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Still following rabbit-trails. Found this, by Art Reed, who used to work for Saxon Publishers. Click on Newsletters. http://www.homeschoolwithsaxon.com/index.php He makes tons of very good points. He also says don't bother with the NEW-Saxon Fourth Edition Algebra 1 and 2 because they have stripped out all the Geometry to make their new Geometry book -- because you make more money selling 3 books instead of 2. He highly recommends using the Third Editions (hardbacks) while you can still get them.

He says the 2nd (HB) or 3rd (SC) Editions of Math 54 are almost exactly the same, problem for problem. Use either. Same with Math 65.

For Math 76, he recommends the 3rd (HB) or 4th (SC), which again are almost identical. He says the 1st and 2nd editions are outdated and not up to the 3rd ed in concepts, so a student using them might have some difficulty in going from that to the 3rd ed of 87. Students who score eighty-five or better on the last five tests in this level book indicate they are ready to move to Algebra ½, 3rd edition. Student’s who encounter difficulty in the last part of Math 76, reflected by lower test scores, can easily make up their shortcomings by proceeding to Math 87 rather than Algebra ½.

Math 87's 2nd (HB) and 3rd (SC) are also nearly identical. He also said this: Students who successfully complete the entire textbook and score eighty-five or better on their last five or six tests can skip the Algebra ½ textbook and proceed directly to the Algebra 1, 3rd edition textbook. Both Math 87 and algebra ½ get the student ready for Algebra 1; however, the Math 87 textbooks start off a bit slower with a bit more review of earlier concepts than does the Algebra ½ book. This enables students who encountered difficulty in Math 76 to review earlier concepts they had difficulty with and to successful later in the textbook. Students who encounter difficulty in the last part of this book will find that going into Algebra ½ before they move to the Algebra 1 course will strengthen their knowledge and ability of the basics necessary to be successful in the Algebra 1 course.

Algebra 1/2Use the 3rd edition textbook rather than the older 2nd edition as the 3rd edition contains the lesson concept reference numbers which refer the student back to the lesson that introduced the concept of the numbered problem they’re having trouble with. From here through Calculus, all books are hard-backed.

Algebra 1 Use the academically stronger 3rd edition. Algebra 2 Use either the 2nd or 3rd edition. The solutions manual for the 3rd edition has solutions for the daily practice problems that the 2nd ed solutions manual doesn't have. Advanced Math Use the 2nd edition. Calculus The 1st edition is still a really good book for calculus.
A student finishing all these last 4 books successfully will have two algebra, one geometry, one semester of trig and one semester of pre-calculus.

__________________ Lindina - American by Birth, Christian by the Grace of God! Mom to 2, G'amma to 3 - Teacher to 46 so far. Schooling Other People's Kids since 2001-02.

If you're even thinking about using Saxon, you need to read Art Reed's newsletters. He's also made a set of videos in which he teaches each lesson. He says both the DIVE and Teacher cd's are advertised as videos, but they aren't really, they're computer cds of whiteboard lessons, and only play on the computer. The content of the Teacher ones are exactly the same as the content of the Solutions Manual which is a lot cheaper. His dvds and one other (I didn't know there were so many choices!) are actually dvds that will play on the tv or on the computer.

__________________ Lindina - American by Birth, Christian by the Grace of God! Mom to 2, G'amma to 3 - Teacher to 46 so far. Schooling Other People's Kids since 2001-02.

Thanks for posting Lindina. Dd will be doing 76 next year and I thought we would move on to 87 but now I am not sure. I guess I will have to wait and see how she does this year.

Ok - don't laugh too hard... my first thought in reference to the title.....

"fire starter"

and yes I have 5/4, algebra I & algebra II in my house

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If you begin upper level Saxon then plan to stay with it. Saxon's scope and sequence jumps around so much that you need to do the entire series to get enough practice with each concept.

Just my opinion, I don't mean to "start the fire". LOL

Saxon math is what I intend to use when my children get older. The Saxon Teacher DVDs have the answers to every single problem in the entire book. Can't beat that. Plus the spiral method seems to be a no-brainer. The biggest objection people make to Saxon math is that it is boring. Oh well. Math, just like many of the most valuable skills we gain in life, is learned by lots of tedious repetition. Might as well get used to it.

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I won't use Saxon because it's spiral. I don't like using a spiral approach, and in general, I don't like the T.M. either.

... and boredom figures into my reasoning, too. Sure, some things in life are boring, but life is short, and I'd like for the important things not to be so boring. If there's a way to teach something so that it holds a kids' attention, of course I'll trade in something boring. These days, you can even play Angry Birds while sitting on the toilet. LOL! I'll save boredom for standing in line or "now what can I do?" after school work is done.

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They did the courses like that so they would not be pinpointed for specific grades. The 54 course is for 4th or 5th grade depending on the student. That is why if one is just starting Saxon in 4th grade or above they say you really need to do the placement test. We started last year and I thought dd would be in 54 but it turned out she placed in 65 so that is where we started.

I could never work out what grade levels Saxon materials were, or what you actually need for the full course! Is 5/4 fifth grade?

Back when John Saxon wrote them, he wasn't into grade levels, so he just wrote them for "levels". USED TO BE, 54 was for "advanced 4th or regular 5th", and at one point they had set up first edition 54 as a remedial or special-ed book, with newer editions for "regular students". NOWADAYS, 54 is just considered 4th. Same for each one with that kind of number. The Old-Saxon company used to suggest that if you did well with 76 you could skip 87 and go on to Alg 1/2, but New-Saxon just puts them out there for all of them to be done, and 87 would be 7th grade. Harcourt sells more books that way.

For homeschool, though, just do the placement test and go with whatever.

__________________ Lindina - American by Birth, Christian by the Grace of God! Mom to 2, G'amma to 3 - Teacher to 46 so far. Schooling Other People's Kids since 2001-02.