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Teaching Textbooks vs. Math Mammoth vs. Singapore


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#1 bnrmom

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 04:53 PM

Please help me decide! My boys will be in 5th and 2nd grade this Fall. My 5th grader has expressed an interest in going to Junior High (6th grade), so I really want to make sure he stays at or above grade level (we are in a highly ranked school district, and they move at a fast pace).

We used Singapore math (sporadically) for 3rd grade, but I didn't have a home instructors guide and I was just kind of winging my explanations (I am fairly math literate). He got it just fine, but it was on the boring side. He did fine in 4th grade math at our local public school this last year (his only year in school), but lags in speed and memorization.

I am leaning towards TT for him because of the video component of it and the clear explanations, but I am worried that it is not a rigorous enough program. Based on the placement tests, he would be doing level 7. But how can I be sure that even that level is covering everything in enough depth so that he can drop into 6th grade if he wanted to?

I am very interested in my kids learning the "why" behind math, not just the "how." I've head MM is good with this, but I worry that there might not be enough explanation to help them understand something if we hit a rough spot. Is this just when I would go find other supplemental resources to help them understand?

Then there's good ole Singapore. I believe it would cover everything we need, but it's very schooly and has kind of a drill and kill feel, and I worry that I wouldn't be able to teach well enough from it. However, with the Home Instructors Guide now available, maybe things would be different? One of the things my older son commented on this year at school was how he went from loving math to being bored by it in school (they used Everyday Math), so I would like to choose something that is more interesting and appeals to his love of math concepts in general.

So, if your primary concern was keeping your child on the high end of grade level math, and they don't exhibit any particular problems with math, which one would you choose? Thank you!

#2 wapiti

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 06:15 PM

I chose MM, which I am very happy with so far (we've used 4A to mid-5B). I am occasionally tempted by Singapore. TT seems not to be a common choice for students who are more math-inclined (see, e.g., this long discussion http://www.welltrain...ad.php?t=174951).

I don't think of Singapore as drill and kill at all - have you seen the Intensive Practice books? (I admit I haven't gotten around to ordering them yet - my math plate is quite full, and I don't really need them at this point, with all the other stuff I have) or Singapore's Challenging Word Problems? I will also guess that Singapore users will chime in soon to advise you to use the HIG.

There are a number of older threads comparing Singapore and MM - you may want to try a search. SM and MM are somewhat alike (mastery, asian-style conceptual) but set up differently. I don't think you can go wrong with either one; I'd choose the one that appeals more to you with regard to how it is set up, in terms of books.

I am very interested in my kids learning the "why" behind math, not just the "how." I've head MM is good with this, but I worry that there might not be enough explanation to help them understand something if we hit a rough spot. Is this just when I would go find other supplemental resources to help them understand?


yes, and that would be true of any math program, though I think with MM, that would be an uncommon occurrence

#3 Lovemyblessings

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 06:18 PM

Although I have no basis for comparison- my son is in 4th grade using TT5. We LOVE it! The animations seem to resonate with him, solidifying facts. I'm very glad I chose TT as his first homeschool math program :)

#4 Cuckoomamma

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 06:29 PM

I highly recommend Singapore. My older dd would just have finished 4th grade and has been done with Singapore for a year and moved on to algebra. My younger just finished K and is finishing up 1B. FWIW, we don't school math every day.

While there are small sections of Singapore which can seem like drills, we just skip around in the book. You can even skip between A and B as the A books tend to be more dry and the B books more heavy on geometry. If they haven't covered a question that pops up in the review, they can skip it. It all cycles eventually anyway. I'm a little compulsive and felt uncomfortable skipping between the A and B, I was and have been fine moving back and forth in one of the books.

I bought one of the HIGs but never felt like I needed to use it. I was able to explain it myself, and they have been able to grasp it.

Another suggestion would be to cover less in one day? I remember trying to do very large chunks with my first initially. She became bored.

We also only do the problems in the wb. I have the text available for them to read if they want, but we don't do the problems.

#5 NayfiesMama

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 06:32 PM

If you like Math and are willing to dig in, I'd do Singapore. I like the books by Liping Ma that explains "asian math"... and the bar method is a bit to learn... but it's great... and if you keep on you can go on to NEM after 6B. Test them first, so placement will be right. There are a couple different paths with Singapore, so you decide if you want a lot of metrics... or not. Probably for you, I would say the one used in Cali would be perfect.. someone else will comment about that. For us, I've liked lots of metrics, because I'm trying to teach it like it's no big deal. (For me it is, but for him... it won't be...) :)

#6 Testimony

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 06:38 PM

Then there's good ole Singapore. I believe it would cover everything we need, but it's very schooly and has kind of a drill and kill feel, and I worry that I wouldn't be able to teach well enough from it. However, with the Home Instructors Guide now available, maybe things would be different? One of the things my older son commented on this year at school was how he went from loving math to being bored by it in school (they used Everyday Math), so I would like to choose something that is more interesting and appeals to his love of math concepts in general.


I have never heard Singapore Math called drill and kill. People complain that it does not have enough drill. This really is a first. Please forgive me I just have not seen this before.

