Saxon Math is not for everyone

(Updated in 2018)

People sometimes ask me of my opinion or review of Saxon math. What I've written here applies in particular to Saxon Math's high school courses and middle grade levels. (The grades K-3 are by a different author and are quite different; more on that below.)

Saxon Math uses an "incremental approach" where math concepts are studied in little pieces over several lessons, and those lessons are strawed over a long period of time, intermixed with lessons about other topics.

In other words, if one lesson is on some particular topic (say, percentages or inequalities), it's almost guaranteed that the NEXT lesson is NOT on that topic. It jumps around from topic to topic constantly, and this is by design.

Saxon's method also includes a feature where after a lesson is taught, there are very few practice problems about the topic of the lesson. Most of the problems are mixed review problems, and they practice concepts from earlier lessons, not the concept or skill of the lesson.

This PDF file contains three entire lessons from Saxon Algebra 1 so you can see for yourself how each lesson mostly has exercises about OTHER topics.

This type of arrangement helps students to MEMORIZE the content, since they get to practice any particular topic for quite a few days (though just a few problems per day). The downside is, it encourages many students to simply use rote memorization, and it does not guarantee nor promote conceptual understanding. Also, this approach can be very confusing to some students, and worse yet, turns some of them to math haters.

The instruction in the lessons seems adequate as do the exercises and problems; I don't see big problems there. And I know many people like Saxon Math and many students have done well with it. It's possible to learn math well using Saxon Math, no doubt about it. But Saxon math can also be be disastrous. Personally I would rather see some sort of middle ground between constant review and the need to focus on new concepts.

If you do use Saxon, and notice that it's starting to turn your child against math as a subject, please consider other options. Also check that the child is not simply using rote memorization to get through, but that he/she does gain understanding of the CONCEPTS also.

The early levels aren't written by John Saxon but by Nancy Larson. She believes in conversation between the parent and the child, and that shows in the materials. The early courses are fully scripted, which I know some parents like and some don't. The suggested conversations seem good overall. Manipulatives are emphasized, which often is very good, but not all children need a lot of them. And in the early grade levels, the very tight spiraling works better than later on, so it's much less likely that the early grade levels of Saxon Math (K-3) would cause a child to start hating math because of the curriculum. Those levels of Saxon can work perfectly fine (depending on the child).

The middle grade levels are written by John Saxon and Stephen Hake. Here is where the tight spiraling can become a stumbling block.

I feel that homeschooling parents need to be aware that Saxon is not necessarily the "gold standard." It works for some children, and not for others, like all the other curricula out there... but over the years I've gotten the impression that for some reason (maybe because of its popularity), many parents, especially those starting to home school, tend to think of Saxon a bit higher than necessary. They just automatically choose Saxon because "everyone uses it." So then there is more of a chance of real damage being done than with most any other math curriculum. It seems that people tend to have the mindset that it should work (even when it isn't working) since so many other people use it.

So, I'd like to bring some awareness to the potential pitfalls of Saxon Math from 4th grade onward, and the main potential problem is the tight spiraling. The instruction is good and the exercises/activities are good but the organization of the materials can cause trouble.

But no matter what curriculum you use, remember that the TEACHER (you) is the most important part of the whole experience! You can try to adapt the curriculum, such as do less problems or use it in a different order than the table of contents indicates (though with Saxon that would be challenging). The TEACHER is what can make the biggest difference in how and what the student learns. Don't be a slave to any curriculum, not to Math Mammoth either!



