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Using Chalkdust or Saxon (with DIVE or Saxon Teacher) with advanced math students


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I was wondering if anyone has used Chalkdust or Saxon (along with DIVE or Saxon Teacher) with an advanced math student? I am currently using BJU and it is going well. However, I'm looking to the upper levels of math and think that I will want to use a cd/dvd program for these. I was originally planning on switching to Chalkdust for their Basic Math program (which could be as early as this fall but more likely the next year) and then following their progression through. However, when I had my ds watch the sample Chalkdust video, he felt it was too long. Honestly, I can't blame him. I thought it was a little long and I'm not 7! So, I decided to look into some of my other options and thought of Saxon. My dh used Saxon in hs and has occasionally hinted that I should use it (he has a PhD in engineering so I trust his math opinion). I've also read that the Saxon videos are shorter than Chalkdust and that Saxon is easier to schedule. Saxon also has videos for the earlier maths than does Chalkdust and the idea that I could for sure start a cd program this fall is kind of exciting (free up more time for my other ds who will officially starting this fall).

 

So, has anyone used either of these programs with an advanced student? Can you give me some feedback on how it went for you and how you dealt with using it with a kid who is younger than the recommended ages?

 

Thanks!

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I don't personally have any experience with higher levels of Saxon math (and I wasn't happy with 1st grade Saxon this year) but dh used it from 5th grade on (he was homeschooled) and he was extremely accelerated in math. He has also hinted that he would like me to use Saxon, at least at higher levels :).

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I too had a hard time with Saxon 1, but I got through it! I am happy to see it go! My husband has a phd in Math/physics and insists that Saxon is the way to go. Saxon 1 lays the ground work for many concepts - he tells me. He is impressed that a physicist created Saxon. And, I must say that Saxon 2 has been easier than Saxon 1! Weird! I was also tempted to skip the first 30 lessons, like many of the hivers suggest. No! My husband tells me. And, again I agree with him because I would have missed my son doing the first 1 minute timed addition fact sheet which he finished within the 1 minute time. It is a great confidence building program. I know nothing of the older grades - the future is ours to see. Good luck.

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We have had a great experience with Saxon at our house. My just turned 9 y.o is finishing up Saxon 6/5 and my just turned 7 y.o (today is his birthday!) is finishing up Saxon 3. Neither one has had any difficulty and both have used Saxon all the way.

 

Oops, I take that back. After doing Saxon 1 & 2, my oldest used Horizons 3 rather than Saxon 3 in first grade. By the end of Horizons 3, his down cold math facts had gone out the window, so we switched back to Saxon (5/4) for 2nd grade.

 

We do not use the videos, so I can't give you advice regarding them. I have to daily teach the lessons to my 7 y.o. in Saxon 3, but my ds (9) works mostly independently (across the table from me). I'm constantly asking him if he needs help, but from Saxon 5/4 onward, the lesson is presented pretty straightforwardly in the student book.

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My ds9 (Saxon 6/5) and my ds8 (Saxon 5/4) use the DIVE cds and they do great with them. Of course, they aren't accelerated, so I don't know how that would play out, but Saxon is all we've used for all the boys and it's working well. My older 2 are almost completely independent in Math (I answer a question maybe once a week for each of them).

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I used Saxon with both my boys when we homeschooled before. Middle ds (gifted) went up through 6/5 and used the Dive CD w/ the 6/5 book. He never had any problems with it and rarely had any complaints. The only complaint he ever made was that he wished it had real live human being on it instead of just a voice.

 

We will be using Saxon Alg. 1 next year. What I'm considering doing, as crazy as it may sound, is getting not only either the Dive or Saxon Teacher CD, but also the Chalk Dust Alg. 1 DVD with Dana Mosely. I have heard wonderful things about him as an instructor from a number of people on these boards. I let ds watch a sample on the Chalkdust site and he said he really liked him. It might be a bit difficult to line the Chalkdust DVD up with the Saxon, but I think it's doable. At least I hope so.

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My ds grew weary of the Saxon texts at the 7/6 level. He did about 80% of that book and tested into Chalkdust Pre-Algebra. He did this in grade 4, Chalkdust Algebra I in grade 5, and Chalkdust Geometry this year for 6th. I highly recommend this program. The lectures are outstanding and the technical support superb. I liked Saxon, but I think he got tired of all of the review.

 

And, Peggy, although I did not use upper level Saxon I do think it might be difficult to correlate the CD dvds with the Saxon text. CD is a mastery approach. You could contact Professor Mosely and ask him though.

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Thank you everyone for your thoughts, both on Saxon and Chalkdust in general and on the cd's. It sounds like there are a few of us whose husbands like to hint about Saxon :D.

 

Hoggirl,

If we started Chalkdust Basic Math this year (3rd grade), we'd be on the same CD progression as your ds... doing pre-Algebra in 4th and so on. Did your son do this independently or did you still sit with him and watch the dvd's with him? Did he have any trouble with the length of the lectures? Did you follow the suggested schedule from CD or did you adjust it at all? Also, I'm not as familiar with Saxon, what do you mean that your ds grew weary of the texts and that he got tired of all of the review? Is that because it is a spiral program and he is constantly reviewing old problems and concepts?

 

Thanks!

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Thank you everyone for your thoughts, both on Saxon and Chalkdust in general and on the cd's. It sounds like there are a few of us whose husbands like to hint about Saxon :D.

 

Hoggirl,

If we started Chalkdust Basic Math this year (3rd grade), we'd be on the same CD progression as your ds... doing pre-Algebra in 4th and so on. Did your son do this independently or did you still sit with him and watch the dvd's with him? Did he have any trouble with the length of the lectures? Did you follow the suggested schedule from CD or did you adjust it at all? Also, I'm not as familiar with Saxon, what do you mean that your ds grew weary of the texts and that he got tired of all of the review? Is that because it is a spiral program and he is constantly reviewing old problems and concepts?

 

Thanks!

 

 

We did not do Chalkdust Basic Math, although I have it. Ds took their placement exam and placed into Pre-Algebra. When I "revealed" his age Professor Mosely suggested the Basic Math. I bought it, but I didn't use it b/c I felt like too much of it was review. So, he started Pre-Algebra in grade 4. Thus far he has completed a course each year. He just finished up Chalkdust Geometry as a 6th grader.

 

Yes, he got tired of reviewing so much old material in Saxon. It certainly has its place, but not after a certain point.

 

The suggested schedule from Chalkdust is to work on math one hour a day. This is exactly what we do. I have always let ds "drive" how he watches the DVDs. He pauses and works problems when he wants to. (ETA: the problems that Professor Mosely is working through DURING the lecture). Sometimes he just watches Professor Mosely do the problems (ETA: the problems Professor Mosely is working through DURING the lecture) as he teaches them. I have given him full discretion. He has mostly done this independently. I do not sit with him to watch the lectures, though I am nearby sort of eavesdropping. If you buy new from Chalkdust you get free technical support and can e-mail Professor Mosely anytime you have a problem. He is VERY fast with is responses. If you buy used, I believe you can purchase technical support for $75 per year. It has been my ds's preference to watch the entire DVD before he starts working problems. (ETA: problems in the BOOK). Most of the lectures *average* about 25 minutes, but they are all over the map. Some are crazy long (like 50 minutes!) but not very many. Maybe a couple per course. We spent an average of three days per section in Pre-Algebra and finished in one year. The first 27 weeks we worked four days a week and the last 9 weeks we worked five days per week. You do not work all the problems and you have to pick and choose. It is not difficult to do, however. I always feel like I have a hard time explaining this. Let me try as I look at section 4.5 in the Pre-Algebra book. Each section has a corresponding dvd section. However, within that section there may be more than one objective. So, as an example, within Section 4.5 Objective A is Real numbers and the real number line; Objective B is inequalities in one variable; and Objective C is applications. The problems (ETA: in the book) at the end of Section 4.5 are divided and labeled Objective A, Objective B, Objective C. So you would know you would need to choose problems from each objective. I hope this makes sense. Additionally, if you felt the dvd segment was too long (in this section it certainly isn't as it is only 9 minutes long), it is easy to see where there is an edit and where Professor Mosely moves from teaching about one objective to the next. Soooo, if you were concerned that the dvd sections might be too long, it would be easy to watch the part that corresponded to objective A and then go work the problems in objective A. Then you could watch the part that taught objective B, you could pause and go do problems from Objective B.

 

Is this clear as mud? It really is easy once you get into the groove of it. And, as I said, we just do math one hour per day and then stop. So, on day 1, ds watches the dvd and then starts working problems. When the hour is up, we stop. The next day he continues working problems until he has done all I have selected from that section. Then he watches the next dvd.

 

Keep asking if I am not making sense!

Edited by Hoggirl
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Cynthia,

 

Thank you so much! I really appreciate the time you took to give such a detailed response. I think I can really get a feel for the set-up and how it might work with a younger child. I'm still not sure if we will start Basic Math this next year or not, I'm waiting for the copy I bought to get here and then I'll look through it more thoroughly. You mentioned you used the placement test.... would you recommend it?

 

Can I also ask what you plan to do with your ds when he finishes Calculus at such an early age? I have to admit, part of me is wondering if I really want ds to be so far ahead of the "typical" progression of the maths. I realize he may hit a point where he really slows down but I do keep wondering what I'm going to do when he is done with Calc. and is only a freshman in hs. Do you just keep going with the college level maths?

 

Thanks so much for your help!

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It gave me peace of mind knowing that I was putting ds in the "correct" spot. I think it is around $18. I can't really remember how it works. The Basic Math book is a shorter book. I understand your hesitancy, though. This is why I thought the placement test was worth it...I wouldn't be second-guessing myself.

 

As far as my ds being accelerated, I am pretty Scarlett O'Hara about it; meaning, "I'll think about that tomorrow." I have read numerous times on the high school board that many students take at least a year and a half to do the Pre-Calc book, so I am not going to worry if we take two years on that one. Or any of them really. My biggest concern is him forgetting earlier math, kwim? We could always do AP statistics. Honestly, I am just keeping on and not focusing on his being ahead too much. If we get to a point where we can do no more, we do have a cc and a university nearby. I am wanting him to take the AP Calculus exam. I am hoping that if he does this and does well on it, someone will open some doors for us. If he takes two years to do the Pre-Calc that would have him doing Calculus in grade 10. Who knows. Algebra II may blow him away next year!

 

Don't hesitate to ask Professor Mosely your questions. He is very accessible.

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It gave me peace of mind knowing that I was putting ds in the "correct" spot. I think it is around $18. I can't really remember how it works. The Basic Math book is a shorter book. I understand your hesitancy, though. This is why I thought the placement test was worth it...I wouldn't be second-guessing myself.

 

As far as my ds being accelerated, I am pretty Scarlett O'Hara about it; meaning, "I'll think about that tomorrow." I have read numerous times on the high school board that many students take at least a year and a half to do the Pre-Calc book, so I am not going to worry if we take two years on that one. Or any of them really. My biggest concern is him forgetting earlier math, kwim? We could always do AP statistics. Honestly, I am just keeping on and not focusing on his being ahead too much. If we get to a point where we can do no more, we do have a cc and a university nearby. I am wanting him to take the AP Calculus exam. I am hoping that if he does this and does well on it, someone will open some doors for us. If he takes two years to do the Pre-Calc that would have him doing Calculus in grade 10. Who knows. Algebra II may blow him away next year!

 

Don't hesitate to ask Professor Mosely your questions. He is very accessible.

 

Cynthia,

 

Thanks again! You have really helped me think this all through. I think I'm going to go ahead and order the placement test so I can feel confident in placement.

 

Thanks!

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