I am often asked about a particular homeschool curriculum. Sandy had a great question about Saxon geometry…

Lee,

We recently watched your Preparing to Homeschool High School videos in our homeschool group. They were great! I have a question about Saxon Math. My 10th grader is taking Advanced Math and has already completed Algebra 1 and 2. Do you have an opinion about Saxon and the way geometry is included? Would you suggest another route? My eighth grader has completed Algebra 1 and now in 2. I have 4 others coming along after these two so I’m wondering if this is the best route.

~Sandy

### Is Saxon Math Good for Teaching Geometry?

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I think Saxon does a fine job with math, as long as the student tolerates it. My nephew is a high school calculus instructor, and he is a HUGE fan of Saxon math. The problem with teenagers is that you have to match their learning style AND their preferences. We may know their learning style, but only the teen really knows their own preferences. Check out High School Math Without the Moaning: How to Teach High School Math at Home and consider having your children look at another curriculum if they get stuck or frustrated or say they “hate” math. Be aware that all of your children *may* end up liking a different curriculum.

Saxon now has two different options. Their third or “Classic” edition incorporates geometry throughout the curriculum, but it isn’t until Advanced Math that they get the bulk of geometry that is included in the SAT test. Advanced Math has a lot of geometry in it and the book states that it may take over a year to complete. Since your child is already taking Advanced Math, he should be ready to take the SAT in the spring of next year. We used Jacobs for Geometry in our homeschool, which is another wonderful program. It wasn’t until I let my son choose the math curriculum that we switched to Saxon. Because my children had completed a separate geometry course, we were able to follow it up with Advanced Math as a pre-calculus course that only took one year. The other option is to use the Fourth editions of the texts, which includes a stand-alone Saxon Geometry textbook, with the geometry taken out of the fourth edition Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 texts.

It sounds like all of your children are VERY far ahead in math; good job following their lead! Include Algebra courses on their high school transcript, even if they are completed in middle school. If you are looking for a supplement for geometry, because you’re a family that loves math, take a look at Patty Paper Geometry. I loved having hands-on experiences for geometry proofs. It’s NOT necessary at all, but it’s a fun activity book for high school geometry that math nerds often enjoy. Our favorite supplement toward the end of the Saxon Math series was the Teaching Company Course called Calculus Made Clear. It prepared my children to handle calculus with understanding.

*Please note: This post was originally published in August 2009 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.*

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Art Reed says:

About 107 years ago, four math and science professors at the University of Chicago bemoaned the fact that educators were mistakenly placing a geometry course in between basic and advanced algebra (what is now algebra 1 and algebra 2).

John never saw this book or I would have heard him speak about it, but he did know that problem still existed when he created his upper level math series.

The Saxon algebra one book contains an introduction to high school geometry. The algebra 2 book contains the equivalent of the first semester of a regular high school geometry course and the first 60 lessons of the advanced math book contains the equivalent of the second semester of a regular high school geometry course while both continue with the algebra concept as well.

For more information on this go to http://www.usingsaxon.com.

Art reed

August 19th, 2009 at 11:41 am

Noelle Mador says:

My daughter hates Saxon. Right now I am making my own curriculum using Khan Academy for pre-algebra and using Pro-one’s pre-algebra software. We have used MUS< teaching Textbooks. The problem is she is a right-brained learner that has APD. None of them are a perfect fit, so creating my own curriculum is what has worked so far. My son will be doing Thinkwell Math. I am not a Saxon fan at all.

December 17th, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Karen Davis says:

Lee, if a homeschooler has done both Saxon Alg 1 and 2 and no other geometry, can they give a credit for Geometry? I was thinking 1/2 credit but wanted to get your opinion. And am I interpreting this post correctly that this would not be enough to do well on the SAT? Is there another option for a non-mathy student to get the geometry they will need for the SAT?

Okay – three questions in one comment is excessive. You can pick just one to answer!

July 4th, 2012 at 7:08 am

Lee says:

Dear Karen,

It’s good to hear from you!

“If a homeschooler has done both Saxon Alg 1 and 2 and no other geometry, can they give a credit for Geometry? I was thinking 1/2 credit but wanted to get your opinion.”

According to the Saxon website, you have to finish Advanced Math to get 1 credit of geometry. (http://saxonhomeschool.hmhco.com/en/products/default.htm?level2Code=M0006&level3Code=M31082&level4Code=&level5Code=). That is the problem with the Saxon books – you don’t get geometry until the end. In general, if you have no other geometry, I would NOT list geometry on the transcript.

“And am I interpreting this post correctly that this would not be enough to do well on the SAT?”

It is still possible to score well on the SAT without geometry, it’s just not possible to score great, or PERFECT, without knowing some geometry. There are geometry questions on the SAT test, but it’s not ALL geometry. It’s more important to understand the level of math they are currently in, rather than pushing them into something they aren’t ready for.

“Is there another option for a non-mathy student to get the geometry they will need for the SAT?”

Non-mathy kids might like some hands-on learning. You can look at math games in Family Math for Middle School (https://www.amazon.com/dp/091251129X?tag=thehom-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=091251129X&adid=11ADEQY0NMATDR2VS6MD&) or Patty Paper Geometry (https://www.amazon.com/dp/1559530723?tag=thehom-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=1559530723&adid=1PYQPCWD89XBXZM38AFN&f). You can also study for the SAT to see what geometry skills you need, and then fill in the information as necessary.

Sounds like you have a lot of math questions! You might like my article For the Love of Math (http://www.thehomescholar.com/love-of-math.php)

Blessings,

Lee

July 5th, 2012 at 10:35 am

Dido says:

I wanted to let you know something about Saxon Geometry that I did not catch in the teacher’s guide until several months into school. UNLIKE the other Saxon books, which are one-lesson-per-day, Saxon allows one lesson per two days. Odd then even, or half and half, however you work it out. Any faster and the child can get boggled. It is because, as mentioned above, there are a lot of review questions including algebra.

January 25th, 2014 at 8:04 am