Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Saxon K

Since we took a fairly long break over the holidays, we have only covered 27 lessons in Saxon so far. As we have progressed a bit further than my initial review, I thought I'd share my views on the program so far.

It is slow. Almost painfully so. It is written as a textbook for six year olds, and so far there has been nothing more difficult than counting to ten. We have only just started out with introducing the concepts of addition and subtraction, and even then it is in a vague, story-telling way.

I can't imagine using this program with a six year old.

As it is, I manage to complete each lesson with Nicholas in 10-15 minutes. Almost half of that is spent doing things not dictated in the book (such as reinforcing the pattern of the 'month' - currently using aeroplane counters; it can take 5 minutes to 'land' them all in the right place) or simply playing with the manipulatives.

I know he is only 3, but I feel like the lessons are too slow even for him. He really enjoys his maths time (and often reminds me if we don't do it first thing) but I think that he might lose interest if the pace doesn't pick up.

To give you an idea, one lesson from this week went something like this:
Watch me choose four counters in one colour and four in another and make an AB pattern. Your turn. Repeat two more times. End Lesson.

So, I'm going to try doing 2 lessons back to back, so long as I feel he is in the mood for another lesson when we have finished the first. This shouldn't add much more than 5 minutes to our maths session, but the increase in pace should challenge him enough to keep his focus.

Don't get me wrong, the book is thorough and has enough repetition to make sure each concept is mastered, but it seems most suitable for preschoolers, and even then the pace is questionable. The topics covered are mostly making patterns - with coloured counters or pattern blocks - and mastering recognising numbers to ten, counting with one-to-one correspondence, in fives and tens. Most of this I have seen in workbooks aimed at the 3-5 age group.

I will keep on with Saxon, since Nikki enjoys it. It does look like there will be some more challenging concepts coming up in a couple of 'months', like introducing the value of coins and using a ruler.

So that this post isn't entirely boring, here's a picture of Nikki practising graphing with dinosaurs:

Note: The textbook is designed to cover 12 lessons each month. When I write 'month', I am referring to a group of 12 lessons, not a calendar month. 

No comments:

Post a Comment