Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Who uses it? Isaac uses it. Actually, all of my kids switch from Horizons Math to Saxon 54when they hit the Saxon 54 book. As far as I can tell, Emma will be transitioning into Saxon as planned next year.
What do you get? When I purchased the Homeschool Packet, I received the student text, solutions manual, answer key, test booklet. I also purchased the DIVE CD and Lesson Plan from MFW. If you plan to purchase the DIVE CD, be sure you check the editions of both the CD and the text to make sure they match.
Where can you get it? Saxon math is published by Saxon Publishers. You can purchase the curriculum from Saxon, online retailers such as Amazon or CBD, and online curriculum stores like My Father’s World and Sonlight.
How much is it?
Prices below are for Saxon Algebra 1/2. Prices vary for each text.
- Homeschool Kit – $74.70 (student text, tests, answer key)
- Solutions Manual – $40.20 (optional)
- Lesson Plan Booklet – $15.00 (Sold exclusively by My Father’s World. According to their site: These plans assign the problems in each lesson that are most important to complete.)
- DIVE CD – $49.90 (I purchased mine from CBD.)
Why? It works for us! It does not work for everyone. My kids do okay with a black and white, no-frills text. They need the spiral teaching style of Saxon. This helps them keep concepts fresh in their minds.
How we use it:
Isaac starts out each day correcting his work from the day before if he scored less than 85%. I do this for a few reasons. Firstly, I want him to correct his mistakes so that I can see that he has grasped the concept before moving ahead. It keeps him from rushing through his lessons if he knows he’ll have to correct his mistakes the next day. By not making him correct his lesson if he scores at least an 85%, it keeps him from feeling ‘stupid’ (his word not mine) if he makes an occasional mathematical error – missing a multiplication fact or adding wrong.
After I check his corrections to make sure he got them right the second time, he does his DIVE CD lesson. These CD’s present each day’s lesson on a digital white board. Isaac can hear the instructor ‘teach’ each lesson while watching him work the sample problems on the white board. After the problem is written on the board, Isaac pauses the CD and works the problem in his notebook. Then, he hits play to see the answer. If his answer doesn’t match the CD answer, he is to go back and listen to the ‘lecture’ part over again. If he still doesn’t understand, he brings it to me.
Last year, Isaac got about 1/3 of the way through Saxon Algebra 1/2 without the DIVE CD. He hit a wall and got to the point where he didn’t want to have me lecture/teach him the math lesson. Isaac thought I was being critical of him when I was correcting him. It ended with LOTS of tears from both of us. It wasn’t productive for either of us. So, we put the book away and didn’t do math for the rest of the year. So far, this year has been a complete turn around. He has gained confidence in his math abilities. He enjoys the CD, because someone else is teaching him.
I use the lesson plan booklet from My Father’s World. I am not comfortable knowing which Saxon problems can be skipped (and if you do any research online you will see that parents are STRONGLY discouraged from skipping problems). However, I used the lesson plan book a few years ago with Logan, and it worked out just fine. One of the things Isaac hated about Saxon last year was that he had to do 30 problems each day. Now, the book tells him which problems to do. Some days he has 10-15, and other days he has 20-30. For some reason, if the book is telling him to 30 problems there is much less complaining! That is worth $15 in my opinion!!
After the DIVE CD lesson, Isaac does the practice problems in his text and I check them. Then, he’s off to complete that day’s lesson.
If you’re looking for a no-frills spiral approach to math, this may be what you’re looking for.
Here’s the order we (plan to) do Saxon Math:
- 4th grade – Saxon 54
- 5th grade – Saxon 65
- 6th grade – Saxon 76
- 7th grade – Saxon Algebra 1/2 (Isaac is a year behind this schedule due to the issues I mentioned above.)
- 8th grade – Saxon Algebra 1
- 9th grade – Saxon Algebra 2
- 10th grade – Saxon Advanced Math
- 11th grade – Saxon Calculus (over 1.5 – 2 years if necessary)
- 12th grade – College Algebra at the community college (dual enrollment) upon the completion of Calculus
*This isn't a Crew review or a solicited review of any sort. It's my honest opinion of our math curriculum - that I purchased -, and I wanted to share it with you.
Monday, November 21, 2011
We are not doing school this week. I am babysitting Monday – Wednesday. I’m cleaning house and running errands to prep for Thanksgiving at my house.
My in-laws are driving down from Missouri on Wednesday – all 6 of them. A close friend and her family are coming over for Thanksgiving dinner – all 5 of them. My sister will also be coming over for dinner. We do the traditional Thanksgiving fare – turkey, ham, rolls, stuffing, cranberries, veggies, mac-n-cheese, and TONS of desserts.
