Middle School and High School Math

Starting in the 7th grade here we start using Saxon math products. Up until then I am a die-hard believer in Horizons math. I love Horizons because its super solid, and has helped my kids get a great foundation for upper level math. But, Horizons math only went up to Grade 6 when Big used it, so after 6 we move to Saxon Algebra 1/2. {There is now a Horizon PreAlgebra but with math I’m all about old, proven stuff.}

There are a bunch of Saxon products on market and picking which one you want to use can be annoying. Here is an excerpt from an article from Art Reed on which books to use, the progression, the editions, and how to record the information on transcripts. I’m sharing it here because its AWESOME information, and because I don’t want to lose it!

For what its worth, I have found the edition to be HUGE. With the correct edition the lesson number is next to each problem, so if you or the student doesn’t know how to solve it you can just flip quickly to the lesson. Seriously. It’s huge. In Algebra, everything starts to look alike! LOL!!

FAST MATH TRACK: Math 76 – Algebra 1/2 – Algebra 1 – Algebra 2 – Geometry with Advanced Algebra – Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus – Calculus. NOTE: The Saxon Advanced Mathematics textbook was used over a two year period allowing the above underlined two full math credits after completing Saxon Algebra 2. (TOTAL High School Math Credits: 5)

AVERAGE MATH TRACK: Math 76 – Math 87 – Algebra 1/2 – Algebra 1 – Algebra 2 – Geometry with Advanced Algebra – Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus. (TOTAL High School Math Credits: 4)

SLOWER MATH TRACK: Math 76 – Math 87 – Algebra 1/2 – Algebra 1 – Introduction to Algebra 2 – Algebra 2 – Geometry with Advanced Algebra. (TOTAL High School Math Credits: 4)


Math 76: Either the hardback 3rd Ed or the new soft cover 4th Ed. (The Math content of both editions is the same)

Math 87: Either the hardback 2nd Ed or the new soft cover 3rd Ed. (The Math content of both editions is the same)

Algebra 1/2: Use only the 3rd Edition. (Book has the lesson reference numbers added)

Algebra 1: Use only the 3rd Edition. (Book has the lesson reference numbers added)

Algebra 2: Use either the 2nd or 3rd Editions. (Content is identical. Lesson reference numbers dded to the 3rd Ed)

Advanced Mathematics: Use only the 2nd Edition: (Lesson reference numbers are the solutions manual, not in the textbook)

Calculus: Either the 1st or 2nd Edition will work. However, if the student uses my DVD tutorials they will need the 2nd Edition textbook.


Math 76: Record “Sixth Grade Math.”

Math 87: Record “Pre-Algebra.”(If student must also take Algebra 1/2, then use “Seventh Grade Math”)

Algebra 1/2: Record “Pre-Algebra.”

Algebra 1 & Algebra 2: Self explanatory.

Advanced Mathematics: Record “Geometry with Advanced Algebra” (1 credit) only complete the first 60 – 70 lessons. Record “Trigonometry and Pre-calculus” (1 credit) if they have completed the entirety of the Advanced mathematics textbook.

Under no circumstances should you record the title “Advanced Mathematics” on the student’s transcript as the universities will not know what math this course containsananda they will ask you for a syllabus for the course.

Calculus: Self explanatory.

With Big we are using the “fast” math track. I assume Little will be the same. He’s going to finish up Horizon 6 soon and then we’ll be on to Algebra 12…

I’ll post soon on HOW we do math here. I’m guessing its a little different than what a lot of families do, (based mostly on the weird looks from local friends). Before that I wanted to share our curriculum and the progression we hope to follow/ are following. I’m not sure if it will pan out or not, but I am finding that middle school and thinking about high school is fraught with worry and feelings of inadequacy for me as a homeschool mom. Maybe it’s all the friends leaving homeschooling for traditional school…or transcripts…or physics. I don’t know. Whatever it is having a solid plan for math, right down to which books to buy has helped me a lot.

ETA: My Fathers World (HERE sells Saxon kits and schedules which I HIGHLY recommend. When the kids hit higher math you hear a lot about the number of problems and how to lighten the load. Some people do odds or evens. Unfortunately that leaves gaps and can creat problems down the road. MFW schedules eliminate redundancy by reducing specific problems. Some days there are 15 problems assigned, other days there are all 30. It’s not a random ordering. As long as your student can maintain an 85% or better on the tests – you can reduce. Less than an 85% means they need all 30, everyday. We used the schedule for Algebra 1/2 with great success. I’m finding Algebra 1 requires more practice, so some days we do all the problems anyway, or just add to the schedule. Either way – it’s totally worth buying from MFW to get the schedules!!


One thought on “Middle School and High School Math

  1. All those options do start to look confusing! lol Actually we just started Saxon, though we are all the way back in Kindergarten =) Really, my son is more like 1st grade in math, but I wanted something that I could do with both him and my preschool daughter. I’ll sort it out eventually, but right now I like it! That MFW resource sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing it with us at Trivium Tuesdays!

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