You’ve heard of Saxon Math, I’m sure, but what you may not have heard of is Saxon’s mysterious younger sibling, Hake Publishing, which is like the Saxon Math of grammar and writing. We are currently using Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 with our daughter Rebecca. After a couple months of Hake, I’m going to fill your head with a few facts and a few opinions–it’s up to you to decide which is which.
The Hake program is written by Curtis Hake. I’ll let you put two and two together and figure out where the program’s name came from.
First, some demographics.
Rebecca is entering the fourth grade and she is nine years old, which is the target age for what will heretofore be known as Hake 3.
While Rebecca is good at language arts, she has had only some simple Charlotte Mason style grammar lessons before this–nothing formal and no workbooks. Also, to her grammatical benefit, she has a mother who is “always correcting everybody’s grammar and that’s so rude!” That quote is not from another family member known as A. Nonymous.
There are other Hake levels as well, so check out the website for information on placement. You can also click on the image below to read other reviews, some from parents who have used other levels of Hake as well as Hake 3. It would be a great place to continue your research, since my knowledge is limited to Hake 3.
Now, some details on what’s included.
The Hake 3 set comes with a teacher’s guide, a student’s consumable grammar workbook for the grammar lessons, and a separate writing book for the writing lessons.
The teacher’s guide walks the teacher through exactly what to say to your student or class, including questions to ask to get kids thinking for themselves and discussing topics with you. Of course, the discussing is a lesson in speaking clearly and in complete sentences.
The student book reinforces the information they just heard and gives them a couple pages of assignments, examples, and instructions, including review on previous lessons. After about five-ish lessons, the student takes a test. On test day, there is no new lesson. Instead, the student gets to tackle a fun and non-stressful writing assignment. Whee!
Let’s talk about the writing assignments. There are 22. They include short answer questions as well as longer paragraphs the students will be writing. All of it can be done write…I mean right in the writing workbook. So far, they’re not tear-producing assignments, but I have my child and you have yours, and mine writes four-page penpal letters for fun.
That’s the basic gist of the program.
But wait! What do the kids (and parents who didn’t pay attention in school) learn?
Rebecca is currently working on lesson 20 out of 111 (plus tests and writing assignments). She has learned and will continue to learn about a variety of parts of speech and how they are used. She will also be learning many grammar terms and parts of sentences and paragraphs, and how to use them appropriately.
Punctuation lessons are coming up, as are a few spelling tips, about seven lessons on that. As an editor and a sometimes-comma-abuser, I especially appreciate the comma tutorials, which spread over several lessons. There is also the occasional section that doesn’t fall into the common categories but is still important–for example, commonly misused words. Be still my heart that I don’t have to edit those in my household anymore!
What a great way to be working on school! My childhood and young adulthood desks were h-a-r-d, hard! My bottom is still twinging from the memories.
Every lesson has examples, solutions, and practice problems, including daily review. Tip your head over and take a look at this page from lesson 20.
Here’s another page from lesson, um, eight or nine, I think. Ready? Tilt.
Let’s talk about Saxon a little bit.
Now, I know many of you perked up when you hear Saxon and many of you turned your ears off. I turned my ears off, especially when I read in the teacher instructions that the students should continue through all the review exercises. After all, we all know that Saxon is heavy on the assignments, right? I don’t know this for a fact, but that’s the rumor weed floating around on the homeschool gossip wire.
I instinctively said, “Pshaw! We won’t be doing all the review problems!” But I was wrong. Not only doe sRebecca do every single sample problem and every single review problem (except for when a stray piece of chocolate sticks a couple pages together), but she sometimes tackles two or three lessons in a sitting. Slow down, Kid!
Is this teacher intensive because I don’t do teacher intensive.
This program, as mentioned, is intended to be guided by a teacher. We noticed, however, that all the information from the teacher’s book (except the tests) is available in the student book as well. For that reason, Rebecca will sometimes do the program without me. Ideally we do it together, and that is what we both prefer, but sometimes I cop out and do things like take a shower or eat a meal while it’s still warm.
That said, the parental involvement is not intense. Preparation is pretty much zilch. That’s 90s talk for nothing. You will need to photocopy the tests and some extra practice pages if you want them. Apart from that, you can teach this program from bed!
It is very enjoyable to spend five minutes working with Rebecca and listening to her thoughts on the discussion topic of the lesson. Rebecca enjoys doing this program every day, and even at that speed it’s not wearing me out…which is a pretty big deal. Of course, when she wants to do three lessons in a day, she gets to play teacher and student. Yes, I’m that mom, and this program is working for us.
Want more opinions? Do ya, do ya, huh?
You may have more opinions, but first I want to reiterate this:
Becca Boo gets excited about doing her language arts with Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3. As a grammar nerd myself, I find that pretty exciting with a capital EXCITING.
You can read more Review Crew posts about Hake Publishing here or click on the banner below: