Math-U-See or Saxon?

Curricularly conflicted,

Lots of Coffee, lots of kids. It's a peaceful life.

by Minnesota Mom Filed Under: Homeschooling, Minnesota Me 56 Comments

Math-U-See or Saxon?

Curricularly conflicted,

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Iām Margaret in Minnesota, and this is my mom's-eye perspective of a kid-heavy life. I love the Lord; I take lots of photos; and I try to always tell it like it is, from sex to depression and everything in between! I hope you enjoy your time here. ā„

Michelle Waters says

Saxon without a doubt!

Becky D. says

And I'm answering absolutely Math-U-See without a doubt. I have done both Saxon and Math-U-See in the past multiple times and greatly prefer Math-U-See.

Landreneau Family says

Math-U-See…

We did Saxon K and 1st, and so far much prefer Math-U-See. However, I'm told that the people who stuck with Saxon really liked if in the higher grades. But we're sticking with Math-U-See!

Jennifer says

Math-u-see. With a few notes: They don't cover what the tests cover in the same order, so if you test your child you will have to cover some things independently. I like it enough that that doesn't matter. The other thing I'm finding is that my 8yo is requiring a bit more review than MUS offers on *some* things. Again, not a big deal and overall math is quite pleasant and smooth here.

Jamie says

Saxon. My kiddos love the attention from mama.

KC says

Math-U-See. It's wonderful! All my children love it.

bearing says

Saxon, but I had to skip about half the lessons in Saxon 2 because we school year-round and they spent half the year reviewing the previous year's stuff. Very annoying.

I am also very favorably impressed with Singapore Math. Not that you asked.

(word verification: grummier. I feel grummier today than yesterday)

scmom (Barbara) says

I'm a Saxon mom, at least from grades 4 to 8.

Another interesting word verification: gulabl

Hmmm.

Cheryl says

I didn't like Saxon 1, (I feel dumb reading a script) so I am using MCP for grades 1-3. I liked Saxon 5/4, so I'll be using it again and using 6/5 also this year. I watched the Math U See demo DVD a few years ago and was not attracted to it for some reason. I am just going with my gut here, so sorry for the lack of a good explanation.

Elizabeth says

I've used Saxon 1(drove me crazy)

and Abeka…not bad…been using Singapore (with Miquon for the second grader) for two years. I like it very much…though I guess it doesn't help you very much. Snorkie's God Mother uses MUS with all of her children (K to 12th).

She likes it alot.

Pax Christi!

Suzie says

Math-U-See. I've always used it, so can't compare it to anything. As for the CAT testing, my kids have done fine (ie. better than 80% of peers taking the test in that period – every ND required test year. I also test in non-required years because I wanted them to know what to expect. Still did fine.) without any extra review on the Math sections.

With Math-U-See, it can be as independent or mom-involved as you need. Also, if your child understands the concept, you don't have to do all the pages within the lesson. I usually only have the kids do lesson pages A,B, & D, then go on to the test. If the testing doesn't go well, we go back to the remaining lesson pages – this doesn't happen often … maybe twice a year.

Meredith says

We use Saxon, but I'm looking at either Teaching Textbooks or my own pre-algebra program for my 8th grader. I here nothing but great things about Math-U-See, but I don't want to buy anymore math manips as I have enough Montessori colored beads to start a very large Montessori school in my home :):):):):)

Take your pick sweetie, I think you'll come out fine!

Meredith says

Uh, that was supposed to be "I hear…"

momto5minnies says

My girls LOVED both Math-u-See and Teaching Textbooks (I'm using that this year for my upcoming 6th grader).

Good luck with your decision.

momto5minnies says

OOPS … my 6th grader did the 6th grade math already with Teaching Textbooks. This year she will do the 7th grade.

+JMJ+ says

Younger ones use Math-U See at my house, then we use Saxon at 6/7. My MODG consultant and TA's all say Saxon kids test higher. They also have their own children (at least 3 of them that I know) use Teaching Textbooks for Algebra.

I have used Teaching Textbooks before and really like it, so did my oldest.

I do think Saxon is considered the gold standard, but it may not work for all kids. I am impressed with it and they now have Saxon Teacher to compete with the clients they've lost to Teaching Textbooks.

Saxon has all their problems referenced with a correlating chapter. I LUV that. Get a problem wrong? Let's revisit that explanation and practice problems….

Math U See and TT don't have that.

Monica says

If it's okay to say "neither" – I'd put in a vote for Rod & Staff.