I'm not the only one who feels critical of Saxon Math's approach. I've read plenty of other opinions along the same lines... here are two I found on Amazon:

"I am a math tutor, and I have to say that this Algebra book was not useful at all! The organization of the concepts is illogical, the 'progressive' methodology is confusing and the practice problems are badly conceived. The girl I tutor had already forgotten the lesson she had just learned within a few days because instead of providing enough problems to enforce the lesson taught, the creators of this book decided to review previously learned lessons for the majority of their exercises. I found myself having to re-teach lessons every day." (R.U. Kidding)

"Tutoring higher math, from Algebra I through Calculus and Differential Equations, for nearly 30 years, I feel qualified to blast this book! I tried to use it with home-schooled students. They were becoming increasingly confused, so I changed their books quickly. The 'Saxon' students that I have tutored in higher level math, needed remedial tutoring in Algebra I concepts before I could move on to their current grade level subject matter. Although Saxon is quite revered among homeschoolers, I cannot see why. The topics are not clearly defined. The same concepts are repeated over and over, lesson after lesson. If one needs to look up information, they cannot be sure which section of the book to read. The flow of concepts is erratic, at best. It is, in my opinion, detrimental to homeschoolers, who are quite often very intelligent, and deserve a much clearer, more concise text, that covers more topics associated with classical Algebra I." (Denise Sipe)

Read how professor Hung-Hsi Wu has worded it (emphases and the additional note are mine):

"But I think that what perhaps disturbs me the most about Saxon is to read through it, I myself do not get the feeling that I am reading something that when that the children use it they would even have a remotely correct impression of what mathematics is about. It is extremely good at promoting procedural accuracy {Maria's note: this means teaching procedures such as the correct motions of the long division algorithm, or what to do to find the lowest common denominator, etc.}. And what David says about building everything up in small increments, that's correct, but the great pedagogy is devoted, is used, to serve only one purpose, which is to make sure that the procedures get memorized, get used correctly. And you would get the feeling that-I think of it as a logical analogy-you can see the skeleton presented with quite a bit of clarity, but you never see any methods, your never see any flesh, nothing-no connective tissue, you only see the bare stuff.

A little bit of this is okay, but when you read through a whole volume of it really I am very, very, uneasy. There are lots of things in it that I admire, but something that is so one-sided-you think once more about yourself and you think about what happens if this thing gets adopted. There might be lots and lots of children using it. And suppose that hundreds of thousands of students are using this book and they go through four years of it. Would you be willing to face the end result? That here are hundreds of thousands of students thinking that mathematics is basically a collection of techniques."


See also reviews of Saxon math left at HomeschoolMath.net.

Comments

Mathew Crawford said…
During the summer between sixth and seventh grade, I read the Saxon Algebra book cover to cover one afternoon. The next day, I read the geometry book the same way. Over the next two days after that, I read the Algebra II book.

That was an appetizer compared to the curriculum I covered at school. But a good appetizer for a gifted student. I didn't gain much depth of insight, but I got used to some techniques that I was able to expand on in my more challenging math and math team classes.

Saxon math might be useful in some ways to some people, but it's certainly not a comprehensive curriculum for students who want to pursue academic or career paths that require mathematical rigor.
Can you please suggest math curriculums that you do find through ? i have two soon to be 3 6 year old boys among other children. I use shiller math but it seems to take forever. Can you recommend any supplements or other math curr that you like? thank you
Maria Miller said…
well, I do like mine (Math Mammoth), I also think Singapore Math is good.

RightStart math is another possibility however I'm not sure exactly how comprehensive it is.
I am more impressed with Math Mammoth than I am with Saxon. I plan on using her guides and curriculum for the new school year for both of my girls. She puts it simply and in a way that I remember how to do it from my days in school. I understand the logic of it all.

Maria is also great at giving good advice when you start homeschooling. I just recently took my girls out of school. I have realized that my youngest daughter is now very behind in some of her Math skills. Thanks to Maria we are fast approaching getting her caught up to the sixth grade level.

