Topic | Singapore Math

This topic contains 10 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  venusmom 4 years, 3 months ago.

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  • joylg
    Member

    Does or has anyone here ever used Singapore math? If so what are you thoughts on it?

    Thanks so much

     


    Heather
    Member

    Regarding Singapore, it is supposed to be one of the best.  According to my research, either families absolutely love it or absolutely hate it.  Unfortunately, we went through Singapore for 2 long years before realizing we were the type of family that hated it!Surprised  I am not a math mind and neither is dd, and maybe that was the problem, but I just didn’t get all of the mental math stuff.  Additionally, they would introduce a totally new concept, practice it for 2 lessons, then move on to a another new concept for 2 lessons and so on.  Then you wouldn’t see the concept again until the review.  By the end of Singapore 2B, she was in tears every day and I was right there with her. 

    We switched to Christian Light Sunrise Math, starting over at the 3rd grade level.  I’m glad I did, because the Sunrise Math review of 2nd grade (before you enter the true 3rd grade level) has her reviewing calendars, thermometers, polygons and geometry terms to which she was never even introduced with Singapore. 

    I hope this was a good review.  I am not trying to be negative.  I guess Singapore would be fantastic if you have strong math skills and your dc do as well, but if you are of more the literary type of mind as we are, please save yourself some tears and go with a more concrete math program.Smile


    joylg
    Member

    Heather,

    We too have been doing Singapore for 2 years. We are in Singapore 3a. I am have started wondering if it was just me or the curriculum. I thought maybe at first I was just too hard on my dd, she does great in the math understands it all in the exercises then when it it time for the reviews, I find she cries and has forgotten some of the work. For example we just finished 2b and did review 8 today, while she only missed 4 problems on the review, I had to prompt her and help her remember lots of the things when doing word problems. I am worried that she is not “retaining” the knowledge. I LOVE the mental aspect of it as I was not taught that way but at the same time I am wandering if she is having to ask me so many questions on reviews if she is really retaining the knowledge. I dont’ want to waste time on math and then at the end of the year her not remember what she learned. Am I making since? Did your child do the same thing? Thanks so much for your help!

    Joy


    Heather
    Member

    Yes, have you been spying on our homeschool?Wink  My dd did the same thing.  I have a friend of mine who is a homeschooling mom, her career before was engineer.  Very, very smart and Godly lady.  She had never laid eyes on Singapore until I asked her to look at it when she was at my house one day after I had spilled all of my Singapore troubles into her lap.  I halfway expected to be scolded for whining. :) She kept looking through it saying “what”?, “what”?.  I then knew my concerns were valid and maybe it wasn’t just me.  The Christian Light Stuff is a blessing to us.  My daughter gets her math out now before I even ask.  No tears.  The new concepts (actually concepts Christian Light studied for their 2nd grade which they are now “reviewing”) are very easy to explain and she is doing extremely well…even with the word problems!!


    joylg
    Member

    My daughter actually loves math. She only cries at review times, I am like you though I don’t understand why they learn a new concept then move on the next day or 2 days.  At first I thought my daughter was just being lazy, and didn’t want to do the reviews, then I realized you know they don’t even give them word problems in the exercises but do in the reviews what is up with that? So I am so scared to jump ship so to say during mid year, but at the same time what if we have wasted a year and not learned anything really? We aren’t crying during math just reviews, I find EVERY time we do a review we argue she crys and I get the feeling I am not a good teacher! Review days do not equal happy days. So did you just quit during the year right after 2b or wait until the next fall. Was it hard for her to start the new math program or did she just jump right in?

    My neice is doing Singapore 5a and she does the exact same thing, she complains that she doesn’t remember and my sister also thought it was a form of not wanting to do the work. I began really studying it just today and thought you know they both are doing this must be the math! Then I second guessed myself, because I felt like I maybe just wasn’t doing everything right! Thanks so much for your help so glad I am not the only one who thinks Singapore goes way to fast and doesn’t review enough.


