Saxon Math: Why I Love It!

This is a series discussing our experience with homeschool curriculum from the past five years.  Today we’re discussing Saxon Math, and why I love it.  Check out last week’s post about Classical Conversations.

My experience with Saxon Math, & what I love about it! - Anchored In His Grace #homeschool #curriculum

Although we use Classical Conversations as the spine of our homeschool curriculum, we supplement with Saxon Math as our math curriculum.  There’s actually some debate among homeschooling moms whether or not your child actually needs a math curriculum in the early years, but I feel more confident with a curriculum.

We began Saxon Math when my oldest was four; he started with Saxon K.  I immediately fell in love with it, and use it for my other children as well.  So far we’ve used the entire K-3 program, and are now stepping into Saxon 5/4 with my oldest.  As I sat down to write out my experience with Saxon Math, I ended up with five pages of material.  Therefore, I’m separating this post up into three different parts (you’re welcome).  🙂

My experience with Saxon Math K-5/4 - Anchored In His Grace #homeschool

Why I love it!

1)  Repetition.  Saxon Math is constantly repeating so much of the information you get tired of it.  On one hand it’s annoying, but after five years of repeating many things, I see my children better able to compute in their minds, and when we approach new material they claim “that’s easy!”  Basically, the constant repetition preps them for the next step.

2)  Review.  We are always going back to review old concepts, and since we follow the classical model, review plays a large role in our homeschool.  Saxon Math doesn’t approach learning with the mindset of “they’ve learned that already, so why learn it again?”  Our children are in a constant state of learning, so they constantly need to go back.  Reviewing helps solidify concepts, and cement these concepts in the brain.  How many times have you taught something (anything) all to wonder why the child has forgotten it a few weeks later?  Think about those discipline moments-many times we’re reviewing those basics multiple times during the day.  It’s simply how they learn.  They need review, and it’s naturally built into Saxon Math.

My experience with Saxon Math K-5/4 - Anchored In His Grace #homeschool

3)  Start slow, and build slow.  Many claim the first portion of Saxon Math is too easy for their child.  This is done purposefully.  Why challenge our children mathematically when they don’t yet have the foundation of those early years in place?  Math is challenging enough; we want it to be easy for them so that their feet can be grounded in foundational facts before they reach the challenge of upper level math.  Saxon does a fantastic job of gently introducing new concepts, in a non-threatening manner, and building on them over time.

4)  Scripted.  This turns some people off, but I have to say that I love it!  Even when I don’t read straight from the book, reading through the script is easier for me so that I can better teach my children.  I’d label this as user-friendly, or frazzled mom of lots-o-kids friendly!

My experience with Saxon Math K-5/4 - Anchored In His Grace #homeschool

5)  Manipulatives.  The younger the child, the more hands on math you get with Saxon.  They slowly fade out the manipulatives as the child grows, but it’s easy to pull out the manipulatives again when necessary.  Many times, when my child is stuck on a concept we stop the lesson, and break out the manipulatives once again.  We use the manipulatives to our advantage, until my children can move on without them.

As with Classical Conversations, I know curriculum is not one size fits all.  We’ve had great success with Saxon Math, and hopefully this will give you a glimpse of some of the positive aspects of the curriculum.  However, there are a few things I don’t like about it, and I’ll address those next week.

What math curriculum do you use?  What do you love about it?

Click the links below to find out more about Saxon Math:

This post was shared with: Titus 2 Tuesday, Welcome Home Wednesday, Family Fun Friday

Experiencing God's grace everyday - Anchored In His Grace

14 thoughts on “Saxon Math: Why I Love It!

  1. We’re switching to Saxon for our older two children in the fall. A Beka simply isn’t challenging them anymore and I’m not seeing enough review (more of them looking back to find the answers to something they should already have “mastered”). Thank you for this post I look forward to the next one!

