Here are some recommended routes when it comes to Algebra and Geometry and reasons why you may want to choose one over the other.
Route A – Take Algebra 1 (3rd edition), Algebra 2 (3rd edition) and Advanced Mathematics (2nd edition).
- Each of these textbooks has geometry integrated into the lessons.
- Taking Algebra 1 will earn 1/4 credit of geometry, Algebra 2 will earn 1/4 credit of geometry and Advanced Mathematics will earn 1/2 credit of Geometry. This is enough geometry to complete the geometry requirement, but not enough to show a high level of mastery in the subject as proofs are not covered in depth in any of these textbooks.
- This route might be a good fit for students not planning on continuing on to higher education or those students interested in community college. Students planning on a 4 year college could also consider this route, but they will be well served to take an SAT/ACT prep class to make sure they are prepared to handle all of the geometry questions they may see.
Route B – Algebra 1 (3rd edition), Algebra 2 (3rd edition), Geometry (1st edition) and Advanced Mathematics (2nd edition) (Note: Geometry and Algebra 2 can be taken in any order. You may want to stick to the order your local school district does it in the event that the student attends school in a classroom setting while in high school.)
- This route is for students who like the layout of the Saxon Math 3rd editions but would like to go deeper in their understanding of Geometry. The separate Geometry textbooks goes deeply into proofs. Although you may not see a lot of direct questions about proofs in standardized testing for college, proofs teach students about logic and can be useful in just about any career field.
- While it’s possible to “skip” the geometry lessons that are contained in the Algebra 1 and 2 books, it’s probably more trouble than it’s worth considering that Saxon uses a spiral approach (which means the student is going to see geometry problems in the practice sets of lessons that may not be about Geometry.)
- This route is designed to better prepare students who may be planning to take the SAT/ACT.
- Please be aware, the publisher has decided to discontinue printing of the 4th editions and the Geometry textbooks in 2023. That doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find a used copy, but it may be harder to come by.
Route C: Algebra 1 (4th edition), Algebra 2 (4th edition), Geometry (1st edition) and Advanced Mathematics (2nd edition) (Note: Geometry and Algebra 2 can be taken in any order.) There are some bigger differences here:
- The 4th editions of Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 do not have geometry integrated into the lessons. Geometry is completely handled in the separate Geometry textbook.
- They Algebra 1 and 2 4th edition books also have more of a focus on “real-world applications” so your student will see more word problems in these textbooks.
- The Algebra 4th editions were not written by John Saxon. They were written by the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and thus some say it lacks the look and feel of a Saxon textbook.
- The publisher has decided to discontinue printing of the 4th editions and the Geometry textbooks in 2023. That doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find a used copy, but it may be harder to come by.
- Students who may be preparing to enter competitive 4 year programs may be more interested in having the separate year of Geometry listed on their transcript.
- Nicole the Math Lady does not offer online grading for Algebra 1 (4th edition) and videos and online grading for Algebra 2 (4th edition).
So which route is the best? This is one of the “six of one” and “a half-dozen of the other” situations. In my opinion, any student preparing to take the SAT/ACT for entrance into college should be taking some kind of prep course (whether online, in-person or from a textbook) to get familiar with the phrasing of the questions for the text. During this prep, I believe that most students can learn anything additional they may need for Geometry. If you have the time and would like a deep understanding of Geometry, do the separate Geometry book. If you don’t have the time for a separate year of geometry or have a student where a math or science career field is highly likely, Route A can be fine too. Many students have gone this route and have performed perfectly well.