Like I mentioned in my last Saxon post, Saxon has been a homeschool Mainstay for many years. But being a mainstay doesn’t guarantee folks understand your program or that they know how to properly utilize it. As we transition our rising 6th grader to Saxon 7/6 I realized I really didn’t “KNOW” Saxon. Then I read a post that was talking about Teacher’s Continuing Education and they mentioned Art Reed’s book Using John Saxon’s Math Books (Art Reed) – Paperback
This book focuses on using Saxon math books for grades 4-12.
Things I learned from this book:
- The editions you use in Saxon do matter, MANY folks told me that they didn’t but they do! I learned Saxon is a incremental Mastery Textbook although at times it looks spiral
- How to use the books correctly (By correctly I mean as the author intended)
- The very SERIOUS importance of either daily grading or immediately grading tests taken which leads to Saxon Success.
- How to help struggling students and the reasons why they are struggling.
One item I did want to discuss is how to help students who struggle with Saxon. Many folks blame short comings in the curriculum. But like all things it is our job to review and supplement any curriculum our child is working on. With Math I have been quick to blame the publisher instead of considering the whole picture. Mr. Reed makes several suggestions regarding struggling students but there were a couple that really stuck out to me.
- First, allowing a child to use math short cuts instead of making sure they master each area.
- Second is that folks often skip around between Saxon editions or between different Math Curriculum. This particular error is peculiarly unique to homeschoolers as we can quickly shift from curriculum to curriculum.
I strongly encourage you to purchase and read Art Reeds book if you use Saxon Math. You will learn more about Saxon and understand how to use it to it’s fullest potential.
I hope you have a better understanding of Saxon and feel more prepared to teach it well.
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