When we bought the Saxon math program, we purchased everything from 5/4 through Calculus, except 1/2 Algebra. The guidance I received from Saxon was if my student(s) scored less than 85 percent on 8/7, then do 1/2 Algebra because they weren't ready for Algebra 1, but, of course, a grade higher than 85 indicates they have mastered the pre-algebra concepts sufficiently to proceed without further instruction. Fast forward a few years and my son completed 8/7 with an A average, but he was very intimidated by the math in 8/7. As a student who was intimidate by math as I was going into Algebra, I knew how disastrous that could be and I had to do something. I ordered the 1/2 Algebra set and we worked through the material over the summer. Mission accomplished. The fear and intimidation is gone and he (and I) both are ready to tackle Algebra 1.
I love Saxon. Have taught it to my kids since they were in 1st grade. But this set of books wasn't well organized. Part of the answers are in one book, part in another. I still haven't found the explanation for the practice sets. Usually Saxon is great! What happened with this level?
This saxon is confusing, too repetitive in some areas, has insufficient instruction in other areas, and is NOT A MASTERY program.
There are too many problems per lesson. An "average" student cannot complete the lesson in an hours time. Students are left feeling that they are "poor" math students.
BETTER CHOICE would be video text algebra (it also has a pre algebra component) - i would HIGHLY recommend Video Text, which is a MASTERY program that teaches students the "why" of what they are learning.