Homeschool Life: Saxon Math Review


Saxon Math is considered by many to be one of the best homeschool curricula! It is and has been popular since the early 1990s. However, it is not the best fit for everyone, and/or for all grades. Homeschoolers seem to either love it or leave it. As you are researching which homeschool curriculum to use for your family, here are some things to consider and also watch our video review.

Students who learn using Saxon Math score high on standardized tests and can even be over-prepared for basic college mathematics!

Saxon’s methodology uses an “incremental approach” with a continuous tight spiral daily review of a mix of previous concepts from other lessons.  This approach introduces students to each new concept in small step-by-step instructions, with the goal that they develop an understanding of its parts before working on the total concept. It also frequently jumps from one topic to another.

For some kids, this can lead to rote memorization, or confusion though.

Saxon Homeschool Math offers you traditional, secular, focused math curricula without any “fluff”.

The pages are black and white without photographs or stories or lots of graphics. This is great if you have kids who are easily distracted by colorful artwork. Left brain, repetitive, visual learners, and those with an engineering type of mind, tend to excel using Saxon.

However, keep in mind some kids are exceptions so don’t get bogged down trying to make a square peg fit in a round hole. This program may fit your creative child perfectly!

Saxon devotes much of the daily homework to practice problems from previous concepts and provides a variety of creative problems, including real-world application story problems. Some kids need this repetitiveness, while others will get bored if they have mastered some of the concepts. So, a workaround some parents do is to have their kids only do the even, or odd-numbered, problems in each daily set.

Saxon K-3 is different than the rest.

One thing to note is that the format of grades K-3 is not the same as grades 4-12. That is because it is written by a different author who uses a hands-on approach using lots of manipulatives for your younger children. They even offer a complete Manipulative Kit that you can buy once and use for all four years and stow away in the clear storage container that has a snap-on lid.

Kindergarten through third grade is teacher-led with a script to follow, and basic math facts drills are practiced repeatedly with the goal of mastery in the third grade.  Beginning in fourth-grade repetitive practice problems for learning replace the math drills, and the lessons are student-led.

Saxon Math was originally created for and used successfully in public and private schools – and still is!

John Saxon retired from the military and began teaching college Algebra in Oklahoma in 1970. Students requested he develop worksheets that showed step-by-step solutions to problem-solving to help them understand what they did not know. From there he eventually field-tested his incremental approach in 20 middle and high schools. And in 1981 he published his Algebra 1 textbook.

Next, he either created, co-authored, or published each of the Saxon Mathematics curricula to complete a K-12 program, and tweaked each level to create our Homeschool editions.

Supplements have been developed to assist homeschoolers…


Some resources for you to check out include:


  • – she gives a detailed look at what concepts are in each book
  • offers free placement tests so you know which grade level to buy
  • has created ready-to-use lesson plans
  • offers a Saxon Math Grading service with online problems from the books so your kids get immediate feedback for each problem they work on. A parent dashboard emails you a report after each lesson or test!
  • sells sanctioned teacher DVDs if your child works better learning from an instructor versus only from the textbook.


Be sure to check out additional homeschool articles on our blog at and for more information watch our videos on our Mardel YouTube and Mardel Facebook too!

I hope that this review helps guide you in your choice for your family’s homeschool math program!


Please let me know what you and your family enjoy most, or share your experience, if you are using Saxon Math!

Enjoy your #HomeschoolLife!

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