Curriculum Reviews
Saxon Math Review

Saxon Math Review


On one site they describe Saxon math as a “user-friendly” math program – even for Algebra, Trigonometry, Calculus and other usually difficult math topics. “Learning is incremental and each new concept is continuously reviewed.

Levels 1-3 are pretty similar in there format so for the sake of consistency Ill be focusing on mostly level 1. The lessons start slow for each level. In each lesson there are sections. First, “The Meeting” which is done in a meeting workbook and is really just review that consists of: “Calender” finding and writing out the date, adding to pattern line, and a few other things. The “Weather Graph” is exactly what you think it is, recording the weather. Then “counting” which is counting to a specified number (first 20, then 40, and so on), adding to a number line. As you get further in each level things are added to this section like “Coin cup” where you throw a few coins(that have been previously reviewed) in a cup and they count it.

Next is the actual lesson which, like all the other sections is scripted and is the section that usually presents new material.

Last is “Written Practice” which is the worksheets that are in the student workbooks. Each lesson is usually one worksheet front and back.

Our Experience

We have lots of experience with Saxon Math 1-3 and with multiple students. The great thing ( for sharing our experience in reviews) is that my children have very different learning styles. I was able to see this curriculum from different “angles”.

I purchased Saxon 1 when my oldest was in Kindergarten. So my first opinion is in these younger grades Saxon does seem to be a bit “behind” or at least not very challenging at grade level. This isn’t really a big deal because it is very easy to just use the level up.

For my first child math came pretty easy for her. At the beginning of level 1, everything went smooth. As we went further though we started to dread math.

The meeting section is VERY repetitive! Though I like this review section and think it adds a lot its just a lot of the same thing everyday! We would skip sections, for instance she didn’t need to write out the date everyday. We did that about once a week. The weather graph we skipped a lot and things like counting, my child could count to 100 but the lesson had her counting to 100 everyday for way too many lessons without moving on, that it became dreadful.

As for the main lesson it is scripted…to a fault. I like scripted curriculum, personally. With Saxon though it has a word for word script that does not feel natural at all and seems to pull out the lesson way longer than necessary, especially for someone just starting. So with skipping a lot of the review and not enjoying the lesson, there wasn’t much left.

This curriculum does do some hands-on and mental math but it is not the main focus. It seems the main way of learning is repetition and memory work. Both of these methods are necessary for math but Saxon was too heavy to one side for us. We ended up switching to a more hands-on, low worksheet, game heavy curriculum which worked much better.

The Flip Side

I know the first section seems like I was giving Saxon a bad review but as I always say different children need different things.

So after using Saxon with my first child along comes student #2 who learns completely differently. She is not as math-minded, she has more reading trouble, she is less patient with herself. I tried to use this new hands on curriculum with her. Alot of times she would understand something explained in the moment and would have no idea what I was talking about the next day. She needed a different approach.

So here I go bringing Saxon back in, for the second time, a little skeptical, a little wiser. Here is what worked: She NEEDED the repetion. Reading the calender and writing out the date every other day was great practice for her. Counting to 100 everyday was needed for her, she struggled with this for a long time until we started doing it daily. Practicing left and right daily and counting money every day has helped so much.

In short, we only use The Meeting or Review section of Saxon everyday and it is exactly what she needed! We do not do the lesson section(where the new concept is introduced) because even though she struggles with math sometimes this section still moves too slow for her. Honestly, The Lesson is only half or less of each days work.. Saxon has been a great addition for her, giving her confidence in herself, and making life easier for me. I am much better at taking what we need and leaving the rest now as I’m a bit more experienced so that may have helped too.



  • lots of practice
  • scripted
  • very minimal prep
  • thorough
  • meets state standards


  • Slow progression
  • unnatural script
  • long lessons
  • repetitve
  • minimal hands on activity

In Conclusion…

If you looking to have your child love math or to show them how amazing math can be and how it is really entwined in your everyday life, I don’t think this curriculum is going to do that. I do believe though that it gets the job done with minimal gaps. It has been a very popular curriculum for a long time so it obviously does what it’s supposed to. We just have a lot more options now that could fit your child better. This curriculum may be a great fit for a child who just needs or wants to check that box, things take awhile to stick or, who needs to take it slow.

Thanks for coming by guys. I hope this review helps you and leave a comment letting me know if you will be using saxon. Come visit our Instagram to check out what we are doing daily.