Math - Why not continue with Singapore? Saxon transition

Issues specific to teaching 6th to 8th graders, including the transition to Saxon math, Apologia science, Progeny Press guides, and grammar lessons
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Math - Why not continue with Singapore? Saxon transition

Unread post by Lucy »

Why isn't Singapore recommended for Algebra?
shellie wrote:I've also been wondering: does Singapore not offer Algebra? And if they do, why isn't it recommended for people already using the Singapore system?
Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:43 am
One of the reasons that MfW has not gone the Singapore route for higher math is there is not any kind of instructional video or DVD to go with it, and they feel that most parents would have difficulty navigating through the T.M. for the upper courses. So as you are looking at both you may want this information.

wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.

Why does MFW switch to Saxon?

Unread post by cbollin »

Heidi wrote:Why does MFW start with Singapore Primary Math (in 2nd grade) and then recommend switching to Saxon at or about 7th grade?

* It has to do with many things. MFW likes to begin the transition to independent learning in jr. high. (well at least for mathematics that is.... there is some independent learning earlier than jr. high, but I'm talking math here). Saxon with DIVE CD help with that. Then, in the high school years, the student can learn independently with Saxon and DIVE. Also, MFW recommends Jacob's Geometry in high school. :)

* why not start with Saxon then? Well, very briefly, some programs are better suited at different ages and stages of learning. MFW doesn't really go from "learn to read stage then jump into full independent learning stage".

Singapore is a very strong math program with short, strong and effective lessons. You don't have the same kind of becoming bogged down in math that you have described. Some children can and do learn more independently with Singapore. But, MFW doesn't rush a child who is in the elementary level years into independent learning.

*and the natural follow up --- if Singapore is so good, why not continue it in jr. high and high school? I asked that question very recently to David Hazell because my oldest (6th grade) will be in that boat soon enough. He told me that MFW is still evaluating all of the different Singapore programs (there's more than one jr high high school sequence in Singapore). With Saxon (and Jacob's geometry), they know the program, they know the results. AND they know that it can be successfully used in *those* years with an independent learner who uses the DIVE CD's.


Why the change from Singapore in 7th-12th?

Unread post by cbollin »

TammyB wrote:Perhaps someone could share the reasons why MFW has chosen to recommend Saxon at the middle and high school levels. Thanks!
MFW recommends Saxon and Jacob's Geometry at jr. high and high school levels.Let's not forget the Geometry :-)

Why the change from Singapore?
several reasons that I know of:

*At those levels, there are helps available for the student to be more of an independent learner while using Saxon. They can get DIVE cd's if needed to help them. Those CD rom videos are designed to actually instruct the student in each lesson. It is not the same idea as mom/dad/teacher watching a 1 minute presentation how to use blocks to teach a concept. The DIVE CD's help you to learn how to take notes in a lecture and demonstrate problem solving. Some kids may not need them if they can learn from the text and take notes. It's a nice thing for them to see that style of lecture before college. So, there is the college prep aspect with them in addition to not having to teach everything to a student that age. (You'll understand when you get there. You'll just understand.)

MFW encourages independent learning at these grade levels. Singapore has several jr high /high school level courses and there aren't helps out there for the student to be a more independent learner and not much for mom/teacher to help either.

*Saxon has an excellent track record in scope and sequence, and all of that. not much information out there on Singapore at those levels.

so, MFW wants to recommend a top notch program that will help with independent learning and be a college prep level program too.

Why a full year geometry program?
(not sure on this from MFW's reasons), but basically Saxon doesn't do a proof based geometry year. So, it's an important thing to do (in my dh's and my opinion). So, I'm glad that MFW found a program for that.

Why Jacob's instead of another one???
I dunno. I've never asked anyone at MFW that question LOL.

(it seems to always ask the opposite question, then why not Saxon in elementary???? b/c some programs are better fit at different stages of learning than others. Singapore works well in elementary years.
for those interested in more on that, look at David Hazell's answer on this thread

but I realize that's not what Tammy was asking :-) It's for benefit of others who might be wondering.)


Saxon - Why is this recommended?

