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A BTDT question for all you Singapore math veterans...


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I know there are many of you who frequent this board and use Singapore in conjunction w/ another math curriculum. There are also many who use Singapore exclusively. For those of you who fall into this latter category, do you ever look back and wish you had supplemented w/ another program, whether it be for extra review or drill or perhaps just another approach?? Do you think your kiddos would have been better off had you used another resource alongside the Singapore texts, or are you fully satisfied w/ the results of Singapore alone?

 

I've been using Horizons and Singapore for a few years now, and while I've been very pleased w/ this combo, I'm starting to think that I'd like to drop Horizons and focus exclusively on the Singapore books (ds will be starting 4A in the fall). I'm a bit nervous, though, as the combo provided a safety net of sorts; I felt secure in using the two b/c I was sure my boys would be well covered that way. Now I'm just wondering if it's necessary... any thoughts??

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Well, we're only in level 3, so I may not have "BTDT" enough yet to be really helpful, but I have been quite satisfied using Singapore and only doing specific topic/drill supplementation as needed rather than combining with an entire other curriculum. I've pulled in drill on math facts and a few extra worksheets from things at the dollar store. The closest I have come to using another program is having downloaded the clock section of Math Mammoth recently, as that was a sticking point for my daughter.

 

You might find that the new standards edition of Singapore is more to your taste for a stand alone program. It has more review built in and a couple additional topics that you might find in, say, Horizons.

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You didn't ask for my opinion because I am one who used Singapore and Horizons up through level 6. My dd finished both a few months ago, and I am happy that I continued with both. From memory, here are a few things that were taught in Horizons that I did not see or saw very lightly in Singapore.

 

prime numbers

exponents

square roots

scientific notation

base 2

conversion to metric

area of a triangle

area of a parallelogram

volume of a cylinder

construct a bisector of an angle

construct a hexagon

construct a equilateral triangle

probability

calculation of tax

negative numbers

operations with ordered pairs

interest & installment purchases

 

I do not advocate doing all of Horizons if you are doing Singapore. Every few days I went through dd's Horizons book and indicated what I wanted her to do. It varied, of course, but in general I would say I had her do about 1/4 of Horizons' problems. But I did want her to get exposed to the info that was not presented in Singapore.

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Hi

We will be starting Singapore 5A in the fall (have used it exclusively since 1A) and have been very happy with it. Ds does very well with just the regular workbook and mental math. Dd needs a little extra work occasionally, so we make copies of the Intensive Practice workbooks and extra copies of the MM worksheets. We also don't move ahead until ALL the answers are correct, so she really has to work at the ones she is having trouble with. I think the teacher's manual (we use the hs version) is very helpful and sometimes, I will just let her look through *my* info, which spells everything out in more than one way. We also use the game cd, which I'm not sure I love, but they do. I think if I added another program, they would not like it as much, truthfully. Meaning that they would feel overloaded with math and lose interest. Singapore works well for us and we are looking forward to 5A.

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You didn't ask for my opinion because I am one who used Singapore and Horizons up through level 6. My dd finished both a few months ago, and I am happy that I continued with both. From memory, here are a few things that were taught in Horizons that I did not see or saw very lightly in Singapore.

 

prime numbers

exponents

square roots

scientific notation

base 2

conversion to metric

area of a triangle

area of a parallelogram

volume of a cylinder

construct a bisector of an angle

construct a hexagon

construct a equilateral triangle

probability

calculation of tax

negative numbers

operations with ordered pairs

interest & installment purchases

 

I do not advocate doing all of Horizons if you are doing Singapore. Every few days I went through dd's Horizons book and indicated what I wanted her to do. It varied, of course, but in general I would say I had her do about 1/4 of Horizons' problems. But I did want her to get exposed to the info that was not presented in Singapore.

Thank you, kRenee, for sharing this list-- it's definitely info I need as I consider my options!

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Here's a list of the changes in the standards edition of Singapore. http://www.singaporemath.com/FAQ_Primary_Math_s/15.htm

 

I know that the level 3 standards books have probability added, haven't looked in depth at the uppper levels as much.

 

It will only go through level 5, evidently, as they say they are doing a new series for middle school math. One other consideration is that Home Instructor Guides are not yet available for all levels, though they are putting them out fairly quickly.

 

As I understand it, a number of the topics that folks don't see in the Primary Math series are covered in the Singapore series for 7th grade and up called New Elementary Math.

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I know there are many of you who frequent this board and use Singapore in conjunction w/ another math curriculum. There are also many who use Singapore exclusively. For those of you who fall into this latter category, do you ever look back and wish you had supplemented w/ another program, whether it be for extra review or drill or perhaps just another approach?? Do you think your kiddos would have been better off had you used another resource alongside the Singapore texts, or are you fully satisfied w/ the results of Singapore alone?