A while back, I picked up third grade Saxon Math curriculum at the local Goodwill store. Comparing Saxon to Math Mammoth, I say Math Mammoth is much better for parents and students.
flutemom said…
we haven't used any of maria's math mammoth yet, but so far i've been very impressed with mus (math-u-see). i didn't use it much with my oldest (grad '02), who used mostly saxon. my second (grad '05) used saxon until we got to algebra, then we switched to mus. my third and fourth have used saxon through 8/7, then switched to mus. one has completed alg 1, geom, and alg 2, and will do their new stewardship math next year (i'm very impressed with reading through it!). the other one used the pre-alg this year (she was my first one to use it) and we're holding steady at this point to finish out our high school math with math-u-see.
my youngest is 5 but will do 1st grade math in the fall, and we'll probably just go along in an easy manner, covering things without a specific text.
Anonymous said…
I really appreciated your assessment of the Saxon method, Maria. We have used it for pre-Algebra and were not greatly impressed. I see that you recommend your Math Mammoth program and the Singapore (We are using your Math Mammoth with great success for a younger child. Love it!) for elementary, but what would you recommend for Algebra and Geometry in Middle School? If you had to teach your child, what would you use?
Maria Miller said…
I'm not quire sure myself at this point what would be the best and recommendable program for pre-algebra in middle school.

For high school level, I'd recommend Harold Jacobs texts or Foerster's texts. For geometry, also Geometry: A Guided Inquiry is good.

I need to note that I have not seen nearly every possible math program or text. I may find something else later that is as good (or better) than Foerster's and Jacobs.
KRentfrow said…
My daughter has Asperger's syndrome (a high functioning form of autism) and has always had tons of difficulty with math due to her inability to understand abstract concepts. There is no other way for her to learn math than to memorize it...it will never make "sense" to her. Saxon has been able to teach her how to do the calculations, and she has progressed leaps and bounds with it! We don't do the timed fact practice, as it would take too long and timing her always stresses her out, but the rest of the program has been great. All the problems in the mixed practice have the lessons referenced, so she can always go back a review a concept if she needs to.
For someone that is only capable of learning the basics of math and is not going to go on to advanced math skills, this is a great program.
Anonymous said…
In our family we have used Saxon 2 and 5/4. While 5/4 is much less boring, they are both too time consuming and boring that I even lost interest. We went back to Singapore Math. I hear so much praise for Saxon that it is nice to hear that we are not alone in our feelings toward Saxon.
Anonymous said…
I haven't found a math program I like all the way through, but Teaching Textbooks is excellent for pre-algebra and up. The 2 guys designed it for homeschoolers and have been Harvard tutors. I do they have gone down to the 5th grade, but I don't know if the cost is worth the investment unless you will have multiple children go through the program.
Val Smith said…
So what if you get blasted! Over the years I have heard of, seen, and experienced surprise from the devotees of several "cults of homeschooling." Perhaps Saxon devotees qualify as yet another. My children have never liked Saxon, nor have I, coming from an academic background in cognitive psychology. But although Saxon is just plain boring and the explanations are ultra-tedious, I have put the kids through various runs through the tests, for the practice. Singapore is what we consiser the ultimate challenge, and by the time we're done running 5 kids through various curricula, including Singapore, I may feel like I know some math! I'm also looking forward to using your site! Val Smith
Cipolla Dolce said…
I'm not familiar with Mammoth Math (sorry, just found your site), but, in my district we just completed a comprehensive review of algebra and geometry texts. We ended up choosing a big publisher because it was most closely aligned with our state standards. However, if I were homeschooling my child, I would want to use either Singapore Math or Discovering Algebra/Geometry by Key Curriculum Press. They both get students doing real mathematics (conjecture, testing, proof), but also give them adequate practice with algorithms. I thought Saxon was horrible.
Mellisa said…
What math program would you suggest for a homeschooled child who has ADD or problems remembering math facts?
Jennifer said…
Praise God!! Everyone always looks at me like I'm a martian when I say I hated Saxon. We used it for first grade, and I spent more time deciding how to tweak it than I did using it because we were sooooo bored! I also think the price is ridiculous! We've been loving Singapore, but if we ever decided to change, I'll definitely check out Math Mammoth. Thank you for articulating the problems with Saxon so well!

Jennifer
Maria Miller said…
Mellisa,

I am no expert on ADD or what kind of math program would be the best for such children.