Unread post by MFW-Lucy »

sandi wrote:I know that mfw recommends using saxon. Why does mfw recommend Saxon? We are thinking of switching back to Saxon, but my son is not too excited about this. Of course most children would prefer to do the easiest right? Thanks for the info.
As others have mentioned you always have the choice to use the math program of your choice. We did want to answer your question regarding why we have chosen Saxon over other math programs.

Before making recommendations for math, a career math teacher on our staff evaluated many of the math programs currently available. He recognized weaknesses in all the programs he evaluated. As a whole we believe Saxon, used with the DIVE instructional CD, is the most complete program for grades 7-12. We have compensated for the weakness we found in Saxon by adding one year of geometry using Jacobs Geometry. Jacobs Geometry teaches formal proofs that teach the logic skills needed to prepare for more advanced math.

We cater to families who are looking to get a good education for their children without spending more than necessary. When two programs are equal or close to equal in educational value the less expensive road usually wins.

We package Saxon with the textbook, tests and solutions, solutions manual, DIVE CD, and My Father's World Daily Lesson Plans. The lesson plans select specific problem sets for each unit to meet the needs of the average child. If a child is struggling with a specific unit they may need to do all the problem sets for additional practice.

The testimonies we regularly hear from families who have chosen other math programs continue to strengthen our belief that Saxon is the best choice for grades 7-12 grades. Saxon has a track record that shows superior accomplishments on College Placement Tests like the SAT and ACT and we have also seen very strong college entrance exam scores for students using Singapore Math in the elementary years and Saxon Math in grades 7-12.

LA in Baltimore
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Re: Saxon - Why is this recommended?

Unread post by LA in Baltimore »

On a personal note...
We had used a more hands-on manipulative based program for the past 8 years.
And yes, it was easier for them to do than some of the more traditional programs out there.
But, as we got closer to taking college placement exams and started to take practice tests we realized that the "more fun", "easy to use", "gets great results" program was not working for us or that child. They really did not have the strong math foundation that we thought they would eventually accumlulate using that approach. We used Saxon Algebra 1 as a review textbook 2 months prior to the ACT placement exam this spring (they are actually completing Alg 2 this year.) From our practice test results it looks like they improved their math subtest score just by doing that. One thing is already obvious, their math confidence has soared and they get less wrong (usually only 0-1 problems out of 14) each day.
To quote my child, "Saxon math makes a lot more sense." Just one family's humble opinion.

Posted Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:33 pm by LA in Baltimore
Our 11th grader took the ACT last year.
Before we took it, we worked through some ACT review books including taking sample ACT exams.

We had been using a program other than Saxon for the past 8 years.
Needless to say, I wasn't thrilled with my child's Math score on the practice test.
Math has never been his strong subject, but he had been successfully completing his math and was in the midst of the other program's Alg 2. We took a break from it and he reviewed through a Saxon Algebra 1 book. Then we took another practice test. His score increased! He took the ACT in April an increased his score by 11.5% over his original practice test.
We never went back to the other publisher.
We started him up in SAXON ALG 2 after the exam and haven't looked back.
He is headed into SAXON ADVANCED MATH in August.
He said that Saxon made a lot more sense and that the incremental nature helped him to cement the material in his mind. He liked having more review and not an entire page of new material to trudge through.
Hope that helps!
Only by His grace,
LA in Baltimore
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Saxon vs Teaching Textbooks?

Unread post by LSH in MS »

JoyfulDancer wrote:My dd will be in 7th next year and I'm looking at math options for after Singapore. She doesn't love math but is better at it than she thinks she is. I'd always just assumed we'd go to Saxon as MFW recommends, but then I got a look at another program. Does anyone have experience or feedback?
I decided to use Saxon 87 for my 7th grader. Having the DIVE cd and the lesson plans from MFW has made a lot of difference for us. I was homeschooled myself and used Saxon and I remember taking 2 hours per day on math ( and I was good at math) but MFW does a wonderful job of selecting the most important problems if the dc is making 80% or above. My ds has done well and has an A average on his tests. The big negative for me regarding Saxon was the time commitment and MFW has taken care of that.

The DIVE cd is excellent and the solutions manual has all the steps for all of the problems. You can also email the instructor if you have a problem understanding something. We haven't had to do that though.

wife to Clifford, mother to ds (17), ds (16), ds (15, ds (13), ds (8), and ds (3)
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Re: Saxon vs Teaching Textbooks?

Unread post by my3boys »

Saxon has been widely used with success by lots of people for a long time - and it is also cost-effective compared to many other curriculums. Also because it is made for school use it has a scope and sequence that is on par with most schools - so people who have to do yearly testing don't need to worry about whether their kids have taken what will be on the test. I don't have to take yearly testing where I live, so this is not an issue that I have to consider. Also, I think if your kids are math whizzes (which mine are not) Saxon is probably the better choice - programs that move slowly and have LOTS of instruction may frustrate a kid that wants to move along faster. I have been researching this question for myself and the above info is generally what I've been reading.
Mom to 3 busy boys ages 11, 8, and 6
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Re: Saxon vs Teaching Textbooks?

Unread post by sojen »

I've been wondering about this topic myself.

My two cents really comes from my MIL. She has homeschooled for 28 years. She used Saxon up until the last two years when she switched. My brother-in-law (13 years old) did start to score lower on standardized tests. But, in the stage of life she is at she needs an independent learner program. I don't really know if she ever used the Dive cds, so I can't really compare that.

I've stuck with Saxon because it works for us and my daughter is good at math. We've had bumps in the road, but after a few days of struggling my daughter always picks it up. I considered switching a few times, but I'm glad I've stuck it out. Once you get the hang of the Saxon program it seems very easy to me. You have to be consistent though.

Good luck with your decision!
Jen in GA
mom to dd 11, dd 8, and ds 5
traveling through the medieval world with RTR.
Slowly starting kindergarten with my little guy.

Re: Saxon vs Teaching Textbooks?

Unread post by MFW-Lucy »

Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply to Laurie. I wanted to post why My Father's World has chosen to recommend Saxon over other programs including the program that Laurie asked about.

Before making recommendations for math, a career math teacher on our staff evaluated many of the math programs currently available. He recognized weaknesses in all the programs he evaluated. As a whole we believe Saxon, used with the DIVE instructional CD, is the most complete program for grades 7-12. We have compensated for the weakness we found in Saxon by adding one year of geometry using Jacobs Geometry. Jacobs Geometry teaches formal proofs that teach the logic skills needed to prepare for more advanced math.

We have recently reviewed Saxon new geometry book as well. We have decided to keep recommending Jacob's Geometry. We like the way this program walks you through the proof processes completely and step by step.

We package Saxon with the textbook, tests and solutions, solutions manual, DIVE CD, and My Father's World Daily Lesson Plans. The lesson plans select specific problem sets for each unit to meet the needs of the average child. If a child is struggling with a specific unit they may need to do all the problem sets for additional practice. We also provide lesson plans for Jacobs Geometry.

The testimonies we regularly hear from families who have chosen other math programs continue to strengthen our belief that Saxon is the best choice for grades 7-12 grades. We have also seen very strong college entrance exam scores for students using Singapore Math in the elementary years and Saxon Math in grades 7-12.

Please let us know if you have further questions.

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Re: Saxon vs Teaching Textbooks?

Unread post by JoyfulDancer »

Thanks everyone for your responses. You've given me much to think and pray about.

Thanks so much, Lucy, for explaining for us. MFW is so careful in how they choose all the materials. I never question any of the suggested materials lightly. It always helps to know the reasoning behind the choices made. You all work so hard and I really appreciate it.

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Re: Saxon vs Teaching Textbooks?

Unread post by Jenileigh »

I have used TT 7 and then moved Sky into Saxon 7/6 with the Teacher cds. She much prefers Saxon and we plan to stick with Saxon through highschool.
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Re: Saxon vs Teaching Textbooks?

