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Abeka math vs. singapore math vs. teaching textbooks, PLEASE COMMENT


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#1 babygemma

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 11:32 AM

If you have experience in any of these or all of these, could you please share. I am particularly interested in the kinds of word problems the program teaches (straightforward or thought provoking), clarity of teacher's guide, and if there is any leap of logic that the program demands of the teacher/student. This is to be used for a newly homeschooled 5th grader, who's pretty good with math, learns easily, but a non-mathy, somewhat math phobic mom. Thanks.

#2 wapiti

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 11:49 AM

By reputation, Singapore's Challenging Word Problems (CWP) book would be the strongest of those three on word problems. Where leaps of logic may be an issue, consider Math Mammoth, which is also Asian-style conceptual, mastery math like Singapore and heavy on word problems. However, MM is more incremental than Singapore and has no separate teacher manual - the teaching is all in the text (I love that). Take a look at the extensive samples to see if MM might suit you. My understanding is that the word problems in MM are more challenging than those in the regular Singapore workbook but not as challenging as those in Singapore's CWP (I can't remember where MM falls with respect to the "regular" level of word problems in the CWP though the extra-challenging ones In the CWP would indeed be more challenging). We are almost finished with MM5 and I think MM5 is a very substantial level. Eta: I'll look at the hand-me-down Abeka that I have upstairs later. My understanding is that TT is not in the same ballpark for word problems. Eta again: I flipped through the Abeka 4th grade materials that I have, as well as the 5 th grade test booklet, and I think it's safe to say that the word problems were few in number and less difficult than the word problems in the regular Singapore workbook.

Edited by wapiti, 27 July 2011 - 12:25 PM.


#3 CountryGirl2

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 12:03 PM

If you have experience in any of these or all of these, could you please share. I am particularly interested in the kinds of word problems the program teaches (straightforward or thought provoking), clarity of teacher's guide, and if there is any leap of logic that the program demands of the teacher/student. This is to be used for a newly homeschooled 5th grader, who's pretty good with math, learns easily, but a non-mathy, somewhat math phobic mom. Thanks.

I do not like Abeka...and my kids hated it. I felt that it was overly repititous in some areas and seemed light in word problems (back when I first started homeschooling and was using what the kids used at the private school that we had unenrolled them from). It was also very distracting for both of my kids. I dumped about a month later and went to something else. Abeka never seemed to have enough 'meat' in their curriculum to me. I felt that there were much better options out there for us.

We used Singapore for the next 4 years. Son liked it, but the pictures were distracting for him as he wanted to draw swords and shields for everyone in there (in the workbook as he wasn't allowed to write in the textbook). It would take him too long to finish, lol. He is good at math though and got it relatively quickly, including his sisters math who was two levels ahead, lol). The teachers book is well thought out and gives you problems and text to teach from. Daughter had a harder time with Singapore as she got higher. She needed more practice than what was given (although there are extra books for that if need be and it helped). She liked the program though. They also have a lot of word problems which I loved...the kids not always as much, but they were getting quite good at them.

We switched to Saxon this past year which has been better all around (and many people who finish with singapore 6B, switched to Saxon). Lots of practice and teaching. Each lesson begins with a short mental math warmup, then has 2-4 pages of reading to be done by the student (or with mom if need be), followed by the lesson practice and then another section of work for reviewing previous lessons. They have an ample amount of word problems and many of the problems require multiple steps in the higher grade levels. Our children are in books 7/6 and 8/7. We did buy the DIVE Cd's for our daughter for 8/7 to help facilitate her learning (I'm not a math whiz either) and will continue to do so for the upper leves with our son also being able to use them when he gets to that point (they are like having a teacher in the home and he uses completely different problems in his lecture than in the lesson. There are teacher Cd's too where the lady goes over the lesson itself in it's entirety and there is a section that works every problem in the actual lesson-I don't plan to get that one though). WIth the CD's and book, my daughter has been mostly working on her own now, which never happened before. She feels much more confident with this set up.

I found TT to be a bit 'behind' than what I've used and now using and there were not a lot of word problems. It is uninvolved for you though and they can repeat and repeat a lesson should they need to. I did like the concept and the program, actually buying level 7, but my daughter surpassed half of it fairly quickly within Singapore and then she fell right into the Saxon Math level that we were looking at so we started her there instead. I sold the TT. Now though it seems 'behind', every curriculum has it's own syllabus and it will end up covering all the student needs by the end of highschool, from what I've seen. My friend loves it and I liked it as well, but it didn't fit us at the time.

Hope this helps!

#4 boscopup

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 12:05 PM

My understanding is that the word problems in MM are more challenging than those in the regular Singapore workbook but not as challenging as those in Singapore's CWP.


:iagree: I use MM and add in CWP for fun. We mostly just do the challenging section of the CWP book (I also add IP's challenging section, which is also more difficult than MM, but isn't all word problems). For a mathy student that wants more math, that's the route I've decided to take. For a non-mathy student or one that doesn't really need extra math to slow them down, MM by itself would be totally fine. The word problems are good.

#5 wapiti

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 12:30 PM

:iagree: I use MM and add in CWP for fun. We mostly just do the challenging section of the CWP book (I also add IP's challenging section, which is also more difficult than MM, but isn't all word problems). For a mathy student that wants more math, that's the route I've decided to take. For a non-mathy student or one that doesn't really need extra math to slow them down, MM by itself would be totally fine. The word problems are good.


Boscopup, could you compare the level of word problems in the CWP that are not the extra-challenging ones to the level of MM's word problems? I'm just curious. I haven't felt the need to add the CWP for dd10 ( who I would describe as math-y but who struggles with some aspects of language, most notably inferences) but I might feel differently about one of my boys.

#6 boscopup

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 02:25 PM

Boscopup, could you compare the level of word problems in the CWP that are not the extra-challenging ones to the level of MM's word problems? I'm just curious. I haven't felt the need to add the CWP for dd10 ( who I would describe as math-y but who struggles with some aspects of language, most notably inferences) but I might feel differently about one of my boys.


I think the MM word problems are similar to or harder than the regular CWP problems. Some of the challenging problems are similar to what I've seen in MM also. I don't find the CWP challenging problems that challenging. What I do like about CWP is that it basically walks you through learning to do bar diagrams via the worked examples. We started at CWP 2, and we're very comfortable with the bar diagrams so far. MM starts teaching them at the 4th grade level. Looking ahead, I don't think the instruction in the bar diagrams will be quite as good as how it's done in the CWP worked examples. The diagrams I see in MM4 look similar to what you might find in CWP1 and 2, except the numbers are bigger. I don't know if the bar diagrams will get quite as "cool" in MM as they do in CWP, even at the 3rd grade level.

I really like using both. I think IP has more challenging problems than CWP though.

Hope that helps. :)

#7 JOHNNABONNA

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 03:05 PM

We just started homeschooling for our first year around 2 weeks ago. I have a 4th grader and a 1st grader. I have always struggled with math and was very worried about 1. choosing the right curriculum and 2. me teaching it affectively. We chose Singapore and are very very happy with that choice. Using the HIG I have found it very easy to teach and understand. My very non-mathy 4th grade dd as well as my mathy 1st grade dd have both grown leaps and bounds in understanding and skill in just this short while. We Love it!


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