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  1. #1

    Default Thoughts / experience with the Singapore method (Singapore math)?

    Hello!

    We chose to use the Singapore method with our daughter this year (she is 5 y/o).
    I was wondering if any of you have used Singapore with your children, and if you had any thoughts you could share?

    What was easy / difficult?
    What did / didn't you like?
    Etc etc...

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    We uses Singapore for most of elementary school. I enjoyed the program and would use it again. I liked the visuals, the colorful and simple graphics, the various different ways of explaining concepts. I was able to reinforce concepts with just enough hands on manipulatives, so that it was not overkill.
    Rebecca
    DS 15, DD 13
    Year 9

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    Cool, thanks!
    Was there anything in particular that they found difficult?

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    My one cardinal bit of advice for using Singapore is to use it to learn "the Singapore method" not as a workbook to show how you learned to do the math they are using.

    I find it frustrating when people complain that Singapore "didn't work" for their family, only to have them continue on, expressing that they used the workbook mostly without doing the textbooks, and reverting to things like focusing on rapid fact responses instead of using reasoning to quickly figure out facts or simple problems. Quick example from about 2nd grade, IIRC -- there is a section where they have problems such as 397 + 205, or 298 - 103, that are intended to be done mentally, not to write them out, and solve with regrouping/renaming/carrying/borrowing. In the first, you mentally move three of the 5, because you know that 5 is made up of a 3 and a 2 -- so you move 3 of that over to the 397 to make 400, then add 202 (the remaining 2 out of the original 5) to quickly get 602. (It takes many more words than just doing it, once you get the idea.) In the second, you would subtract 3 from both numbers so that you're subtracting a nice round 100 instead of a cluttered 103. Then it is 295 - 100, for 195. Alternately, you can add 2, leaving you with 300 - 105, taking the 100 away, for 200 - 5 (leftover to still be subtracted). , getting to the 195 again (of course) but with different mental methods.

    That's all from ancient memory of that section, but I do find a lot of parents just revert to how they were taught. Don't do that! (Unless you were taught "the Singapore way.")

    Seriously. Don't. Learning the Singapore way is SO worthwhile!

    Once upon a time, when I was first discovering Singapore, I tried out their visual diagramming method (also called ribbon diagrams in other programs) on a page of Algebra problems of the type where they want you to write out an equation, not necessarily solve it, but recognize what the process is to write out longer equations of the variety that end up as things like 2x+6 = 3x-11. All given as word problems.

    I did something like 25 problems of that type with visual diagrams and never once wrote out an equation to solve. It literally revolutionized how I understood algebra (which I now teach in a homeschool program every few years). That's not the curriculum I'm using, but this was a great reminder to me to be sure to show them how to solve some of their problems that way! (So thank you!)

    So learn it along with your child(ren) and don't cheat yourself of the learning and understanding that you can develop, rather than just thinking of math as something to get through as "easily" as possible. Teaching the way we were taught is a strong temptation -- but especially if you don't like math all that much -- consider that changing it up (for realzies, not just on paper) can make a big difference to how your children experience the beauty of the numerical world.

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    No, nothing I can remember. Math with fractions were a bit of a bump in the road for both my kids, but I just added in extra worksheets from the web.
    Rebecca
    DS 15, DD 13
    Year 9

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    I loved it through level 5 for my oldest, am on level 3 with my youngest now. Level 6 here in the states is “inspired by”.... but i found the inspiration to be pretty shallow.
    It lacked the intuitive progression that 1-5 had.

    Adding to what LLB said, Im a big fan of how they give many different strategies for solving problems, and then rely on us to choose the appropriate strategy.

    There were discussions here about “cashier math” (If you hand 20.00 to a cashier for 13.63 of purchases, use addition to find out your change), and how Pearson textbooks botched it (or didnt have people who understood math write the book) by trying to force the same strategy for 22.84 - 17.91.

    Ive only used the workbooks - borrowed the textbooks one year, and found that I didnt need them.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

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Thoughts / experience with the Singapore method (Singapore math)?