Saxon Algebra

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CalmingTea

  • Reviewed on Friday, December 16, 2016
  • Grades Used: 9th
  • Dates used: 2016
Saxon Algebra 2 is ok. It's not bad, but we will be trying Derek Owens for the remainder of the year.

The good things about Saxon:
fairly self teaching
step by step
builds confidence
clear, and concise
supported by many vidoes, DVD's, tutorials and probably in-person classes nearby where you live
SOlutions manual is very clear
Tests and answers are also clear
Easy to organize and grade
Relatively inexpensive
Mostly re-usable

The problems:
Not very conceptual. There should really be more applications and word problems. This is a big problem for us because my bright boy is very interested in the why and the how-to, and it can get pretty old just solving algorithms with almost no application year after year.
- Saxon doesn't explain the why very often. It's usually just the how....
- The Geometry- this is actually why we are switching. My son loves Geometry but is really struggling with the Geometry that pops up. He is struggling through it, and since we have all these other cons, and found Derek Owens, I felt it would be better to switch now and see how it goes.

Saxon is a competent, get-er-done math program. I don't think it would ruin or destroy anyone's math education, and I DO THINK it's great for kids for whom mastery math isn't working- I feel that they should consider Saxon.

But, you do need to be aware that there are weaknesses as well as strengths. We have given the high school math so many tries and I think it's time to admit that it's just not the best fit for my son.

babiroo

  • Reviewed on Thursday, December 19, 2013
  • Grades Used: 9
  • Dates used: 2013
My son, who struggles with technical reading, struggled when trying to use Saxon on his own. A couple of times I'd read the lesson, not have a clue what they were talking about, show him a much easier way of doing the problem, and he'd be fine. I think that even at the HS level, more diagrams in the book would be helpful.

Having said that, we purchased the CDs to go with it and they get a two thumbs up! Every lesson and every problem in each assignment and test is done step by step and as it goes, the woman speaking tells not only what to do next but why. Totally great!

If you're going to us Saxon and aren't a math whiz, get the cds. The best investment ever!

hs.alix

  • Reviewed on Sunday, March 13, 2011
  • Grades Used: 10 - Alg 1, Alg 2
  • Dates used: 2009-2010
I LOVED THESE BOOKS.

I started Saxon Alg 1 in grade 10 after many years of relative struggle with mathematics. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that Saxon was exactly what I needed to succeed (not just pass!) in mathematics.

With diligent hard work, I completed Algebra 1 during the first semester of sophomore year, and Algebra 2 in the second semester. By the time June rolled around, I had already started Advanced Math.

Saxon made me become proficient in mathematics (I am just about to start Saxon Calculus), and I am forever thankful for these books. If you or your child are having a tough time with math, maybe Saxon is what you need!

ekendall

  • Reviewed on Sunday, August 8, 2010
  • Grades Used: 7/6 - Algebra 1
  • Dates used: 2007-present
Some of the "cons" listed by other reviewers quite frankly surprise me. One reviewer stated that the concept, once learned, is presented in a slightly different way in the problem set and that her child found that totally frustrating. Presenting the problem a little differently is actually a "pro" not a "con." Too many times, student think they understand a concept. However, if the presentation is altered in any way, and this causes the student to be conceptually "lost," then they really don't understand the concept and should spend more time on it. As for the Saxon lessons taking too long... it's Algebra... spending increasing amounts of time as one climbs the math ladder is a given (unless your student is a math wizz). Another reviewer posted speculation that a 3rd poster spoke with the author of the Algebra 1 book, stating that John Saxon had been dead for "at least 10 years, probably longer." My response is that Saxon provides wonderful support, solution manuals that are adequate... and that there is more than 1 author for each of the higher level math books (who are very much alive). Another complaint is that the book moves "too quickly." As homeschoolers, we can move at whatever speed our student needs. Spending seveal days on one lesson, spending 1 day to cover 2 lessons, etc, is all part of the beauty of tailoring any curriculum to fit our students needs. Saxon Algebra 1 is a solid program. It's presentation is "zero-fluff," which may be a negative for some. However, my dd simply wants to learn Algebra and move on to the next level. Saxon Algebra I certainly fits that bill. (An additional plus is the Geometry added in which eliminates the need for a seperate Geometry course)
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