Singapore Math

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  • Reviewed on Wednesday, June 15, 2016
  • Grades Used: K, 1, 2
  • Dates used: 2014 - present
I love this math program now! No this isn't an open and go program (past Kindergarten). But I have learned through it to be playful with math because it can be fun, and this is coming from someone who is not mathematically minded at all and has never enjoyed math.

My husband is a mathematical thinker and picked this program. When I started with the kindergarten A & B essentials I loved it. It is open and go. It has the instructions for the teacher at the bottom of the page to introduce the topic and sometimes an extra challenge before they do the worksheet. It was just enough.

When we moved up to 1A primary mathematics I initially felt a lack of confidence. I found it confusing and frustrating to have a teachers guide giving a lot of options when I basically wanted to be told how to teach it. So I switched to Math-u-see alpha. It was easy to teach with the videos and we zoomed through it, but I felt that it was too simple. Sure my son really cemented his facts, but that was it, just basic addition and subtraction. After watching the math-u-see videos with my kids I saw how easy it was to teach math and realized I could apply that thinking to Singapore.

Now we are back with primary mathematics because I think it is a much better program. I want my kids to think mathematically, so they can understand new concepts easier later on. I also read Ruth Beechick's The Three R's book and more on Charlotte Mason's ideas on math and I'm applying what I learned and realizing how easy this is to teach. Also I'm finding that the many options make it easy to teach my different children that think diferently. Plus it's fun too! They have a lot of easy reinforcement games that can be played with things you already have. I plan on sticking with this program all the way through and highly recommend it. So if you try it and have concerns about it I highly recommend seeking out help from others before you give up on it because the results are worth it!

It is teacher intensive, but I only do about 15-20 minutes with each child a day and they are both doing great. We don't even use the work book unless I think they need more practice than they get working out problems with manipulatives and on the dry erase board and games. One thing I did like from MUS that I applied to this is them explaining to me what they learned and how to do it before I let them move on.

I just keep track of what I did that day and what I want to do the next for both of my children in 1 spiral bound notebook and it is working in great. It just takes a minute to add anything extra we worked on that day that I didn't plan for that day and to add what we are doing the next day. I find if I get too far ahead I have to erase a lot because I never know if we will need more time on a unit or less in advance.

I will say, if you are a list checker, looking to be told exactly what to do, this program will probably result in frustration and tears for you and your child. But if you are willing to lighten up and change, like I was forced to do, it can be a wonderful addition to your homeschool. I highly recommend it!


  • Reviewed on Friday, April 15, 2016
  • Grades Used: 2a,b
  • Dates used: 2016
Hate it!!! With a passion! We came from a local public school with high expectation of learning! K and 1st. She was always in the top three of her class despite her being the youngest. Started home school for second grade But we have experienced soooo many meltdowns with this book. Shed so many tears ad. Frustration. It moves to a new subject before she ever has the concept drilled. Not enough practice problems, bounces us around we feel like squirrels. She still needs her hand held through borrowing/carrying exercises. This week She moves into adding money in one page with out any explanation as to the value of each coin or the role of the decimal!!!! and she is expected to be able to add it?. There are So many gaps in this curricula I can't even. This book has completely destroyed our confidence. She does like doing the multiplication but it's so repetitive and where are the times tables chart for memorization? Spit spit spit. Never again!. Switching to right start math-with high hopes. Sorry all Singapore lovers.


  • Reviewed on Wednesday, October 1, 2014
  • Grades Used: 3rd Grade
  • Dates used: 2014
We used A Beka arithmetic for 2nd grade.

My daughter is 8, did great in public school for both Kinder and 1st grade. And mastered A Beka in all subjects and made an A on every test for the year of 2nd grade. (To give you an idea of the type of student I'm referring to.)

BUT I wanted something different for 3rd grade-

I wanted something that was more thorough in what it presented so that you move from one concept to the next with confidence. And the truth is, if you homeschool- YOU DON'T HAVE TO SPEND A BUNCH OF TIME ON ANYTHING IF YOUR KID ALREADY GETS IT. But if they need more work, a curriculum should provide the practice to get it down. And in math, you should be really good before taking the next step, right?

I also wanted something that didn't make her brain shift 5 different gears daily, basically doing a cumulative review of all skills. That's just annoying. Especially if it never let you get really good at any one specific skill. "Spiral Method" is I believe what this is called, when you constantly present everything to reinforce it. Like I said- this would be tolerable if it did a really good job teaching concepts to begin with.

Lastly, I wanted a curriculum that had real thought put into the order in which concepts are presented. Something that would build a solid foundation and grow outward. Build the puzzle from the ground up, not jumping levels then coming back.


It gives you:

Teachers Edition showing you how to teach each exercise.

Textbook for guided practice to help them put knowledge into practice with help from you.

Workbook to do it independently and show that they've mastered it and can do it on their very own.

If you do your homework, you will find that this is based on the methods used in Singapore. And that their kids rank high in testing for math skills. From Wikipedia:

"Following Singapore’s curricular and instructional initiatives, dramatic improvements in math proficiency among Singaporean students on international assessments were observed.[1] TIMSS, an international assessment for math and science among fourth and eighth graders, ranked Singapore’s fourth and eighth grade students first in mathematics three times (1995, 1999, and 2003) among participating nations.[10][12] Likewise, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)'s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a worldwide study of 15-year-old school students' scholastic performance in mathematics, science, and reading, has placed Singaporean students at second place, after Shanghai, China in 2009 and 2012.[15][16]"

Who wouldn't want their kids on this track to learning math? QUALITY over QUANTITY

I think your child is really a math whiz, the spiral method is fine. I've heard of success with Saxon and A Beka. But if you feel like your kid is having to work even a little and not necessarily confident- TRY THIS. And certainly, if they are struggling, I could see this being the solution.


  • Reviewed on Saturday, August 16, 2014
  • Grades Used: 1st, 2nd
  • Dates used: 2013-current
This math curriculum was a great fit for us. My son went from virtually no math skills to being a human calculator in one year. (1st yr of hs) I have a very logical/analytical math-minded ds and I love that this curriculum stretched him to understand visually.
I have not used Singapore Math with a kid who struggles with math. This one's a keeper.