    Heather
    Member

    Hi Joy, I was so nervous about changing programs.  I kept thinking , what will I make her miss?  I like the idea of continuing with the same program to cover my bases because that’s just the way I am.  But, I knew we couldn’t continue.  I quit Singapore about 5 or 6 lessons before the end of 2B, before the end of 1st semester.  I researched and researched and decided upon CLE.  Like I said, I am so glad I did.  The first few weeks, even now, she says it is fun math.  I know it’s not because she knows everything, and that maybe it’s just easy, it’s because she is not stressed and enjoys the learning process now!  You can check out the math on their website at  http://www.clp.org/store/by_subject/4  .  I don’t think you can look at samples, but you can see what each level contains.  It is very cut and dry, and as I said, I purchased the 3rd grade set and started her at the beginning which was a review of their 2nd grade curriculum.  I am so glad because I’ve been able to catch anything we may have missed to fill any so called “gaps” from switching curriculums, and have been able to get her up to speed with absolutely no tears!!


    esoloj
    Member

    We’ve used Singapore about 3 years now.  It may not seem to have enough review but that is where they leave it up to the student/teacher to add extra review if needed.  If my children are really struggling with a lesson then we take a few extra days to do a little more practice.  It is a different curriculum than when I was in school but I’m finding that I understand some of the mental math so much better by seeing it taught in these books!  I’ve debated at times about switching to a different program when my daughter seemed to struggle but we didn’t and I’m okay with that so far.  We do have days that we struggle but like I said sometimes it just means that we take a little more time on a concept before moving on. 


    Esby
    Member

    We use Singapore Math and we are not a math family. My opinion of the curriculum has changed over the years, improving as I learned how to use it in a different way than I originally intended.

    I originally chose Singapore because of its great reputation. After purchasing the books, I saw the program is not how I learned math and it required more involvement from me as a teacher than I anticipated. The first couple of years were okay, but then my eldest and I went through some struggles and I even took almost an entire year “off” from math.

    That year off was a wise decision. I think part of our frustrations was my daughter simply wasn’t ready for the material. This year, after essentially a year off last year, she is whizzing through the program with ease and speed I never would’ve imagined. The progress she has made this year (without tears) absolutely amazes me and makes me kick myself that I thought she had to master certain skills by a certain age when she was younger.

    My son, who is younger, seems to have more of an aptitude for math and enjoys the subject. He’s finishing 2B now and he’s not struggling with Singapore like his sister did, though I started him a year later than I started my DD. He says math is fun and easy.

    Now, what I’ve learned:

    * Buy and use the supplemental books. The extra practice books give you the repetition that many of us find lacking from the textbook and workbook. There are extra word problem books that I think are excellent, and the “challenging” practice books are indeed challenging. It’s worth taking the time to do the extra books, if you chose this program. (My biggest complaint about the curriculum is all the books you have to juggle…wish they were all in one book.)

    * I had to use flashcards to really make the math facts stick, especially with my non-math child. She went through the flashcards day after day until she (finally!) memorized them. My younger child doesn’t seem to need as much drilling, but I also have him do flashcards to supplement Singapore.

    * The teacher’s manuals include extra activities to reinforce the new concepts and skills. Lo and behold, those extra activities really do help the child. The activities do require some prep work from me, but not much more than reading ahead to see what the activities are.

    * The Mental Math exercises are worth the effort.

    I stuck with the program, despite a year or so of struggles, because I was uncomfortable switching mid-stream and I wasn’t convinced the problem was Singapore as much as it was me. I wasn’t paying attention to what my DD was ready for….and I wasn’t putting in the effort myself to use the extra books and activities. The difference between now (a confident child) and before (a frustrated child) makes me happy I stuck with Singapore.

