This is a continuation of the homeschool curriculum series, in which I share with you my experiences with the curriculums we’ve used over the past five years. My hope is that you will walk away with a better understanding of these curriculums, and further assisting you in your curriculum research. Today I share with you what I don’t like about Saxon Math.
Saxon Math has been our math curriculum of choice for the past five years. I’ve experienced the entire K-3 program, and there are many things that I love about it. However, no curriculum is perfect, so there are some things that I don’t like about Saxon Math.
What I don’t like:
1) Repetitive Meeting. Ok, so last week I shared with you that I love the fact that repetition is such an integral part of this curriculum. After all, repetition is at the heart of Classical Education. However, I will admit, this gets old…really, really fast. Saxon begins each lesson with a “meeting”. This portion includes counting, calendar activities, and practicing other skills such as time, and mental computing. Although this has been a huge benefit for both my mathematically advanced, and challenged children-it is so predictable that I go cross-eyed. That being said, after we’re grounded in the meeting (say about five to six months) we don’t do it every day. Maybe just a few times a week.
2) Bridging the gap. There is a huge difference between Saxon 3, and Saxon 5/4. The layout of Saxon 5/4 is designed to be read by the student, whereas Saxon 3 is to be read by the parent. Which indicates that the student should be taking more independent responsibility for his own work. I did not see where Saxon 3 prepared the children to take responsibility for their work, and encourage the child to work independently. I would love to see Saxon 3 be a combination between the lower elementary levels of math, and higher elementary levels of math in regard to how the material is presented, and the amount of work required from the student. The difference is not about the content; the quality and content of mathematics is the same. This frustration speaks only to the format of how the material is presented. I’ll share how we overcame this issue next week.
3) It’s boring. Well, this isn’t so much of my complaint as it is many others, and I will admit, there is a boredom factor to Saxon Math. The worksheets are plain, black-and-white, which bothers many people. There are a lot of people who want the colorful worksheets for their children, but you won’t get that with Saxon Math. My children get over it quickly; honestly, colorful math worksheets can be purchased separate from any curriculum. But know that it’s an issue for many. I’ll also add that my children do get bored with the lessons; however, my children get bored with just about anything I want them to do. I’m not in the business of entertaining my children for school, so it doesn’t bother me that they don’t always find their math lessons exciting. However, it is a concern for others.
These are the few things that I don’t like about Saxon Math, even though we love using the curriculum. Once again I’ll state that Saxon Math is not a one size fits all curriculum. It simply isn’t going to jive well with some people, and maybe that person is you. Hopefully, this has assisted you in better understanding what to expect with Saxon Math. Next week, I’ll share my thoughts on getting the most out of Saxon Math.
What do you use for teaching math? What do you love, or don’t love about it?
Check out the other parts of the series: