If you have students that like to use a more textbook-centered approach, like I did, then you'll find that this is a good curriculum for your family. The problem becomes what to do with Saxon Advanced Math on your homeschool transcript. For those of you who don't know, my sons both loved the Saxon math curriculum, and used it against my better judgement. So, I'm well aware of the pros and cons of this textbook-centered curriculum. What I want to talk about today, though, is how do you put it on the transcript.
Saxon math uses an integrated approach to weave together concepts from year to year so that skills and concepts are continually reinforced. The cumulative practice and assessments help ensure that students master the concepts that are being taught, and helps you pinpoint what your student may not be understanding. Their advanced math fully integrates topics from algebra, geometry, trigonometry, as well as mathematical analysis where word problems are developed, becoming more elaborate as the student progresses. This structure is what makes knowing how to put Saxon Advanced Math on the homeschool transcript so difficult.
With most math textbooks, it's easy to name your class for the homeschool transcript. "Algebra 1" on the textbook means the class title is "Algebra 1". Easy-peasy, done! But, sometimes, the question comes from how do I give grades and credits. My class, Creating Transcripts for Your Unique Child can help you figure that out, and get just the right information for your child's transcript.
Did you know that Saxon Advanced Math was intended to take 1-1/2 years of school? Did you know that one book could be called pre-calculus? It can include one year of trigonometry and one semester of geometry? Further complicating the matter is that many parents give their children geometry first, before Advance Math. If you do that, then the publisher says Advanced Math should take just one year of school.
The problem then, is that each parent may have their own path to completing the book. For example:
Art Reed is an expert on using Saxon Math. He has a helpful breakdown of the book. This is what he suggests.
You might be thinking, "How can I possibly make a decision then?" Take a deep breath. If your child has done Advanced Math already, they are obviously doing GREAT in math, and you can't really mess them up. At the same time, you need to somehow explain Saxon Advanced Math is somehow different than Math 8/7 on the homeschool transcript, or elementary math that younger kids take. Here is what I know.
If you need more math help, or just want to know how to do get through high school math without the moaning, read my article, High School Math at Home. I think you'll find it helpful.
If you need a good overview of what all of the Saxon Math levels cover, Cathy Duffy does a great job over reviewing these. You can read about the Saxon Advanced Math on her post, Saxon Math 5/4 through Calculus.
If you are a hold-a-book-in-your-hand kind of parent, my book Setting the Records Straight might be helpful for you. Buy the book, it's full of information to help you make your transcripts, you will be able to see just how to do it!
My last tip is this, take a deep breath. Having been through it with my boys, I know what a challenge it can be to work through this step. Hang in there and follow these guidelines and you'll be successful!
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