Unread post by OtterMommy »

Just my two cents (as a homeschooled kid who went through Saxon)... Do what works for you child! I HATED Saxon (sorry, I just did; I was sooooo bored!), but I did well on my SATs (760 if anyone cares, and I did better on the Verbal section). It is thorough. I could complete a problem and find answers, although I find that my reasoning isn't great. I finished Saxon in 10th grade and did 2 years of Euclidean Geometry with my Dad, so I have a pretty good math background. Still, my parents still use Saxon, and my siblings all do their math. Some love it, some don't. I don't know what we will use for our kids in the future (my oldest is 5). TT looks interesting to me, and some good people recommend it. But many people recommend Saxon, too. Do what works for you and your children (can anyone tell that I was the oldest and the "guinea pig" for homeschooling in our family? My brother hated math with a passion, never got beyond algebra, and is now a 4.0 college student with full scholarships in a math/science field)! I think the greatest challenge with math in general is actually doing it!
Wife to the best
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Re: Saxon vs Teaching Textbooks?

Unread post by MFW-Lucy »

Hi Ottermommy,

Just a note we only start using Saxon in 7th grade. We recommend Singapore for 2-6 grade and our K and 1st grade include math.

You have just given testimony to one of the reason we switch to Saxon. It has a good track record in helping students be ready for SAT testing. I mentioned this above too, but you are a real life example.


Re: Saxon vs Teaching Textbooks?

Unread post by cbollin »

LSH in MS wrote: As far as the Teaching instruction goes, The DIVE cd is excellent and the solutions manual has all the steps for all of the problems. .
yep. same here. I'm not finding the program overwhelming my day. My daughter spends about 90 minutes a day in math total (watching DIVE, doing her problem set as suggested by MFW, grading and correcting her problem set and learning from her mistakes to do better next time. she's got a 90% right now. and she has a test today..... I need to get the school day started.. lazy me.)

I was very glad to buy the full package from MFW. you get the DIVE CD (which my dd tells me is great for conquering the scary looking stuff like factoring trinomials), the detailed solutions manual, test solutions, mfw lesson plans, etc.

Locally, listening to some of the veterans homeschoolers (you know.. the ones who run the conventions these days and their youngest are in high school.....) -- they have all been very encouraging of using Saxon.

I'm now thinking of the famous homeschooling cartoon --- it is titled homeschool graffiti. you see a brick wall or train car (I forget which) and the kid with the spray paint and it says Saxon math Rules! LOL!

Of course, I should say that in MFW we have the freedom to use whatever math program we want to use.
OtterMommy wrote: I think the greatest challenge with math in general is actually doing it!
Just tagging on a bit how we are "doing it". That's a good point to bring up -- sometimes it is the strength of the program and others times it is the how does it look in our families.

I like that we didn't start Saxon until book 8/7 with our oldest and really enjoy using the MFW lesson plans and DIVE CD so that we "actually do it". And I'm glad in the elementary years we used MFW's recommendation of Singapore. Really great for those reasoning skills. So, I'm glad that MFW selects products that are best suited for the stages of learning for both student and mom/dad/teacher.

I've watched several of my friends teach from Saxon in the younger books and it looks so overwhelming. eek! So... kudos to OtterMommy's parents for being able to use it as long as they did. I wouldn't have survived that long. But in elementary years, Singapore is really nice in the small effective lessons. And in jr. high -- Saxon is working well with the DIVE cd and especially with the MFW lesson plans. One of the nice things with MFW's plans: you don't have to do ALL problems in each Saxon lesson (well, unless the student needs more practice of course). So on those days where my oldest feels the "ugh" of Alg"ugh"bra -- she is happy that it isn't always all 30 problems each and every day.

cool stuff! I'm encouraged from your testimony that Saxon has a good record with the test scores (I care about that.... good job on your part if I might say so!). And also encouraged that my dh isn't the only one who wants to add full year of Geometry. We're glad MFW has that Geometry covered with jacobs. looking forward to it next year.

and a big thank you again out loud to MFW for those Saxon plans and Jacobs plans so that we don't feel the overwhelmed all the time and for waiting on Saxon until jr. high.

Going from Singapore to Saxon?

Unread post by cbollin »

Keer wrote:If any of you have followed the MFW recommendation to use Singapore and then Saxon, have your kids had trouble adjusting to a completely different way of learning math? Have they had trouble going from mastery to spiral? Have they had trouble switching from studying one topic at a time to a different topic each lesson?
My oldest had no problems. She was strong in Singapore (having used it in 5th and 6th grades levels 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b) and did fine in Saxon 8/7, Algebra I, and this year in Jacob's Geometry.

there were times that she has a tissy fit doing more problems in Saxon, but that's part of growing up and welcome to that age.
There were times that she did not want to learn Saxon way of ratio, because she already had it figured out in her head from Singapore.
usually the problems my dd had were attitude, not aptitude issues. kwim?

It is my opinion from actually using these programs that terms mastery and spiral do not neatly fit the description of either program. No, we have not found that Saxon jumps around in these levels. It is incremental in approach with plenty of review. The topics clearly build on each other and the criticism out there that Saxon is disjointed and choppy and all of that is not yet shown up in our use in our house. I know those who write "mastery" style programs that are popular in homeschool circles like to say otherwise, but well...

I've used Singapore 1A-6B. It is neither mastery nor spiral b/c those are "american math terms" and Singapore ain't that. ;)

Julie in MN
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Re: Going from Singapore to Saxon?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

cbollin wrote:doing more problems in Saxon,
I just wanted to agree that doing more problems was the biggest adjustment after Singapore's elementary program.

And you won't avoid that by sticking with Singapore, because the Singapore upper programs also have tons of problems to do. It's just an adjustment from a few problems to MANY problems that has to be made in any program. Prepare yourself with steel-plated armor :~
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Transition from Singapore to Saxon

Unread post by cbollin »

I just want to say that my middle gal, who is an average academic kiddo, did Singapore 1A-5B from second grade to sixth grade. Today, she is in lesson 13 in Saxon 87 and the transition has been wonderful for us. To put it mildly, Saxon seems so easy after Singapore. MFW doesn't recommend Saxon until 7th grade, and recommends use with DIVE cd if the child need it. I was happy dancing that she got 93% on her first test last week. She was encouraged. She was nervous about not using Singapore anymore. I was too. We've not used DIVE CD yet, as the text is easy for her to understand. I think Singapore gave her an awesome foundation.


Singapore to Saxon ?

Unread post by cbollin »

gratitude wrote:So why does MFW switch from Singapore to Saxon in 7th grade? I have wondered for a long time, but have never asked. Why don't they stay with Singapore? How does the switch go? Is Saxon as much busy work as it looks??? How is it beneficial to switch?

Well that is the question I have had for at least a year and never asked since it is so pre-mature. I love math though and would love to know. Thank you!
1. why not stick with Singapore? well.... which version of jr. high/high school of Singapore should they go with? Aren't there about 2 or 3 of them? Do any of them have ways to help the average mom and average kiddo do those programs a bit more independently the way Saxon and other programs can be done?

so.. some of it comes down to practical use.

2. saxon has a nice track record with high school to college route. I'm sure someone can find on the singapore stuff too, but it's "harder" to use according to what mfw said several years ago........

3. is saxon as much busy work as it looks. I didn't experience that. my middle gal doesn't complain on it. she's slow to average, artsy... doing well in saxon 87 this year. doesn't seem to take long when she doesn't start daydreaming or staring at a bird outside the window. or watching the cat or something. Oldest - she's fine in it.

4. transition - worked for me. doesn't work for others. Oldest -- ok... long story, let me summarize....... alright... she completed singapore 6B in 6th grade. This is a few months before the great and mighty mfw had their recommendation to skip the placement test and just go with 87 in 7th. So, you wanna know what happened? of course not, but I'll tell you anyway... she took placement test and placed into Saxon Alg I. I said "no. tha'ts just not right.. she's not ready for that length of lesson time, etc" so we got Alg 1/2 instead. about 17-20 lessons into it.... I know it was just wrong to have her in this book. She needed to be in "advanced 7th grade for 7th grader" and not in 8th grade math. that's the only way I can explain it.
so..... I bought 87.

and guess what? It was great! It really was the fill in the gaps that happen when you change programs due to scope and sequence. It was written at the right pace for her age. She was learning how to do "real test" and longer problem set and have to take care of math on her own.

so.... I got a little attitude and said "forget the placement test and just start at 87" and lo and behold about a week later bumped into david hazell and he laughed as he handed me his hot off the presses handout with the same recommendation. LOL LOL LOL

so middle gal - I was all scared going from Singapore 5B to Saxon 87..... ooh... she's slow to average.... but wow..... this is the right book! yeah! fits the missing pieces and helping her to grow up a bit.

so same family. 2 very different kiddos..... it's working over here....
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Re: Singapore to Saxon ?

