It‘s the chants! A classical approach to math utilizes chants – all sorts of chants: count bys (skip counting), fact families, place value, fractions, addition, subtraction, days of the week, symmetry, and arrays, just to name a few. These chants provide oral practice and review and along with no-nonsense worksheets, rigorous grading and an emphasis on the student learning the logical order for performing each operation as well as developing a Christian worldview of mathematics distinguish this program from other lower elementary math programs. Written by a classroom teacher with twenty years of experience, all material has been tested in the classroom with the result that students learn to pay attention to detail, to read directions carefully, and to be consistent in answering questions. The projected scope and sequence for this series is K-3 and it‘s designed to be an alternative path into Saxon middle school math. Unfortunately the publisher is unsure when the K-1 levels will be available and recommends using Saxon K-1; then CM 2 & 3; then back into Saxon Math 54.

The spiral-bound Teacher‘s Manual provides a wide variety of information including grading specifics, a table of contents for concepts taught, a quiz schedule, detailed lesson plans, a chant index, and a scope and sequence. The Teacher‘s Manual is also part resource book containing reproducible worksheets (with answer keys) that provide additional practice on new concepts for each lesson. The lesson plans provide a comfortable amount of prompts – particularly for the introduction of new concepts – but are not scripted. Also provided in these plans are the specifics for the timed fact practices as well as the oral practice and review (chants). There are tests every fifth lesson. Math 2 contains 100 lessons and Math 3 has 115 lessons. Many of these lessons, however, have multiple parts and each course provides a school year‘s worth of academically challenging material.

The Student Text is actually a loose leaf collection of double-sided worksheets and tests. Work for each day is varied and includes “routine” exercises that are completed every day – writing out today‘s date, writing down “count bys” (by 5, by 7, etc.) – along with exercises to reinforce new material and review problems. These black and white worksheets are all business – no cutesy pictures or wasted space. While these do not look cramped, writing space seems small to me for grade level and a child whose fine motor control is limited might have difficulty writing his answers in the space provided. Small print at the bottom of each worksheet identifies the lesson‘s new material.

The Math Facts Student is another collection of double-sided loose leaf pages. Each sheet contains two sets of 25 related facts (except for the review tests which are mixed facts) such as +5 facts or -3 or -4 facts. Each fact test is to be completed in one minute and there is a place to record the completion time. Typically two but sometimes three tests are assigned each lesson. The Answer Keys for both the Student Text and the Math Facts are spiral bound and full-text with answers printed in red. The Complete Homeschool Package includes the Student Text and Answer Key, the Math Facts Student and Answer Key, and the Teacher‘s Manual/Resource Book.

Math 2 covers counting by 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 25, 100, place value to thousands, addition/subtraction w/ regrouping, mixed fractions, counting coins, measuring to quarter inches, telling time to 5 minutes, reading graphs, and dividing polygons. Math 3 continues the count bys adding 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12; place value to hundred thousands; addition, subtraction, multiplication w/ regrouping; long division; equivalent, reducing, and comparing fractions; set up, solve, & check equations; adding and subtracting mixed numbers; and many topics in time, money, graphs, & geometry. ~ Janice