Homeschooling Moms
I got a copy of Saxon Math 5/4 for $5 for the text and solutions manual, I couldn't pass it up. I have no idea what I am using for math yet. I want to try this with my DD10she is going into 5th grade but is a bit behind, IMO. I looked at the table of contents and I think the topics will be good for her.
I'm a bit nervous because I think Saxon is a spiral program and that is what our ps used (a spiral program but not Saxon) and it wasn't good for her. I *think* because this will be a lot of review for her and because we can slow down or speed up depending on how much she "gets" it, that this could be a good place to start. Since it was only $5, I won't be incredibly disappointed if it doesn't work and I am open to trying something different if it's not working for her.
Do you have any opinions on Saxon or any advice for my plan?
Replies

My son is also going into the 5th grade, and we are using Saxon as well. This is his first year being homeschooled and math is the subject he struggles with the most. I am going to see how he does with the material. I also bought several supplemental math workbooks to help reinforce. We are going to take it week by week until he masters the concepts. I chose Saxon because so many moms I spoke with raved about it. Not one person I spoke with said anything bad about it.

Saxon is NOT mastery; a mastery program teaches a skill to *mastery* before moving on. Saxon is very incremental and spiral.
Yes, we tried it. I have a review on my blog (It isn't very complimentary). Saxon turned my previously math loving daughter into a neurotic crying mess every time she saw the book; we only lasted part of a year with it. I think the man who wrote it hates math...
FWIW, we do prefer spiral, just never again Saxon, lol.

I am actually using Saxon 5/4 with my fifth grader right now!
We did Singapore last year and it was not a good fit for her (too hard). Teaching Textbooks the year before and SHE liked it, but I felt the program was very lacking.
Now granted, we are only 1 week into our school year :) but she seems to be doing really well  90% or higher on all the assignments. We also got ours used, but it came with a DVD called DIVE Into Math & Science, which has a tutorial video to go along with every assignment.

I actually feel that spiraling works well for math, because math is all interconnected. It's not like spiraling with history where maybe what you are learning now has absolutely zero to do with what you learned six months ago  say you were studying Native Americans pre AD 1000, now you are studying the Korean War... nothing to connect. With math, everything is connected. Saxon 54 in particular, has sections on addition, subtraction, and later  money, which to figure out how much change you get if your total is $19.21 and you give the cashier $20.25  you have to use those subtraction skills from earlier. You're using those addition and subtraction skills to determine area and perimeter. So it makes sense to periodically revisit those old skills while constantly adding new ones into the mix as well.

I think if the spiraling is a review then it can work. The program our school district uses spirals too fast. It was like MondayAddition, Tuesdaymoney, WednesdayFractions, Thursdaydivision, Fridaydecimals. She couldn't make connections because before she could master the addition it was on to money. When she would do her fraction homework and not get it, she would bring it in the next day only to have the teacher focused on division and not get her questions answered.
So if Saxon's spiral is slower, or I can at least take it slower if we need to, then I think it could work. It's just that the hopping around so fast did not work for her at all. For my son, it was fine because he prelearned everything before he learned it in school. I think with my daughter I have to try to make her understand the basis of math, something that hasn't come naturally to her.
Quoting hipmomto3:
I actually feel that spiraling works well for math, because math is all interconnected. It's not like spiraling with history where maybe what you are learning now has absolutely zero to do with what you learned six months ago  say you were studying Native Americans pre AD 1000, now you are studying the Korean War... nothing to connect. With math, everything is connected. Saxon 54 in particular, has sections on addition, subtraction, and later  money, which to figure out how much change you get if your total is $19.21 and you give the cashier $20.25  you have to use those subtraction skills from earlier. You're using those addition and subtraction skills to determine area and perimeter. So it makes sense to periodically revisit those old skills while constantly adding new ones into the mix as well.