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Horizons Math vs. Singapore


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#1 Seeker of Schole

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:04 PM

Pros / Cons of each? Can someone break this down for me? I want to chose one curriculum and stick to it (barring real reasons to switch, not just because I'm a curriculum jumper), and I have it narrowed down to these two.

#2 MamaHappy

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:44 AM

I've never used Horizons, although I have a good friend who is using it with all of her children. I used Singapore for several years with my oldest ds.

One big difference is that Horizons is spiral and Singapore is very mastery.

Horizons seems to follow a similar scope & sequence to what public schools are doing, but Singapore has a somewhat different scope & sequence.

Singapore focuses a great deal on conceptual understanding and I don't believe Horizons does this as much, although I can't really say how Horizons develops concepts since I've never used it. I'm thinking that Horizons probably does teach the "why" behind math, but does it in much smaller doses. Singapore makes great leaps in concepts. Singapore has very little drill and not nearly as much review as Horizons. Horizons has much more drill and review problems in every lesson.

Both have consumable workbooks for children to write in and both have teacher's notes in a separate manual.

I'm not sure if this really helps you or not, but I thought I could at least give you some basic differences.

#3 Crimson Wife

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:20 AM

Take this with a grain of salt because I've only used 1 level of Horizons (Pre-Algebra) vs. 1A-7A of Singapore. My oldest is doing a combo of Horizons Pre-A and Singapore Discovering Math 7.

Singapore is the "spine" because I feel it's stronger conceptually. However, it doesn't have a lot of review, particularly at the DM level. Horizons has a "spiral" format where each lesson has a mix of topics. I usually only assign every other problem in Horizons and then make DD do one of the extras for every problem that she gets incorrect. The main reason I went with the combo of the two programs is I want to be sure my DD is 100% rock solid on arithmetic before moving on to higher math. The two complement each other very well IMHO. I'm strongly leaning towards continuing on with DM 8A/B and Horizons Algebra 1.
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#4 Mrs Twain

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:30 AM

I agree with the responses above.
The two programs have different strengths, both of which are necessary. For this reason, I think the two programs complement each other well.

I use Horizons as my main math program (especially including the instruction from the TM--which many people unfortunately skip), and I think it is an excellent program. My math-guy engineer husband is also very impressed with Horizons. I am planning on using it until at least 5th, but will likely use something else for pre-algebra and above.

I also use various Singapore materials to supplement, especially the Challenging Word Problems workbook. I would consider the CWP an essential supplement to any math program. I also use the mental math and extra practice workbooks from Singapore.

I know of many people who use Singapore as their main math program and supplement with Horizons.

#5 three4me

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 01:02 PM

I bought both for DD (4.5) this year because I couldn't decide either! So we have Horizons math K and Singapore Essentials B. DD likes both, but tends to get overwhelmed with all the handwriting (practicing writing numbers) in Horizons. And actually, because it is spiral, it seems to jump around SO much. I think after this year we will stick with Singapore.

#6 Seeker of Schole

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:31 PM

Excellent points to ponder. Thank you. Does anyone else get the jumping around feel from Horizons?
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#7 Tanikit

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:57 PM

I have used Horizons K and Singapore 1a and now 1b with my DD this year. They have complemented each other well though Horizons has been a bit too much writing for my DD and I have had to do some of it for her - she is not bothered by either the spiral or mastery approach - at times we have stopped one programme and gone with the other for a while to cement things and also for a breather. We are right at the end of Horizons K now and I am not sure whether to use Horizons 1 or not since she will be through most of the work in it by the time she is done with Singapore 1b, however she does still need extra practice and she seems to like the format and colour. I have also found that approaching things she is sticking on in Singapore through Horizons has helped a lot - but approaching it through any other means may also have helped as might she giving her the extra time as she is a bit younger than most doing it.

#8 Crimson Wife

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:00 PM

The Horizons Pre-Algebra book seems to have a logical sequence of topics IMHO. The mixed review is in addition to practice on the main lesson topic.

#9 Crimson Wife

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:00 PM

Double post

#10 Wildiris

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:58 PM

Take this with a grain of salt because I've only used 1 level of Horizons (Pre-Algebra) vs. 1A-7A of Singapore. My oldest is doing a combo of Horizons Pre-A and Singapore Discovering Math 7.

Singapore is the "spine" because I feel it's stronger conceptually. However, it doesn't have a lot of review, particularly at the DM level. Horizons has a "spiral" format where each lesson has a mix of topics. I usually only assign every other problem in Horizons and then make DD do one of the extras for every problem that she gets incorrect. The main reason I went with the combo of the two programs is I want to be sure my DD is 100% rock solid on arithmetic before moving on to higher math. The two complement each other very well IMHO. I'm strongly leaning towards continuing on with DM 8A/B and Horizons Algebra 1.


I do what Crimson Wife describes only at the 4th grade level, plus K12 math. The combination of Horizons and Singapore works very well and is not overwhelming. I consider Singapore the program where most of our learning takes place and Horizons helps maintain skills.
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#11 Seeker of Schole

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:47 PM

So if you use both with Singapore as the primary are you working a book or level behind in Horizons so that it is maintenance? Or do you work on level? Just workbooks?

#12 kbpaulie

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:25 PM

My thoughts.... age 4 may be too early to decide. At that age I was thinking we might want Horizons. But we held off purchasing and focused on more of the Sam's club type PS & Kdg workbooks. By the time we were doing Kdg I realized that my child and I weren't well suited for Horizons. He just wanted to get the info and move on. Singapore has proved perfect for us for the past 5 years. IMHO, just take your time before making final decisions on which math prgm to use w/ a 4 yo.

