on June 30, 2007
I really wanted to like Saxon Math K because of the great reviews in several books about homeschooling. I was so for it that I bought the whole K and 1st grade sets including all manipulatives.
After using the Saxon Math K program for a week, I felt disappointed but I kept going anyway. After three months I realized it was not going to get any better. Saxon takes too much time. The lessons in the teacher's manual are very long scripts. Every lesson has a script for the Meeting Book (calendar) and a script for the lesson itself.
The Meeting Book requires you to start in September. If you don't, you will always have to tweak your daily MB script, change the month, day and number of days you have used the MB. Also, if you want to skip lessons or have a break, you will have to adjust the arrow/day counting and fill out the dates and color calendar patterns for the week or months you skipped (each month has different pattern color.) This would take too long for me to explain.
The way Saxon starts introducing math concepts is very basic and slow, my 4 y/o found it boring. For example, many lessons at the beginning consist of lining up little bears in a row, and that works fine a couple of times and then it turns annoying. I liked the idea of using manipulatives, but my daughter understood many math concepts without needing to go through all the manipulative part of the lesson so we would have to skip many manipulative activities.
After skipping the scripts and using my own words to teach the concepts, modifying the MB activities to make them fit my own schedule, and skipping some of the manipulative activities, I finally gave up. Why pay for a pricey program that doesn't work for me?
Saxon Math K could work if you use it with preK kids who have not had any experience with everyday math concepts and if you are willing to make your schedule and life fit the program. In my opinion, that makes this program unfriendly to homeschoolers.
I am currently using a workbook approach, using fewer manipulatives and we are all happier at home. I do plan on trying Saxon Math 54 in the future, because the method is different.
If you are excited about Saxon K-3 like I was, I would suggest that you borrow it from a friend and get familiar with it before you purchase the kit.
on July 8, 2005
This text book is appropriate for 4-year olds. It is very simple and the lessons are short. Five-year olds with some math background will probably be bored with this and should go straight to Math 1. Homeschoolers should know that this text is based on a typical school year calendar, and lessons are arranged beginning in September and going three days a week until June (July and August are not included). If you homeschool year round, or you teach math more than 12 days per month, or if you don't begin the first lesson in September, then your lessons will not correspond to the calendar in the book. The "Meeting Book," which includes a fill-in calendar, is also recommended for this curriculum, as well as various manipulatives.
on June 28, 2005
This program is so easy to use and a lot of fun! My daughter just loves it! We usually sit down on the family room floor and play each day with the items listed in the teachers guide. She is learning math concepts without even really realizing it. At first, I thought the calendar part was kind of silly, but I am so impressed that my 5 year old now knows the days of the week, can tell you today's date, and is learning the months of the year in order. I recommend that you purchase the manipulatives set. It costs around $60 (through Saxon or Sonlight), but can be used through 3rd grade. We use items from it every day.
First let me say that I gave this curriculum 4 stars because I feel my son got a very good math foundation to start K next year. However, at times it is very parent intensive (lots of cutting paper, laminating, coloring for you the parent!) and I have learned that I need a curriculum that is a little easier to set up with less preparation required from me.
Here are my thoughts:
I bought this curriculum used, copyright 1994. I noticed in online forums that a lot of people thought Saxon K was more appropriate for pre-K and so I decided to use it with my son who had turned 4 last summer. I also bought the manipulatives kit to go with this on rainbow resource. I did not buy the workbook (meeting book). I used a calendar from Dollar Tree and we had no trouble.
After using this last year, I believe it is appropriate for Pre-k. There's a lot of repetition. Because this was published pre- common core, there is no addition or subtraction. What you will find is a lot of calendar work, counting, recognizing patterns, shapes/sizes, positioning and later on, learning to use a clock to the hour and coin values.
I am going to tell you what I wish someone had told me before I started. First: if you have more than one child or would like to sell this in future, you will have to make copies of all the "masters" at the end of the book. These are pages that help out with activities. Sometimes it is just a template for large, medium and small shapes that you will need to cut. In that case, you'll use the template to cut more shapes using different color construction paper. Sometimes a master is a template for your child to use and form shapes using pattern blocks (see picture). Or it could be a page with numbers to cut up and use to have your child organize the numbers or play other number games.
As you can imagine with the above description, some days this curriculum will require a lot of homework for the parent. I would have given up on this curriculum early on if I did not have the manipulative kit. I am sure you can do it without it. For example, the linking cubes are exactly the size of their pattern strips, and come in the exact colors they ask for. You can make patterns with Legos, but good luck finding the right amount of Legos (10 of each color), all the same size in 6 different colors before you do a lesson. Same goes for the geo boards (to make shapes with rubber bands).
I know I sound very negative. The reality is that many days were simple. It includes a lot of fun number games and many times my son looked forward to be done with the calendar to finally “do math”. The curriculum gets more complicated as the year goes on. At first it will take 10-15 minutes. By the end, we were taking 30-40 minutes to complete the lesson.
This curriculum jumps around a lot. For a few days it will talk about counting by 10s, introduce dimes... And then it will go back to making patterns! My son didn't seem bothered. I felt a little skeptical of the approach. However, when the curriculum eventually circled back to the counting it turned out my son remembered and had either internalized the lesson or he would appear to suddenly understand a topic that had previously been difficult.
