Subjects

In our Classical charter schools, we use the John Saxon, Saxon Math program and find it very effective.

Saxon math is effective because of its concept of teaching the incremental learning of mathematics. Saxon involves teaching a new mathematical concept every day and constantly reviewing old concepts. While other math curricula ask students to progress from simple to complex concepts in just a few weeks, Saxon Math scaffolds instruction of each concept and continues to review information introduced earlier. This allows students the time and practice to retain math concepts to the level of mastery.

There are many ways to purchase used textbooks, but the publisher is slowly trying to phase out a good thing. The Saxon math textbook has gone through two reiterations, the original Saxon books which many homeschool families are finding used, or the updated 2004 version which bifurcated geometry and trigonometry among other edits.

You will find Saxon Math as the go-to math instruction textbook for, homeschoolers, high-performing charter schools, and private schools around the US.

You will find Saxon Math as the go-to math instruction textbook for, homeschoolers, high-performing charter schools, and private schools around the US.

Saxon Math is a core curriculum for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. At the intermediate and middle-grade levels, daily lessons introduce new concepts and skills, incorporating real-world problem-solving and applications of mathematics. Saxon Math is aligned with the Common Core State Standards but because it is 'old school' math-focused the gyrations to fit into Common Core didn't score the program very high on Common Core reviews. Now that the Common Core experiment is coming to an end in many states, one thing remains: Saxon Math is effective. Finding the textbooks in large quantities is going to become more difficult but for individual families, you should be able to find the textbooks easily enough.

High School Advanced Mathematics includes the equivalent of the second half of geometry, plus advanced algebra, pre-calculus, and trigonometry.

We like the Saxon platform in our schools because as we open and expand, we are bringing in teachers at all levels of competency in their math instruction. Because Saxon is so detailed, spiraled, and offers multiple assessment breaks to check for scholar understanding, we find the program a great foundational tool for our math instruction. The same issues apply in your homeschool setting. If you start on lesson one, work through your daily instructions, have your scholar complete ALL the practice homework each lesson, go over the homework, pause and follow the quiz and test process you can teach math no matter what your background.

Here is Saxon’s recommendation for the order of Saxon math books:

High School Advanced Mathematics includes the equivalent of the second half of geometry, plus advanced algebra, pre-calculus, and trigonometry.

We like the Saxon platform in our schools because as we open and expand, we are bringing in teachers at all levels of competency in their math instruction. Because Saxon is so detailed, spiraled, and offers multiple assessment breaks to check for scholar understanding, we find the program a great foundational tool for our math instruction. The same issues apply in your homeschool setting. If you start on lesson one, work through your daily instructions, have your scholar complete ALL the practice homework each lesson, go over the homework, pause and follow the quiz and test process you can teach math no matter what your background.

Here is Saxon’s recommendation for the order of Saxon math books:

Kindergarten – Saxon K

1st grade – Saxon Math 1

2nd grade – Saxon Math 2

3rd grade – Saxon Math 3

4th grade – Saxon Math 5/4

5th grade – Saxon Math 6/5

6th grade – Saxon 7/6

7th grade – Saxon 8/7 or Algebra 1/2** (See explanation below)

8th grade – Saxon Algebra 1

***Geometry (see explanation below)

9th grade – Saxon Algebra 2

10th grade – Saxon Advanced Mathematics

11th grade – Saxon Calculus

12th grade – Saxon Physics

** Saxon 8/7 and Alg 1/2 are both considered Pre-Algebra. Algebra 1/2 was written by John Saxon for high-schoolers who hadn’t previously taken pre-algebra or who had scored poorly. It moves at a faster pace than 8/7, but the material is the same. Saxon 8/7 was written by Stephen Hake for younger students who were ready for pre-algebra.

If your student finishes 8/7 successfully, it isn’t necessary for him to complete both.

***Saxon also offers Geometry. (I’ve never used it, though, because geometry is covered adequately in the Algebra 1 & 2 books.) If your student is college-bound in the area of math or science or they just really love math, use Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Advanced Math, and Calculus, and your geometry will be covered by the content found in these texts.”

If your student finishes 8/7 successfully, it isn’t necessary for him to complete both.

***Saxon also offers Geometry. (I’ve never used it, though, because geometry is covered adequately in the Algebra 1 & 2 books.) If your student is college-bound in the area of math or science or they just really love math, use Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Advanced Math, and Calculus, and your geometry will be covered by the content found in these texts.”

Zearn and Open Up Resources

For those families that would prefer a digital-based platform, we highly recommend the Zearn platform for math instruction. Zearn offers K-6 instruction at this point, and they are adding additional grades monthly. They have incorporated Open Up Resources, a content provider we have a relationship with and have integrated their Bookworms, early reading (K3) program into our model. Open Up Resources offers a 6-8 platform with teacher and student daily lessons provided for a nominal cost. Unfortunately, if you decide to go with a non-Saxon option, there may be a few extra steps that you are going to have to take, depending on your scholar's grade and skill level.

Parents can create an account by following the steps in this article here, and they can create their students' accounts by following the steps here. Even though parents will have to select a grade level when signing up, they can have multiple students set to different grades.

Many homeschool teachers also choose to purchase Zearn student workbooks and teacher answer keys. These include the student notes and exit tickets that are a key component of Zearn digital lessons. You can find both our student workbooks and teacher answer keys on our online store: https://marketplace.mimeo.com/zearn.

To help you get started, here are some resources to help you make the most of Zearn Math:

- Overview video - explains the Zearn classroom model and gives an overview of the Zearn Math curriculum
- Teaching and Learning Approach - guidance on how Zearn Math works
- Zearn Help Center - implementation resources for teachers including a getting started checklist, recommended schedule, anchor chart ideas, and more
- Zearn Facebook Community - connect with educators with hands-on experience implementing and teaching with Zearn Math

Inside our Medici Digital service, we offer Saxon Math support and national testing benchmarking so that you can diagnose exactly where your child is with their math skill set.

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