Wednesday, November 28, 2012

spicing up Saxon Math



Let’s face it…



Saxon Math, while wonderfully rich with the math learning piece, can also be wicked boring with the actually working through the book piece!




One way that I’ve modified it for my 6th Grader is to have him work through his daily drills using BigIQ rather than the Saxon drills.


1-BigIQkids Math Program - Mozilla Firefox 11282012 101706 AM


I love love love BigIQ!


He has 50 mixed operations problems to work out daily.  Being timed helps keep him motivated.  As does earning a game coin!


I love that I don’t have an extra paper to grade, that all the games are educational AND I get notified every time he achieves mastery!





Another funsie I’ve added is having him create a Math Notebook.


This is where I must insert – I LOVE PINTEREST!


Here is my Math Pin Board just in case you’d like to peek.




He’s using Ms. Smith’s online interactive notebook as his guide.


I have him add (we started right at the beginning) two pages daily.


He spends about 10 minutes on both BigIQ and his Math Notebook.  This leaves him 40 minutes to work on his Saxon.  We bumped him up to Saxon 1/2 this year and it’s been proving to be QUITE challenging for him!  Although some of that is mental…because he keeps reminding me that he should be in 8/7.  In love 


The thing is, I found a super affordable Saxon 1/2 with the DIVE disc and the testing indicated he was (by the skin of his teeth) ready.  Soooooo…


I added the Math Notebook to help lighten things up a bit.  And he only has to work for the 40 minutes.  I don’t make him do a whole lesson every day if it’s too much


Plus, Daddy tutors him in the evenings as needed.  Learning AND bonding!


Since we started using BigIQ and doing the MathNotebook there has been WAY less complaining!  I think just having a change of scenery helps.


Lastly, another thing I’ve been working with him on is keep his books NEAT!  He’s a South Paw and a boy…soooooooo


this is how his notebook (we have him using a notebook rather than writing in the textbook) looks.  The floating numbers make me positively cranky!




So then I had the brilliant idea (which may have been Pin-spired but I’m not sure) to have him use grid paper! 


And look at the difference?!




My eyes are SO happy!


And the thing is…he thinks it’s cool to use grid paper too!  It’s a win-win!





  1. Glad it's working out for you! Love the added fun!!

    1. Yep...we <3 Saxon 'round here. Although Toby may disagree! LOL


  2. Now my understanding is that older editions are 87 are pretty much the same as the newer edition 1/2s, but who knows! LOL

    I love the idea of a notebook!

    But my Saxon kiddos take way longer than 40 minutes to complete a lesson WITHOUT the drill section AND the notebook. They're feet draggers! ::sigh::

    We've used the graph paper idea before. It does help!

    1. Oooooh...I can't wait to tell him that! LOL

      He only gets through half a lesson in the 40 minutes...but I figure an hour of Math is enough for any kid! Plus, he's spending another hour several nights a week with dad too. Yikes. It's been pretty stressy this year.

      Although, there is a Math Club that we're hoping to join next year. That'll help make it more fun too!


  3. We, too, use Saxon Math. It is rather boring, but it is GOOD! I added a math notebook this year for my 4th grader. I can't wait to peruse your math board on Pinterest. I use Big IQ Kids for her spelling, but never thought about it for her timed drills. Gotta check that out, too. Thanks for this post!

    1. LOVE the timed drills! We've used them for awhile...and it just makes life a little bit easier. :)