Math news

We’re not much on drills, but today we’re doing these math drills for fun, in addition to Saxon for the bigs and Spectrum for the littles.

In other math news, we recently did the Saxon placement test and found that all 4 of the big girls were ready to move up.  I expected them to do well since Meg went from Math 65 to 87,  Lydia went from Math 76 to Algebra 1/2, and Kait and Deanna both went from Math 87 to Algebra 1.  We chose to ignore the warning that the placement test should not be used for this purpose, but instead should be used to place students who are moving to Saxon from another publisher.  So far, it seems to be going very well.

I think I have finally hit upon a plan to motivate the children to greater accuracy in their math: like many other families, I only require them to do the odd-numbered problems, IF they miss no more than 2 problems.  If they miss more than 2, they have to go back and do the even-numbered problems as well.  Suddenly they are very careful to double-check all answers, and even the nameless daughter who frequently missed up to 50% of her problems due to carelessness now consistently gets a near-perfect score!

And last but not least, we’re eagerly anticipating the arrival of our DIVE Into Math CDs from Dr. Shormann!  Hurrah!


  1. Thanks I looked and saw there are DIVE cds even for 5th grade. We will get the one for 6th for sure. I AM NOT good @ math : (

  2. Meredith,
    Their work typically gets checked right away so they can make corrections while it’s fresh in their minds, but I’m not usually the one who does it.
    Instead, they are paired off. Each of the older girls checks each other’s work, and each of the middle girls checks each other’s work. I still check for #5 and #6 girls, but when they get older I’ll probably start having them check for each other as well.
    I do make myself available for any questions or disputes that arise and keep a close eye on the process, but it’s a great relief to me to be able to delegate this particular duty.

  3. We have one for the 6th grade Math book. (Math 7/6)

  4. Jeanie,
    Yes, these go with Saxon Math – but I think they start at Math 87.

  5. Kim,
    Are these the CDs that go w/ Saxon math? I am new to hsing and we started my 5th grader w/ saxon. She is the same way. Making silly mistakes on things like REDUCE : )

  6. We were always required to do both odd and even with Saxon when I was growing up, I was so jealous of our friends who just had to do odds. I wish my mom had thought of your idea. Saxon is a wonderful program (I did very well on the SAT and in my college classes I tutored others) but it is a lot of work.

  7. I would DIE without DIVE. I don’t joke when I say I’m math challenged. I think the $50 per CD more than pays for itself for with one child. After we get through all four, I’ll fell money ahead. (And my kids might not flunk math…)

    We do even numbered problems on the even numbered lessons, odd for odd and on Tuesday and Thursday, they only have to do the practice problems. It worked for my girlfriend. Her oldest scored almost perfectly on his math SAT. #2 is up next year so we’ll see how that goes.

  8. We LOVE the DIVE CD’s! They are plenty pricey, but worth it.

  9. I am so glad to hear that others do only the even problems. My kids were getting bogged down in math a few months ago. I knew they knew it, they just were not focusing. When I switched to this they started paying attention to their work so much better. But it is nice to know that others have tried this trick as well.

  10. Meredith_in_Aus says:

    BTW, forgot to say that I plan for us to move on to Saxon when B’s finished Horizons 6.


  11. Meredith_in_Aus says:

    Hi Kim

    I’m really looking forward to hearing your review of DIVE. Specifically, I want to know if the DVDs will explain each new maths concept.

    Currently, my eldest is doing Horizons 6. I love Horizons, it is very thorough and I like the way it builds on itself BUT I am finding it difficult to fit in doing a lesson each day for 4 children. I am really trying to get my eldest two to be self-teaching but they really struggle (ie. I think they are too lazy) to work through the lesson box themselves. We often get behind because I get busy then discover that they’re “fine” with their review stuff, but have been skipping bits because they “don’t know how to do ‘x’ from the lesson the day or so before.” This is frustrating me no end! Rant over.

    BTW, do you check their maths straight after they’ve finished their day’s work? Thanks.

    In Him


  12. I hate math! All we do in our homeschool these days is math. I’m not kidding when I say that my son got up at 6 am this morning and did not complete his math lessons before he went to bed. He stopped only to do his chores and eat.

    Now when I say he only stopped then, I meant he stopped sitting with it, because he actually was staring off into space most of the time (or once I caught him sneaking listening to Jonathan Park when I came in the house from outside with the little folks.) In my math induced insanity, I dream of setting my Saxon book on fire.

    If he answered 50% correctly, I think I’d pass out. I feel like I have used every incentive (and punishment) there is to get him to get this lesson done. The only thing that has worked is if I sit there and say, “Next.” after every time he completes a problem. Then he’ll get every one right. I refuse to do that, I have too much other junk to do. (Like reading your blog apparently.) But I haven’t tried this yet and in my desperation I think I’ll give it a shot. If it works, you will be my hero. THANK YOU!

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