What factors helped you decide to use Singapore Math?
I really love Heart of Dakota, but I am torn about making a math decision! I’m curious why Singapore math was chosen as the math option for the curriculum packages. I do realize we may choose a program of our own. However, I am simply curious what drew you to choose Singapore over other programs. So, I guess my question is what factors helped you in deciding Singapore would be the one? Thank you!
“Ms. Please Share the Factors That Led You to Decide to Use Singapore Math”
Dear “Ms. Please Share the Factors That Led You to Decide to Use Singapore Math,”
I fear you may be sorry you asked! Bear with me! I have a rather long reply to this tough question. As you mentioned, you are more than welcome to choose your own math curriculum to use with any of our programs. 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. We found many of them didn’t fit our family well for a variety of reasons.
One deciding factor was many other math programs require too much teacher presentation and take too much time.
I found many of the math programs we tried 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. This was one of the deciding factors that helped me say ‘no’ to other math programs we tried.
Another deciding factor was some of the other math programs had too much prep, too much planning, or too many math problems.
Similarly, I found 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. This was another deciding factor that led me away from using other math programs.
The main deciding factors were Singapore Math has short lessons, little prep, and higher-level thinking; plus, it is economical and in a convenient workbook form.
In keeping with the Charlotte Mason philosophy for math, I wanted a program with short lessons, some hands-on, almost no prep., in a workbook form (to cut down on time spent copying problems) that emphasized higher-level thinking and reasoning along with computation. I also wanted it to be economical if possible. So, when we began with Singapore we knew we’d found the fit for us. These were some of the main deciding factors for choosing Singapore Math.
Another deciding factor was I could easily write hands-on lessons to accompany the younger Singapore Math levels and schedules to utilize the original Singapore Math pacing.
Where the program lacked hands-on in the early years, I added in lessons in our guides 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 2 workbooks in one school year. So, yet another deciding factor was I could easily write hands-on math lessons and schedules to fill in what I felt was lacking.
Multiple levels of Singapore Math plans in each guide help each child to have plans for the placement that fits best.
Our plans 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, we’ve found the kiddos are ready for that change. We’ve included multiple levels of Singapore Math in each of our guides, so each child can be appropriately placed and have plans to accommodate that placement. We continue with Singapore Math through 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 after that is a fairly painless one.
In closing, the fact that I could include multiple levels of math in each guide and the fact that the transition to a different math program would be fairly easy were both final deciding factors in my decision. So, to make a long story short, all kids are different. We know one math program will not fit them all. But, we do want to share what we’ve found with other programs. We hope that Singapore Math is a good fit for some of you as well.