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 This topic has 14 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 2 years, 9 months ago by Peter Goertzen.

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April 26, 2018 at 12:03 PM #47660Peter Goertzen@petergoertzen
Our school is thinking about switching to Saxon math for junior high and high school, and maybe at least some of elementary. We’re currently using ABeka for everything but a couple of high school electives. Do any of you have experience with this? If we would only partially switch to Saxon, where would be the best slot to start the switch? 7/6 in 6th grade? 8/7 in 7th grade? Something else? And what do you think of Saxon’s elementary materials, and the Saxon geometry text?

April 28, 2018 at 11:08 PM #47820Byron Dueck@byrondueck0
We use Saxon for Gr. 4+. Math 5/4 and Math 7/6 are Saxon’s flagships and are integral to success.
I’ve taught 7/6 for a number of years. I don’t think you could find a more thorough fractions and decimals course.

April 30, 2018 at 4:11 PM #47823Brian Martin@brianjmartin
I am assuming you are switching to the 3rd edition for Jr. High, and then possibly 4th edition for high school?

May 3, 2018 at 9:32 PM #47833Michael Yoder@4given2give
We have used (for the last 9 years at least) CLP Sunrise for 1st – 8th and then switched to Saxon for Algebra I, II and Advanced Math. I’m not sure how ABeka compares to CLP but we’ve found the transition to Saxon to work well. I highly recommend Saxon’s high school math. We currently use the 3rd ed. I have had little to no exposure to their lower level courses, except for Algebra 1/2 which I took in 8th grade and remember it being good. Hope this helps!

May 29, 2018 at 4:38 PM #48484Peter Goertzen@petergoertzen
Alrighty, I’m getting back to this now that our school year is over and I can think again. Thanks for the comments and questions so far; they’ve helped steer my thinking in the right direction. I’ve done some research, and I’m starting to make sense of 3rd edition vs. 4th edition and Intermediate 3 etc. vs. Math 3 etc. This page was especially helpful.
So what are the pros and cons of using Intermediate 3, 4, and 5 vs. Math 3, 5/4, and 6/5? For high school I’d lean towards using the 4th edition so students could get their geometry without necessarily taking Algebra 2 and Advanced Math. Are there advantages to the 3rd edition that we should consider?

June 2, 2018 at 9:08 AM #48797Brian Martin@brianjmartin
The school that I used to teach at switched from Abeka to Saxon Course 3 (8th grade). The students had a pretty rough time adjusting to the new layout. I did not teach either of them that year. The next year I taught both the 7th grade Abeka and the 8th grade Saxon, most of the class struggled but that was with everything, not just the math. Thinking about the woes of switching I somewhat tried to prepare the 7th graders for the book. I even did a few of the beginning lessons (of the 8th grade book) at the end of the year to give them a feel for the layout. That following year things didn’t go too bad.
I would recommend switching to the Saxon course 1 (6th grade) and then working your way up the grades. This would be easiest on the students. I don’t know anything about the elementary grades. For the high school curriculum Dr. Shormann has a rant about 3rd vs 4th edition here. I think he is also working on a curriculum that incorporates Geometry into Algebra I and II.

June 2, 2018 at 4:49 PM #48798Peter Goertzen@petergoertzen
Thank you very much for sharing your experience, Brian! Sounds like acclimating students to the new layout can be a challenge. Do you feel the change from ABeka to Saxon was worthwhile?

June 12, 2018 at 9:20 AM #48926Brian Martin@brianjmartin
I know they haven’t switched 6th or 7th to the saxon math. I think the only reason they are still keeping it is because most of their 8th graders are going to use the curriculum in high school. For my personal view I believe that for some students it is a benefit and for others not. This generalizes to all spiral vs mastery curriculums.

