Saxon is a very common math program among homeschool families as well as public school and private schools. Depending on who you ask you will get very mixed opinions about Saxon math. Some teachers and students love the “incremental learning” approach. Some find it too repetitive and fragmented.
John Saxon was a junior college algebra teacher who discovered that his students were simply not grasping the concepts that he was presenting in class. This spurred him on to develop his own curriculum. He started by having teachers test the curriculum in their classrooms on some 1400 students. After realizing the successful nature of the curriculum we have what is now known as Saxon math for all grades.
The testing of Saxon math started in 1981 and by 1993 Saxon Publishers had 13 books for all grade levels. Saxon Publishing is now part of Harcourt Achieve and has science, phonics and early childhood courses in addition to their math program.
Saxon math builds concept upon concept but always returns to concepts so that they are not forgotten. Some students and teachers find that randomly going back to concept can feel fragmented but the company claims that this is what keeps information fresh in a student’s mind.
One thing is for certain, there are few people who have used Saxon that are indifferent to the program. There are those that really love the program or those that really dislike it passionately. Perhaps the only way to decide if this program is right for your students or your child is to try it for a while and see what you think. The program can be costly. For the first grade math kit in the newest edition for 24 students you can pay about $800. For the individual student in the first grade (for homeschool curriculum) you can pay almost $200 for one year’s curriculum.
Before you decide to pay for a full year of curriculum you may want to visit saxonhomeschool.hmhco.com and see product samples. They have online resources and demos as well to help you decide if their program is right for you. This is a great feature.