Unread post by gratitude »

Your math answer was great Crystal. It made sense. I wondered if the difficulty of teaching Singapore in the later years was part of it. I don't 'know' for a fact that Singapore is harder to teach in the later years; it was just my hunch that it might be since the younger years don't offer much help in the teaching. I also wondered if Saxon being a good program that prepared students for college was the other part.

I liked your examples of the switch to Junior High math. It made a lot of sense. Two of their home school friends that we get together with once a week and do a little spelling bee and math at the same table and play-time both use Saxon. So my original post on busy work. My kids math takes about 15 minutes, and they are still needing to finish a sheet or two. Maybe the words could also be thorough/full of drill/repetitive... all of which could actually be good when it comes to math. I am glad the Hazels choose Singapore for the elementary years. Efficient and effective. Due to a recent thread I of course now know drill needs to be added to Singapore.

I am glad I asked. I won't have to wonder anymore. Thank you. I would still like to read those threads though.

Re: Singapore to Saxon ?

Unread post by cbollin »

Hey Carin,
I noticed you explain the busy work a bit. I have never used SAxon below 87, so I hear about it in levels prior to 87 and it sounds different.

typical lesson in 87:
There is a drill book - about 20 quick drills to keep sharp on various skills. It changes throughout the year and grows with the student's learning in the program. Examples, my middle gal has done some drills with square roots and squares. And recently, some drills on geometry terms. This takes us about 5-7 minutes on a long day with her. Again, she is not a fast worker. With her unique learning needs, I have to admit out loud, that yes, we let her use calculator instead of having brain freeze on some things. But -- on the drills, she's not needing it as much except when her brain freezes. poor little sweetie, she almost cries forgetting things like "now what is 4x9 again, oh yeah... 36" she knows she's slow and it's hard on her... Other drills in the 87 drill book are practicing with negative times positive, etc.... so it grows from basic drill facts in +-*/

so, let's say 3-5 minutes on those drills to warm up your math brain for above average student.

then, there are quick warm up at the lesson beginning and a thinking problem. That is not time consuming or busy work. It's about 7 problems. "mental math" is what it is called... think of it as "ok, we're starting math, so let's warm up"... just like one would start a group exercise class with an opening song and isolate those muscle groups and bathe them in oxygen :)

yes, there are times where it makes more sense for me to stand there with my middle gal while she does it out loud and that picks up the speed.

Then, we read the lesson out loud together. She learns quicker than way. For some reason we haven't done DIVE all that much. Got it out for a few lessons. She's doing fine with reading the text. Even reading out loud, it doesn't take a lot of time. and we read each step of the examples.

practice set on the new concept - just enough to practice without feeling busy work.

Then the problem set. max problems are 30. However, on the MFW lesson plans for Saxon, MFW consulted with a career math teacher and developed problem set for the above average to advanced student who doesn't need to do all of the busy work or all of the problems.

So, that's part of what you were asking I think? Is it too much of the review all the time? MFW lesson plans help on that. Then in Alg 1/2, Alg I, and Alg II there is no drill book each day. but same mfw plans. I have not found it to be busy work with the mfw plans. However, there are times where I have my middle daughter do all of the problem set - because she gets a thrill and encouragement moment from doing some easier problems that once were hard.

I found a link ... 524#p58181
scroll up and down on that thread lots of stuff there....

and here.. this is where Lucy mentions about parent tools in upper singapore... ... 518#p42518

Julie in MN
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Re: Singapore to Saxon ?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Hi guys, I think Crystal found all the good links. The only other one I noticed was this one where Lucy mentioned Singapore not having DVDs like DIVE:

I wanted to use Singapore in the older years. I bought a couple of used sets to try out, and we used them a tiny bit to cover negative numbers after Singapore Primary 6B. My thoughts about why Singapore might not be recommended for junior & senior high:

- No DVD, like Lucy said.

