The DIVE CD-ROM teaches each of the 120 lessons and 12 Investigations, plus all the Construction and Technology Labs found in the Saxon Geometry textbook. Each lecture is about 10-20 minutes long. A Saxon Geometry 1st Edition Home Study Kit with Solutions Manual is required. Saxon Geometry is recommended for students who used another curriculum besides Saxon for Algebra 1 and 2, or for current Saxon students who do not plan on attending college. In this case, Saxon Algebra 1, 2, and Geometry would suffice for high school mathematics, although Dr. Shormann encourages all students to do more than just the minimum requirements. College-bound students should finish Advanced Math, and preferably Calculus, as many studies show a direct correlation between college success and the level of mathematics completed in high school.
Geometry includes all topics in a high school geometry course, including perspective, space, and dimension associated with practical and axiomatic geometry. Students learn how to apply and calculate measurements of lengths, heights, circumference, areas, and volumes. Saxon Geometry introduces trigonometry and allows students to work with transformations. Students will use logic to create proofs and constructions and will work with key geometry theorems and proofs. Students use technology such as spreadsheets, graphing calculators, and geometry software to explore and understand geometry.
Geometry is typically taught in 9th or 10th grade. Because Saxon uses an incremental teaching approach, each DIVE lecture is only about 10-20 minutes long. Saxon builds lesson upon lesson, slowly developing complex concepts from bite-sized lessons that are easy to grasp. Students watch the DIVE lecture and take notes, working the practice problems Dr. Shormann presents, pausing and rewinding as necessary until a concept is understood. If students want additional practice, they can complete the Example problems and Practice Set in the Saxon textbook. After the lesson, students complete the 30-question Problem Set in the Saxon text. While a few problems in the Problem Set come from the new concept, most problems come from previous lessons. Each problem is cross-referenced back to the lesson where it was taught, allowing students to quickly review any concept.
This unique method of spiral review improves critical thinking skills, increases long term retention, and raises standardized test scores. However, this method can be difficult to teach because of the seemingly random presentation of topics. That is why Saxon's founder John Saxon recommended teacher training for all his courses. DIVE CDs provide that teacher, as Dr. Shormann explains how new topics connect to previously learned material, helping students see the "big picture". Also, when a student gets stuck or forgets how to work a problem, they simply click on the DIVE lecture where the concept was originally taught and watch that lesson again. The same can be done when correcting tests. This makes it very easy to fill in any gaps as they show up.
Geometry contains all the concepts typically covered in a High School Geometry course. Saxon's traditional high school texts teach geometry together with algebra, similar to how high school math is taught in Europe and Asia. Incidentally, European and Asian students consistently outperform American students on international math tests. Although the new Saxon Geometry does include algebra, geometry is the main focus.
All DIVE courses are taught from a Christian foundation. Dr. Shormann believes that God gave us mathematics primarily as a tool to study His creation, which is why mathematics is considered the language of science. Mathematics is also useful in interacting with each other and in developing reasoning and problem solving skills. Dr. Shormann uses Scripture to remind students that God is the author of all knowledge. Dr. Shormann also gives friendly reminders to students to honor their parents by doing excellent schoolwork. In DIVE Geometry, Dr. Shormann points out many important historical facts about geometry, and discusses many of the Christian mathematicians who used or discovered new ideas in geometry.
Dr. Shormann encourages parents to have their children do Algebra I in 8th grade, then continue with Saxon Algebra 2 in 9th grade, followed by 3 semesters of Saxon Advanced Math and 3 semesters of Saxon Calculus. Because of the time required, taking a separate geometry course before or after Algebra 2 limits a student's ability to complete Calculus in high school. For students gifted in mathematics ability, completing Saxon Geometry in two years, concurrently with Saxon Algebra 1 and 2, is recommended. To read more on why Dr. Shormann encourages finishing Calculus in high school, please read the Calculus course description.
A Saxon Geometry 1st Edtion Homeschool Kit (Student Text, Homeschool Packet with Test Forms) and a Solutions Manual are required. DIVE CDs play on Mac and Windows 98 and higher operating systems, including Vista. Please be sure the edition of your textbook matches the edition of the DIVE CD. There are 30 problems in each Problem Set, and Dr. Shormann recommends students complete 3 out of every 4 sets. A typical week of math involves 4 lessons and a test, and if students complete 90 homework problems, take notes on all DIVE lectures, and complete a Saxon test, Dr. Shormann has found that this is plenty of math for one week for most students. If test scores begin to fall lower than 80%, then the student needs more practice and should complete all problems in the lesson until test scores improve. Students should always take notes on all DIVE Lectures and work out all practice problems presented in the lecture.