    1. So glad this is helpful Chrystal! Saxon is great with mastering the material, if you use it to it’s fullest potential (i.e. doing everything, consistently). My older 2 are very different in math skills, and both are seeing success in mastery. My third is only on his first year of Saxon, but I’m already seeing his mastery take root. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it once you get started with it! 🙂

  2. We will begin homeschooling in the fall. Saxon Math is the program a friend of mine has advised me to use- she was homeschooled and also taught her younger siblings. I am an English person more than a math person- but math is her strength, and this is what she loved. Thanks for your perspective! Joining from the Titus 2 Tuesday linkup.
    Katie recently posted…When You Break Up With Your Best FriendMy Profile

    1. Math was my strength as well, and I think it just does a great job of laying that foundation for math, as well as being easy to use for the non-math people. I’d love to hear your thoughts about Saxon once you start using it! There’s lots of opinions about curriculum out there, and I like to hear what others say about Saxon. Congrats on the decision to homeschool! Blessings to you as you move forward! 🙂

  3. Caroline, could you delve into the time factor a bit? I love Saxon in theory, for all those reasons you articulated above, but have had a terrible time implementing it daily, using 2 different levels. It takes me so much time! Thanks. Fun to discuss on here.

    1. Korrie, I’m so glad that you mentioned this! Time has not been an issue for us this year, so I had forgotten about last year’s frustrations with the time it took me to work with 2 children at 2 different levels. This year I have 3 at 3 different levels, but it’s not as much of an issue. Last year, my oldest was using Saxon 3, and my 2nd child was using Saxon 1. It took me about an hour for each of them. I will speak more about this next week concerning getting the most out of Saxon, but I’ll share what I can right now as well. We did the meeting together whenever we could, sometimes it wasn’t practical, but many times we could do the calendar, counting, and other activities of the meeting together. Then one would work independently while I taught a math lesson, when that child was working on his/her worksheet, I would start the math less for the next child. I think more on this for next week’s post, and talk more about this issue. It was an issue last year, but my oldest is now working the majority of his math on his own, while my 2nd needs me for the full hour of math, and my 3rd only takes about 15-20 of math with Saxon K (depending on the lesson-sometimes only 10 min). Just my thoughts off the top of my head. So glad you brought this up! 🙂

  4. We will begin using saxon 3 this fall. I’m excited to try this curriculum however my biggest concern is the time it takes to teach the lesson. With your experience with saxon 3, how much independent work is there in this level?

    1. Well, if you’re going by the book, the only independent work from Saxon 3 is the worksheet given to them at the end of each lesson. The book encourages parents to do every part, of every meeting with the child. I did that for the first month or two, and then prepared the meetings ahead of time for my son to do them on his own. I’ll do the same thing for my daughter next year, which will be my second time with Saxon 3 in our home. We’ll see if it works as well with her as it did with my son. 🙂 I also spend the first month or two showing my child how to time themselves for their fact sheets. I always drill their flash cards with them (their add/sub facts), and do the counting of the meeting with them as well. I check their meeting, & fact sheets at the end of the lesson. The lesson itself normally takes anywhere between 10-30 minutes to teach each day. As the year came to a close, it took me longer to get through a lesson with my son (sometimes an hour), but I later decided he wasn’t ready to be pushed through the end of the book. If it’s taking you a long time to teach the lesson, I’d suggest considering that your child may not be ready for that level. My son began 5/4 last fall, simply because we finished 3 last year, all to decide that he wasn’t ready to continue moving on. I stopped his work in 5/4, and tried him again last January. His progress, and length of time he spends on his lessons has greatly improved; yet, we didn’t complete the book at the end of this year. But that’s ok! So, if that’s the conclusion you come to, don’t worry about your child being “behind”; remember your child can’t progress forward if he/she is working on something he’s not ready for.

      All in all, the entire lessons (meeting, teaching the lesson, worksheet, & fact sheet) normally takes around 1 hour, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter. There’s not a lot of independent work built into this level, so I created my own. 🙂 I hope this answers your question; let me know if not! I’m happy to share what we’ve experienced. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge