Saxon math curriculum has consistently been a bestselling math program for years. While not specifically designed for the homeschool, Saxon math is easy to use in the homeschool as well as the conventional classroom.
The Incremental Approach
Saxon uses the incremental approach to mathematics. This means that students are introduced to new concepts in small increments, and then do a daily review of all concepts learned to that point. This keeps the knowledge fresh in their minds. This approach has proven to be one of the most effective teaching methods for any type of learner. Complete with teacher's guides, tests, and manipulatives where appropriate, Saxon Math Curriculum may provide your student what he needs to excel at mathematics.
Overview of Saxon Math Curriculum
Grade levels available in this curriculum span Kindergarten through Calculus. Each book builds on the book before it. There is some teacher preparation and participation required, especially in the early grades. Saxon is not a program that can be handed to a child to work completely independently. It is, like many traditional text books, geared toward the visual learner.
The first four grades of Saxon Math are available in homeschool kits, created to help the homeschooling parent get the most from the curriculum. A manipulatives kit is available for these grades and is a great accessory to use with a hands on learner.
Lessons in the teacher's guide are scripted giving the teacher a complete dialogue to help with introducing the foundational concepts in math. Skills covered include:
- Skip counting
- Problem solving
This program is divided into two sections every week. Three times a week students will do the meeting portion, where they will review material in a variety of ways. The other two days they will do the lesson portion, having new concepts introduced and explained.
Saxon Math 1
The first grade curriculum uses the same format as the Kindergarten curriculum. Students will learn:
- Ordinal position to tenths
- Introduction to fractions
- Geometric shapes
Saxon Math 2
Students build on what they have learned in previous grades and add to that:
- Working with larger numbers
- Venn diagrams
- Multi-step problems
Saxon Math 3
This is the last year that the lesson/meeting approach is used. Science and social studies are connected t o math at this point to begin making the student aware of the way that subjects inter-relate. Math3 uses games of various sorts to show concepts and give the student practice.
- Skip counting
- Ordinal numbers
- Positive and negative numbers
- Function rules
Math 5/4 begins a more intensive approach to mathematics. The number 5/4 means that this book is for gifted fourth graders or average fifth graders. Lessons continue to build on the concepts that have been previously mastered. At this stage there are not a lot of new concepts; the student continues to master what has all ready been learned. He learns to use the concepts in various ways including practical application.
More word problems are introduced and students learn to apply mathematical techniques to everyday life. Advanced concepts are introduced, including:
- Prime and composite numbers
Saxon Math 7/6 gently introduces the foundational concepts of advanced math. The skills that the student will need to successfully understand Algebra, Geometry, and other high school courses are introduced and practiced, including:
- Compound interest
- Coordinate graphs
- Prime factorization
Saxon 8/7 was created for students who need more practice with basic concepts before moving on to Algebra and the higher maths. It reviews all of the concepts learned before and gives the student one more year to master the skills needed to excel in high school mathematics.
The Saxon High School Program
The Saxon Math Curriculum prepares the advanced student for college with the following books:
- Algebra ½ is a pre-algebra program to introduce the concepts of basic algebra and transition the student successfully into the higher maths.
- Algebra 1
- Algebra 2
- Advanced Math
Where to Find Saxon Math
If you don't have a local bookstore that sells Saxon curriculum you can find it at the following places on the Internet:
Be aware that if you are buying used curriculum that it could be out of date. This may make it difficult to find test forms, answer keys, and teacher's guides if they don't actually come with the book that you buy.
Saxon Math is an excellent curriculum for those that want the security of a traditional math program in a homeschool setting.
You should be aware that students that are very "hands on" learners or students that learn best by hearing and listening may have difficulty with this program without intensive intervention on the part of the teacher. For these students a program like Math-U- See which uses manipulatives in all grades may be a better choice.