast Academy online problems and see if she takes to them? 

Or, if you’re trying to avoid screen time, Beast has some free puzzles and samples you can download from their website. They also have a book of just math puzzles that your child may find interesting. It came out after my kids had passed that stage, so we didn’t use it, but it looks fun.

https://beastacademy.com/books/puzzles2

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We used Singapore (esp the Intensive Practice and Challenging Word Problems) and Beast Academy over here in the elementary years. Saxon would have been too incremental and repetitive for my son. There's Zaccaro's Challenge Math, Glen Ellison's Harder Math and Cleo Borac's Gifted Math series that you can look at.

 

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I will tell you now-be ready to alter Saxon 3. It really, really relies heavily on speed drills and repetition of math facts at that level, and I know that if I'd handed that to my kid at age 6/7, it would have been daily meltdowns-because while multiplication facts were no problem, writing quickly absolutely was. Saxon for K-2 is cute, sweet, and relatively gentle. Saxon for 3rd is much less so. 

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2 hours ago, calbear said:

We used Singapore (esp the Intensive Practice and Challenging Word Problems) and Beast Academy over here in the elementary years. Saxon would have been too incremental and repetitive for my son. There's Zaccaro's Challenge Math, Glen Ellison's Harder Math and Cleo Borac's Gifted Math series that you can look at.

 

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check out Harder Math and Gifted Math.

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1 hour ago, Dmmetler said:

I will tell you now-be ready to alter Saxon 3. It really, really relies heavily on speed drills and repetition of math facts at that level, and I know that if I'd handed that to my kid at age 6/7, it would have been daily meltdowns-because while multiplication facts were no problem, writing quickly absolutely was. Saxon for K-2 is cute, sweet, and relatively gentle. Saxon for 3rd is much less so. 

@Dmmetler thanks for the heads up! How would you have altered it for your kid?

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

I wanted to follow up on this for anyone reading with a similar question. We went ahead with the Saxon 3 curriculum, but skipped ahead 30 lessons. Those were completely basic review. We're following the schedule now, but I ask her up front if she knows how to do the lesson. If she says no then we do the lesson. Most days she says yes and knocks out the lesson on her own in 5-10 minutes. Then we work on balance math, challenge math, or what ever else she's excited about that day (right now that's fractions, division, and double digit multiplication).

I still don't know if this is the ideal course of action, but she is definitely making progress and the curriculum has me confident that at least she won't have any glaring holes in her math education when we change curriculum next year.

Edited by JMyers0365
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