- Too many different Singapore programs, like Crystal said. Not sure if different kids need to be placed in different ones, or what things to consider in the choices, or which might have the best results.

- Not as independent, as I think Crystal also said. It seems meant to be taught, rather than read independently, and I've heard from other moms that they do teach the lesson, although I can't say if some kids do it independently?

- There are multiple materials, options of doing problems in text and/or workbook, etc. I suppose if this was the only drawback, then MFW would have figured out how to navigate it all for us, but I found my set to be unwieldy.

- Nontraditional sequence, so you don't have "pre-algebra" (or Saxon 8/7), "algebra 1," "geometry," "algebra 2," but instead have NEM-1, NEM-2, etc., which mix all of those together. Our local school district does something similar with Core-9, Core-10, etc., so it's not unheard of, but it does make it hard for kids transferring in from other schools & such. It also sometimes makes it hard for placement in math-dependent courses such as chemistry. And it's even hard to place kids from one Singapore program to the other in higher grades. Here is a chart comparing 4 Singapore upper programs: [broken link; I'm not sure Singapore Math carries math beyond 8th grade any longer?]

- Traditionally Singapore older programs were not as homeschool friendly as far as daily lessons, with little clue as to where to break up the very lengthy lessons. At least I know that's true with Singapore's NEM-1 which I have around here. I've heard that the newer Singapore DM has some lesson plans by the gal who did the HIGs for the Primary series.

- However, just knowing they have a "newer" Singapore program might mean changes in programs coming up regularly.

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
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Re: Singapore to Saxon ?

Unread post by gratitude »

Thank you Julie and Crystal. The threads, and your current answers, were both very helpful. I just received an entire education on math curriculums! I didn't even think about the Geometry, but yes Jacob's Geometry is in the scope and sequence. Yes, I agree Cyrstal they need a year of proofs if college bound. The idea of Singapore combining all the years of Pre-Algebra, Algebra, and Geometry was interesting; although I don't know if I could personally teach it. I had never thought of a program doing that. I can see why MFW may have chosen to not necessarily go that route with Singapore.

Thank you sharing the fact that you wanted to do upper Singapore Julie, but found the books difficult to use. I appreciate the in-sight. Everything I read on the past threads & current makes a lot of sense of the reasons Saxon is a better fit for later and Singapore is a better fit for the younger years. It helps a lot to hear about how Saxon is different in the later years, from the little I have seen of it, and how much the MFW plans help keep it to a reasonable length for home learning. I am really glad that I asked; now I won't wonder! :-)
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Sticking with MFW is really working!!! Loving Saxon 87!

Unread post by asheslawson »

Oh my, I have had a few crazy years since I began home schooling!

I started with pre-k for 2 years using different materials & Carol's Affordable Curriculum...until it came time for my daughter to start K & I was struggling with things I wasn't thrilled with about public school. Finally - I decided to continue home schooling her & kept her home & pulled my son out of public school after he finished 3rd grade. He just began 7th grade a few weeks ago after doing MFW ECC, CTG, RTR, and now we are on EXto1850, with my daughter in the cycle now for her 2nd year after she did MFW K & MFW 1st. I have had so many moments of discouragement when it was tough for one or both of them. I've had moments of discouragement when I've listened to other mom's say things good or bad about their curriculum, their schedules, or otherwise. Home schooling is just hard work sometimes. This year it is pretty tough for me again since I have a 7th grader I'm teaching with my 2 & he's never been home schooled before. I just have to say - I am SO pleased with the way everything has worked out. My son is not a struggle to teach right now - and despite a few stints of trying other things - and even a few spells where we took a complete hiatus from teaching writing because I was just sure I could not do it - it has all come together.

