February 28, 2013

Dear Saxon Math,

I hate you and I hope you die.


Slowly and painfully.

Much like the problems in your fourth grade books.

First of all no 9 year old needs to do 30 problems of math every night.

Secondly, some of the children in your word problems can be named Mark, Emily, Jacob, or Sarah. They do not all need to be T'Marra, Shunsuke, Shakura, and Jin (all 4 names directly from tonight's homework assignment).

Thirdly, the little grids on the papers you send for homework to be done on leave a great deal to be desired. Like space. If you are going to ask a question in 3 parts a fourth grader is going to need more than a 2" by 2 1/2" square to do their work, write the answer, and explain their reasoning.

a. T'Marra knew that her trip would take about 7 hours. If she left at half past 9 in the morning, what time would she arrive?

b. If T'Marra traveled 350 miles in 7 hours, then she traveled an average of how many miles an hour?

c. Using your answer to part b, make a table to show how far T'Marra would travel at her average rate in 1,2,3, and 4 hours.

Yeah, that's all going to fit in a 5 square inch box in the massive hand writing of a newly cursived 9 year old. Especially the table.

If you asked him how many buses were needed to transport 116 students, 8 teachers, and 13 adult volunteers (again, chaperones would be fine) if each bus holds 40 passengers and his paper looks remotely like this:

116+8+13= 137
137/40=3 r 17
4 buses

why for the love of all that is holy does he have to "Explain his answer" again?! He gave you the answer. You can see the steps he took to get there. I do not see the point in writing a paragraph (again in your tiny square full of math facts) explaining how he came to that conclusion.

Heaven forbid he gets sick. 3 days off school means 90 problems to make up on top of the 30 more you're going to give him each night. If he was so ill he only managed to complete 1 assignment in the 3 days he was home sick and he gets another full page each day to complete at home and he has 3 1/2 hours to do his work and he spends 1 hour 18 minutes on Science and Social Studies and 42 minutes on Grammar how many days will it take him to make up the crap load of work you seem to think he needs to make him a functioning member of fourth grade society?

Explain your answer.

               All of the Math problems from tonight's post are taken directly from #1 Son's Saxon Math book with the exception of the terribly clever one 2 paragraphs above. This is not reflection on how I feel about homework in general nor about #1 Son's teacher who is assigning the work she is required to teach. 


Inkling said...

Yeah, I hated it too. It had some good points, but it had a LOT of downsides. Perhaps the one upside to it is that I finally understood the concept of slope (rise over run) when teaching it to my grade 5/6 kiddos. However, I will let you in on a secret.....

Saxon is specifically designed so that the teacher spends 10-15 minutes explaining the new lesson for the day, plus another few minutes if they include the "math meeting" component. The problems for each day's lesson are meant to be worked IN CLASS for the most part. There should be no way that a child is coming home with that many problems, unless the teacher is not following the curriculum guidelines as advised by Saxon.

Maybe have a chat to see how they structure their day and utilize the curriculum?

Kork said...

YIKES! I'm so glad our school doesn't use Saxon...thank the good Lord for Charter Academies and Curriculum Boards consisting of parents from all walks of life who understand that making math miserable means kids won't learn it as well. Stupid curriculum requirements anyway...

Inkling said...

P.S. Dear Hater of Saxon Math, I miss your blogging. I think your four children should decide to be angels for an extended amount of time so that you can catch up on rest and then spend an extraordinary amount of time regaling us with fresh reading material.

Sincerely with hope for fresh blog posts,
your crazy cousin