As the Daddy and I continued to angst with our boys about doing math neatly and in an organized pattern, the idea struck me - the boys don't know how to organize their maths b/c they haven't used WORKSHEETS for math (or not to the extent that they remember the MathUSee pages from several years ago). So, we began writing the problems for G#1's Saxon Math 8/7 out like a worksheet. He will finish this book and probably, based on his understanding so far, begin Algebra 1 by February. But, if he continues to meet frustration with his math or not even meet his math because he is floating somewhere between one idea and the next (something we face in adolescence), he will not get to Algebra 1 EVER!
I also started the Saxon Algebra 1/2 with G#3 because two placement tests said that he was able to do it. We actually defined words in the introduction of the lessons into his notebook (no more loose leaf lined paper for math with these two) and mapped out the problems together before he "took off" doing his math independently. Both boys are working independently on their math this week AND enjoying how they know what kinds of problems are set up in the lessons. They are actually working ahead of completing 4 lessons a week. But this success has come at some cost because if I'm explaining that the numbers must be legible for the Daddy to grade, I've not done something else - like laundry.
On the left is an example of mapping out the math problems prior to actually tackling and completing those math problems. The example on the right is an attempt at plowing through the math as you go with no planning or awareness if there are easier math problems later in the assignment which would take seconds to solve vs the problems that stop any progress on completion of the math assignment.