Laura says

My school does Saxon and we have some of the highest overall standardized tests scores in the area.

The Sojourner says

I've done both Saxon and Math-U-See (Becky D., commenter #2, is my mom) but did Saxon in high school because (at least at the time) Seton required it.

I hated all four years, so much that I swore never to take math again…and so far never have. (Yay for being a B.A. student at a school with weak math/science departments!)

I did get a 710 on the math section of the SAT and a 32 on the math section of the ACT. So, I can't say it was bad for my test scores.

annef says

we use math-u-see. it works well for us, but i've never tried saxon. i got intimidated by the big fat book. š

Love2Learn Mom says

Math-U-See

Shawna says

Math U See. I am a math dunce. I always got good grades but didn't really understand how to apply it and then I saw Mr. Demme at a homeschool conference explain adding money. And it made sense. I had to excuse myself; how many people would understand why a 25 yo would be crying over math? Been a convert ever since. š

nutmeg says

Here's my vote…

ARRRRGGGGHHHHHH!

I've had the same dilemma, and opted for a canned curriculum that uses something else entirely.

I assuaged my guilt with a mojito.

;P

Wendy in VA says

Math-U-See!!!!

Katie says

Saxon, for sure… especailly for grades 4 and up!

stephanie says

I know a mom who recommends Math-U-See in younger grades (K-3) and Saxon in higher grades (4th+). I'm starting with Seton's math (K and 1st) and borrowing the first Math-U-See book, that is not being used, for comparison this year.

Katy says

I'm not familiar with Math-U-See, but I used Saxon starting with 5/4 through Calculus. It was great! Clear explanations and the right amount of practice problems. I am now finishing a master's degree in math, so I think it worked pretty well! š

Katherine says

My kids and I did not like Saxon. I didn't feel there were enough problems for the new concepts and there were too many review problems. I also don't think the Saxon books are organized well as far as the progression of concepts. I found some of their explanations for how a problem is done too wordy and so the kids got bogged down in wading through the language. At the same time there is a lack of good explanation of the *why* behind a concept. Can you tell I really don't like Saxon?

We've never used Math-U-See as we don't own a TV or video player.

We've been using Teaching Textbooks for the last few years and I (and the kids) truly like those. I start out with Developmental Math in the younger grades and move onto TT. If I see a child needs reinforcement in a particular area I pull out a "Key to…" workbook for that concept. This has worked well for us.

Michelle says

word verification: drapped. As in trapped in a dryer?

I've used Abeka math for the younger grades, but in 3rd or 4th move them to Saxon. This coming year, I have DIVE videos which teach the lessons for you (they are $50 per level). I'll let you know how it goes.

Math is extremely important to me and I look at curriculums from an engineering perspective. Saxon is the best. If the child needs more review than what is given in the chapter, there are many supplemental problems in the back. If you have the kids do the mental math, there brains will really get charged up. Good stuff.

Michelle says

Oh, that had me laughing. Rechecked my comment after posting and the engineer makes a huge grammatical mistake.

Math = important.

English = not so.

"their" not "there"

word verification: dowme – as in Dow Jones me, which is to give me a heart attack with how badly my stock portfolio is doing.

Cathy says

Started with Saxon K -3. It's great-very repetitive but didn't work for my daughter. Too boring, she got very frustrated and wasn't able to retain the facts through flash cards. We went to Math-U-See and restarted from the beginning. Went through 2 grade levels in a year. We're both loving it. It takes the pressure off as Mr. Demme does the teaching. Much less Mom intensive.

Anonymous says

Math-U-See!!!

We've used both… so glad to be rid of Saxon!

Anonymous says

Margaret, this is almost as entertaining as your "epidural or not question!!" Yes, no, Maybe, sometimes…….Hee Hee. Seriously, I do not homeschool but am so impressed at the support and council you offer one another. What a beautiful community. Kelly

Ouiz says

Hands down, SAXON!!! I've never used Math-U-See, but I've looked over it (and have friends who use it) and I could tell it just wouldn't work for me. I need things to be more visually appealing before I can get excited about it.

I have never used Saxon "to the fullest," however. We bypassed the meeting book (for the younger kids), and there was NO WAY I was going to do 2 lessons per day.

I wish you much success in picking your math program! I'm going through the same ordeal with science and history…

Sarah says

While I home schooled mine, we used Saxon (w/ Seton package). I liked the cross referencing so you could quickly go back and review. The Dive CDs are worth every penny. My advice is that even if you go with Saxon and have the Dive cd's be with your child during the 10 minutes of the CD so you know how to do it, too. I'm very visual . . . I need to see it done while it's explained.