June 21, 2018 at 8:40 PM #49048Betty Yoder@bettyyoder
We have used Saxon Math grades 4 on since the founding of our school. It was a few years later that we switched to all Saxon. While I am less than enthralled with the Grade 3 Saxon math, I do like Grade 4 — we use 54. As I recall the switch from ABeka grade 3 to Saxon in grade 4 (using 54) was relatively smooth. I wonder who has experience with the Intermediate 3, 4, and 5 sets?

June 23, 2018 at 2:57 PM #49098Peter Goertzen@petergoertzen
Thanks for the reply, Betty. What do you dislike about the Saxon Grade 3 curriculum?

June 23, 2018 at 3:16 PM #49100Betty Yoder@bettyyoder
Please note that this is a comment on the Grade 3, not on the Intermediate 3 since I have never taught that. Grade 3 Saxon, especially the fourth quarter, moves into doing things way beyond what I consider necessary for third — like introducing prime numbers. Prime numbers are not taught again until 5th. If I would have the lessons in front of me, I could quickly give more examples. We have learned to work with it and intentionally don’t go past Lesson 120 in grade three. They also end up focusing more on division in third than I am comfortable with. In 4th they get the multiplication and division well. I think doing a lot of it in third ends up feeling confusing and heavy, especially to those who are weaker in math to start with.

June 24, 2018 at 4:49 PM #49105Ann Buskirk@anna
I once went to a Saxton workshop and the Saxton speaker said it was not necessary, even expected that you finish the textbooks because everything would be taught again the next year. Also, I noticed that the public school using Saxton didn’t plan to finish the books.
In the grade 4 book double division comes at the end of the year. Not a good time to teach double division. We usually finished the books but I let them use calculators the last month or so which added excitement to the end of the year.

June 29, 2018 at 4:31 PM #49337Peter Goertzen@petergoertzen
Valuable information. Thank you all!
Anything else from somebody out there?

July 13, 2018 at 5:11 PM #49560
This input regarding math curriculum is to alert those of you who may not know about them to some “classic” texts that anyone considering changes in their secondary math texts should consider. Math is not my field, but our math teachers have used both Mathematics: A Human Endeavor (third edition) and Geometry (2nd edition) for years at our school. The former opens students’ eyes to the world of mathematical thinking. The second does an excellent job of introducing geometrical thinking while using realworld connections and applications in a way that engages even the less “mathematical” students. You’ll need to do your own research on reading reviews and availability of these texts. Older editions are available, along with student workbooks, test books, teacher guides, answer keys, and some instructional DVD’s.
Key to these books is their author: Harold Jacobs. His successful math teaching experience has given him extraordinary ability to write math texts that do justice to the subject while engaging with the way students learn. No curriculum is perfect–anyone who is an expert in a field will disagree with some approach that another uses in teaching a subject–but Jacob’s texts have earned high acclaim. He also has an Algebra I text that we have not used; I assume its style is similar to the other two and that it would be good.For those interested, here are a few links to get you started.
See the “Harold Jacobs” page on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/HaroldR.Jacobs/e/B001H6ENU4/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Review of 3rd edition Geometry:
https://www.mathmammoth.com/complete/harold_jacobs_geometry.php
Introduction to Geometry on publisher’s page (apparently some of these texts are now marketed by Master Books under New Leaf.)
https://www.nlpg.com/geometry
Link to Jacobs’ texts and ancillary material on Masterbooks site:
https://www.masterbooks.com/homeschoolcurriculum/subject/math
An engaging clip by a math teacher who shares some ideas about how his teaching career was influenced by Jacob’s Mathematics text.
If anyone out there has experience teaching with Jacobs’ texts, it would be good to hear from you. 
July 21, 2018 at 7:44 AM #50665Peter Goertzen@petergoertzen
We’ve decided to stick with ABeka (with modifications) in elementary for now, but we just might switch to Saxon for grades 7 and above. The input in this thread has been helpful.
As Jonas said, I’m interested in hearing more about Harold Jacobs’s texts.


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