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I got a copy of Saxon Math 5/4 for $5 for the text and solutions manual, I couldn't pass it up.  I have no idea what I am using for math yet.  I want to try this with my DD10-she is going into 5th grade but is a bit behind, IMO.  I looked at the table of contents and I think the topics will be good for her.

I'm a bit nervous because I think Saxon is a spiral program and that is what our ps used (a spiral program but not Saxon) and it wasn't good for her.  I *think* because this will be a lot of review for her and because we can slow down or speed up depending on how much she "gets" it, that this could be a good place to start.  Since it was only $5, I won't be incredibly disappointed if it doesn't work and I am open to trying something different if it's not working for her.

Do you have any opinions on Saxon or any advice for my plan? 

by on Jul. 21, 2013 at 5:40 PM
Replies (11-20):
TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Jul. 22, 2013 at 9:48 AM

You say "ds is awesome at math now" did he have a hard time before?  My dd had a hard time in ps with a spiral math program.  I'm hoping just being home is what she needs to grasp the concepts, but having a good math program will help too!


Quoting NYCitymomx3:

 We use Saxon and we love it.  Ds started with 7/6 this past year and we plan on using it all the way through high school.  It has the perfect amount of review and ds is awesome at math now.  



TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Jul. 22, 2013 at 9:50 AM

I haven't heard many bad things about it either.  I plan to supplement with printables and online games.  My daughter struggles the most in math and spelling.  Hopefully being home will be enough to help her solidify her skills.


Quoting genieskidcrew:

My son is also going into the 5th grade, and we are using Saxon as well.  This is his first year being homeschooled and math is the subject he struggles with the most.  I am going to see how he does with the material.  I also bought several supplemental math workbooks to help reinforce.  We are going to take it week by week until he masters the concepts.  I chose Saxon because so many moms I spoke with raved about it.  Not one person I spoke with said anything bad about it. 

blue ribbon



TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Jul. 22, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Oh no, lol. What is your blog?  I will go read your review.  My daughter doesn't love math, so I don't think this book will make her hate it more ;)  But if it makes her cry, I will stop pretty immediately.  I am homeschooling so she will love learning, not cry when it's time for math!  Since it was only $5 I won't be afraid to toss it aside and try something else.  I'm sure I can resell it for $5 and move on to something else. 

Thinking more about mastery, I don't think that's the way to go.  I don't think it would work well to master something 100% before learning something else in math, many of the concepts intertwine.  I think there just needs to be a balance.  The program they used at school hopped from concept to concept daily, it was far too much spiraling.  I think a slower spiral will work nicely for dd, and I'm hoping that with whatever program we use, I can slow it down or speed it up based on what she needs.


Quoting AutymsMommy:

Saxon is NOT mastery; a mastery program teaches a skill to *mastery* before moving on. Saxon is very incremental and spiral.

Yes, we tried it. I have a review on my blog (It isn't very complimentary). Saxon turned my previously math loving daughter into a neurotic crying mess every time she saw the book; we only lasted part of a year with it. I think the man who wrote it hates math...

FWIW, we do prefer spiral, just never again Saxon, lol.



TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Jul. 22, 2013 at 9:57 AM

I think DD definitely needs to master some of the more basic skills to move along nicely in math.  I am hoping using the 5/4 will be a lot of review for her to help solidify those skills.  And if not, then we may stop it and do more drills and practice before really getting into a curriculum.  I feel like the program they used in ps never let her master those basic addition/subtraction skills and multiplication basics as well.  So we may need a combination of Saxon with lots of review practice. 


Quoting Bluecalm:

I tutored a 4th grader this year who was using Saxon. He wasn't doing well in school because it spirals and he hadn't mastered the old skills so he kept failing his weekly tests. The good thing was we were reviewing the same skills each week so he was able to retain what he was learning.



AutymsMommy
by Silver Member on Jul. 22, 2013 at 9:58 AM


You're absolutely right - it can't hurt to try (and frankly, if the books are in good shape, you can resell Saxon for more than $5, depending on what edition it is).

If it doesn't work, have you looked at CLE or Horizons (CLE being the more affordable)? CLE is very strong, spiral, without an overwhelming spiral effect, aesthetically pleasing. Horizons is colorful, spiral, not as overwhelming as Saxon (and not as incremental, in my opinion).


ETA: my blog (which I'm absolutely horrible about updating... I just erased most of it to start over, but the reviews are still there.

unexpurgatedmom.blogspot.com


Quoting TJandKarasMom:

Oh no, lol. What is your blog?  I will go read your review.  My daughter doesn't love math, so I don't think this book will make her hate it more ;)  But if it makes her cry, I will stop pretty immediately.  I am homeschooling so she will love learning, not cry when it's time for math!  Since it was only $5 I won't be afraid to toss it aside and try something else.  I'm sure I can resell it for $5 and move on to something else. 

Thinking more about mastery, I don't think that's the way to go.  I don't think it would work well to master something 100% before learning something else in math, many of the concepts intertwine.  I think there just needs to be a balance.  The program they used at school hopped from concept to concept daily, it was far too much spiraling.  I think a slower spiral will work nicely for dd, and I'm hoping that with whatever program we use, I can slow it down or speed it up based on what she needs.


Quoting AutymsMommy:

Saxon is NOT mastery; a mastery program teaches a skill to *mastery* before moving on. Saxon is very incremental and spiral.