A comment on how easy the curriculum is:
This curriculum starts out easy. I liked that because I did not want my son's formal homeschooling to be frustrating. For example, early on I remember lthat after the calendar routine all he had to do was count to 10 using teddy bear counters. Of course, my 4 year old could count to 10 :) What he was learning in the lesson was to sit still, focus, follow instructions (imagine the bears are at the playground), to count methodically and to move each bear to the side as he counted them. This gave him a sense of accomplishment and practice at knowing what 10 bears look like. The first time we encountered a topic my son really didn't understand was much later on, when counting by 10s. It didn't take long to "get it", but it was his real first challenge. Coin work has also been a challenge. At least for my child, this curriculum worked. And I know I complained about how much work it was. But I did all the work because I wasn't going to buy a new curriculum half way through and because my son enjoyed the games, making patterns and playing store. My understanding is that little children need a lot of repetition. And that even though they can already count to 10, it is good practice to touch and manipulate 10 objects regularly. We did do more than one lesson in one day -sometimes. Each parent know their child best and there are indeed 4 year olds that are much more advanced than this and it would be to the parents discretion to determine if they need a curriculum that moves at a faster pace.
In the end, I feel this curriculum is solid. But considering the current changes to the curriculum I agree that it is mostly appropriate for preschool. I also bought a used Saxon Math 1. I am not 100% yet if we will use it for K. If we do, next summer I'll review that one as well.
on December 8, 2005
This is an outstanding math program for kindergarten. It will work for 4 or 5 year olds. The program starts each day with a meeting which teaches the calendar, year, months, weekdays, dates, counting, and patterns. Each day for this is basically the same, giving the student a standard routine wich builds on itself day by day. The familiarity of this is good for the kids. Kindergarten math concepts are taught orally from the teacher to the student. The lessons are scripted, making it very easy to use. It does require the purchase of a separate math manipulatives kit. With this, it strongly reinforces the concepts taught. I recommend this to all my friends who are starting their kindergarten homeschool.
on May 7, 2013
This book is much too basic for my kindergartener, but just perfect for my 4yo preschooler! The start of the manual takes it very slow (first 2 lessons introduce pattern blocks, next lesson counting bears, lets the child freely explore both) then gradually introduces new topics. It introduces counting and adding small coins, numbers 0-20, time to the hour, shapes, colors, sizes, patterns, ordinal positions, and graphing using manipulatives often found in early elementary math classes.
I read some comments about it taking too long to prepare for some of the lessons, but I don't know what people are talking about. Most of the time all you have to do is cut some contruction paper and/or glue strips and make some copies of the master sheets at the end of the manual the night before. All it takes is 15-30mins after the kids go to bed. Note: There are 112 lessons.
Assessment forms, great for the homeschool profolio
Scripted, for dumbies like myself who need a little help explaining sometimes ;)
Very hands-on, which spells f-u-n for little kids
Spiral-bound, lays flat and stays opened!
Price - if you find a good used copy it will be cheaper than the Saxon website :)
Only enough lessons for 3 days a week - math should be done everyday!
Goes by a public school calendar - we do each lesson for two days just to stretch it out for a full school year (we school year-round)
Just to note:
I did not buy the meeting book or use "The Meeting" section of each lesson, I already do other group time calendar stuff with my kids. It starts in Sept, ends with the first week of June, and asks the same questions day after day about month, day, year, day of week, yesterday/today, count the numbers etc.
I did not buy the manipulative package, as I already owned most of them (it pays to have a sis work at an educational company and give me the discontinued stuff for free ;)
on May 20, 2015
I have mixed emotions on this. It is very thorough, and very repetitive. Some kids need that. My current kindergartener doesn't, but my one that will be in K in a year or so might benefit so I'm keeping it. If you're not familiar with Saxon there's this, the "meeting book" and the work books. I didn't have meeting or work books for this year. The meeting book reviews convinced me I didn't need it, that it's basically a calendar. That said, I didn't like having to use my planner for the "pattern" activities you need the meeting book for, so I will buy the meeting book in the future. I understand that some homeschoolers try to get by as cheap as possible, I'm just lucky to not have to do that. This is also set up on a certain start date and for doing only a few math lessons a week. I want to stay on top of math so we will do a lesson every day. Lots of manipulatives needed for this, and aren't included. I bought pattern blocks (which aren't "blocks" at all, who knew?), counting bears, a geo board (got the wrong one so all the good that did....), dice, a balance, and a couple other things. The counting bears are a HIT. Run, do not walk to buy some counting bears. I wish I'd bought them from Amazon so I could rave review them.
on July 18, 2006
I have used the Saxon Math K toghether with the manipulatives this last schoolyear. My kindergartner had so much fun that his younger brother and even our 20 month old wanted to join in at times.
Because of chaotic cicumstances and two moves in the year we didn't follow the the calendar as proposed by the book. That is no problem. My son wanted to use other colors in his patterns anyways. I made sure the content of the lesson didn't get lost. With a little phantasy and goodwill the program can be used at any time of the year and it actually leaves a lot of room for exploration.
The manipulatives are so attractive I had to make sure you tug them away gently after a while.
I highly recommend this to any homeschooler. It is easy to use, easy to follow and easily caught up when you're not able to do it like the program prescribes.
on October 29, 2014
I love Saxon math. I am using Saxon K for my pre-K child. They go through extremely basic facts in the K, it is more appropriate for the pre-K age if you have been working with them on counting at all.
The curriculum takes things slowly and covers everything with a thorough review. My child is engaged with new concepts while reviewing the old. He looks forward to his math time. I recommend it to all of my friends.
on October 16, 2012
This is a great program, but the first thing to know is that it is a little below level for kindergarten. Although I do realize my 3 1/2 year old is ahead in most things... this is quite easy for her. But I like the way it builds on itself and forms a great math foundation. Reluctant writer? No problem, very little involved for either program. Saxon math holds her interest and we have enjoyed it so much this year for PreK that not only will we continue to use it for Kindergarten next year, we started Saxon Phonics K (for PreK) as well and she loves it even more than the math!