I think that if you go the home instuctor's guide it would help you. I just want to tell you I examined Teaching Textbook 7 for my younger son. It had the same lessons as Singapore Math's Primary Mathematics 4A & B. So, with that said, I think that Singapore would be more of an advanced math. Just to tell you though there is not perfect program. I know mostly about Singapore Math. My older son used it up to New Elementary Math 1. I would say that Singapore's strength is its word problems. It really challenges the child's mind to think and to think critically.

Singapore's weaknesses are it does not offer enough supports. There are not enough solution manuals to help you to understand how to solve problems especially in the old Challenging Word Problems book and the advance math, NEM. People complain about its lack of drill and not enough graphing i.e. coordinates, etc.

That's all I can share from because my knowledge is Singapore Math.

#7 jennynd

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 06:53 PM

I have never heard Singapore Math called drill and kill. People complain that it does not have enough drill. This really is a first. Please forgive me I just have not seen this before.

I think that if you go the home instuctor's guide it would help you. I just want to tell you I examined Teaching Textbook 7 for my younger son. It had the same lessons as Singapore Math's Primary Mathematics 4A & B. So, with that said, I think that Singapore would be more of an advanced math. Just to tell you though there is not perfect program. I know mostly about Singapore Math. My older son used it up to New Elementary Math 1. I would say that Singapore's strength is its word problems. It really challenges the child's mind to think and to think critically.

Singapore's weaknesses are it does not offer enough supports. There are not enough solution manuals to help you to understand how to solve problems especially in the old Challenging Word Problems book and the advance math, NEM. People complain about its lack of drill and not enough graphing i.e. coordinates, etc.

That's all I can share from because my knowledge is Singapore Math.


:iagree:

everything it says

#8 Crimson Wife

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 06:59 PM

I wouldn't personally put a bright student into TT because it has a very mixed reputation.

If the appeal of TT is the computer aspect, you could look into CyberShala's Singapore classes.

#9 hmschooling

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 07:47 PM

I'm going to do Teaching Textbooks with mine but add in some lesser known Singapore Supplemental books that seem like they could be almost indepedent, but I could be involved in (but wouldn't need to be daily).

Here's the ones I've decided on

My 2nd grader will do TT3,Fun Maths Process Skills 2, Visible Thinking in Mathematics 2A/B (well, I'm undecided if I'll do the Fun Maths this year or next)

My 5th grader will do TT5, Fun Maths Process Skills 3, and Visible Thinking in Mathematics 3A/B


These combination of levels I've chosen for each child are tailored to their abilitites. 5th is less mathy and needed to back up in the SM supps and really learn problem solving, while my 2nd grader is naturally mathy and needs the challenge. I love SM and also MM, but my teaching time has been limited and with a rising 2 year old and adding a 3rd student (light K), WOW. I needed to do it this way. We will do TT 3-4 times per week and SM Supps 1-3 times per week, depending on....life. :)

#10 bnrmom

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 11:41 PM

I referred to Singapore as drill and kill because I remember pages full of adding and subtracting, or circle the one that's more, etc. We would end up skipping pages because it was just more of the same.

I guess for the money I could start with MM and then switch to Singapore if it really wasn't working. I will definitely search for some of the threads on here comparing the two.

#11 Aconnolley

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 11:36 AM

My 2nd grader will do TT3,Fun Maths Process Skills 2, Visible Thinking in Mathematics 2A/B (well, I'm undecided if I'll do the Fun Maths this year or next)

My 5th grader will do TT5, Fun Maths Process Skills 3, and Visible Thinking in Mathematics 3A/B


I was trying to quote the PP. I messed it up. Here is my question:

My son will be doing TT6 and I have been looking for a good problem solving
supplement. I looked at the samples and these look good. They look like they might be better as a supplement for a kid that needs clear simple explanations than may just Challenging Word Problems. If I was just going to get one of the books, which would you recommend? Fan math or Visible Thinking? How are they different

Thanks!
Angela

Edited by Aconnolley, 15 July 2011 - 12:42 PM.


#12 67_others

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 12:28 PM

What is the mixed reputation of the TTS? Off to research. This forum is such wealth of information. I can't believe I lived so long without it!

#13 wapiti

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 12:47 PM

What is the mixed reputation of the TTS? Off to research. This forum is such wealth of information. I can't believe I lived so long without it!


You might try this link:

(see, e.g., this long discussion http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=174951).



#14 hmschooling

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 02:09 PM

My 2nd grader will do TT3,[URL="http://www.singaporemath.com/Heuristic_and_

I was trying to quote the PP. I messed it up. Here is my question:

My son will be doing TT6 and I have been looking for a good problem solving
supplement. I looked at the samples and these look good. They look like they might be better as a supplement for a kid that needs clear simple explanations than may just Challenging Word Problems. If I was just going to get one of the books, which would you recommend? Fan math or Visible Thinking? How are they different

Thanks!
Angela


I won't have mine till Monday or Tuesday. They both looked fantastic and I guess hooding one would depend on your goals. Look at the table of contents and see which fits your needs better...I think (not sure) Fun Maths has more of the actual word problems and bar models. I'm also adding in Brain Maths 1 for my 5th grader which is ages 9+. It's full of neat problems, puzzles, balance scale puzzles, etc. Shoot me a PM Tuesday or Wednesday after I've gotten to look over all of them! :)


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