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Singapore Math Reviews

Singapore Math is a curriculum modeled on the way math is taught in Singapore. Children in Singapore traditionally score highly in math when compared to those in other countries. Singapore method is demanding and relies heavily on mastery of the material. There are textbooks, workbooks, manipulative and teacher’s guides for each grade run from $9 – $30.

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  1. Singapore Math Review by Jennifer Wennekamp
    Pros: The best math program. Period.
    Cons: Choosing a middle/high school program is confusing.
    Grades Used: 1-12

    As a former high school math teacher, I am thrilled with the results of using Singapore Math with my kids. Both my natural engineer and my not-so-math-inclined student are able to do arithmetic in their heads, think flexibly about a problem, and solve word problems with ease. Primary Mathematics includes two textbooks and two workbooks per grade. Simply read through each lesson and have the student complete the corresponding workbook page(s). Since each workbook has only 60 days of assignments, the program easily adapts to four days a week or a motivated student who wants to get ahead. For middle school and high school, there are several different options. We chose Discovering Math, a four year program with two textbooks per year. Solutions manuals are available and highly recommended if you are not a strong math person. You will have an extra year of schooling (or four in the case of my motivated student) to complete calculus or spend some extra time on Algebra II/Trigonometry for college-bound kids.

  2. Singapore Math Review by Spauldorf
    Pros: Fantastic! great for higher math and mental thinking
    Cons: need teacher manual by Sonlight. No teacher help for middle or high school
    Grades Used: 1-3

    Over the years we’ve used many a math programs. Singapore is the best! It really makes your kids think critically. The software was great too. Most math books require a student do math one way, but Singapore helped them see that there are many strategies to working math. This helped them to think critically and see what works best for them. My kids LOVED this! The teacher guides from Sonlight are a must! My only complaint is that for a non-math mom, it was super difficult to teach once the teacher guides were done. We couldn’t find any teacher helps for middle school or high school. I finally had to give up and try something else cause I needed the help to teach my kids well, knowing that I am weak in math. That set us on an adventure to find a good math program and I can honestly say that after trying almost every math program out there, NONE have come close to comparing with Singapore.
    We miss it. My kids now HATE HATE HATE math and they LOVE LOVE LOVED it when we did Singapore. Such a shame!

    would highly recommend Singapore from very early on!

  3. Singapore Math Review by Jodi
    Pros: Extra ideas in Teacher's Manual
    Grades Used: 4

    We are using the Standard Edition and the Word Problem book. It teaches differently than I was taught, which is good because the book shows my son one way (sometimes 2 or 3) to do a concept and then I can show my son how I was taught. It’s interesting to see him choose which one makes more sense to him. With that being said, sometimes the book showing 2 or 3 different methods confuses him. It really involves a lot of pre-planning on the teacher’s part, but the extra ideas/games in the teacher’s manual are great and really reinforce the concept. My favorite is the word problem book. We only do one or two a week, but to me word problems really show you how math is used. I like the beginning of the book that shows the different methods that can be used for solving word problems. The table of contents shows you which problems are addition, measurement, time, etc. I love Singapore math, but it is not a good fit for the way my son thinks. We will use something else next year, but I will continue to use the word problem book.

  4. Singapore Math Review by kristen
    Pros: extremely thorough
    Cons: lot of teacher prep and interaction
    Grades Used: 2,3,4

    We love SIngapore math. It is taught using what I consider to be a common sense approach to mathematical equations. It does take a lot of teacher prep and interaction, but I think it is totally worth it. Will continue to use Singapore as our math.

  5. Singapore Math Review by Natlie
    Pros: is working well
    Cons: wish the home instructors guide was written more clearly at times
    Grades Used: 1st

    I really like this curriculum and am amazed at my daughter’s mental math ability already. I like that it focuses on teaching the concept and what is going on instead of just how to find an answer. Upon a recommendation from a veteran homeschooler, I followed her lead and bought the Home Instructor’s Guide, the textbook, and workbook and then supplemented with Miquon Math. This has proven to be a really nice balance, combining the mental math focus of Singapore with the more visual, hands-on Miquon. I highly recommend using these two resources in tandem; we have seen very good results with them.

