We are one fourth of the way into the school year. It may be premature to write a post about our geometry curriculum, Saxon. I will just state a few things here for the record, nevertheless.
Let me start with the overarching feeling we have towards it: we like it and it feels comfortable. I was not sure how I would handle American high school math, but so far so good. In Romania, where I grew up, we started algebra and geometry in 6th grade, combined. My math teacher for those grades expected us to have a really clear understanding of the concepts he was teaching.
As such, I think it is a bit ludicrous that American 9th graders are held back to doing algebra problems like 9x – 4 = 32 at age 14. Really? In the same vein, many of the geometry problems, to my surprise, are just disguised algebra problems with a few geometry concepts thrown in, i.e. congruent angles defined by 3x and 4x – 20, for instance. Solve for x. Wow.
Many people online seem scared of Saxon math in general. I bought my curriculum from a friend who assured me it would be fine. Her daughter had taught herself all the concepts with the help of the DVD and the Solutions Manual.
I am teaching my son because he wants guidance. We don’t always do the labs, but we look at the concepts taught and nod our heads: “Yep, that’s how you should draw a parallel line.” My son does not want to become an architect. Therefore, we don’t insist on teaching him the technique of drawing perfect lines.
The Solutions Manual helps a lot. It has not only results, but also a brief explanation of how they got there. The Index and other helps at the back of the book come in handy when you need to look up a theorem or postulate or formula.