An Interview with Stephen Hake, co-author of Saxon Math


I am absolutely thrilled to share with you an amazing video interview I had with Stephen Hake, the co-author of Saxon Math! We dug into all the burning questions that we often hear from students, parents, and fellow educators about this legendary math curriculum. You know me, I’m all about effective math education, so getting the chance to chat with one of the brains behind Saxon Math was a dream come true.

During our chat, Stephen Hake, who’s a real math education guru, gave us the lowdown on Saxon Math’s inner workings, sharing his insights in the most down-to-earth way. If you’ve ever wondered what makes Saxon Math tick and how to get the most out of this curriculum, this interview is an absolute must-watch. So join me and Stephen Hake as we spill the beans on the secrets of Saxon Math, making math learning fun and accessible for all!

Watch the whole interview or jump to what interests you most:

How did you meet John Saxon? (0:00)

What’s the philosophy behind Saxon Math? (5:07)

How do you handle students forgetting in math? (7:55)

How important is it for students to know the “why” behind math (versus just knowing how to do a problem?) (12:47)

Why do Saxon Math textbooks have names like 7/6 and 8/7? (18:29)

What’s the difference between the homeschool and school lines? (22:09)

Is Saxon Math Common Core? (31:19)

What’s the right way to do prealgebra (7/6, 8/7, Algebra ½ and Algebra 1?) (38:49)

How much math do you really need to know for real life? (42:48)

How important is it to do all thirty mixed practice problems? (44:33)

What do you do when it’s consistently taking longer than an hour to do math? (48:12)

What difference does math facts practice make? (56:05)

Fun question from a student – How do you come up with names for word problems? (1:03:00)

How do you feel about resources like Nicole the Math Lady? (1:06:00)


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  1. Thank you so much for this!! It answered many of my questions. I have one more question, please, that I couldn’t quite find the answer to: were the Algebra 1 and 2 4th editions and Geometry (hardcover with train photo, I believe 1st edition) written by Mr. Saxon and Mr. Hale or by Harcourt? I purchased all 3 when there was a rumor they’d be discontinued but have had some homeschool moms tell me those are the “bad” versions because they weren’t written by the original team of Saxon/Hake. I spent a pretty penny on them and would love to use them but not at the expense of a lower-quality education. Please help!

  2. When are you posting more news? I’ve been waiting forever! I don’t mean to rush you, but I want to learn more.

  3. Thank you for interviewing Mr. Hake! I was interested in how to handle pre-algebra, as my son is finishing up Saxon 8/7 this year. I will absolutely use Course 3 next year, and then Algebra 1. I was happy to know that this is Mr. Hake’s recommendation, and I will be sharing it with friends.

  4. mrs Nicole… first of all hi I am a BIG fan of how u teach math! second I also love reading the wall of fame every time I login… but do you know when the next batch of kids will come out?