Yes, we use the Well-Trained Mind, but …

People tend to forget that it’s a plan, not a prison. Yes, I peruse it every spring, but my children are not theoretical constructs. I customize it. For example, next year will be the 6th grade for my eldest child. So, I flipped open my Kindle copy of the most recent edition, clicked on Part II. The Logic Stage: Fifth Grade through Eighth Grade, skipped the introduction (I’ve already been convinced!), and re-read the How to Teach. I noted the “if she can support her points with the facts” and reminded myself that I’d like to use the exercises from The Writing Revolution with Gwen next year. “Language, mathematics, logic, history, and science are staples of the logic stage; art and music should be pursued if possible.” (Location 5986 in The Well-Trained Mind) Step 1: Logic. Last year, my eldest child attempted The Art of Argument, but I didn’t have time to devote to going through it with her, and

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The Joy of Saxon Math

Homeschoolers as a group do better than public school students do, but when adjusted for socio-economic status, do less well in math than expected. Direct Instruction works for increasing math success. Saxon math is a Direct Instruction program. Because of its scripted nature, Saxon math is easier to implement in the homeschool than some other, popular programs, especially when many homeschooling mothers are not confident about their own math skills. Saxon math is a complete K-12 program. Grades K – 3 are written very differently from the rest of the program. They’re teacher intensive, highly scripted, and incorporate lots of manipulatives–hallmarks of high-quality direct instruction math programs. Saxon 5/4 through Calculus (3rd edition) is written to the student, allowing students with good verbal skills (like most homeschoolers) to work independently. Saxon math works. It’s been around in the homeschool community for many years, and has been the subject of efficacy research since 2005, including a randomized, controlled trial. Saxon has

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