What do you recommend for Pre-Algebra?

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After 20 years of teaching math to hundreds of thousands of homeschoolers around the world, I believe that DIVE + Saxon Math 8/7, 3rd Edition provides the best preparation for Algebra 1. Even students who previously struggled in math, then complete this course as instructed in our Teacher Guide, do very well in Algebra 1 and upper-level math courses. I cannot recommend this course highly enough!

Is my child ready for Saxon Math 8/7, 3rd Edition (Pre-Algebra)?
The following students are ready for our pre-algebra course, Saxon Math 8/7, 3rd Edition:

  • Students who have completed Saxon 7/6, 3rd or 4th Edition
  • Students in 7th grade or higher, who have mastered their multiplication facts to 9 (if not, take DIVE+Saxon 7/6, 4th Edition)
  • Students in 6th grade or below, who did not complete Saxon 7/6, 3rd or 4th Edition, should take the Placement Test.

Why is pre-algebra important?
Unlike other subjects like history and literature, math is a language. DIVE/Saxon Math is one of the few curricula that teaches math as a language. Math is the language of science, an important tool required to understand God and the world He created. A pre-algebra course is a normal and recommended part of a child’s math education as they make the journey from a world of mostly numbers (arithmetic) to a world of mostly letters (algebra). First, it’s important to understand that most students who struggle in Algebra 1 do not struggle with algebraic concepts. Generally, there is a lack of fluency in basic arithmetic skills like division, ratios, reducing fractions, and converting between fractions, decimals, and percents.

How is Saxon Math 8/7 different from other pre-algebra courses?
While Math 8/7, 3rd Edition teaches all the required pre-algebra concepts, it also does an excellent job of developing fluency in the essential fraction, decimal, percent, and conversion skills required for success in Algebra 1. Fluency, means speed and accuracy. Much like memorizing multiplication facts, Math 8/7 students learn to quickly and accurately perform these skills in their head which makes it much faster and easier to learn algebra. I don’t know of any other course that does this as well as Saxon Math 8/7, 3rd Edition.

What is DIVE and why do I need it?
DIVE provides expert video instruction for every lesson in the Saxon Math student textbook. Since Saxon Math was written for schools, the lesson in the Saxon text assumes the full lesson was presented in class. The lesson in the Saxon textbook is just a summary of the lesson for the student to review later. John Saxon recommended an experienced Saxon teacher, to teach this missing instruction. especially the essential connections between the incremental lessons that make learning faster and easier!

Which edition of Saxon Math 8/7 is best?
I recommend Math 8/7, 3rd Edition. This edition of the Saxon Homeschool Kit features lesson reference number next to each question to quickly re-learn forgotten concepts, larger developmentally appropriate sized text, as well as a solutions manual with step-by-step solutions. If you have the 2nd Edition all the required Saxon Math 8/7 books (textbook, answer key, solutions manual, tests, and worksheets) and the 2nd Edition of DIVE Math 8/7 it is acceptable to use. If you are missing any of the above, it is usually better to sell the 2nd edition books you have and purchase DIVE and Saxon Math 8/7, 3rd Edition.

Which format of DIVE Saxon Math 8/7 should I purchase?
Download & Stream Format for DIVE Math 8/7, 3rd Edition is the recommended format as it has all the content and benefits of the CD with updated graphics, compatibility with iOS and Android devices, Windows & Mac computers, as well as Smart TVs. Featuring unlimited downloads and streaming, it can be used with all the children in your household. If you lose it, simply download it again.

What do I need to purchase?
All you need it the DIVE Video Lectures and the Saxon Math 8/7, 3rd Edition Homeschool Kit. They can be purchased at the links below:

Saxon Algebra ½ vs Saxon Math 8/7?
See this article: Algebra ½ vs Math 8/7: What’s the difference?