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Old 07-24-2013, 08:45 AM   #1
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Pros and cons of Saxon?

I'm curious to hear what people think of Saxon Math and why? Thanks!


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Old 07-24-2013, 10:46 AM   #2
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Re: Pros and cons of Saxon?

I have only used Saxon past the early stages (I hear it is different in early math) and I like the program though I understand it is "boring". It is a very thorough math program and it is "spiral" method which is a good style for my oldest. It is not hands on in later math (it does have manipulatives for K through I believe 3). The issues we had were that my son could sit for a good 2 hours doing math because there was a lot of it and it is quite repetitive. Because of the style my son tended to get bogged down and his mind would wander (he has focus problems) and math would drag on and on and on. It would be a great program for a child who needs spiral method and doesn't have focus issues. We wound up switching to Life of Fred which is working better for him this year. I held on to some of our later Saxon books just in case we need to switch back because I do think it is a solid program and i know he learns well from it.
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:57 PM   #3
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Re: Pros and cons of Saxon?

I really enjoyed using Saxon 3.
What I liked about it is consistent review in the beginning and the end of the lesson (beginning is oral question and answer drill style, in the end, you can do the workbook.)
The one main idea/lesson idea worked pretty easy for us as well since I knew which big idea to teach each day, and see if my student (son) had comprehended it well.
It was pretty easy for me to customize it to meet our need (which manipulative to use, how much reviews I want to do, etc).
I like that in the beginning of each lesson, it shows what materials you need for the lesson and what you might want to get ready the night before.
I like that it can be something new each day. You might be experimenting with measuring cups one day, and using the scale next day.

What I did not like
I do not like that they switch their format at Saxon 5/4. I have not used 5/4, so can't really say much about it.
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:08 PM   #4
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Re: Pros and cons of Saxon?

I've used Saxon 1, 5/4 and 7/6 in HS and I've taught 1st and 4th in public school.

What I like:
heavy reliance on manipulatives in the early grades
HS texts have a thorough explanation of concepts beginning in 5/4. I have learned a lot of the whys (especially wrt fractions )

What I don't like
the scripting in the early grades-I know some people thrive on it, but it grates on my last nerve. I read the lesson prior to starting (like 5 minutes ahead of time) and then I just teach it.
the amount of problems in each lesson in the older grades--after a couple months, we switched to odd or even problems and if they missed a certain type of problem, then they had to do the one that was skipped as extra practice. Also by March, I was scribing for DD2--the amount of writing completely overwhelmed her.

With that in mind, I decided not to do Saxon 6/5. I went with a standard Houghton Mifflin school text, but while shopping, I found that I had to purchase a 6th grade book because Saxon had adequately covered all of the 5th grade topics. I am still purchasing a Saxon 6/5 text so that if we have problems, I can turn to that for explanation.
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:27 PM   #5
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Pro: I have two kids that used mostly Saxon in the lower grades and they went on to do very well in high school mathematics.

My third does not seem as strong as the others after using another program. I'm going back to Saxon and I know the constant review will help.

I like spiraling.

It is laid out in a predictable format.

I like having a cd option. If I am busy working with someone else by can watch the lesson and see if it answers their question.

Cons: I agree that in the early grades the scripting is tiresome. I guess some people need it.
The number of problems can take a long time depending on how your student works. I also ended up alternating odds and evens as well with one child.
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