Math. This has been a subject that I have struggled to find a curriculum that will fit with my daughter's learning style. I have jumped from one curriculum to another each year. Our girl needs review in her lessons, so she will have time to absorb the information. Most texts we have tried would be testing over a new concept immediately without hardly any review at all from one lesson to the next. This just didn't work for us, and she was feeling defeated and giving up. I looked into a source that had worked for me when I was homeschooled, and guess what? We found just want she needed to succeed in math!
*I received the products below for reviewing purposes, but was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own. see disclosure.
Saxon Math Homeschool is a math curriculum with over 30 years of experience. According to their site it's"... the nations comprehensive and most thoroughly researched homeschool math program." Their philosophy is to develope topics in small steps over time to give students time to understand the concept. Then each text has continual review with daily practice problems. This means that each problem in every lesson is there for a reason to systematically review which is exactly what my daughter needs!
Saxon Math is available for grades K-12, and we received the Saxon Math 7/6 Homeschool Complete Kit 4th Edition. This Kit includes three books: the Student Text, Tests and Worksheets Book, and the Solutions Manual.
Saxon Math 7/6 Student Text has a total of 120 lessons, 12 Investigations, an Appendix with an additional lesson on Roman Numerals and Supplemental Practice Lessons. There is also a Glossary in the back with definitions that include diagrams and examples. Each lesson in the text consists of 4 math sections: Warm Up, New Concept, Lesson Practice, and Mixed Practice.
The Warm Up portion is meant to help the student become quicker at their math facts and other concepts. You begin with a facts practice test found in the Tests and Worksheets book.There is also problem solving and mental math problems included in this first section. We usually spend just a little over 5 minutes on the warm up.
Now you may have noticed that I didn't mention a teacher's edition is included in the Homeschool Kit above, that's because one of my favorite parts of the curriculum is that your student is thoroughly taught the New Concept portion in their own text with in depth explanation and mulitiple examples. These are great if your student is able to grasp new concepts quickly, and if they need assistance, like my daughter, you can read through it with them to answer any questions they might have. My daughter is a visual learner, and with the whole lesson in front of her, she is able to read and reread all the examples to better grasp the new concept.
We are able to figured out right away if she has a good understanding of the New Concept during the third section's Lesson Practice questions. If they have trouble you will see exactly what they need to go over again before moving on. Want to make sure and mention that there is also a form in the Tests and Worksheets book for students to answer both the Warm Up questions and the Lesson Practice questions.
Now after finishing up the practice section, You move on to the last portion of the lesson - Mixed Practice. Previous concepts are reviewed, and the new concept is blended in too. Answering every problem is key to this program since review is used through out each lesson. This section has between 25-30 problems to cover. One really neat feature is that beside each problem is a number in parenthesis which tells them what lesson that specific type of problem was first introduced. If they have forgotten how to proceed or just need a refresher, they can go straight to the lesson and look over the examples.
The Solution Manual contains not just the answer for all the lessons, but also the actual problems worked out. When my daughter has missed a problem, we go over the way to work it, and can see exactly where she had the error. The more we do this, the more I am noticing she isn't making the same mistakes day after day like before. This manual also includes the answers for the Investigations, appendix topic, practice lessons, and tests.
The Tests and Worksheets booklet contains facts practice tests, activity sheets, a testing schedule, 23 tests, and five different recording forms. Another key component of this program is plenty of time between a concept being introduced and when it appears on their Tests. The tests are cumulative, and set up about like the Mixed Practice portion of the lessons. Your child will have around 5 lessons to practice a concept before being tested. The first test covers lessons 1-5, but isn't administered until after lesson 10.
Overall, I am very impressed with the Saxon Math Homeschool curriculum. My daughter has really improved her mental math abilities in the last three weeks, and I have also noticed she is relying a lot less on me to assist her with nearly every problem. She has been able to glance back when she needs to and have the full explanation and examples right in her book. Her confidence in own abilities is growing, and that makes me so happy. For us the secret to success in math has been using the Saxon Math 7/6 Homeschool Complete Kit!
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How do you feel about math? What is something that helped you through teaching or studying it yourself? Would love to hear your thoughts on this curriculum or math in general!