on October 12, 2010
If you plan on using Saxon Advanced Math, then this Kit, complete with Solutions Manual and instructional CD are the way to go. Advanced Math is a very difficult book, made more difficult by the way Saxon teaches too many concepts at once. You're best chance to succeed is to use the text, the solution manual, the test with test keys, and the instructional CD lessons when you need them.
We homeschooled our kids over a period of years, and Saxon Math, including Algebra 1, was always our choice for math texts. I also teach in a classical Christian school where we use Saxon Math as well. Currently, I'm teaching using Saxon Algebra 2 (2 of my own kids are in the class), as well as Advanced Math. I find that for most students, if they will take the time to read the lesson well, do all of the problems, and then rework any problems they miss then they will achieve a high degree of mastery of the material at hand.
The greatest advantage of Saxon Math is that each lesson provides practice not only for the new problems but also built-in review for every kind of problem the student has previously encountered. Advanced Math is no exception to the rule that Saxon Math texts help students learn math well.
However, there are difficulties with the Advanced Math that don't exist with the previous ones. Personally, I think the book tries to do too much. In the introduction the authors state that it is meant to be a two-year course, and so I have my students do ½ of a lesson per day. This has worked out well so far, but we're still early in the book.
The main problem is that in many of the lessons the book presents 2 or even 3 difficult concepts all in the same lesson. This makes the student's takes much more difficult, even if you only do ½ a lesson per day.
In spite of these deficiencies, if you've used Saxon Algebra 2, then Saxon Advanced Math is probably the next logical step.
on April 27, 2010
We are just finishing up the year with this text. We have a dozen lessons and tests to go. We have used Saxon in our son's homeschool with great success. And starting last year with Algebra II, we added Dr. Shormann's DIVE CD. Dr. Shormann goes through each lesson like our very own tutor. He explains each concept exceedingly well, and sets up our son for going through the 30 practice problems for each. From time-to-time, Dr. Shormann deviates a bit from the method shown in the Saxon text, but we have all had teachers who believe they have a better way! No problem.
Our only comments might be as follows. 1) The solutions manual is rather poorly bound and has come apart such that we have used packing tape to "mend it". Not too cool. The second comment, is that we have found probably a dozen problems (out of hundreds) where the answers shown in the solution manual are actually incorrect! Our son objects when we check him wrong and in fact the book is wrong! We probably should have documented the errors and sent them to Saxon, but oh well.
Saxon Advanced Math is daunting, make no mistake, but it is important to put in the time for the results. Next year...on to Calculus!