What factors helped you decide to use Singapore Math as the math option?

Heart of Dakota - Dear Carrie

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Dear Carrie

What factors helped you decide to use Singapore Math as the math option?

I am curious what factors helped you decide to use Singapore Math as the math option for the curriculum packages. I do realize with Heart of Dakota we may decide to use a program of our own. However, I am simply curious what drew you to choose Singapore over other programs. What factors helped you decide Singapore would be the one? Thank you!

Sincerely,

“Ms. Please Share What Factors Helped Decide to Use Singapore”

Dear “Ms. Please Share What Factors Helped You Decide to Use Singapore,”

You may be sorry you asked what made me decide to use Singapore Math! Here’s a long reply to a tough question. As you mentioned, you are more than welcome to decide to use your own math curriculum with any of our programs (and we do realize that there are many excellent math programs to use). However, we have tried many of the big-name, and not so big-name, math programs for at least a year each and found many of them didn’t fit our family well for a variety of reasons.

Singapore Math is time-conscious instead of time-consuming.

Many of the programs were just too time-consuming in the amount of teacher presentation required. As we added more children to our homeschool, I realized a 30 minute math presentation for one kiddo would quickly turn into 2 hours of math presentation when multiplied times my 4 boys. That would leave precious little time for the many other necessary school subjects. Singapore Math doesn’t waste any time. It is time-conscious, instead of time-consuming. This is one reason that made me decide to use Singapore Math.

Singapore Math requires almost no preparation.

Some of the programs required too much preparation or planning ahead of time prior to teaching. When I wasn’t prepared, my students were wasting time waiting on me. Other programs had way too much drill or too many problems daily for my non-math loving oldest son. So, I found I was tweaking which problems to do daily and eventually the programs hardly resembled the original program anymore. Singapore math is open-and-go. It requires almost no preparation. This is another reason that made me decide to use Singapore Math.

Singapore Math is in keeping with the Charlotte Mason philosophy of math.

In keeping with the Charlotte Mason philosophy for math, I wanted a program with short lessons and some hands-on component. I also wanted¬† little to no preparation, as well as a workbook form (to cut down on time spent copying problems). Likewise, I wanted a math program that emphasized higher-level thinking and reasoning along with computation. Finally, I wanted it to be economical if possible. So when we began with Singapore Math, we knew we’d found the fit for us. These are still more reasons that made me decide to use Singapore Math.

I created hands-on lessons in the early years and wrote easy-to-follow schedules.

Where the program lacked hands-on in the early years, I decides to add in lessons to include that. The one problem we have found with Singapore is that the clean page layout and the few problems on each page makes it easy to assign too much daily, thus complicating what should be a short and sweet program. We compensate for that by including schedules in our guides that follow the original Singapore pacing, completing two workbooks in one school year. We phase out the hands-on teacher lessons starting with 3A/3B and move toward the textbook/workbook schedule only at that point. With a strong hands-on background from the previous Singapore years, kiddos are ready for that change.

We endorse Singapore Math through 6A and 6B. It gets more teacher-intensive after that point, so we suggest alternatives prior to continuing on to the math that comes after 6A/6B. Since Singapore has such a solid base in problem-solving and reasoning, and an advanced scope and sequence, the switch to almost any other program should be a fairly painless one. So, to make a long story short, all kids are different, and we know one math program will not fit them all. But, we do want to share what we’ve found with others in the hope that Singapore Math may be a fit for some of you as well. At least now you know the reasons that made me decide to use Singapore Math!

Blessings,
Carrie

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