The Saxon Method

The Acaciawood School mathematics program is based on the Saxon math series developed by John Saxon. The Saxon method employs an incremental approach, meaning that each lesson introduces only a small “chunk” of new information. One lesson is taught each day. The Saxon method requires the completion of a set of 15-30 problems daily to reinforce the concepts introduced during the course. Each day’s problem set typically has only two or three problems related to that day’s class lecture; the rest of the problem set contain problems that review concepts from previous material. Hence the problem sets mandate that students recall past concepts while doing a little practice to reinforce that day’s lecture. Because there are only a few practice problems covering each topic, it may take the average student a week of problem sets to gain mastery of a mathematical concept.

The kernel of the Saxon method is a daily repetition of multiple concepts. This repetition is the key to propelling the math student from a level of mere mastery to a higher level which Saxon describes as automaticity, a state in which the math student cannot forget the mathematical concepts learned due to the thorough understanding of topics gained by constant review.

The Acaciawood Curriculum Track

The standard track for the typical Acaciawood high school student is as follows:

9th grade Algebra 2
10th grade Pre-calculus I and II
11th grade Pre-calculus III and Calculus with Trigonometry and Analytical Geometry
12th grade Calculus (college calculus)

Instruction is supplemented with participation in mathematics competitions at different grade levels. Four years of high school math is required for Acaciawood School students unless the parents request a waiver.


1Geometry is integrated into the Saxon program so Acaciawood School students do not have a stand-alone geometry class. Geometry concepts in Saxon, in particular two-column proofs, are supplemented with instruction using a classic geometry text during the Pre-calculus I & II courses.

2Math 8/7 is used between Math 7/6 and pre-algebra as a remedial math course when a teacher deems that a student should take this course rather than pre-algebra due to the lack of mastery of the mathematical concepts introduced in Math 76.

3Pre-calculus students use John Saxon’s Advanced Mathematics book over the course of three semesters. After the third semester of pre-calculus students take a Saxon calculus course which includes trigonometry and analytical geometry, based on a book authored by Saxon and Frank Wang. The final year of math for seniors is a college calculus course that begins with limits, and continues with differential equations and integrals. Senior math students typically complete six or seven chapters of the college calculus textbook.

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