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"By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge
the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches." ~Proverbs 24:3-4

Saxon Math products can be ordered at a discount here.

Using John Saxon’s Math Books

If you’re using Saxon Math – no matter what grade your children are in – you’ve got to have this book! It tells how to successfully choose and correctly use John Saxon’s math books – and save money besides! Our family owns most of the Saxon Math series, and Using John Saxon’s Math Books is an excellent addition to the collection.

The author, Art Reed, has more than twenty years of experience with John Saxon's math books from Math 54 through Calculus and Physics. He used Saxon Math for over twelve years as a high school classroom teacher, followed by nine years when he served as a curriculum advisor for Saxon Publishers. Homeschool parents came to ask for him by name as they sought his advice and assistance. My husband even e-mailed him a couple of times with questions.

Now Mr. Reed has put his experience and knowledge into a 132-page guide to assist home educators in their successful use of Saxon math books in grades 4-12. (Saxon Math is also available for grades K-3. These were not the author's specialty, but it would have been nice if he could have included some information about them.)

Overall, Using John Saxon’s Math Books contains much practical advice on how to save money while utilizing John Saxon’s books to their fullest potential. Some of the questions this book will answer for you are:

  • What is the proper sequence of Saxon Math books?
  • We're switching to Saxon – which book should we start with?
  • Are used Saxon books still good or should I buy the new editions?
  • Is it okay to skip problems?
  • When is it advisable to take two years to get through one book?
  • What is the correct way to record academic credits?
  • How does the high school student receive credit for geometry?
  • Can Saxon Math successfully prepare students for the ACT, SAT, and AP exams?
  • Is a calculator really necessary, and what is the best model to get?
  • What are the similarities and differences between Math 87 and Algebra ½?
  • Should I pay $50-100 for a CD, DVD, or video tutorial?
  • What if my child has special learning requirements?

    The first half of Using John Saxon’s Math Books contains general information about selecting and using the Saxon Math curriculum. The second half of the book focuses on the individual Saxon texts – Math 54, Math 65, Math 76, Math 87, Algebra ½, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Advanced Mathematics, Calculus and Physics – with a whole chapter devoted to each. Some of the material within this section is repeated, but it allows you to read only the chapter regarding the particular book in which you are interested at the present time.

    I highly recommend this valuable handbook no matter which Saxon textbook you own. Ideally, of course, parents should get Using John Saxon’s Math Books before purchasing a Saxon Math text to make sure that they pick the right one. If you have been using Saxon Math for a while, you may think that you already know everything there is to know about it. However, upon reading Using John Saxon’s Math Books you will discover that’s definitely not the case.

    Our family has used Saxon Math for over ten years, and yet I gained quite a bit of useful advice from Art Reed's book. For one thing, I’d better check which editions we have because even though they were brand new when we purchased them, they are much older now. Also, the instructions on how to properly record the math credits have already been a great help for creating our son’s high school transcript.

    While our oldest son is finishing up Calculus and Physics, our middle son is going to be starting Math 76, and our youngest son is still learning elementary arithmetic. This means that we will be doing Saxon Math for a long time to come. I’m so glad that we now have this informative guide to accompany the Saxon books. I only wish Using John Saxon’s Math Books had been available years ago!

    My favorite chapter in the book is entitled “John Saxon’s Legacy.” As a longtime Saxon customer, I was disappointed to hear that after John Saxon passed away, Saxon Publishers was purchased by a large textbook company named Harcourt Achieve. Much of the appeal of Saxon Publishers was the down-to-earth philosophy of its founder and his back-to-basics approach to teaching mathematics, in contrast to most modern textbook styles.

    I can’t imagine why John Saxon’s four children sold out to a major publisher, since it was my understanding that they were committed to carrying on their father’s mission. Thus, I was amused when I read about what happened at Saxon Headquarters on the day they announced the acquisition. You will have to buy the book to read the story! ;) Anyway, Mr. Reed assures us that the quality of Saxon Math books will remain the same, so I sure hope he’s right. I appreciate the fact that he paid tribute to John Saxon in the title of his book. I'd hate to see Saxon Math become just another generic textbook brand.

    I also found it interesting to note that in addition to being a Saxon Math expert, Art Reed is a qualified nuclear weapons officer, engineer, mathematician, and parachutist. While serving in the U.S. Army Special Forces in Vietnam, he received many awards and decorations including a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

    Be sure to visit Art Reed's website at , where you can preview the table of contents as well as selected chapters from Using John Saxon’s Math Books, and purchase the book direct from AJ Publishers. The introductory price is $19.95 with free shipping anywhere in the United States.

    P.S. For a limited time, anyone who buys Using John Saxon’s Math Books will receive a complimentary subscription to Art Reed’s online Homeschool Newsletter. This newsletter offers up-to-date information such as useful web links; the latest tips, suggestions, and ideas; comments from other homeschool parents; important notices about changes in editions, errors noted in the books, support services, etc.

    See Also: for my in-depth review of the Saxon Math curriculum. If you’re wondering whether Saxon Math really works, we can tell you wholeheartedly that it does!

    Saxon Math products can be ordered at a discount here.

    This article may be reproduced in its entirety by non-profit homeschool associations. Please click here for details.


    These pages are a continuous work in progress.
    Copyright © 2000- by Teri Ann Berg Olsen
    All rights reserved.


    These pages are a continuous work in progress.
    Copyright © 2000- by Teri Ann Berg Olsen
    All rights reserved.

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