However, in general I feel that kids with ADD and ADHD should still be taught math from a conceptual basis.

Similarly for math facts, one would teach them as structures, tying the facts in with concepts. See my articles on math facts for this.

Additionally there are lots of other ways to help cement the facts. Software and games are the standard approach. Some people toss a ball back and forth while reciting and practicing the facts. Some post large posters on the wall. Some have kids copy them on paper... all kinds of creative ideas.

You can subscribe to the Living Math Forum yahoo group and search their archives for more.
mikeandrenee said…
I think Saxon is a good choice for grades K-6 but the model is less than preferable for grades 7-12.

The constant review is great at lower grades, but at the higher grades, there is already review incorporated in a natural way in any traditional curriculum. For example, factoring is used from elementary algebra up through Calculus II, as are signed numbers. And Saxon's fragmenting of topics just doesn't serve higher mathematics well. I have written my own extensive review of Saxon, along with our own family's experiences at
Is Saxon Math The Best Choice?
.
Anonymous said…
do you have a review of the abeka curriculum? also, if not can you write a review of abeka when you have time? I would like to read your opinion of it.
Maria Miller said…
Abeka is spiral too in the sense of having a "short spiral". I personally have not looked into it in detail. You can read reviews of Abeka math here.
Anonymous said…
Actually, Dr Wu strongly approved of Saxon K-3, but not 5/4 and up.

Here is the conclusion written by Beer and Wu about Saxon K-3.
"The Saxon K-3 program is an unconventional yet effective means
to meet the state standards for the early grades. There are no
textbooks for the program; rather students are supplied
individual lesson folders that contain handout sheets devoted to
drill problems, guided class practice, and homework, even in
the first grade. Occasionally, there will be some special
in-class project in the folder. These handouts contain neither
explanations nor definitiions; in essence, they are worksheets."
"Despite the unusual format which makes it difficult for the
Program to explicitly meet some of the content criteria, we are
in fact recommending it enthusiastically. This program,
thoughtfully written by Nancy Larsen, does an extraordinary job
of guiding students, anticipating pitfalls, developing
mathematical reasoning appropriate to these grades, and
automatizing computational skills. The Program not only gives a
balanced treatment of the strands, but frequently covers areas
that should have been more explicit in the standards but weren't.
The Saxon program somehow succeeds at being minimalist and at the
same time humanistic; it has something for visual/kinesthethic
learners and is not just mathematics for left-brainers."

Please be careful in what you post.
Anonymous said…
My 3rd grader is currently using saxon math in his private school. I really don't like it. I have read lots of comments about how Saxon is repetative and boring for too much review. They do review the same things over and over. The same 3 things. Other stuff the introduced and then completely ignored. Months ago they introduced borrowing in subtraction. He hasn't seen it since. The curriculum jumps around so irratically that the students never get a chance to really learn the concept before they jump to something else. My vote is that it is terrible!
I'm going to have to teach him more math here at home so he doesn't enter 4th grade already behind. In the basics of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division it is way behind.
Anonymous said…
I personally think that Saxon math is great for Pre-Algebra and Algebra. The way it describes concepts is amazing and you need to buck up and admit it. I have used it for math since first grade to 12th and was extremely helpful. I'm sorry if you don't feel the same, considering I'm probably better at math than you.
Anonymous said…
We started with Saxon Math 5/4 for our first year of home school and loved it. I found it extremely easy to teach and my son gained confidence with his math skills upon completion.
Anonymous said…
As a teacher, I've used the Saxon series for a couple of years. This is the program chosen by my school. Although there are several aspects of Saxon I can appreciate, it is not a series I would recommend. I have to actually stop using the book around January so I can prepare my students for their standardized tests in April. The series is very disjointed and many lessons give less than 5 practice problems for the new material covered in a given lesson. It is heavy on review and word problems. Neither of these things are bad, but it doesn't teach our major math concepts until the end of the book. You can not skip a lesson or any of the practice problems. This means you are stuck following a scripted math program. The new series even tells the teacher what to say in class. Sorry if your student didn't get it or is bored because the lesson is too easy. The program is designed to be rigidly followed. If your student has any type of reading issue or is not at or above grade level in math, your child will struggle with Saxon. Personnally, I'd try a different series.
Anonymous said…
My best friend recommended Saxon when we began homeschooling 4 yrs ago. I tried and I didn't like it. But after listening few reviews from well known people recently I wanted to give one more try. We have been using it for the last 4 months now and actually loving it...
Anonymous said…
I was in public school for grades 1-3 and when standardized testing came out our average was slightly below average so my school switched to Saxon Math and when I was homeschooled I stayed in Saxon. When I went back to public school I was in the top 2% in my class in Math. I continued with Saxon the next year, as we went back to homeschooling, until my grade 12 year when I went back to public school and discovered my grade 12 math to be primarily a review of my grade 11 Saxon math and I was more than prepared for my Calculus class. I am now studying engineering. I found Saxon more than adequately prepared me for university. I am also ADD.
Tracy said…
Hello. I have four children ages 12,11, 7 and 4.
I have used various math curriculum through out the years and especially with math since my girls are each unique individuals. My 12 yr old would do well with something like Math Mammoth. She understands math like this and needs to focus on one topic at a time. Saxon math is not a good fit for her as proof this year attending a private school that uses it.

