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7 Ways to Approach Saxon Math for Homeschool Teachers and Students

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Have you found your student is stuck in their Saxon math lesson and in need of a tutor?

Are you feeling like a little over your head with all the math terms and new way of doing things?

You are not alone!

Why you should choose Saxon math for your homeschooler

Saxon math for homeschoolers has long been the most challenging of all the math curriculums because of it’s intense concepts, strict emphasis on written work and NO CALULATORS allowed. Many teachers found students spending not just hours, but days, on a single lesson because of these high standards.

Thankfully, Saxon has revised their standards, and allowed room for a modest (and realistic) approach to the mathematics world. Student workbooks and teachers handbooks can now benefit from lesson instructions on CDs and DIVE DVD’s making students less apprehensive of the subject matter.

Take a page from homeschoolers past and make sure you are ready to hit the books this school year with all the confidence and knowledge of Saxon math.

544213: Saxon Algebra 1 Kit & DIVE CD-ROM, 3rd Edition Saxon Algebra 1 Kit & DIVE CD-ROM, 3rd Edition
By Saxon Publishing & D.I.V.E.

Get everything you need for a successful and pain-free year of learning math! This kit includes Saxon’s 3rd Edition Algebra 1 textbook and tests/worksheets book & answer key. as well as the DIVE Algebra 1 CD-ROM. A balanced, integrated mathematics program that has proven itself a leader in the math teaching field, Algebra 1 covers signed numbers, exponents, and roots; absolute value; equations and inequalities; scientific notations; unit conversions; polynomials; graphs; factoring; quadratic equations; direct and inverse variations; exponential growth; statistics; and probability.

The DIVE software teaches each Saxon lesson concept step-by-step on a digital whiteboard, averaging about 10-15 minutes in length; because each lesson is stored separately, you can easily move about from lesson-to-lesson as well as maneuver within the lesson you’re watching. DIVE teaches the same concepts as Saxon, but does not use the problems given in the text; it cannot be used as a solutions guide.

System Requirements:

  • Mac OS 10.3.9-10.4.x
  • Windows 98, 2000, ME, XP, Vista, 8, 10
  • Quicktime Download Required

This Kit Includes:

  • Saxon Math Textbook, 564 pages, hardcover
  • Saxon Tests Book
  • Saxon Answer Key
  • DIVE CD-ROM

Before you throw your hands up in frustration…

7 ways to approach Saxon math this homeschooling year


Article highlights:

  1. Identify your areas of strength and weakness
  2. Read the chapter, and possibly the next one
  3. Use some math apps for step by step help
  4. Buy the teacher cd’s for extra support
  5. Skip every other question
  6. Focus on the new lesson practice questions
  7. Have a separate notebook for scratch paper to show your work

1. Be honest with your teaching abilities

Many homeschooling parents will confess when it comes to teaching certain subjects, especially math, it can be a very daunting task. Often leaving parents feeling inadequate, or avoiding those homeschooling things altogether. After all, they are not teachers, so why try to teach? 

2. The secret to approaching Saxon math

Many hours have been spent crying over new lessons and the lack of instructions in the book, especially Saxon 8/7. Take it from a homeschool veteran mom, and her guinea pig student, when in doubt, READ THE NEXT CHAPTER! 

Don’t ask me why, but for some reason Saxon math will teach a lesson, have you repeat the formula with little to no “why” until the next lesson. Call it lesson concept building, but it can be very frustrating if you don’t know that secret. 

3. Use technology to your advantage with math apps

The rise of cell phones and apps don’t have to be all bad news, instead, utilize math apps where you can take a snapshot of the equation you are stuck on, and have a step-by-step tutorial on solving the answer. 

Parents note that can be a great asset, or a lazy student’s stumbling block by uploading ALL questions for a shortcut to homework. Be sure to emphasize math apps are tools to aid, not a means to avoid doing the work. 

Here’s a great article on 11 Apps That Will Make You Hate Math A Little Less

4. Consider purchasing the digital teachers lessons 

Saxon math offers each lesson being taught by math professors for students to follow along with via computer access. As a homeschool teacher that is less skilled in math (especially higher grades) you may benefit from adding this pack option to your homeschool curriculum order. 

344873: DIVE CD-Rom for Saxon Math 8/7, 3rd Edition DIVE CD-Rom for Saxon Math 8/7, 3rd Edition
By Digital Interactive Video Education

Boost your students understanding of Saxon Math with DIVE’s easy-to-understand lectures! Each lesson concept in Saxon’s textbook is taught step-by-step on a digital whiteboard, averaging about 10-15 minutes in length; and because each lesson is stored separately, you can easily move about from lesson-to-lesson as well as maneuver within the lesson you’re watching. Taught from a Christian worldview, Dr. David Shormann also provides a weekly syllabus to help students stay on track with the lessons. DIVE teaches the same concepts as Saxon, but does not use the problems given in the text; it cannot be used as a solutions guide.

Topics covered in Math 8/7 include arithmetic calculation, measurements, basic geometry, fraction/decimal/percent conversions/unit multipliers, as well as pre-algebra exercises.

System Requirements:

  • Mac OS 10.3.9-10.4.x
  • Windows 98, 2000, ME, XP, Vista, 8, 10
  • Quicktime Download Required

IMPORTANT! PLEASE NOTE: This CD plays in VLC instead of Flash Player. Please double-click the Open Me First folder and follow the installation instructions to have your CD play correctly.

5. Skip over questions in the homework

Let me first say you should always do your homework questions because repetition creates confidence and leads to better grades. However, Saxon is very repetous. Students who need to spend more time on newer concepts may benefit from skipping over some of the easier, or repetitive concepts that are no good uses of the students’ time.

6. Always complete the practice section

Whether the concept is easy or hard, encourage students to ALWAYS do the practice questions first. You would be surprised how many simple concepts get stacked on each other, in turn creating a complex math order of operation. Help your students out by requiring the practice portion be completed no matter how easy, or hard, the lesson was. 

Saxon math highly encourages students to show their work in a notebook.

7. Have a notebook to show your work

In Saxon math students are required to “show their work” so teachers can quickly identify where mistakes are made, but also verify the work was indeed done by the student. Many students in public school are allowed to use calculators once they hit high school, but your students may benefit from learning how to do things by hand, further stretching their cognitive skills, by proving their answers. 

Did you know? Most Saxon math books are written so the first ⅓-½ of the book is a refresher course on lower grade levels? The publishers do this to get students slower back into the swing of school, but also to build on easy concepts presented in “Saxon math way” to ensure students understand terms and order of operations according to how the book prefers.

What the Saxon math curriculum includes

Saxon math offers skills for grades K-12 with student books, teachers editions, video lessons and placement testing.

Student workbooks – during elementary grades students will benefit from a “meeting book” where students develop skills like calendar keeping and dates, but will also practice repetition of counting by ones, fives and tens.

Teacher edition – a resource that empowers teachers with lesson dialogues so you can read from a script to teach your student! Also included are dry erase or chalkboard lesson visual aids for students to follow along with. Of course, the teacher edition will also include answer keys for those higher grade levels that may require extra support.

Save money by opting for the Saxon math home study kits!

But Saxon curriculum doesn’t stop there! You can truly give your student a well rounded education when it comes to the subjects beyond mathematics!

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