I hope you find what works best for you all. God bless!

Elizabeth@Frabjous Days says

Singapore. Sorry.

Anonymous says

We just had our fifth child, and I was wondering if I should switch from Saxon to Math-U-See too. I decided to stay with Saxon after browsing through my friend's materials and asking a few questions. I would recommend looking at both to see what works for you. We've never done Saxon K, always started with 1, but divided it between the K-1 school years…two lessons a week. (recommended to me from a homeschool store catalog.) It has worked very well. I give my older kids the first few tests at the beginning of the year and if they do well then skip the first 30 lessons or so (for the older ones) as it is all review. I do not do the meetings. My friend who has 8 kids (and little money) does Saxon, but just has the kids do the workbook pages. She'll look at the Teacher guide if she wants to know how they teach even/odd numbers, etc. My husband corrects my oldest son's work and assigns him his DIVE lessons. He also teaches my 1st grader her two lessons a week. My friends who have left Saxon have all come back, but none have used Math-U-See. My friend who uses Math-U-See is very happy with it. To save time, I now look at the title of the lesson and see if I need to teach it as it is presented, skip it because they know it, or just give a quick mini-lesson. I sometimes teach two or three lessons at a time in the time it would take me to do one "by-the-book".

RealMom4Life says

Loved reading the comments.

This is what we've used over the years:

Rightstart (hands down mine and my kids' favorie – I think it's sort of like the math version of phonics when most programs are more comparable to whole word – NOTHING is spoon fed to the child -they figure everything out whiel in dialog with you. It is awesome! But I can't afford the time with 5 school aged kids (2 learning to read) and 2 younger ones to entertain).

Math-U-See ('cause it took less mom time but all 3 kids said they felt like they weren't learning anything – just going through the motions – but this could be just from coming off Rightstart).

MCP – OK

Saxon – Great well rounded program but not for everyone – I agree with whoever said not enough practice but lots of review.

This year we will be doing Teaching Textbooks for my 5,6,10 graders – my 5th and 6th graders have already started and enjoy it. My 5th grader is on lesson 11 and they can type in their answers as they go and it grades them (I like the fact that if they get something wrong they can have another chance or they can look at the solution – then they can go on to the next problem. So, rather than get a whole lesson wrong they can see where their mistakes are right away). And, I can see a score card at any time that lists all their lesson and test scores.

My K and 2nd graders will be using Math-U-See, not my favorite but the way it is layed out it is easy to focus more on what they need and there are far fewer problems per page (less intimidating for many kids).

My 10th grader is doign Math-U-See over the summer to help fill in some gaps – it is the best program (along with key to) that I have seen for this.

Sorry this is so long and more than you were looking for. I majored in math in college and am just so frustrated that the PERFECT program doesn't exist!

So, just remember how much time you will have when picking a program. The one that is best for your family is the one you will use! Babies are definitely a blessing but they do take time don't they!

Karen says

Saxon, for the long term benefits. I have used it with 4 children, Gr 1-9 (Algebra 1). When my daughter returned to public school for Gr 10 she was solidly ahead of her classmates. She wasn't exactly fond of Saxon, until then when she had something to compare it too. Then she loved it.

In the early grades I considered the scripting only a guide and in the higher grades, I would exempt review questions based on material they knew well. Hope these thoughts help.

Lori, MN Mom too says

Margaret,

I used A Beka for younger grades, then Saxon from 4th grade all the way through high school for three oldest of my six – and the standardized test results were all over 90%. And I AM NOT a math mom. Don't like it, never have. (Still in grade school with youngest three…)

Hope this helps in some small way.

Word verification: ressest.

Hmmmm, I AM feeling a bit ragged, maybe I should take time to rest!

RealMom4Life says

Oh yeah – I came across this website one time. It compares all sorts of math curriculums (what grades they are for, scope and sequence, etc.)

http://www.homeschoolmath.net/curriculum_reviews/

my word is rarim – I am so not rarim to go – esp. after I just left Target with a child screaming all the way out the door. I guess she was rarim

mary says

singapore!

mcriscio says

Saxon if they enjoy math. My ds excels in math and has done well with Saxon (he is halfway through calculus and just beginning 10th grade). Highschool Saxon is great because they need very little teacher help as textbooks are very clear. At elem.level it is very repetitious but good if you are not a slave to the teacher manual – if mine get it, I do not do drill & kill.

