We’ve been using Saxon Math for years. When we first started homeschool years ago, my son’s charter school we were a part of handed us a Saxon math workbook and I didn’t know what I was in store for. But the real beauty didn’t come until we started the full homeschool version by ourselves. What makes Saxon Math so great?
Watch my Saxon Math video below! Don’t like videos? No problem! Just keep on reading…
The Spiraling Approach
When we’ve tried other math curriculum, my son wasn’t able to remember the rules he learned because they were based more on mastery. You’d learn a lesson, work on it for maybe a week or two, then move on, never to see the concept again until much later, or maybe even the following school year. This did NOT work for us. He quickly started struggling, and we quickly switched back to Saxon. Twice. (I guess I didn’t learn my lesson the first time.)
With each lesson in Saxon you learn a new concept, but then follow that up by practicing on both the new concept and mixed review in your workbook pages. The repetition works beautifully.
Hands On Learning
Another reason why we LOVE this math curriculum is that it is hands on, especially in the younger years. Kids learn through play, and using different math manipulatives is just like playing for your kids. There are a great handful of lessons where your kiddo will have SO much fun learning that they won’t even realize they’re doing school work. Even my fifth grader still has a few hands on lessons while learning new concepts. (Of course, when you’re learning long division, sometimes you just have to resort to paper and pencil.)
I think our very favorite math manipulative is the pattern blocks. When I tell my kids to put them away after we’re finished with them for a lesson, they beg to keep them out so they can continue playing after they’re finished with the rest of their work. It’s hard to argue with that! We also love the linking cubes. My boys have turned these into SO many different creations- including, but not limited to, robots and guns.
A look inside a Saxon Math lesson
Saxon math is sort of divided between younger and older kids. Kindergarten through third grade has one set up, then fourth grade and up have a different set up. Let’s look at them both.
For the early elementary years, every lesson starts with a meeting. This goes over the calendar, money, time, patterns, weather, etc. Then, you continue with the new concept lesson. This usually takes about 15 minutes or so, depending on the concept. This is followed up by a fact sheet to practice adding, subtraction, multiplication, or division. Finally, there is a worksheet. The worksheet is two sided. You can choose to do one side together and leave the other side for kids who are able to work independently. But, we choose to just do one side, and save the other if they need more help with a concept. If they don’t, we skip it.
For grades four and up, the lessons start with mental math that the children are expected to do independently. There is also a math facts page to accomplish. The lessons in these, I feel, go much faster. Maybe five minutes. If you have a great independent worker, they can even get away with doing the lesson themselves. My son excels at math, but he does need me to go over his new lesson with him to make sure he understands the concept. This is followed by some work that covers just the new concept, then some mixed review worksheets. If my son is doing well with the new concepts and mixed reviews, I will let him cover just even or odd numbers, instead of doing all 30-ish problems.
Saxon Math is the best homeschool math curriculum of all time!
There are so many different choices for math curriculum out there in the homeschooling world. I know lots of families who love lots of different choices. But, when I cross a family who also uses Saxon math, they have the same LOVE for it that I do. I always get so excited that they “get it”!
What is your favorite math curriculum? Join me in my online homeschool community and let me know, or drop a line in the comments below.