    Do I think Singapore is the best of all programs? No. I think it’s good, solid curriculum among many good programs. I share my experience in case it helps you make a decision.


    venusmom
    Member

    I am struggling with some of the same issues as some of the earlier posters.  Thanks Esby for your comments – because I have read some reviews on Singapore that make me think it is largely because we weren’t taught mental math.  I really want math to be easier for my kids than it was for me.  My 6 yr old already seems ready for math though she’s only had the most basic (MFW K math, basic like counting sticks & calendar activities).  She already can quickly add numbers like 9+5=14 in her head & loves doing it.  My 10 yr old however is just wrapping up his 1st year homeschooling & I started him in a curriculum I felt lower than he should have been on (2A-2B).  I’m glad I didn’t push higher – his grades were very high in public school but they were very behind where they should have been.  I’ve been looking @ Horizons & Singapore mostly for next year but would love to stick it out with Singapore if it will help them be better @ math.  I’ve also looked at Math U see, Teaching Textbooks, Math Mammoth, Right Start, and even a few others.   SO HARD to decide.  I need a strong teacher’s manual….thus finally leading me to my main question.  Overall – he seems to have improved in Singapore.  Therefore – I ask – anyone used the Home Instructor’s Guides from Sonlight written for Singapore?  I don’t need it all the time – but sometimes knowing HOW to TEACH the concept is hard for me – though I know how to do the problems.  I’ve heard over & over that Horizon’s teacher’s manuals are not that great at this with exception of a few posters here and there.  I really need to have a good TM to lean on when I am stumped on teaching the concept. Thanks for any advice & apologies for jumping in on your thread.


    alice
    Member

    We have just started using Singapore.  So far I love it!  We switched from MEP math, so I think just about anything would be easier than that!  We barely started thE 1st grade in MEP and I knew I just had to switch.  I just couldn’t figure out what my kids were supposed to do!  So that gives you a glance at my math mind! :)
    I am using 1A U.S. edition along with the Home Instructor’s Guide.  I do not think I would be successful with it if I did not have the HIG!!!  It is very valuable to have.  For example, among the first few lessons they introduce “number bonds”.  My kids have never heard of that term (or me either, for that fact) and in the HIG it tells you to take your time going through the lesson, and gives you lots of extra activities to practice what is being learned.  We spent a full week playing with number bonds up to 10, before moving on to the next lesson.  If I hadn’t had the HIG I would have done the lesson in one day, and my kids would never have had a chance to practice and learn the concept.  I am not a math person myself…I hated it in school, but I do like Singapore. 
    I would never recommend doing it without the HIG though!!

    Hope that helps you some!


    venusmom
    Member

    It does – thanks Alice.  My son has done some sample lessons from Horizon Math & definitely prefers them.  (Granted – these are just samples and aren’t necessarily how the entire year will progress.)  Something about the way it is presented is easier for him & he really HATES the TB.  He does not care to work problems on his own paper.  I, on the other hand, like that the TB can be re-used – saving me a few $$ when my daughter gets ready.  I did take a close look @ the HIG online for Singapore & for Horizons – and the Singapore guides are defiinitely more user friendly.  Horizon’s HIG just doesn’t seem to explain to me how I can explain to my ds when I don’t know how to explain the concept.  Singapore’s HIG seems to help more in that area, which helps de-stress me when I can work a problem, but not explain how to work it very well.  On the other hand – most users say they rarely need them for Horizons as the student is able to work more independently.  I guess I’m struggling with what I may be able to help him with more or what he may be able to do on his own.  I’ve read that many public schooled students really struggle with Singapore & he was public schooled from K-3rd.  Still yet – I really like that Singapore teaches mental math & how to find the answer to the problem rather than just memorization of formulas.  I also like that it goes up to higher grades; ensuring that if they truly grasp this – I can stay in a program throughout that is working.  I know kids need to memorize basic addition, subraction, mulitplication & division – but honestly – I struggled in upper math in high school because I just did NOT get the formulas.  Memorizing them did not work – I need a pattern or song to do that & I just can’t see setting formulas to music!!!  Although – I would definitely get a kick out of watching a group of kids taking their SAT & tapping their feet & humming a tune to logarithms or something!!  I’m leaning toward Singapore having read how the concepts are taught in the HIG – just nervous because my son seems to really like Horizon better from the samples.

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