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Transition from Saxon to R&S Math?

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    Transition from Saxon to R&S Math?

    Hello, me again! I am planning for next year after homeschooling my son for two years. We have tried several math curricula and I really need/want to stop switching! We started briefly with Singapore and then switched to Math Mammoth in first grade. I liked that it was affordable, efficient and my son seemed to do okay with it, but over time he seemed to struggle with the mental math/conceptual nature of it. So, for this year I started Saxon, hoping the procedural type program would be a better fit. I actually like that it covers so many random topics in the "meeting" such as patterns, time, temperature, skip counting, etc. And I felt like he would do better with a procedural, spiral program. But, I see that he is bored and it is becoming a struggle ("I hate math, it's so long, I already know all of this!") We have talked about purpose of review--learning math facts will help you do harder math in future. But, I've started skipping some (occasionally all!) of the meeting to streamline math because it doesn't seem like he necessarily needs to practice telling time EVERY day or answering questions about a graph EVERY day.

    I don't expect he will love doing every subject every day but I'd at least like him to enjoy it a bit more or not dread it so much. Anyone have experience with both programs and able to comment on whether R&S has worked out better? Would it be fairly easy to move from Saxon 2 to R&S 3?

    The other option I've played with is continuing Saxon and adding Beast Academy as a supplement or more game-type math activity?

    Appreciate any recommendations or suggestions.

    Hello, I'm also guilty of switching math curriculum. I've used a variety of math curriculum so far with my oldest (Math Mammoth, R&S, BJU, Christian Liberty, etc.), and she's only 7 years old. So I understand the struggle and desire to find something that works so that you can stick with it. I think you're on the right track because you are listening to your son and trying to figure out what works for him.

    Rod & Staff is an excellent curriculum. But If your son is complaining about Saxon being boring, he may also find R&S boring. It's designed for mastery so there are lots of drills and repetitive exercises. The texts and workbooks are in black and white print with limited illustrations. I prefer Rod and Staff HANDS DOWN when compared to Saxon (which I used as a student myself from about 4th grade through high school). I honestly can't stand Saxon's spiral method. As a student, I was constantly looking back to relearn topics because we never spent enough time on it in the first place. The mastery approach of Rod and Staff is so much easier to follow and teach. Saxon's lessons kind of remind me of a chaotic mix of topics, but Rod and Staff is very sequential and logical in it's approach. Rod & Staff just seems more focused, calm, and orderly compared to Saxon.

    We've settled on using BJU math for my daughter because she finds R&S so boring. BJU tends to have fewer problems per lesson and doesn't drill as much. It's also a mastery curriculum: each chapter focuses on a single topic with chapter and cumulative reviews at chapter end. Plus the workbooks are in color, which my daughter seems to find more stimulating. I offered her the choice of staying with R&S or switching to BJU. I like both of them: they're solid math choices. She still doesn't jump for joy when I bring out the math books, but giving her the option to choose seemed to help eliminate some of the complaining.
    Last edited by AnnaT; 01-10-2022, 12:47 PM.


      Hi! I haven't used any Saxon level before 6/5. My older 2 kids used Rod and Staff through 4th grade, then switched to Saxon. My plan is to use Saxon through high school, so that's when I decided to switch them. It's working fine, so I'm planning to do the same next year with my next son. I like Rod and Staff for younger kids, and there is so much drill built in that I doubt you would have trouble going into R&S in 3rd grade. As mentioned by Anna, R&S may strike your son as boring because it is all black and white and includes lots and lots of drill. If the volume of work is overwhelming, it's okay to do parts of lessons orally. I sometimes allow my kids to skip some problems if I know they have a good understanding of the process. I like R&S and believe it's a solid math program that gets the job done in elementary school, but you will need to make a high school transition plan at some point.

      Fall 2022:
      DS 14 9th
      DD 12 7th
      DS 10 5th
      DD 7 2nd
      DS 5 K
      DS 2


        We much prefer R&S over Saxon. It is a bit more teacher intensive, in my opinion, but provides an incredibly solid foundation leading up to pre-algebra. I switched to Saxon a couple of years ago for one child. It lasted a semester. I know many people who use Saxon and love it but it was a disaster for us. That being said, we moved to Teaching Textbooks this year due to life circumstances, but I will be transitioning my younger three back to R&S for next year. You just can’t beat it for mastery.

        DS 18, DD 15, DD 12, twin DDs 9