Also, while we were deciding I apreciated Sonlight's summary and info. on the various math currics. You might want to head over to their website and read up on their math.

#13 besroma

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:38 PM

So if you use both with Singapore as the primary are you working a book or level behind in Horizons so that it is maintenance? Or do you work on level? Just workbooks?


I use Singapore as a spine and Horizons as a supplement. I have done this for lower and upper elementary grades.

I start them at the same level and let them work as fast as they want (and whenever they want) through Horizons. I teach Singapore and use Horizons for their practice and review. They ask me questions when they need help. I also teach them MEP, and supplement with LOF, which are both excellent.

IMO, what is most important at age 4 is that be really enjoy it. My kids loved Miquon and C-rods at that age. I would start with Miquon and Singapore and see what he seems to like.

#14 Evanthe

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:20 AM

Take this with a grain of salt because I've only used 1 level of Horizons (Pre-Algebra) vs. 1A-7A of Singapore. My oldest is doing a combo of Horizons Pre-A and Singapore Discovering Math 7.

Singapore is the "spine" because I feel it's stronger conceptually. However, it doesn't have a lot of review, particularly at the DM level. Horizons has a "spiral" format where each lesson has a mix of topics. I usually only assign every other problem in Horizons and then make DD do one of the extras for every problem that she gets incorrect. The main reason I went with the combo of the two programs is I want to be sure my DD is 100% rock solid on arithmetic before moving on to higher math. The two complement each other very well IMHO. I'm strongly leaning towards continuing on with DM 8A/B and Horizons Algebra 1.


Interesting! We have always struggled with the balance between conceptual math and arithmetic. My daughter started AOPS Pre-Algebra this year, but if it doesn't work out, we're looking seriously at Singapore's Discovering Math (or Jacobs). That's our back-up plan. How much time does it take to work through Singapore and Horizons?

#15 boscopup

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:28 AM

I want to chose one curriculum and stick to it (barring real reasons to switch, not just because I'm a curriculum jumper)


If you try one in K and switch to the other for 1st, there is no harm done. They both teach from the beginning in 1st, so nothing will be missed. Curriculum hopping is when you switch curriculum a lot. Prudently choosing a different math curriculum because the new one will truly be a better choice is not curriculum hopping. My oldest switched from Math Mammoth to Singapore in the grade 4 level, and it was a good switch. We weren't curriculum hopping. I was moving to a better choice for that child. It was a good move, and I don't regret it one bit.

I haven't used Horizons. My kids are mathy and tend to get bored with spiral programs. They don't need THAT much review. So we are using Singapore quite happily. I loved Essential Math K. I used it with DS2 at age 4, and will use it with DS3 at age 4 also (I add C-rods to it). Singapore has been plenty for both of my older two kids. One is in 5B, and the other is in 1A. I haven't needed to add anything else for review. We practice math facts (the kid in 1A), but that's something you do with any program. The Singapore Standards Edition has reviews every so often, and that's been more than enough. We don't even do all of them (kid in 5B).

#16 Crimson Wife

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 11:13 AM

Interesting! We have always struggled with the balance between conceptual math and arithmetic. My daughter started AOPS Pre-Algebra this year, but if it doesn't work out, we're looking seriously at Singapore's Discovering Math (or Jacobs). That's our back-up plan. How much time does it take to work through Singapore and Horizons?


The plan was to spread pre-algebra out over 2 years but it's looking like it will be slightly over 3 semesters to get through the 2 programs. We are using the workbook for DM 1, which is technically optional. However, if something had to go, I'd probably cut back somewhat on Horizons rather than dropping the DM wb. It is very reminiscent of the Primary Mathematics Intensive Practice books in terms of kicking up the challenge level.

#17 loesje22000

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 01:37 PM

We worked with Horizons grade 2-5, I liked the program very much.
DD liked that never a lesson was the same, and that never a lesson was all brand new.
DD doesn't like math, but during the years she wasn't hating it anymore.

This year we switched to a Belgian mathtext to meet our examrequirements, and dd hates math again...

#18 Seeker of Schole

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 06:10 PM

If you try one in K and switch to the other for 1st, there is no harm done. They both teach from the beginning in 1st, so nothing will be missed. Curriculum hopping is when you switch curriculum a lot. Prudently choosing a different math curriculum because the new one will truly be a better choice is not curriculum hopping. My oldest switched from Math Mammoth to Singapore in the grade 4 level, and it was a good switch. We weren't curriculum hopping. I was moving to a better choice for that child. It was a good move, and I don't regret it one bit.

I haven't used Horizons. My kids are mathy and tend to get bored with spiral programs. They don't need THAT much review. So we are using Singapore quite happily. I loved Essential Math K. I used it with DS2 at age 4, and will use it with DS3 at age 4 also (I add C-rods to it). Singapore has been plenty for both of my older two kids. One is in 5B, and the other is in 1A. I haven't needed to add anything else for review. We practice math facts (the kid in 1A), but that's something you do with any program. The Singapore Standards Edition has reviews every so often, and that's been more than enough. We don't even do all of them (kid in 5B).


I say curriculum hopper because I'm a bit of a junkie. I appreciate your descrition, and it sounds a lot like dd(4). She is actually working towards finishing K math right now, which is why I am wondering abot first.


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