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Textbooks, Tests, Solutions Manual

Are you tired of confusing math text books?

Are you tired of long winded explanations where the short answer is, "Oh, all you have to do here is cross multiply."

Do you find guess and check math exhausting?

I did.

I've used both the older hard cover Saxon editions as well as the Saxon Math Homeschool editions and am so glad for the new books. I love John Saxon's curriculum!

This is a rare text book update that truly is much better than its older version. As a matter of fact, if I were teaching in a public or charter school math class, I would use the homeschool edition in class.

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How do I know? My sister-in-law and I sat together, one with the old version of Saxon Math 5/4, the same used in many parochial and public schools, and the other with the Homeschool Textbook version.

We studied several chapters for several hours to compare what was in the two books. We then went through random pages, especially in the **Mixed Practice** exercises.

Not only were the lessons better, the instruction was also better.

- There were
**more word problems**, not fewer. - There were more or better
**practice problems**before the lesson. - The reading level was so age appropriate that you can use the textbook levels as a measure of your children's reading skills.
- Every ten lessons there's an
**Investigation**. The**Investigations teach Math related topics**that most books assume a child knows, like measurement. - One
**Investigation**teaches filling 2 tablespoons to show that it is the same as one ounce. Then to see that 8 ounces or 16 tablespoons are one cup. And so on, up through pints and quarts to a full gallon. This was the best measurement exercise I've ever done. The children learned at-a-glance and remember to this day. - The
**Solutions Manual**gives the*solutions*not just the final answers. It is not a mere answer key. Having the solutions is so helpful, not only to me trying to figure what the child missed; but also helps the child, especially when for self study. - The problems have
**tiny subscripts**_{(1, 2, 3, ....) }that show the**original lesson**number where the concept was taught so you can go back to the explanation in the book or the videos (which see below). These subscript notations are hugely helpful throughout the year! - The new books continued and improved on Saxon's spiral method of reintroducing or reinforcing learned concepts. Hands down. My favorite math books!

Each level comes as a kit that generally includes several books, dependent on the level:

- Student's text book.
- Teacher's solutions manual.
- Test booklet.
- Test booklet answer key.

It is a perfect setup for the student or teacher to quickly correct math homework.

I have used several different textbook companies' books throughout the last twenty years and, as far as I am concerned, the Saxon math homeschool curriculum is the best all around.

- The
**worksheets**make this program stand out for me. - Saxon was the first set of math textbooks that I had seen that had worksheets so that the kids could actually practice the math facts and gain speed with just
**5 minutes practice work**per day. - One or two of our children really rose to the challenge to not only work faster, but also to get 100s.
- I love the fact that the worksheets offer the practice and, newly, their DVDs and Dr. Shormann's CDs offer the instruction to go directly with the book.

Saxon now has its own **instructional DVDs** which are a God send.

They teach straight from the books with a staid and steady voice over an onscreen virtual white board.

Saxon's CDs are super for children who need more help - even if just at the beginning of the year. I can also imagine that these would be a giant help to ESL students since the text in the lessons are verbatim.

Saxon books and DVDs are easy to buy at Amazon, especially since you can get both new and used books. You do not have to be a school or have a homeschool co-op.

If your school or homeschool is using Saxon, do yourself and the children a favor and get the CDs for instruction and review. Children can repeat the lesson, or part of it, at will.

The CDs are also very useful for those who are beyond their school years - teachers and parents, too.

At first, ten years ago, we were thrilled to use Dr. Shormann's DIVE CDs for Saxon Math.

He sure taught the lessons well, and he taught useful shortcuts. I know people who used the algebra set for their college algebra courses. Dr. Shormann has scope and sequence for other programs if you need a tutor.

We also have many homeschool friends who recommend them, several even after having tried other programs.

These are excellent CDs for a super great price. For one thing, you can use them year after year for successive children.

See my notes about the DIVE CDs here.

The difference between Saxon's DVDs and the DIVE CDs is that Saxon was free to use its own curriculum since it owns the copyright.

This means that the example math problems and lessons are exactly the same as in the text book and solution manual.

- If your student needs all the explanations plainly put, these DVDs are perfect.
- Think of having a Saxon tutor for under a dollar per lesson.
- All year.
- Through the years.
- Best tutoring deal of the century!

Dr. Shormann could not use the exact wording due to copyright issues, yet he sure taught the matter concisely. The DIVE is great for children who read well and who can work on their own.

- If your student is bright or handy with math and reading, these CDs have MUCH shorter lessons because Dr. Shormann teaches real life shortcuts.
- Again, you'll have a math tutor for less than a dollar per lesson. You own the CDs so your expense is one half with a second student, one third with a third child, one fourth with a fourth, etc.
- Again, all year and through the years.
- An excellent aid to busy parents or self motivated students.

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Our own children have used Saxon, Math U See, Steck-Vaughn and other math textbooks. We compare all the rest to the achievements they have seen with their Saxon studies.

Our children learned more math with less effort and less work from us as teachers and parents using Saxon.

Our older children had used several editions that John Saxon put together from Math 5/4 through Algebra II and have done most of the work on their own using just his books and the DIVE CDs. Our younger children did the same, yet two prefered the Saxon DVDs.

We are thrilled with the lessons the oldest two had learned by the time they were finished with Algebra II.

We personally love the Saxon homeschool editions because they have the

- solutions manuals,
- subscripted lessons,

and in the lower levels

- mental math activities,
- math worksheets for practice and timed drills - very handy.

Saxon Math homeschool editions are a

*"total K-12 Math Solution. It is the only major Math program on the market that systematically distributes instruction, practice, and assessment tests throughout the academic year as opposed to concentrating, or massing, related concepts into a short period of time--usually within one unit or chapter. Saxon Math's unique approach to math instruction ensures that students not only gain but also retain essential math skills."*

Be encouraged to use the worksheets to speed up memorization and recall.

Be regular using the mental math practice at the beginning of the chapters in the lower levels. Oh, how valuable the mental math exercises are! You don't have to think up exercises to quickly refresh your students' math skills. John Saxon did it for you.

He even made them fun lessons where some children were happy to learn the pattern and do it over faster and faster. We had some very fun lessons using his mental math exercises. Kids love patterns. Patterns speed up math. Win. Win.

Saxon's Kindergarten through 3rd grade curriculum is designed to teach basic arithmetic concepts as well as geometry, patterns, time, and more. Each lesson is scripted for the teacher or parent, which takes the guesswork out of teaching.

The Saxon homeschool kits for the primary grades have wonderful features;

- A complete program in a kit including a class meeting book
- Balanced approach with manipulative opportunities and guided instruction
- Students move from the concrete to the pictorial to the abstract with a hands-on approach.
- The Saxon curriculum has, "all new concepts (that) are developed through hands-on activities and rich mathematical conversations that actively engage students in the learning process.
- Concepts are developed, reviewed, and practiced over time.
- Students move from the concrete to the pictorial to the abstract... It's why their books work so well.
- Daily mixed practice.
- Frequent, cumulative assessment
- Opportunities for connections, communication, and justification, Intermediate 4 (Student Edition) for the middle grades transitions students from manipulatives and worksheets to a textbook approach.
- A Solutions Manual gives step-by-step solutions for all problems in the book.

The emphasis in the middle grades is on developing algebraic reasoning as well as geometric concepts.

Lessons include a new concept plus a review of previous concepts, and Investigations (God bless those Investigations!). They give students a more in-depth treatment of math concepts.

Available for middle and upper grades.

We know many parents who have used the Manipulative Kit for the Primary Math K-3 kits and the homeschool editions. I did not know about them when our youngest were learning.

I think you will enjoy common sense kits complete with teacher manuals, solutions manuals, and manipulatives that you can buy at Amazon:

*New and Used Saxon Math curriculum Curriculum at Amazon.

- Textbook-based program with embedded differentiated instruction
- Problem solving, real world applications, and meaningful hands on activities.
- Students learn to reason, communicate and make connections.