My 2nd daughter needs a program like Saxon math. For a very long time I tried my darnest to stay away from it because math programs like BJU, Singapore, Math Mammoth, Calvert were said to be more 'superior'. With that said all these programs ever did was send my daughter into a fit of tears. Showing her how to find the answer to 2+2 four different ways just sent her over the wall so to speak. It sent her into overload. She never remembered what she learned and we always had to start over again. Which frustrated her even more. This year attending private school she is actually beginning to improve and is doing so much better. Saxon makes sense to her. There are just some children out there that are not ready for higher math learning at such an early age.

I know I was one of them growing up as well. Had someone gave my Saxon math I would have understood math and would have done very well. Instead the schools I went to used conceptual based programs and the thing I learned was to Hate math. Now that I am an adult I am beginning to make the connection. But I was NOT ready for it when I was a child. I just don't get it that some people need to realized that not all children are and learn the same way at the same time. Its still putting children into that nice neat box that brick and mortar schools put children in. That everyone learns the same way at the same time. Wrong. That's the beauty with homeschooling is to be able to use what works for your child at that moment in time and being able to switch when need be.

As for those you use Saxon and really like working with it being a cult. I find great offense to that. We are not a cult. Just people who are using what works for our children. If it doesn't work for you, fine. But don't compare us to cult members.

By the way my 7 and 4 yr old are excelling and doing very well with math. My 7yr old had trouble last year after using the K12 math (conceptual, and is doing better with Saxon.
So instead of bashing math programs how about finding some positives about them all.
Tracy said…
Hello. I have four children ages 12,11, 7 and 4.
I have used various math curriculum through out the years and especially with math since my girls are each unique individuals. My 12 yr old would do well with something like Math Mammoth. She understands math like this and needs to focus on one topic at a time. Saxon math is not a good fit for her as proof this year attending a private school that uses it.

My 2nd daughter needs a program like Saxon math. For a very long time I tried my darnest to stay away from it because math programs like BJU, Singapore, Math Mammoth, Calvert were said to be more 'superior'. With that said all these programs ever did was send my daughter into a fit of tears. Showing her how to find the answer to 2+2 four different ways just sent her over the wall so to speak. It sent her into overload. She never remembered what she learned and we always had to start over again. Which frustrated her even more. This year attending private school she is actually beginning to improve and is doing so much better. Saxon makes sense to her. There are just some children out there that are not ready for higher math learning at such an early age.

