12 October 2007

Saxon Math

Things are finally settling down for school this year. My high school student and I really struggled with her math course. Her high school wanted her to put in 3-4 hours a day working on math, and yet it was 95% review. She was so discouraged. She's already had Algebra I and Geometry from books by Harold Jacobs. This was an Algebra II book, and our first time with a book by John Saxon.

I thought I should look ahead in the book to see when the review would end. I discovered that there were several topics that should be covered in Algebra II that aren't in the book at all.
Algebra II should be a study of functions, and Saxon math thinks it's a study of geometric shapes and polar coordinates. It's so frustrating to me. Besides the fact that my child was hating math, I was worried that she wouldn't be ready for higher math in later years if we continued with only the Saxon book.

So I bought another Algebra II book, one by Paul Foerster. She's doing problems in both books so that she can take the tests from the first book, and we're learning all the concepts in the second (more difficult) book. Though it sounds like extra work for my daughter, she's actually doing much better in school since we started this. She's still spending 3-4 hours a day working on math problems, but she's interested in math again. She completes her assignments quickly in the Saxon book because she knows that more interesting material is coming. It's been a burden on me to figure out a schedule that will work for her school and for her, but now that we're getting it settled, I'm feeling better, too. Also, I know that she won't be getting behind in math.

Darin worries that I push my kids too much in math. I don't want to require them to be math majors, but I don't want their future career choices to be hampered by inadequate preparation, especially in math.