Saxon Math - Grades 3+
The Requirements for Saxon Math are pretty straight forward. After our kids have mastered their math facts (+ - x /), they will begin with Math 5/4. The goal will be one lesson a day along with the 25-30 practice problems at the end of each lesson. They will then correct any they got wrong. If they are very proficient in math and would like to get ahead, they can complete two lessons a day. Likewise if math is hard for them, they might only do half of a lesson a day until they feel comfortable with the current material. As I intend to do math year-round including the time we take off from school, I will be requiring them to complete all supplemental problem sets at the end of each textbook that offers it as well, to be 100% sure they know what they are doing before they continue onward.
Over the past few months I have been accumulating all nine Saxon Math textbooks I will be needing on our homeschool journey. Buying them through Amazon and Ebay, I managed to pick them all up for $113.52 ($77.25 actual cost & $36.27 shipping). Expect to put the most of your money into Advanced Mathematics and Calculus. The rest of the books you can find for close to $5.00 or less. Don't pay more than $5.00 for shipping, it's not worth it.
As I looked through all of these great books, I tried to decide what I was going to need to go along with them. Do I really need a test book? Answer keys? After musing over the idea of plugging each and every problem into the computer by hand to get the answers and create my own answer key for free, I finally gave up and decided that my next project would be to start collecting answer keys. Looking on both Amazon and Ebay, it's looking like I will probably be spending just as much as I did for the textbooks. It's frustrating, but worth it. Next, I decided that no, test books are not important to me. I have no problem pulling problems out of the textbook to make a quick test to make sure they are understanding the concepts. What I did want though, was a way for them to do the 30 questions at the end of each lesson. At first I thought I'd just hand them an empty notebook and say have at it, but then I realized that my neat-freak inside who likes everything organized would not be happy with this system for long. That's when I came up with this -
This is pretty hard to read, but you get the basic idea. Each day, they write down what lesson they are doing. Then they do the review work from the start of the lesson in the box and they do the Practice Set problems in the allotted 1.-31. slots. This way all of their work is organized, their answers are circled, and I can have an entire textbook's worth of work in one place. My plan is to print one of these for every lesson and supplemental set and binding them together using a comb binding machine. This book will be handed to each kid along with that year's textbook.
I don't know if anyone else is as much of a neat freak as I am, but if you would like to have this workbook, you can download it here -
"Saxon mathematics for grades K–12 is based on the teaching principles of incremental development, continual practice and review, and cumulative assessment. When John Saxon created his original math text in 1979, his vision was for a teaching method to help students better understand math. Since then, the program has been augmented with features to help you at every level." - http://saxonhomeschool.hmhco.com