The following is a post from contributing writer, Roan, of Joyful Always.
Saxon Algebra 2, 3rd Edition, is the first Saxon product that I have used in my homeschool. I recently completed my 12th year of homeschooling, and my 10th grade daughter worked half of this book. When she finishes the book next school year, she will have earned one credit in Algebra 2 and one credit in geometry.
Let me explain.
The homeschool editions of Saxon Algebra 1 and 2, 3rd Editions, include both Algebra and geometry. My third child will enter 9th grade this fall. He will begin his high school math coursework with Saxon Algebra 1, and I will allow him 3 semesters to complete the course. Then, halfway through his 10th grade year, he will begin with Saxon Algebra 2, and I will allow him 3 semesters to complete this course as well. At the end of his 11th grade year he will have earned three math credits: Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and geometry. Even though these two Saxon math books are called Algebra 1 and Algebra 2, they also include geometry.
This is how I have divided up the coursework:
- Day 1: Read the lecture from lesson 1, work all examples and practice problems, and work problems 1-10.
- Day 2: Work problems 11-30
- Day 3: Read the lecture from lesson 2, work all examples and practice problems, and work problems 1-10.
- Day 4: Work problems 11-30
- Repeat this cycle until lessons 1-4 are complete. You will now be on Day 8.
- Day 9: Work a study guide to prepare you for the test.
- Day 10: Take the test.
- Repeat this 10 day cycle with lessons 5-8.
The Study Guides:
Saxon Algebra 2 constantly reviews all concepts previously taught. Even on test 10 or 12, there may be problems from lesson 1 or 2. To help prepare my child for the test, I take a copy of the test and look back through the book to find similar problems. I locate 2 problems of each type on the test (there are 20 test problems, so I find 40 practice problems). I don’t copy the problem, instead I write down the problem number and the page on which it is found.
I instruct my child to work one problem of each type from his study guide. Then he checks his answers. If he gets it correct, great! If he misses it, I have him correct it and work the second problem of the same type on his study guide.
I bought the following products for our use last year:
- the textbook (it is a hardback book that the student does not write in)
- the Answer Key and Tests (this includes the 32 tests, the answers to the tests written in step-by-step format, and the answers only (no explanation) to every problem in the lessons from the textbook.
I recently discovered that Saxon offers a Solutions Manual, and it includes the answers to all of the problems in the textbook, written in step-by-step format. I will definitely be purchasing this Solutions Manual for our upcoming school year! There were several times that I could not figure out how the correct answer was found.
When using the Saxon products (and I plan to use them for three years of high school for my remaining children), I like to read through the lecture and work all samples and practice problems with my child–even if he does not need any assistance in understanding the lesson. Why? Because if I go a week or more without working the lessons, I have no idea how to help my child with a problem if I have not learned or refreshed myself all along with him!
I do allow my child to check his own work, using the Answer Key (or Solutions Manual when I buy it), for any problems that he completes independently. Some days I work all of the problems with him, and some days I just do a few. But I always read the lectures and practice any new concepts.
I am looking forward to using Algebra 1, 3rd Edition with my son and Algebra 2, 3rd Edition with my daughter next year.
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