Saxon Teacher is a DVD program that teaches each lesson and problem of Saxon math step by step. Each level of Saxon teacher corresponds to a level of Saxon middle-school and beyond. The levels cover each lesson and practice problem of the course. The sets retail for around 90$ a level.
We got Saxon Teacher for 5/4. Now, admittedly, the curriculum didn’t work out for us, but I’ll try to leave the success (or lack of) aside and just focus of Saxon Teacher as its own product.
Saxon Teacher was impressive in its coverage of the book. Not a problem was left out, and each problem was solved for the student to see on a virtual whiteboard. This was helpful for problems a student couldn’t quite work out how to solve, or for introducing new concepts.
For helping a student learn independently, these can’t be beat. With these, a student could, theoretically do the entire program without teacher help. The DVD teacher would cover the lesson material from start to finish. Now, there wasn’t any extra help for concepts a student needed more help with, so they could only go so far.
For students that have trouble focusing, or need more stimulation, the Teacher set might not be as helpful. The presentation is very dry, the visuals are very flat, and there is no attempt at personal connection. The teacher reads from the book, the digital whiteboard shows writing along with the problem as it is being described. No jokes are told, and the student never even sees the teacher. Also, the teacher has a very noticeable Southern accent, which is not a problem, just something that might be strange to a student unused to hearing it.
The Saxon Teacher set failed to engage my student in any meaningful way. He listened, glossy-eyed, and couldn’t really explain what he had listened to most of the time. If he had seen a teacher, listened to some jokes, or in any way been given more lively material, I think it would have helped. To be fair, I’m not sure that was ever the goal with the Teacher program.
For a student that is focused, and already showing independent learning skills, Saxon teacher might be great time-saver for a homeschool mom. They are very complete, and walk students through each step of each problem. However, if you have a student who needs stimulation and gets bored easily, these might not work.
Pros: Complete, encourage independent learning
Cons: Pricey, dry presentation, no extra help