General Questions about Saxon Math™
Saxon Math Lower Grades
Saxon Math Middle Grades
Saxon Math Upper Grades
Saxon Teacher
What makes Saxon Math Homeschool programs unique?
Saxon promotes student success through the proven educational practices of incremental development and continual review.
With incremental development, topics are developed in small steps spread over time. One facet of a concept is taught and practiced before the next facet is introduced. Both facets are then practiced together until it is time for the third to be introduced. Instead of being organized into chapters that rapidly develop a topic and then move on to the next strand, Saxon Math is organized into a series of lessons that gradually develop concepts. This approach gives students the time to develop a deep understanding of concepts and how to apply them.
Through continual review, previously-presented concepts are practiced frequently and extensively throughout the year. Saxon's cumulative daily practice strengthens students' grasp of concepts and improves their long-term retention of concepts.
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How do I know what grade-level book my child should use?
Because Saxon Homeschool programs are skill-based, we provide free placement tests and a placement guide to help you determine the appropriate level for your child. You can administer and score the tests yourself. These tests are only valid for placing students new to the Saxon program. You will find the placement tests in the Resources section of the Saxon Homeschool website.
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When I can't help my child with a specific problem, can he or she contact you?
If your child needs help on a specific math problem that you cannot provide, just have him or her email us at mathhelp@saxonhomeschool.com. Also, consider purchasing a set of Saxon Teacher CDs. Saxon Teacher provides video solutions for every problem in the book, including the examples, practice sets, problem sets, and tests.
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How can I preview the program before making a purchase?
If you would like to preview the Saxon program before buying, we encourage you to download a free sampler from our website. Samplers are available for Math K–3, Middle Grades Math, Upper Grades Math, Phonics K–2, and Phonics Intervention. Samplers will help you become familiar with typical lessons from each of our Saxon Homeschool products.
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How do I know that Saxon Math works?
Thousands of homeschool students have been successful using Saxon Math. In addition, numerous research studies have been performed that validate the philosophy of incremental development and continual review and compare the performance of students using the Saxon Math program with those using other math programs. To take a closer look at any of these studies, please access them through our website.
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Which concepts are covered at each level in the Saxon Math program?
The Saxon Homeschool Scope and Sequence lists in detail the concepts covered at each level. This document can be obtained free of charge through our website.
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Do you help my child practice the math concepts being taught?
Yes, the Saxon approach is based on thorough review of all of the concepts in the book. Additionally, when your child visits our website, he or she will find hours of Saxon-produced Basic Facts Practice covering addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division concepts, or combinations of all four.
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What is the difference in the book editions?
Each new edition of Saxon math books includes significant improvements in content and teaching methods, which are added after gaining input from teachers and students who used the previous editions. The important thing to know is that the editions are different, and the new editions include the latest techniques and content for effective teaching and learning. We highly recommend you use the newest editions.
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Can a student begin a Saxon math book after completing only part of a previous book?
Yes, if a student has completed all but the last five to ten lessons, it may be possible for him or her to move on to the next book successfully. If the student did not complete a large portion of the previous book, it would be far better to complete that book before advancing to the next level. Starting in the middle of a Saxon book will force the student to begin with a problem set using concepts that may not have been practiced for some time. If the student needs extra time to review, the early problem sets may take more than a day to complete. If your student is to begin a new book soon after completing the previous one, we recommend using the placement tests to assess his or her preparedness for the next level. Rather than completing one lesson per day, complete one test each day and begin taking lessons at the point where the student's mastery drops below 80%. This way, you can bypass the material that is meant as a review of the previous level.
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Do I have to purchase the home study kits for Math 1, Math 2, or Math 3? Couldn't I just buy the workbooks?
This is not recommended. The practice provided in the workbooks is only a part of a much more complete program. The Teacher's Manual contains not only the majority of the curriculum, but also detailed instructions and explanations on how to most effectively teach concepts and lead students to understanding.
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Do I have to buy the manipulative kit?
Because the Saxon primary math program is manipulative based, we strongly recommend that you purchase the manipulative kit. It is possible for you to assemble a single-grade manipulative kit for a lower cost than the entire kit, since not every manipulative in the kit is used at each grade level. But if you plan for your child to go through the entire Saxon K–3 program, the manipulative kit is extremely cost-effective.
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Why are teachers' manuals scripted?
It is very important to use specific and appropriate language when instructing students in mathematics. The script provided in each Saxon Teacher's Manual provides you with carefully crafted questioning strategies that help children to construct math concepts.
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How do I use the Meeting Book if I begin the program in a month other than August?
All Meeting calendar activities are designed for studies beginning in August (Math 1) or September (Math K). Should you begin the program in a different month, use the patterns in the order in which they are presented. For example, if you begin Math 1 in October, use the calendar for October but use the shape and color patterns for August. This will keep the concepts taught in the lessons and the practice provided in the Meetings together. Also, the language in some lessons may need to be changed to reflect the correct season of the year. (Math 1: fall, Lesson 17; winter, Lesson 65; spring, Lesson 115; summer, Lesson 129). Read the lesson for the appropriate season and insert the language into its corresponding Lesson.
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How many lessons should be taught each week?