Anonymous says

I am in the same situation. I am asking Saxon w/DIVE or Teaching Textbooks? My son will be in 6th grade and Math is not his favorite and I am finding that I need to actually be focused for some of the word problems etc, which is hard with a 1yr old and 2yr old and other school-aged children. Any thought on that one. Margaret, did you see TT at the conference. What did you think?

Cheri

Kristen says

Don't listen to me because I've little experience under my belt, but Gianna LOVES math with MUS! I may switch her to a more challenging program when she's a little older, but for now Math-U-See is terrific.

(I used Saxon for Algebra I & II in high school, and it was excellent and enjoyable.)

Lisa Sweet says

Teaching Textbooks!!

Just sold all Math U See and Saxon math books on ebay:)

word verification: pasquica

as in "quarterback, you must pass de ball quicka"

Margaret Mary Myers says

Teaching Textbooks!

Have tried Saxon. Have not tried Math-U-See. LOVE Teaching Textbooks.

Margaret Mary

The Road Scholar says

Done Singapore and MUS. We just started Teaching Textbooks. I will use Singapore until 4th grade when they can start Teaching textbooks.

Mary @Cheerios says

What is the teaching textbooks?

Thanks,

Mary

Anonymous says

I used Bob Jones for elementary school K-6th. My kids and I loved it. I always used the Teachers' Guides with all the related stores. For all of high school I switched from Saxon to Math U See. MUS is wonderful. Be sure and use the DVDs.

Pam in TX says

Abeka for grades 1-3, then Saxon!

Blair says

We're only at 1st grade but as a former classroom teacher who used Saxon, I definitely prefer Math U See! I've heard that many people switch to Saxon or Teaching Textbooks around 4th grade, but we'll see when we get there!

MJ says

Speaking as a math geek (minored in Math in college, thanks to the great homeschool prep of my mom! š I vote for Math-U-See! My mom used it for homeschooling my younger siblings, and it was great. She tried Saxon with me (5th grade), and it didn't work too well. There is not enough repetition of previously taught concepts, nor enough word problems, to be effective.

Actually, I would even recommend Abeka over Math-U-See — I used Abeka all throughout my homeschool years (sans high school) and found it to be much better than any other math series I'd used before. I'll use Abeka for my kids someday!

When your kids are high school age I would recommend switching from Abeka to Amsco — great math series for college prep! The books are harder, but they really do prepare you for Calculus very well.

antonina31 says

We LOVE Math U See!!! I hear Saxon is great in the upper grades, but it is too intense for my gentle style of teaching.

Anonymous says

I'm more of a fill in the blank kind of gal and have never been one to do well on those multiple choice tests, so here's my answer: Abeka and Singapore. I prefer Abeka for my quick learners and math lovers. (I happen to enjoy math and science.) My artsy, distracted learners who prefer the basics of math and need to focus on one concept at a time prefer Singapore. I switch these learners (the girls in our home) over to Abeka around grade 4 or 5. I don't think it's a gender thing, merely a learning style that has shown to be true among the two girls of learning age in the home.

You didn't ask, but I've been homeschooling for over a decade, have graduated one from home, have 3 more teens in high school at home now with one taking college classes, a 5th grader, 2nd grader, 1st grader and a 3 year old.

Abeka and Singapore fit my teaching style and the children's learning style. I'm simply not a fan of Saxon because my children felt there wasn't enough drill with the new concepts. I found I was making up more problems for them to do and who has time for that? I'm also a HUGE fan of consumable math books. Most errors are made in copying the problems incorrectly. I also didn't like Math-U-See because I found it confusing…I guess I don't need to see math in order to understand it or maybe it was all beyond me…I sure hope not! So far, I've taught through Calculus at home without too many problems. Math doesn't scare me. Ask me to diagram a sentence and my eyes will glaze over with lack of interest…

I'm not sure I helped but whatever you choose be sure you and the children ENJOY math!

~Kathi

Anonymous says

I used Saxon for 1st grade and hated it. I'd already used Abeka K5 and the Saxon was way too easy. Plus, I HATED the TM. I didn't like that it was totally scripted. Now that I am researching, I agree with the last commentor, that Abeka + Singapore is probably a great way to cover all grounds. Having said that, I am actually looking at Math U See. Not sure about it at all yet. My daughter is going into fifth and (having used Abeka K5, 2, 3, and 4th) she can perform mathematic functions like a whiz. I'm just not sure if she REALLY understands it all. So I'm thinking about continuing Abeka and supplementing with Math-U-See. Or… doing Math U See and supplementing with ABeka??!