I know I was one of them growing up as well. Had someone gave my Saxon math I would have understood math and would have done very well. Instead the schools I went to used conceptual based programs and the thing I learned was to Hate math. Now that I am an adult I am beginning to make the connection. But I was NOT ready for it when I was a child. I just don't get it that some people need to realized that not all children are and learn the same way at the same time. Its still putting children into that nice neat box that brick and mortar schools put children in. That everyone learns the same way at the same time. Wrong. That's the beauty with homeschooling is to be able to use what works for your child at that moment in time and being able to switch when need be.

As for those you use Saxon and really like working with it being a cult. I find great offense to that. We are not a cult. Just people who are using what works for our children. If it doesn't work for you, fine. But don't compare us to cult members.

By the way my 7 and 4 yr old are excelling and doing very well with math. My 7yr old had trouble last year after using the K12 math (conceptual, and is doing better with Saxon.
So instead of bashing math programs how about finding some positives about them all.
I know this is an older post, but I just came across it today and was very interested in the indepth information about the Saxon math curriculum. We used Saxon for many years while homeschooling our children. We were mostly pleased with the process and the outcome, but when we got into the high school level math after Algebra 1, all of my children had more trouble than they had had with any of the earlier books. It was like they didn't have the background to understand at that point. The review that you wrote gave me some ideas as to why we had trouble.
Larry Shiller said…
ShillerMath is a Montessori-based program that is different from a Montessori classroom in the following ways:
1) No Montessori experience or training is required by the parent
2) Scope and sequence are provided in the curriculum
3) Lessons are scripted (so parents get used to Montessori-type language and philosophy), which also allows students to begin independent study as soon as they can read and are developmentally ready
4) Several ShillerMath manipulatives are not found in the typical Montessori classroom; several Montessori manipulatives are not found in ShillerMath (see a complete list at shillermath.com)
5) Regular diagnostic and prescriptive tests are included. A note re prescriptive tests: If a student lacks competency or closure, the lessons to support that test question are provided, and an online helper produces customized lesson plans for each student.

ShillerMath and Montessori share:
1) The desire for each student to reach his or her own individual potential
2) Students learn at their own pace (thus it is not fast or slow but just right for each student)
3) Both competency and closure are goals of education
4) Teachers are really "learning enablers"; children are natural learners
5) Mulit-sensorial approach; ShillerMath comes with an audio CD with 25 math songs and many lessons do not involved writing. Visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic, and thinking-only lessons are all part of the curriculum

Kit I (ages 4-8) and Kit II (ages 9-12) each comes with Lesson Books, Answer Guides, manipulatives, audio CD, and tracking sheets.

Free phone (888-556-MATH) and email (support@shillermath.com) support comes with each kit purchase.