He is FLYING through the schedule. He is devouring all of the history (his favorite). He LOVES Apologia General Science, even told me to keep the book when we finish it because it's got some great reading material in it, and my biggest thrill is that he's SOARING through Saxon 87 with little frustration!!! Math was always so tough for him, and we trudged through Singapore from 2A - 5B, sometimes both of us feeling like he just would never get it. But I stuck with Singapore, we followed the plan and IT WORKS, he is well prepared for 7th grade! I just almost think the child loves math! He is missing only a few, willing to correct, and LOVES the layout of Saxon 87. He loves the warm-up, listens intently to the teacher on DIVE, works the lesson practice on what the teacher taught, and commented that he thinks the mixed practice is REALLY wonderful. He said he really likes how there is a 30 problem review of previous lessons at the end of every lesson. So - I just had to post because when I was unsure about whether Saxon was too hard, or would be too hard to teach, I wish I'd seen a post about it - it is a great math curriculum. I am so pleased with it!!

Thank you MFW for helping families create a good plan for their children's education - and keeping the prices at least where a family on a budget can do this - I could not have done this without MFW!
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
dd-28, ds-25, ds-24, ds-22, ds-14, dd-10, student 13, granddaughter 3
MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, 1850-MOD
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Re: Sticking with MFW is really working!!! Loving Saxon 87!

Unread post by hsm »

I love this post, thank you! We, too, are trudging through Singapore. We started at 2B and trying to get through 5B by the end of the year. My 6th grader, who I pulled from ps last year, is doing all of those books in a year! It is discouraging some days and your post was reassuring. We are very new to both homeschooling and MFW and I am just loving all of it.

I am learning to trust MFW choices even when it "feels different" than what I am used to (ahem, see my previous posts ::blushing::). Different is often a good thing! I love hearing testimonies like yours, so thanks for the Saturday morning encouragement. :-)
K/ECC, CtG/Learning God's Story
dd-12, dd-9, ds-6
Julie in MN
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Singapore in 7th grade?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

attachmom wrote:Can anyone give me a reason not to continue with Singapore in the 7th grade? My 7th grade ds is fairly strong in math and enjoys Singapore, and my dh has his master's degree in math and is a math instructor at a community college so he can help when I encounter problems. I'm leaning toward continuing with Singapore because I think my ds might find Saxon boring and he does not like "busywork" at all (yes, he's a little lazy ;) ). Any suggestions/reasons why that might be a bad idea? Thanks!
I am one to say anything is possible, and I can't see any big reason not to continue with Singapore if you feel comfortable with that. I love Singapore Primary, and I'm sure your son will continue to get a good education with Singapore. I admit I really missed the quality word problems, or real-life math, that was in Singapore Primary.

There are always, however, details to think through. I'll throw out some thoughts, in case it helps you think this through.

- Singapore upper levels use the "integrated" approach to math, so your student won't have prealgebra, algebra, geometry, and algebra 2; instead, he'll have 1, 2, 3, 4. My oldest son's public school had an integrated program and there were problems with fitting him into a course after he had had algebra 1 & 2 through a university program, so transferring schools or textbooks can be a risk with an integrated program.

- Although I totally trust Singapore to give you a good education, in some ways I value the fundamentals of algebra being a separate course, solidifying those skills (twice) before moving up into precalc, when everything is thrown together. But maybe that's just because I've always done it that way.

- Singapore has quite a few different high school programs, and they seem to be changing all the time, so I think that's one of the reasons MFW didn't choose to go with Singapore's upper levels.

- I actually tried a little Singapore NEM at the end of the year my son finished Singapore Primary 6B. I found it quite difficult to plan out. My son did need to adjust to the usual huge jump to an hour or more of math a day, whatever program we used, but NEM didn't tell me how many problems should be assigned or how much of a lesson was expected in one day. (I've heard that Discovering is the one with the most homeschool support now, although there are rumors the support is switching over to the new Common Core version.)

- Because MFW uses Saxon, there is a lot of support behind it -- lesson plans, telephone help, and a community of online MFW users who might chime in when you hit a bump.

I think if I were just heading into upper math for the first time, I might choose to stick with MFW for the support. But maybe your dh can be that resource for you. I'm always in favor of kids getting to work with their dads.

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
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