  6. Singapore Math Review by Theresa
    Pros: multiple teaching approaches for each concept, accessible for students
    Cons: requires some prep, costly
    Grades Used: 3

    Overall, my son and I have enjoyed using this curriculum. At the end of second grade, my son took the diagnostic test available on Singapore Math’s website to determine his level of math competence and achievement. Upon correcting his test and reading the evaluation online, I decided he needed to begin this year with the 2A/B Standards Edition (which we later found out was the US equivalent to 3-5 grades). For the most part, the explanations found in the textbook are engaging and straight-forward. They do not focus on memorizing algorithms, as found in most American math textbooks. We did not think some chapters provided enough opportunities for reaching depth. After reading some of the other reviews, I suspect purchasing the Intensive Practice books may be essential for that purpose. The Home Educators books are also absolutely necessary for providing background, scope and sequence, and an assortment of activities to introduce and reinforce concepts.

    I have found that purchasing the curriculum can be costly, even after comparison-shopping. We decided to be cost-effective, we would use the same books for all our children, only use the workbooks as consumables, and then re-sell them on eBay. I do believe, however, that every part offered in this curricular series is essential and worth it!

  7. Singapore Math Review by Pati
    Pros: thorough, indepth concept development and problem solving. Uses lots of hands on manipulative ideas and games in Home Instructor's Guide.
    Cons: price, availability of Home Instructor's Guides for later levels as they develop the Standards Edition
    Grades Used: 1st-4th

    I have chosen to use the Standards Edition and that is what this review is based upon. I am very impressed with the strategies given for solving problems quickly mentally. I personally excelled at and enjoyed higher math in school that involved mathematical thinking , but was never particularly good at math in the lower grades which focused on memorization of facts when I was in school. This edition of Singapore Math has helped me personally with excellent concept strategies for calculating problems quickly. My daughters have done excellently with it and amaze me with their speed. The bar graph model used for solving complex problems is amazing. Some of the problems my first daughter encountered when she started using this curriculum 2nd grade second semester shocked me. I only knew how to solve them using an algebraic equation and wondered how on earth my child was supposed to solve them. Our problem was jumping in where we did. The bar graph concept came earlier in the program. Once we got that we were amazing her very intelligent Daddy in the evenings with problems to solve and then she would show him how they were done after he worked them. All this said to encourage those who don’t start at the 1st grade level to maybe start a bit earlier than you think your student is ready for and move as quickly as you can through that first. I believe the Home Instructor’s Guide is essential to properly teach and a get the full value from this curriculum. I also HIGHLY recommend using the optional supplemental books Intensive Practice and Challenging Word Problems to really give your students the edge in math to set them apart for excellence. An earlier reviewer must not have been using the Instructor’s manual when she reported a lack of hands on learning for her child. The manual is full of different approaches using various manipulatives according to what you may have or can make, also suggestions for many games you can play.

  8. Singapore Math Review by Robin Wheatley
    Pros: Makes the learner think about how and why, instead of just memorizing
    Cons: Sometimes confusing
    Grades Used: 1

    We used this last year for my first grader. He did well with the first book, but started to get confused when having to learn subtraction. It seemed to cause a lot of frustration on his part. The way of explaining things is much different than what I learned in school, and though it made sense to me, I could not help my son to understand it. I also found that he was not actually learning the math facts, as the workbook uses pictures for almost every problem. He would simply count the little pictures to find the answer, instead of trying to figure them out. We switched to Spectrum this year, and he is now able to answer problems without counting on his fingers or the pictures in the book.

  9. Singapore Math Review by Sue S
    Pros: affordable, colorful text
    Cons: bad for hands on learner
    Grades Used: k-2nd

    The program is full of short lessons, with a colorful text. We did well until my DD who is a hands on learner tried to understand subtraction with regrouping. It simply couldn’t make sense.

