For the MiniMize Math Schedule, we use the Ray’s New Arithmetic and Math series as a self-teaching tool. But if you would prefer another curriculum, Saxon Math books provide a thorough math curriculum in an easy to follow order.
These books are thorough and written in a way that a child can understand each explanation without a teacher’s guidance.
Prerequisites to Saxon Math
The newer Saxon Math curriculum has early childhood textbooks.
These are Saxon 1, 2, and 3.
But we don’t recommend using those simply because they take more time than what is actually needed.
Plus, they don’t actually do what is needed.
Instead of Earlier Saxon Books …
The most important aspect is that before beginning the student must be able to read fluently and with comprehension.
They should also concentrate on memorizing addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division tables first.
If you say 6+3, they should immediately say 9 without counting or thinking about it AT ALL.
Do this instead of spending money on Saxon 1, 2, or 3.
How to Teach Reading and Math Facts
We suggest using the McGuffey’s Primer and First Reader in conjunction with the MiniMize Workbooks to learn how to read. You can find those here.
For Math Fact Memorization strategies, look at this post.
Detailed ideas for math fact memorization and learn to read strategies are for another time, though.
Order of the Saxon Books
You’re here to figure out which order to do the math books in, right?
Well, here’s a list in ascending order:
1. Saxon Math 5/4
2. Saxon Math 6/5
3. Saxon Math 7/6
4. Saxon Math 8/7
5. Saxon Algebra ½
6. Saxon Algebra I
7. Saxon Algebra II
8. Saxon Advanced Math
9. Saxon Calculus
Choosing a Saxon Math book Edition
When the time comes to actually buy the textbooks, many parents have questions.
The most popular question is, “Which edition should I buy?”
I’ll tell you what I know.
The first edition of the Saxon Math books is my favorite.
This book was written by John Saxon for use in a teacher led classroom.
However, many have realized that it is so well written that students can use it as a self-taught curriculum.
The best feature is that the problems refer the student to the lesson in which the concept was taught.
First Editions do not have little holes in the letters, like the second editions (see below).
Saxon Math second editions are very similar to the first editions.
The same spiral approach and well written information exists, and it can still be used for self-teaching.
Unfortunately, the lesson number referrals were removed from this edition.
It’s not a huge deal, just a bit more effort for a student needing to review a particular lesson.
I’d still recommend this edition, though.
BTW, second editions look just like the first editions, except they have little holes in the letters.
Now, third editions of the Saxon Math books start getting a little hairy.
These editions have added information and group related activities that can be difficult in a homeschool setting.
Especially confusing for a self-taught 8-year-old.
However, the third editions will work in a pinch.
Simply tell your student to read and then skip any investigation work or group activities.
It’s not a huge deal; you’ll just get more questions.
Third Editions have a yellow cover.
For homeschooling purposes, fourth edition Saxon Math is rubbish.
I bet I know what’s in there.
I could tell you my opinion, but let’s stick with the facts.
Don’t waste your money.
And remember, these have a purple cover.
The Preferred Calculus Edition
The only book in the Saxon Math series which deviates from the information listed above is Calculus.
When choosing a Saxon Calculus book, Do Not Use The First Edition.
The first edition of Saxon Calculus tries to teach out of order and will confuse your student later.
Use only the second edition of Saxon Calculus.
What Else You Need
Besides the student textbook, you’re going to need an answer key.
The problem in locating these is that what they’re called is changed all up.
They’re difficult to locate simply because they aren’t always called an “answer key”.
I’ll help you with that later on.
Where To Find Saxon Math Books
This depends on a few things.
Do you want New or Used?
Is there a budget you’re sticking to?
You can find Saxon Math books in lots of places, but I prefer Amazon.
I mean, Amazon is a bookstore. A really big one.
I’ll give you some links to the first and second editions, below.
New Saxon Math Books
It’s rare to find a New 1st or 2nd edition Saxon Math Book.
They’re out of print.
But you can find 3rd editions new.
And by the way, it really doesn’t matter if you get the “Homeschool Edition”.
You can use the regular classroom textbooks, as well.
Used Saxon Math Books
The Used books are everywhere.
This is your best deal.
Here’s a tip: Try buying them in Spring or Summer when everyone is changing grade levels.
The market for rare books is during this season and you’ll have an easier time locating what you need.
Beginning the Saxon Math Books
Once your child is ready to begin working on a Saxon Math textbook, take it slowly.
They’re new to the process.
Do at least half a lesson per day and work up to a full lesson.
If your child is able to complete a whole lesson in less than an hour, have them do half of another.
Let Them Go at Their Own Pace
The goal is to do a lesson each day on their own.
It doesn’t count if you help them.
They need to learn to think and solve problems without you.
But remember that some stuff is going to be harder than other stuff.
Don’t worry if they go a bit slower or faster than the average lesson a day.
Slow or fast, as long as it’s at their own pace.
