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Saxon Teacher: Math 8/7 Review by Heather Jackowitz

Saxon Homeschool
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Supplemental
181 Ballardvale Street
Wilmington, MA 01887

Saxon Teacher for Math 8/7 consists of four lesson CDs and one test CD. These CDs are a teaching supplement to the 3rd Edition of Saxon 8/7. The CDs are very easy to navigate. You simply place a CD into your computer drive and then select the appropriate lesson, practice set, problem, Investigation, or test. A female teacher with a pleasant Southern accent teaches the lessons. She speaks clearly and at a moderate pace. The student does not see the teacher as she writes on the computer "blackboard." Sometimes the teacher does not write but instructs the student to look at his textbook as she explains a concept. In addition to explaining every lesson and every Investigation in the Math 8/7 textbook, Saxon Teacher also shows students how to solve every problem in each practice set, problem set, and test. The teacher does not simply read the textbook; she often explains a concept a little differently than the book does, or in more understandable language. There is nothing glitzy here--no bells or whistles--just good, solid math help from a knowledgeable Saxon teacher.

In case you are wondering if Saxon Teacher is compatible with the 2nd Edition of Math 8/7, I compared the Tables of Contents and here is what I found. They are identical, except for an additional lesson on Base 2 and Roman numerals in the appendix of the 3rd Edition. While I did not watch each of the 120 lessons and 12 Investigations, I did watch enough to conclude that the lessons, practice sets, and Investigations are also identical, although the page numbers are different. However, comparing the problem sets and tests showed that these are different enough to make it impossible to use Saxon Teacher with the 2nd Edition problem sets and tests.

I have found Saxon 8/7 to be a great transition from arithmetic to algebra. We use Singapore or Math-U-See in the lower grades, Saxon 8/7 in seventh grade, and then we move into VideoText Algebra. Saxon Teacher is making the transition much smoother than my older children experienced. I have been using Saxon Teacher for Math 8/7 with my 12-year-old son, and he enjoys being able to work on his own instead of having to wait for me to be available to help him. I still monitor his work and grade his tests, but Saxon Teacher has freed me up a little to work more with my younger children. I heartily recommend Saxon Teacher for Math 8/7.

Product review by Heather Jackowitz, Senior Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2009