Curriculum review #1 Saxon Math: 3rd Grade

Like I said the other day, I get a ton of homeschool questions. One thing people who are just starting out ask most is, “What curriculum do you use.” The truth is that we have used a lot of different things over the years and some have been great, some things have been so so and some we dropped like a hot potato. I am the happiest I have been in years with our math curriculum. I am using Saxon Math for both my 2nd grader and my 7th grader. It’s our first year with it and I wish we had of used it years ago!

Here’s what I’ve learned with Saxon Math 3:

  1. We started Audrey (2nd grade) out at the beginning of the year in the 2nd grade book. It was WAY too easy. We should have started in 3rd grade from the beginning.
  2. There is a ton of review. You know how a lot of curriculums will spend a chapter working on time, a chapter counting by 2s, 5s and 10s, a chapter on addition…you see where I’m going. Saxon doesn’t do that. In almost every lesson the student will measure, tell time, add, subtract and count. There is no way they are going to forget what they did at the beginning of the year because they are doing it, and building on it every day. I really like that.
  3. The “new” information is very manageable. If your student needs to continue working on something from yesterday, that’s ok, it will be on their work sheet. What you are teaching today is going to be short and sweet. It’s like putting tablespoon of sand on a pile…just a little at a time but before you know it, you’ve got a good little mound going.
  4. An entire lesson start to finish will take 45 minutes if you do everything and your student participates. If you have to keep getting them to sit down and come back it will take an hour. We do a lot of up and down and moving about the room, so it takes us an hour. Unfortunately that is how my littlest learns best. I’d so much rather her just sit.

3rd Grade is going to cover adding and subtracting 2 and 3 digit numbers. Multiplying (It starts out asking how many days are in one week, how many days are in two weeks and so on. Pretty soon your kid is multiplying by 7…it’s pretty sweet how they get them to think about math in something they are already familiar with,) dividing and fractions. By the end of the book they will be working with coordinate planes and even simplifying expressions with multiple steps. It might sound higher level and I would have thought that would be too much for my Audrey at the beginning of the year, probably why I chose 2nd grade in the first place. However, the way Saxon presents it in such reasonable chunks I think my kid really gets it.

The main con with Saxon are that the pages are pretty boring. Today’s kids are super used to everything being bright, fast moving and very aesthetically pleasing. We’re talking black and white worksheets with no pictures. In a sense that can be good. Some kids find colorful pages and pictures distracting, but it can be bad if there is nothing to draw them in. If you are going to get Saxon I’d definitely get some really fun math manipulatives to go along with what you are doing. Here is a post about our favorites!

The student work book comes as a set of tear out pages that are prepunched for a 3 ring binder. I started out by tearing out most of the pages and putting them in a binder. This keeps the pages from getting otherwise ruined in the paper back work book. Notice the page on the right is an assessment. Every 5 lessons is a written and verbal assessment that can be recorded on the grade sheets they provide.
The student work book comes as a set of tear out pages that are prepunched for a 3 ring binder. I started out by tearing out most of the pages and putting them in a binder. This keeps the pages from getting otherwise ruined in the paper back work book. Notice the page on the right is an assessment. Every 5 lessons is a written and verbal assessment that can be recorded on the grade sheets they provide.
Every lessons has a fact sheet to go along with it. They vary from day to day in difficulty and are based on flash cards that the student is working on up to that point.
Every lessons has a fact sheet to go along with it. They vary from day to day in difficulty and are based on flash cards that the student is working on up to that point.
The teach book is a large spiral bound book.
The teacher book is a large spiral bound book.
Another thing I really like about Saxon is that the teacher book includes a script. You won't have to worry about knowing what to say in the lesson. You can literally read the exact words to your kid. (Suggested script in bold.) If you are more comfortable with the topic you can look at what they are supposed to learn and just teach it.
Another thing I really like about Saxon is that the teacher book includes a script. You won’t have to worry about knowing what to say in the lesson. You can literally read the exact words to your kid. (Suggested script in bold.) If you are more comfortable with the topic you can look at what they are supposed to learn and just teach it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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