Four lessons plus an assessment are taught each week in Math 1, 2, and 3. If an assessment does not fall during the week, the extra day can be used for remediation or enrichment. Twelve lessons per month are taught in Math K. In most cases, three lessons will be taught each week. On the other two days of the week, repeat the Meeting from the day before and use the materials that you have used in previous lessons to practice the skills and concepts introduced.
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What should I do if my child is having difficulty with a new concept or needs extra practice or reinforcement?
Build in extra practice, and be patient. Mastery is not expected on the first encounter with a new concept. It will develop over time.
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What do you recommend for students after they have completed Math 7/6?
The recommended path after finishing Math 7/6 is to take Math 8/7. If your child finishes Math 8/7 with at least 80% mastery, skip ahead to Algebra 1. In previous editions, many people skipped Math 8/7 because they found it to be a weaker text than Algebra ½. In newer editions, pre-algebra content has been added to Math 8/7, making it a much stronger program.
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What should I do if my student makes many mistakes in his or her daily work?
Ask the student to analyze his or her mistakes and decide whether the mistakes are careless errors or whether he or she really doesn't understand the concept. If most of the mistakes are conceptual, make sure that the student is placed in the appropriate textbook and isn't missing important basic concepts. Use the assessments to identify concepts that are not fully understood. Have the student go back to the lesson in which that concept was presented and restudy from that point. If the mistakes are careless, make sure that the student is spending the appropriate amount of time on a problem set—not rushing to complete the lesson or taking so long that his or her mind is wandering and not focused on the lesson. The student should be completing at least four lessons each week and doing every problem in the problem set, as well as correcting every mistake. It might also help to break up the study schedule by having the student work for only an hour during "math time" and finishing the problem set later in the day.
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Do colleges recognize Saxon Math as an acceptable course of study in mathematics?
Yes, Saxon textbooks are used by thousands of students in public and private schools nationwide. Many of these students have continued their educations at colleges and universities throughout the country. There have been no major problems with these institutions accepting Saxon's math programs. Some have had questions regarding our integrated approach to geometry, but in every case we have successfully addressed the questions with a letter of explanation.
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What are my options for upper level math?
There are now two different tracks students can take with Saxon upper level books. The traditional approach is to take Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 (3rd Edition) before moving on to Advanced Math. The 3rd Edition upper level Saxon Homeschool programs have geometry integrated into them. Geometry is easily integrated into algebra because the topics are strongly interrelated, and this approach has proven to be very effective. Rather than spend an entire year on geometry, Saxon Math introduces geometry concepts into the math series at the appropriate times.
For those homeschoolers whose states have strict requirements for geometry curricula, or for those who would prefer to spend a full year on geometric concepts, we now offer the option of Algebra 1 (4th Edition), Geometry (1st Edition), and Algebra 2 (4th Edition). These books separate the algebra and geometry content while featuring the incremental approach that is the hallmark of the Saxon program.
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How can a high school student receive a geometry credit on his/her transcript when they use Saxon Algebra 1 (3rd Edition), Algebra 2 (3rd Edition), and Advanced Math
Geometry concepts are introduced in Saxon's early textbooks, but the heart of the geometry course is embedded in Algebra 2 and Advanced Math. Students who complete Algebra 2 have taken the equivalent of one semester in geometry, but they will need to complete Advanced Math in order to complete one full year of Euclidean geometry. Because Advanced Math is a rigorous book, it is most often completed in three or four semesters. Students completing Advanced Math will have taken the equivalent of one year of geometry and one year of trigonometry and advanced algebra. For those who prefer to spend a full year studying geometric concepts, we now also offer the Saxon Geometry homeschool package.
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What geometry credit should be given on my child's transcript for Algebra 2 and Advanced Math?
Students who complete Algebra 2 can be given credit for one semester of informal geometry (geometry without rigorous proofs). Students who complete Advanced Mathematics can be given credit for one full year of Euclidean geometry. The full-year credit includes credit for completing Algebra 2.
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Do I have to cover the Advanced Mathematics book in one year?
No, if it takes more than one day to cover a lesson, don't be alarmed. Average students usually take three to four semesters to finish the book. Keep in mind that the Advanced Mathematics book is a geometry book as well as a trigonometry and pre-calculus book. The book covers more advanced algebraic topics as well.
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What makes Saxon Teacher CDs different from other Saxon video supplements?
Unlike other products, Saxon Teacher provides video solutions for every problem in the book—examples, practice sets, problem sets, and tests. As the official video supplement, Saxon Teacher is based on the content that appears in the book, not on similar problems. Saxon Teacher also presents content within a custom-made player, which is very straightforward and easy to use.
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Will Saxon Teacher work on Windows or Mac computers?
It is designed to work with both. Saxon Teacher will work with any recent operating system on Windows and Mac computers.
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How can I preview Saxon Teacher?
By going to SaxonTeacher.com, you can view demo versions of the Saxon Teacher products. Additionally, you can find the Saxon Teacher demos by going to the Resources section of the Saxon Homeschool website.
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Can Saxon Teacher replace the print materials?
No, students will still need the textbook. The only component that the CDs could be considered a replacement for is the Solutions Manual, but this is not recommended. Students may not need in-depth explanations for all problems, and using Saxon Teacher as a Solutions Manual is more time consuming than using the print version.
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Saxon Math™ is a trademark of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.