  10. Singapore Math Review by Marcy Carmack
    Pros: presents concepts well at lower levels, easy to use
    Cons: Teacher's guide needed in higher levels
    Grades Used: K, 1, 2, 4, 6

    I’ve used levels K-2 and had much success. It’s well laid out and easy to use. The concepts are taught several different ways and build on one another. Occasionally in the workbook I have had my child skip problems if I feel she understands a concept and the number of problems is just too tedious, but for the most part this curriculum has worked very well for her.
    I have also used level 4 and am currently using level 6 for my son. Level 4 was just too easy for him and he breezed through it, so I reviewed the books more closely and determined level 6 is where he was. Well, I am realizing that they periodically review material from previous levels and since we skipped level 5, there are many concepts that he is unable to do since they approach the concepts differently. The other thing I have determined is the teacher’s manual is essential for the higher levels, unless you are a mathmatical whiz! In level 6 he is already into concepts that I’m unable to do and the textbook is completely useless–it does not show at all HOW to do a problem. I am hoping that if I purchase the teacher’s manual it will show HOW to do the concepts. I’m not really sure of the purpose of the textbook at the upper levels.
    But overall the program is very good in the lower levels and has been great for my daughter. I think the upper levels may be good too with the teacher’s guide.

  11. Singapore Math Review by Misty C
    Pros: Comprehensive, teaches math from many different angles
    Cons: can be really confusing to figure out what set of singapore math books to choose
    Grades Used: 1st

    This math program is excellent. It really teaches concepts from many different angles. I strongly recommend purchasing the intensive practice book as well. It is so worth it and really adds to the curriculum. I love that it is not only workbook stuff, but they have simple games in the teachers manual designed to make math learning fun. I am so glad I found this curriculum and would recommend it to anyone- especially those who get bored easily.

  12. Singapore Math Review by Rosanne Rankine
    Pros: Very well laid out from kindergarten to high school.
    Cons: The price can add up. I didn't learn this way so it is a refresher.
    Grades Used: Preschool and up

    My son loves it. He preferred it over Saxon. My youngest has a lot of fun with it. My stepdaughter likes it but it is a little confusing because it is not how she previously learned math. Math is still her favorite subject and she says this challenges her more than how she was challenged in public school.

  13. Singapore Math Review by Marissa Bailey
    Pros: easy to test, repetitive concepts
    Cons: workbook can get boring, & sometimes confusin
    Grades Used: 2nd

    We just started using Singapore math this year. I appreciate the pre-test to determine which book to use. It made it very easy to figure out which book to buy. So far, the math (intro to multiplication) has been right on target, although some of the “different” ways to get the answer have been confusing even to me. Haha! Overall, I do like the way Singapore makes you think of multiplication in a different way. I remember just having to memorize when I was in school, but this helps my daughter to actually visualize and understand it. She can go at her own pace which is nice too. If she understands a concept quickly, she does the work & we move on to the next unit. Overall, we really enjoy Singapore math and my daughter is making great strides.

  14. Singapore Math Review by Lisa
    Grades Used: K, 1st

    I used Singapore math with my daughter, and we both had a hard time with it. It introduces concepts in a way that we had a hard time understanding, especially when it came to adding. We did have an easier time when we got the Home educators guide book, but I came to the conclusion that she learned differently then Singapore taught.

  15. Singapore Math Review by Tiffani Crews
    Pros: can be pricey if you buy all the books, very effective tool for math learning
    Cons: very workbook/writing based which can be overwhelming if you make your child write every single answer to every sing problem
    Grades Used: 1st

    I like this curriculum for its effectiveness. The hands on manipulative are easy to make with very basic already have items. The games are fun if you truly follow the teaching manual. There are many different books you can get.

    Teachers Manual
    Textbook
    Workbook
    Extra Practice Book
    Word Problem Book
    Test Books

    Each year is broken up into A and B segments. Which can be used as Semester 1 and 2. Or you can move through it faster/slower. Its a nice curriculum but it can be trying with all the workbook time, if you choose to use all books in the curriculum.

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