We have many thousands of customers and many of them write to tell us that ShillerMath has changed their lives (for the better of course!). The program is ideal for parents who do not have Montessori training but want their children to benefit from a Montessori approach.
Anonymous said…
I am one of those thousands of children that learned math as a "collection of techniques". I excel at recognizing and memorizing patterns, so this probably exacerbated the problem.
As a freshman engineering student at Georgia Tech (a top 10 competitive engineering school) I quickly realized that I knew nothing - had nearly no conceptual understanding of anything. I literally had to learn and think during my first two years there. I did recover, but what an effort I had to put forth!
Now I am homeschooling in such a way to promote conceptual understanding at the sacrifice of completing tons of math concepts ie. depth vs. breadth. My first child has a great deal of intuition and number sense, but my second does not. We have been using Horizons with them since I have lots of mathematics "capitol" and can explain the concepts without help. However, I am going to try MM's Add and Subtract 2A as a review for my 2nd child this summer hoping to lead him through what does not appear to be intuitive to him. The poor kid can do a page of problems and get them all correct, but I can tell he really doesn't understand what is going on - change the problem a little and he's lost. He needs practice thinking instead of doing.
Thanks Maria for this new curriculum to try. It looks promising so far. I hope it will help him.
Sunny said…
Having used many math curriculums as an elementary school teacher I can tell you the difference between Saxon and everything else. They don't do cutesy names for math concepts, they get right down to the bones of math, and give kids the credit they deserve for being able to understand correct terminology. They "skip" around because children are tested each year on ALL of the concepts they have learned, not just what was taught last week! If you spend two weeks on probability in October and the kids take a state test in May that includes probability, they "probably" won't remember much. Repitition is key for children when learning concepts. Didn't you "memorize" most of the words you now read?The real life integration of concepts in the daily calendar time is extremely effective for all students. This helpsb children understand how to USE math in the real world, not just Freshman calculus. Although they would be better prepared had they used Saxon for their k-12 experience.
Anonymous said…
I LOVE Saxon math! I used Excel up through 8th grade, which I really liked (and would DEFINITELY recommend!!!), but I've LOVED Algebra with Saxon. I'm nearly done with Saxon's Algebra 2 now, and can't wait to start Saxon's Advanced Math.
Anonymous said…
I hate Saxon Math! It has been nothing but a sourse of stress and frustration for me and my kids! I am switching and would never recommend it. It is OK in the younger grades.
Anonymous said…
Back when we were homeschooling DS starting in 5th grade, we started with Lifepac math, but then switched to Saxon 76. I thought Saxon was supposed to be the be-all-end-all of homeschool math. Now I have my own little private school, and 12 years ago discovered Christian Light Education's math. It works on the same principle of incremental development with distributed practice as Saxon does. However, I find the examples and explanations much better than Saxon. I have not found a student yet (in 42 students so far) that CLE math doesn't "work" for. The distributed practice works well for kid with ADD, because you don't do the same procedure 30 times in each lesson, but change tasks every few items. This keeps the concepts fresh. All my students using this have scored at or above grade level on annual achievement tests, even when working "a level below" their grade.
Lisa said…
I would like to shout out a big THANK YOU to the person who posted about Christian Light math. I had never heard of it until stumbling upon this blog, when I was researching comments about Saxon. I visited the CL website, and saw that their Sunlight Math appears to be a perfect fit for my son (going into 4th grade). We have been using A Beka since K4, but when my son took the standardized (ITBS) test this summer, there were a few math problems about concepts he did not learn with A Beka. I learned from perusing the CL website that their curriculum introduces polygons, rays, lines, segments, angles, decimals, and congruency in the younger grades. They also have a free PDF to download of performance testing for grades 1-4. I printed all of it as review/instruction for my son, before jumping into the curriculum. I spoke with a very friendly CL homeschool rep on the phone, who explained that the math program is broken into 10 booklets per grade level, and the first booklet always reviews the concepts taught in the previous grade. I received all of it yesterday, and it looks FABULOUS!!! Clear explanations and instructions encourage independent learning, while the parent/teacher can help using the well-detailed teacher guides. There are speed drills (something we are familiar with from A Beka), some spiraling (to review and apply concepts learned), while also introducing well-rounded new ones. Finally, the price...VERY affordable. I was very suprised at the low cost, considering the quality. In addition to purchasing all 10 student booklets and 2 thick, spiral, teach guides for Grade 4, I also bought the $3 laminated math reference guide. It has on it everything you can imagine, from basic math, to geometry, algebra, and measurement. After looking through all the materials and planning my lessons (there really isn't any planning necessary...I simply wrote the lesson numbers in my plan book), I am convinced I made the right decision to order this curriculum. It was definately a "G-d thing" that I came across this website when I did! Blessings to the gal who posted using CL in her "little private school".
Anonymous said…
I use saxon math at school and I find it hard to lean all the concepts. This is because it is always jumping around. I have looked at other textbooks. Saxon math is the only one I know of other than a college algebra textbook that makes you do 30 problems per problem set. I have math class on mondays, tuesdays, thursdays and fridays. I have managed to split up 120 problems a week quite nicely. On mondays I do 20 mon problems, on tuesdays I do 10 mon and 10 tues problems, on wednesday i do 20 tues problems, from thurs to sunday 15 problems per day

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