Yes, we tried it. I have a review on my blog (It isn't very complimentary). Saxon turned my previously math loving daughter into a neurotic crying mess every time she saw the book; we only lasted part of a year with it. I think the man who wrote it hates math...

FWIW, we do prefer spiral, just never again Saxon, lol.





I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff: we have traditional gender roles, we're Catholic, I'm Libertarian, he's Republican, we're both conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee














TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Jul. 22, 2013 at 9:58 AM

I figured for $5 it is really worth a try.  And if it doesn't work well for her, I'm sure I can make my $5 back!

Thanks, I'm hoping we can make it work!


Quoting oredeb:

 i love saxon, ive used it for about 25 years on my kids, i dont follow the book and do all the problems on the lessons, i skip and chose the ones the kids do,  i think what your chosing to do sounds good! you can make it work! 5 dollars is a fantastic price!!



AutymsMommy
by Silver Member on Jul. 22, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Saxon has a TON of review (which is what makes it spiral) - that's kind of the pitfall, in my opinion. It only briefly introduces a new topic, before allowing ANY mastery of it, before moving on to review previously "learned" concepts. It works well for some children, not so well for others. It's a strong program - but not for everyone (didn't work for us).

There are other spiral programs with that nice review that aren't as incremental (i.e. they allow for more new skill mastery before spiraling) as Saxon - like CLE and Horizons.


Quoting TJandKarasMom:

I think DD definitely needs to master some of the more basic skills to move along nicely in math.  I am hoping using the 5/4 will be a lot of review for her to help solidify those skills.  And if not, then we may stop it and do more drills and practice before really getting into a curriculum.  I feel like the program they used in ps never let her master those basic addition/subtraction skills and multiplication basics as well.  So we may need a combination of Saxon with lots of review practice. 


Quoting Bluecalm:

I tutored a 4th grader this year who was using Saxon. He wasn't doing well in school because it spirals and he hadn't mastered the old skills so he kept failing his weekly tests. The good thing was we were reviewing the same skills each week so he was able to retain what he was learning.





I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff: we have traditional gender roles, we're Catholic, I'm Libertarian, he's Republican, we're both conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee














Bluecalm
by Bronze Member on Jul. 22, 2013 at 10:08 AM
For $5 I'd try it too.

That was a big frustration for me as a teacher. I had to follow a pacing chart and keep the class moving along to cover everything.


Quoting TJandKarasMom:

I think DD definitely needs to master some of the more basic skills to move along nicely in math.  I am hoping using the 5/4 will be a lot of review for her to help solidify those skills.  And if not, then we may stop it and do more drills and practice before really getting into a curriculum.  I feel like the program they used in ps never let her master those basic addition/subtraction skills and multiplication basics as well.  So we may need a combination of Saxon with lots of review practice. 



Quoting Bluecalm:

I tutored a 4th grader this year who was using Saxon. He wasn't doing well in school because it spirals and he hadn't mastered the old skills so he kept failing his weekly tests. The good thing was we were reviewing the same skills each week so he was able to retain what he was learning.





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NYCitymomx3
by Bronze Member on Jul. 22, 2013 at 10:22 AM

He was always OK at math, but since we started using Saxon a year ago, he is so much better at it.  He is so confident in his math abilities now that he zips through lessons really fast.  I feel that Saxon does a great job at explaining a new concept.  Then there are about 10 practice problems of that new concept.  Then there are 30 more problems that are a mixture of the last dozen or so lessons - including the current lesson.  The spiral is what creates mastery (for ds, anyway).  Being able to do review problems in each lesson keeps the info fresh.   When we used a mastery program, ds would know the info really well at the time, but then a few months later, almost completely forget all of it.  That was insanely frustrating.  I would have to re-teach things over and over.  Saxon took care of that problem for us.  

Quoting TJandKarasMom:

You say "ds is awesome at math now" did he have a hard time before?  My dd had a hard time in ps with a spiral math program.  I'm hoping just being home is what she needs to grasp the concepts, but having a good math program will help too!


Quoting NYCitymomx3:

 We use Saxon and we love it.  Ds started with 7/6 this past year and we plan on using it all the way through high school.  It has the perfect amount of review and ds is awesome at math now.  




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bether89
by Bronze Member on Jul. 22, 2013 at 11:17 AM

 We used Saxon 5/4 last year and will be using Saxon again this year.  My ds does not enjoy math, so I had him do even or odd problems from the 30 problems. 

Quoting NYCitymomx3:

He was always OK at math, but since we started using Saxon a year ago, he is so much better at it.  He is so confident in his math abilities now that he zips through lessons really fast.  I feel that Saxon does a great job at explaining a new concept.  Then there are about 10 practice problems of that new concept.  Then there are 30 more problems that are a mixture of the last dozen or so lessons - including the current lesson.  The spiral is what creates mastery (for ds, anyway).  Being able to do review problems in each lesson keeps the info fresh.   When we used a mastery program, ds would know the info really well at the time, but then a few months later, almost completely forget all of it.  That was insanely frustrating.  I would have to re-teach things over and over.  Saxon took care of that problem for us.  

Quoting TJandKarasMom:

You say "ds is awesome at math now" did he have a hard time before?  My dd had a hard time in ps with a spiral math program.  I'm hoping just being home is what she needs to grasp the concepts, but having a good math program will help too!

 

Quoting NYCitymomx3:

 We use Saxon and we love it.  Ds started with 7/6 this past year and we plan on using it all the way through high school.  It has the perfect amount of review and ds is awesome at math now.  

 

 


 

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