Friday, I’m hoping to get a little shopping done.
Saturday, we are meeting friends in our downtown area to attend our local Dickens of a Christmas festivities. I can’t wait!
Sunday, I’ll rest up for the next week of school. Maybe, we’ll get the Christmas tree put up, too.
Here’s a picture of my crew enjoying Dickens of a Christmas two years ago. Back row: Logan and my cousin Danielle; Middle row: my niece Allie, cousin Hannah, Isaac, niece Kiersten; Front row: niece Abbi and Emma
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Well, this turned out to be a pretty productive week! And, it’s a good thing since we are off next week for Thanksgiving. I’m babysitting one of my afterschool girls Monday – Wednesday of next week so we won’t be doing any schoolwork.
- finished her Miss Hickory unit and lapbook
- finished Meet Josefina and started a coil pot
- memorized her 8’s multiplication facts!
- learned about skunks, snakes, armadillos, and kangaroos
- did a little paint chip sudoku thanks to Ami!
- created some Monet-inspired artwork
- listened to Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery
- wrote 50 ‘what if’ questions in the style of Lewis Carroll
- learned about Russia and took a European countries map quiz
- learned about verbals – infinitives and gerunds – and learned how to diagram them
- created some Monet-inspired artwork
- listened to Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery
I jotted down some notes as I was teaching this week. Here are a few things I observed:
- Isaac needs to memorize the prepositions so he can recognize prepositional phrases and objects of the preposition easier.
- Emma needs to memorize her times tables to eliminate the need to count on her fingers.
- Isaac and Emma have asked to do Latin and Spanish together. So, we will be stopping where we are so Isaac can catch up in Latin and Emma in Spanish. We will do them together for the remainder of the year.
- Logan needs to really work on managing his time wisely. He got pretty behind this week on his homeschool and college class work, and pulled an all-nighter to catch up on Thursday. I don’t want this to become a habit so we will be working on time management after Fall Break.
Monet-inspired Water Lillies
Friday, November 18, 2011
After reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Isaac read in his Lightning Literature text that Lewis Carroll would often sit in a room with his eyes closed and listen to the sounds around him. He would then turn those thoughts and sounds into what-if questions. Many of those questions wound up becoming smaller stories in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
For Isaac’s writing assignment, he chose to write 50 what-if questions in the style of Lewis Carroll. I had to share some of them here, because they’re funny! My brain just doesn’t go to those kinds of places. Isaac’s questions had me laughing out loud. I could never in a million years have come up with questions like these.
- What if the whole world was Disney World?
- What if Tom ate Jerry?
- What if all the parents burnt down Chuck E. Cheese?
- What if the presidents on money talked?
- What if calculators told you to figure it out?
- What if snakes turned into jump ropes?
- What if the Beatles lived in a red submarine?
- What if eggs and ham were really green?
- What if blondes made fun of brunettes?
- What if someone did not laugh at all while reading this?
There really is never a dull moment in this house!! And, I like it that way!
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
The College Prep Genius curriculum helps prepare students to master the SAT. The $99 set (a 25% discount) comes with the Mastering the SAT Class DVD, the College Prep Genius Textbook and a Student workbook.
My oldest, a senior in high school, has taken the SAT twice and has plans to take it one more time in December. I have him working through this program in preparation for his upcoming test.
Logan and I are both very impressed with this program. Jean Burk takes students through learning the secrets of the SAT. Logan had no trouble at all learning the acronyms that are used to decode the SAT.
The twelve chapters cover all the sections of the SAT. According to the website, the program teaches students to write a great essay in 15 minutes and how to eliminate 2-3 answers immediately.
Logan is really excited to see how high he can raise his score after completing this program. He’s hoping to qualify for a scholarship based upon his SAT scores. He’s prepping with College Prep Genius while I’m praying and keeping my fingers crossed!
To read more reviews from fellow Crew members, visit the Homeschool Crew blog.
I received this product as a member of the TOS crew in exchange for my review.
All opinions are my own.
Logan went on his first college tour Friday. Matt took the day off work, and they visited Dallas Baptist University. This is Logan’s first-choice school. He has quite a few friends who attend DBU, and is really hoping to secure enough scholarship money to make it happen.
Monday, November 14, 2011
This weekend we had the opportunity to watch a World War II reenactment. I must say that I wasn’t very excited about the field trip initially. I was, however, excited to meet up with some friends I hadn’t seen since September. It turned out, however, to be pretty interesting. The kids enjoyed themselves, too. Here are a few pics from our trip.