Monday, July 5, 2010

Saxon math verses Math-u-see

For those using or reading about Robinson curriculum, you know that Dr. Robinson recommends Saxon math (54) once the child has mastered the math facts of all four operations up through the 12 facts.
I'm the kind of girl who does better making a judgement call of our materials when I have them in hand. So I went ahead and purchased Saxon 54 so that I could read over the lessons and get a feel for it. We have family visiting in town so I've put that on pause, but to the point I've read so far, I've just felt luke warm about Saxon. I do see the pros of using it, open and go, teaches directly to the student. But in many of the lessons I've read, I've found myself thinking, oh yes I remember that lesson in MUS, and pulling from that knowledge base verses getting the concept from the Saxon explanation. It could be the way MUS explains things in many forms that I find appealing. First you have the visual and hands on of the (blocks), the auditory (Mr. Demme teaching on the DVD) and for those who do better reading (there is the teacher's manual which does not have the answers where the lesson is being taught and explained), and the program is mastery but prior concepts are reviewed in the review sheets and extra review pages can be printed from their website.
The price is quite a difference but I'm thinking that using MUS without the kids writing in the workbooks would stretch them and make it more affordable.
The new Teacher's guides are a nice hardback version.

I'm reserving my final judgement until I need to make a choice. I'm thinking to add MUS (Alpha) back in rotation in a bit to help cement the facts the kids are learning. So I might be doing that next week or waiting until they have more facts down pat.


Lisa said...

Melissa, I couldn't agree with you more about Math-U-See. Years ago when I was just starting out I found Dr. Robinson's curriculum. I incorporated many of his philosophies into our homeschool, except using Saxon Math. We've been using Math-U-See for 11 yrs. now and I'm so glad I went with my gut feeling on it.

Melissa said...

Lisa I am so glad you shared that. I really appreciate hearing from another RC user who is happy with MUS.

Anonymous said...

Not RC user, but I do use MUS. I appreciate the review as Saxon is something my evaluator is pushing for my oldest. She feels my oldest is behind. I started her at Alpha in second grade. Then Beta took forever to get through. She has started Epsilon. I know she would be considered fine if she were in Zeta. I hope she can get thru parts of Epsilon quickly, but only time will tell. I am not sure Saxon will appeal to me. My ds is using TT 5, and the jury is still out there. I plan for him to continue MUS as I have books. I am fine if it takes him awhile to get thru everything. He is only 9.


PS I had lost your blog, but I found a link tonight. I know it was on my desktop somewhere, but couldn't find you on my laptop.

Melissa said...

Hi Angela,
Glad to hear MUS is working so well for your family. I'm still on the fence but more and more I'm thinking of trying 54 when my oldest is ready. But we have time so we'll see.

Glad to have you stop by : )