Saxon Math versus Common Core – A Primer…by Jenny Hatch

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Saxon Math is still pure from the Kindergarten math textbooks to the 8th grade textbooks.  Nancy Larson and Stephen Hake, who wrote these books, still hold authors rights over them and they have not allowed them to be changed.  The reason why the claim is being made that Saxon is Common Core is because additional inserts have been added to the curriculum that supposedly makes them aligned with the standards.

I know this is all very confusing, but these are the facts.  When John Saxons children sold his company to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2004, they did mess with the Algebra Textbooks, and the 4th editions are NOT Johns Algebra book.  So yes, there has been some mischief around the Saxon Texts, and I personally have invested in 2nd edition books from 4th grade to Calculus because I believe they are the best on the market (Bought them all on Amazon), but to say that the whole curriculum has been dumbed down by the Math Elites as it was aligned to Common Core is just not true.


I have written quite a bit about the Math Wars and will use this post to share a roundup of those old posts. As you parents are getting up to speed on what is really going on with Math in America, I would just like to throw out one idea.

If YOU as an adult, cannot understand what is being asked to be accomplished on your child’s Math Homework, there is no way your six year old is going to understand what is going on.

And as you teach your child how to solve problems using classic math algorithms and then your children report that they are not being given credit for homework because they “did it wrong”, please realize that this is the overall goal of common core. Confusion of the children and a need for massive remediation. The more children identified as Math Idiots, the more money is generated all in the name of “fixing” the problem.  The big money in education has always been tied to remediation in Math and Reading.  Because then the schools need “specialists” and more expensive remediation texts etc. etc…

John Saxon believed math taught correctly the first time resulted in all children being able to master this challenging subject and he wrote textbooks that enabled all students to daily master just a new math principle or two before they moved on to the next level. He called this incremental learning and while some educators claim that it is boring and repetitive, IT WORKS.

Common Core entrenched what is called Constructivist Math in most American school districts. This type of Math is also called New Math or Reform Math and has very little to do with Classic Math. You can identify this type of math by how seriously flawed and complex it is. Children are taught using texts that emphasize group projects, politically correct thinking, and the texts have loads of pictures, graphics, and do not emphasize drilling in the basics of arithmetic. You may find your child writing an essay for math homework, or doing a group project with other students as the teacher tries to teach them how to “think” mathematically. Whatever that is.

The fact is that a huge experiment is being needlessly played out on the minds of our American Students and the result is going to be another swath of children who think they are “dumb”, melt down in stress responses because they do not understand what is being asked on their homework, and another generation of Americans who will be shut out of the STEM fields because they never will catch up and be able to master the University Math required for various professions.

Here are a few previous posts I have written on this topic:



Math Excellence

For those of you who like to read on a Kindle, I wrote this primer a few months ago for parents who are trying to educate themselves.

Uncommon Lore by Jenny Hatch

Thanks for stopping by and good luck as you do your research!  Even if you decide to continue to send your children to public school, you can supplement with the excellent Saxon books at home.  The only problem is that as standardized testing is completely taken over by the Constructivist Model of Math, children taught using classic math will not do well on the tests.  But that is a fight that we will have to face down the road.  For now the important thing is that our own children have a firm foundation in real math.

Good Luck!

Jenny Hatch

Ben Hatch taking a Saxon Math Facts Test


One Response to “Saxon Math versus Common Core – A Primer…by Jenny Hatch”
  1. Noel McNeil says:

    Just curious, why did you invest in the second editions and not the third? I’m probably going to be doing the same and wondering why you chose the edition you did. Thanks!!!


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