The 5/4 Saxon Math Homeschool Kit is my favorite Math textbook of over fifteen different texts I've used through many levels.

The text book, test booklets, solutions manual and worksheets are all included in the kit.

Math 5/4 has such excellent definitions and introductions. If your children only know the four operations and can read on a fourth grade level, 5/4 will lead them through fourth and fifth grade level math skills simply and quickly

Even if it takes longer than a year to complete, I would not skip this book. It has the best glossary and really helps the children learn the mathematical terms and operations. It truly is a foundational book.

When Saxon created the homeschool editions of his textbooks, it added the info from the teacher's manual that hadn't been in the previous editions of the textbooks.

Whaaaat!?!

I can remember many years when our older children heard their teachers say, "Study it from your text."

That was so frustrating. The information was in her book, but not in the students' books. No more. It's all well explained in the students' books.

Why did it take so long?

Mr. Saxon had originally intended that a teacher teach the material. He had thought that math needed a teacher to teach math.

Good enough, yet I think that teachers in classrooms would be as happy to have the homeschool editions as homeschoolers are, simply because the student has the information available.

Not only can the students absorb the info better because it's there in their books for reference; but also parents and tutors can see what's being taught in the lesson.

Having the info in the student's book means fewer questions during class time. All. Year. Long. Teachers. Parents. Tutors. Students.

I own and have used several editions of these books and am most grateful to have had Math 5/4 in the homeschool version. If you buy the Homeschool edition, you'll have the solutions manual, and timed worksheets so your kids can practice the math facts.

Especially important in the Math 54 edition are timed

- addition,
- subtraction,
- multiplication, and
- division worksheets

that you can use to help your students practice or build speed.

The Saxon Math worksheets also have blanks to mark the minutes for timed quizzes and to record the grade earned.

The solutions manual replace answer keys.

**What's the difference between an answer key and a solutions manual?**

Well, the answer key often only has the answers, the solutions manuals show the solutions to the equations in all their steps.

Math 6/5 is right in line with 5/4, just bigger numbers (1,000 to 10,000) and more complex uses - all very well explained and includes the worksheets. It is a

- Textbook-based program with embedded differentiated instruction.
- Algebraic thinking and in-depth problem solving.
- Students apply strategies and justify their thinking - Math 6/5: Home School Kit

Math 7/6 is similar to 5/4 and 6/6 with larger numbers (10,000 to millions), yet introduces more algebraic material.

John Saxon's Homeschool Books

I am so glad that John Saxon persevered in spite of many publishing difficulties. He finally wound up publishing these text books with his own money.

His story is a wonderful story of a decorated American military hero and mighty well educated mathematician who wanted to teach his students to be able to do what he had done in a brilliant career as fighter pilot and advanced education teacher.

When he created his original math text in 1979, he wanted a teaching method to help students better understand math.

He couldn't find good books. Sound familiar? Since then, he continued to add new levels and each level spirals through previous concepts.

I am so glad that he produced the Saxon math homeschool kits. They've been super helpful to our family.

The worksheets are a real treasure the early years. There is a separate book of quizzes, manipulatives to cut and use like

- Money,
- Rulers, and
- Shapes.

On top of some of these benefits, my sister used my copy of Saxon's textbooks as she prepared for her teacher certification, and I know others who have used them to understand their required course material in both high school and college.

Again, these next will be perfect if you are homeschooling or doing elementary school at home.

They're like having a math tutor on tap at any time in the privacy of your own home.

- *The Saxon Math Teacher DVDs teach exactly what the Saxon Math Homeschool edition books teach.
- *Dr. Shormann has a wonderful short version of Saxon that is economical and encourages children to think.
- *Teachers like Art Reed have spent years teaching Saxon Math on Youtube videos.

None of these CDs or DVDs even touch the price of hiring a math tutor, not to mention the inconvenience of having a tutor in your home or driving to a co-op or tutor appointment.

Mary Fifer, BSBA is webmaster, author, and researcher at PrintNPractice.com. She has created elementary school practice exercises using digital interactive worksheets. Printable and perfect for today's teachers, tutors, homeschoolers, and students!