They’ll Get Quicker
The less you help them, and the more you tell them to read it again, the better they’ll get.
Remember, they’re doing math to learn to solve problems.
This isn’t about learning the solution, but the methods used to get there.
It’s a Problem-Solving Method
Part of that method is thinking for themselves.
Showing them how to do it just wastes their time.
How can they learn to solve problems if you solve it for them?
Where’s The Rest?
If you’re wondering, Geometry, Trigonometry, etc., is all right in these books.
There’s no need to add them in as long as you stick to Editions 1, 2, or 3 of the Saxon books.
Remember that math builds on itself.
Nothing is missing.
Texts and Practice Sheets
While test booklets and practice sheets are available, we don’t think you need them.
If your student is working each and every problem in the textbook, everything else is busy work.
You will rarely, if ever, need these extras.
About Using Saxon Math
Also, keep in mind that your student will probably be working on more than one book in a year’s time (in most cases).
Depending on the editions you use, you’re looking at around 120 lessons in a book vs. the 180-day school year.
(I’ll break down the number of lessons in MY set of books in another post).
If you do year-round schooling, that 180-day year might be a 200-day, or 250-day year.
That’s good when you factor in the time it takes to learn to read and memorize math facts.
You must also remember that there are Science Textbooks that are to be worked on AFTER finishing Saxon Calculus.
This means that while the Saxon Math books are the majority of the math curriculum, it’s not all of it.
Just follow the path of:
- Learn to read and memorize math facts
- Work the Saxon Math books in the order described
- Start the Science Texts AFTER finishing Calculus
Links to Find Saxon Math on Amazon
Remember that list I gave you?
Well, below you can find the links to buy the books and their answer keys on Amazon.
Simply click on the picture below the description to go to Amazon.
Used vs. New
When you get to Amazon, you will notice the price of the featured book available.
Below that, you’ll see a section that says, “More Buying Choices,” and a link to see new or used books.
Here, you may be able to find the book from another seller for a better price.
When you click on the New or Used link, a list of different available books will appear.
Next to the price of each you will see the condition of the book.
We typically look for “Like New” because it usually has minimal wear and is usually the cleanest.
I say usually because you really never know with a used book.
After that, we like “Very Good,” “Good,” and “Acceptable“; in that order.
Acceptable will probably be a little ragged but still able to be used.
First Edition Saxon Math ISBNs
Below are the First Edition Saxon Math book ISBNs. This lists the Student Text first, and then the Answer Key or Teacher’s Edition under it. You will need both so that you can check answers, of course.
Also, please note that the Saxon Calculus book is not listed here because only the 2nd edition is recommended.
See 2nd edition links for Calculus.
First Edition Saxon Math 5/4
Saxon 5/4 First Edition Teacher’s Edition
First Edition Saxon Math 6/5
First Edition Math 6/5 Teacher’s Edition
First Edition Saxon Math 7/6
First Edition Saxon Math 7/6 Home Study Packet
First Edition Saxon Math 8/7
First Edition Saxon 8/7 Home Study Packet
First Edition Saxon Algebra ½
First Edition Saxon Algebra 1/2 Teacher’s Edition
First Edition Saxon Algebra 1
First Edition Algebra 1 Teacher’s Edition
First Edition Saxon Algebra 2
First Edition Saxon Algebra 2 Teacher’s Edition
First Edition Saxon Advanced Mathematics
First Edition Saxon Advanced Math Solutions Manual
Second Edition Saxon Math Book Links and ISBNs
Below are the Second Edition Saxon Math book ISBNs.
The Saxon Algebra 1/2 Textbook link includes a complete kit with answer key, so no additional key is listed.
Again, the Student text is listed first, followed by the Answer Key or Teacher’s Manual. Whenever an ISBN was unable to be found it lists not available.
Second Edition Saxon Math 5/4
Second Edition Saxon 5/4 Home Study Packet
ISBN not available
Second Edition Saxon Math 6/5
Second Edition Saxon6/5 Homeschool Packet
Second Edition Saxon Math 7/6
Second Edition Saxon 7/6 Teacher’s Edition
Second Edition Saxon Math 8/7
Second Edition Saxon 8/7 Home Study Packet
Second Edition Saxon Algebra ½ Complete Kit
Second Edition Saxon Algebra ½
ISBN not available
Second Edition Saxon Algebra 1
Second Edition Saxon Algebra 1 Home Study Packet
Second Edition Saxon Algebra 2
Second Edition Saxon Algebra 2
Second Edition Saxon Advanced Mathematics
Second Edition Saxon Advanced Math Answer Key
Second Edition Saxon Calculus
Second Edition Saxon Calculus Solutions Manual
Did we cover everything? Is there anything we missed or any tips you have for using Saxon Math in a homeschool? Let us know, below.
Want to know more about how to MiniMize your homeschool? Try this post.