For high school, most of us need the teacher answer key for at least some, if not all, subjects. Complete answer keys can be very expensive.
A few years ago, our teens switched to Saxon math. (Side note: this has been an excellent switch, and I have actually apologized to my older children for not using Saxon in high school.) Although I know math, it’s been decades since I used anything beyond Algebra 2, so as soon as I fell behind my daughter in Saxon’s Advanced Mathematics, I was no longer able to easily help her.
Slader Saxon Math Solutions
Now, the Answer Key that comes with the text gives only the final answers for the problems in the text, though it gives worked out solutions for the tests. I could have purchased the Teaching CD’s with everything worked out completely, or the Solutions Manual, but that was overkill for what we needed.
Instead, we found the online step-by-step solution site, Slader. I had never heard of this website from other homeschooling moms, but other homeschooled teens told my youngest about it.
With step-by-step answers contributed by users and experts across the world, this searchable site is full of answers for a wide variety of school and university texts, including Saxon Math.
My daughter has found it to be very helpful. When, after trying hard, she gets stuck on a problem, she grabs her phone and turns to Slader for a worked-out solution and then continues on.
Of course, having access to a website of full solutions can be a curse as well as a blessing. As long as your teen understands that the point is to learn, not to get away with finishing the assignment by cheating, Slader can be a blessing. I recommend that a teen work very hard at a problem and, if possible, ask parents or older siblings for help before going to this website, for it is always very easy to say, “Can’t do it,” and become lazy.
Teens—and parents—also need to understand that studying a solution is a helpful thing to do, as long as it is truly understood and actually copied out and attempted by the student. Perhaps it would help for the student to repeat the problem later, without looking at the solution.
We have only used the free version of Slader which has ads, but you can get an ad-free version for $1.99 a month. One advantage of the paid version is that you can theoretically upload answers as well and thus contribute to the site. It’s an unusual kind of volunteer opportunity. You may not upload the questions themselves (which are copyrighted by textbook writers) nor answers that are copyrighted, but only your own solutions.
Positive aspects of using Slader in your homeschool:
- Clear answers
- Free, no need for an expensive Solutions Manual with complete worked out solutions.
- If a student is not interested in learning, this site could be used to cheat.
- Having internet access during school time could be a temptation for some teens.
- The website is zany and could be considered offensive:
- Their products page includes ordinary things like shirts, backpacks, and hats as well as others like Sladerade ($2.00), stilettoes ($9900.00), and condoms ($.75) all three of which are conveniently sold out.
- The ‘Alternative FAQs’ include statements like:
- What is the nature of human existence?
- You are simply an orb of energy that possesses a consciousness that transcends your physical being and lives for perpetuity, ever expanding.
- Note that these aspects of the site are not obvious and most students will never notice them.
Although Apologia Chemistry and Physics are pictured on the site, they are ‘empty’ and no solutions have been provided. That makes sense, because the complete solutions to those texts are given in the inexpensive solutions manuals that come with them.
On the other hand, complete Saxon math Solutions Manuals are very expensive, and Slader is free. If you have a basic grasp of the math yourself and/or if your student is bright and motivated, so that all your family needs is the occasional worked-out problem, it makes more sense to turn to Slader than to buy the complete Solutions Manual. (Note that you should buy the inexpensive Saxon Answer Keys with the final answers to all of the questions; Slader or the Solutions Manual would be for the complete worked out answers.)
This is an unusual review of an unusual resource. It will not be for everyone, but it could be very helpful for some.
Disclosure: We have given my own honest opinions of this free online resource.
You might also like:
- Key To Math Curriculum
- The Digital Homeschool
- Online Homeschool Math with Teaching Textbooks
- Xtra Math: Free Math Facts Practice