 

I've been using Horizons and Singapore for a few years now, and while I've been very pleased w/ this combo, I'm starting to think that I'd like to drop Horizons and focus exclusively on the Singapore books (ds will be starting 4A in the fall). I'm a bit nervous, though, as the combo provided a safety net of sorts; I felt secure in using the two b/c I was sure my boys would be well covered that way. Now I'm just wondering if it's necessary... any thoughts??

I have done the opposite of what you're planning. I used Singapore exclusively in the lower grades and then supplemented more in levels 5 and 6. The reason for this was I did not plan for ds to use NEM, so I wanted exposure to a broader range of topics.

With dd, just finishing 5B, I'll supplement through level 6 even though I've not decided whether to continue with NEM or not. Also, I think she needs more work on percentage concepts.

It can really be a hassle to coordinate 2 different programs, but sometimes I think it really is necessary.

Mary

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We just finished our first year of homeschooling, but my 10 yo was pulled out of her regular school math (Everyday Math) and did mostly Singapore by herself and in the summer until she was ready for prealgebra. We have no regrets. She did Singapore through 6B, and then Chalkdust pre-algebra and Algebra I.

As for the list above of topics not covered, my daughter got them somewhere--I don't remember if it was in Singapore or CD prealgebra, but she was certainly not behind when she did CD prealgebra.

We supplemented with Times Tales for multiplication (if you can count one hour's worth of use as a supplement). For my younger daughter, we've also used some multiplication timed tests.

 

Terri

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and I haven't seen a problem, with say, standardized test scores. This year my dd scored really well on a math assessment. I worried and worried she was missing something or not getting enough practice, only to see she is doing well. :) She isn't "mathy" and we've had to slow down for awhile and do review (I used the extra practice book this year).

 

This coming school year, as we get into Primary 5A/B I do plan on using the Key to series as a supplement, just for extra practice of what is being taught in the books though. :)

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I used Singapore 3B through 6B w/my younger dd. (exclusively) I am very happy with the results. My dd really learned how to think through math problems.

 

If you do not plan to use the NEM series, then I would give serious consideration to using a standard pre-Algebra program before moving on to Algebra. NEM 1 covers the typical pre-Algebra topics. (negative #'s, exponents, order of operations, etc.) So, jumping from 6B into Algebra 1 is quite a stretch for some students - especially younger ones.

 

We finished 6B in early spring, and if I had it to do all over again, I would have gone right into a standard pre-Algebra text. She is in 7th gr this year, and was not ready for Algebra.

 

I believe my dd would have benefited from using a course like Dolciani's pre-Algebra. I really like their Algebra 1 text. I had my dd go through some of the pre-Algebra topics in Lial's BCM, which is also another good pre-Algebra option. I just find that I prefer Dolciani's presentation. Also, their word problems are *very* much like the wp's in Singapore.

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I have no regrets thus far. I think that, if I had tried to add another program, I would have overwhelmed my kids with work and made them hate math (anathema to one who majored in math!) While they may have some small holes that we will need to fill at some time, I don't think that has held them back. Their standardized test scores confirm that.

 

BTW where they are now:

ds14 - halfway through NEM 2. Scored 600 on the math section of the SAT with no prep. I am confident that, with another 2 years of math before he takes it for real, he will do well.

ds12 - starting NEM 1.

dd7 - in primary math 2 and doing fine. Just needs work on math facts so her goal this summer is to do some computer drill.

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The only thing I would do differently is I would have pushed multiplication fact memorization more. Ds has consistently tested ahead of grade level in math, except for fluency. I love the way ds can see a complicated story problem and not panic. He expects story problems to be a process and he has the tools to work with them.

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As for the list above of topics not covered, my daughter got them somewhere--I don't remember if it was in Singapore or CD prealgebra, but she was certainly not behind when she did CD prealgebra.

 

 

I agree with Terri. About half that list is geometry topics & I know those are covered in Singapore because we just finished 5B and there was tons of geometry, including all the topics on that list. They are also included in every review after that, although only about two random geometry topics each time. Maybe doing two complete programs, she whizzed by & didn't notice it?!

 

I know there are many of you who frequent this board and use Singapore in conjunction w/ another math curriculum. There are also many who use Singapore exclusively. For those of you who fall into this latter category, do you ever look back and wish you had supplemented w/ another program,

 

I used an extra math program (Math U See) alongside Singapore for a couple of years, and now we have dropped it. My reason for using the program was to give ds more time to settle into a difficult spot when he needed to. Those difficult spots (long division etc.) are conquered now, and we don't need it.

 

You might get that extra math again this year, but just wait to see if your child needs it. If you need a break from something difficult, or need to settle on a topic for a while and wait for it to sink in, get it out. If not, then sell it & don't buy the next level :o)

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We used Singapore almost exclusively from Earlybird 1A (except for two attempts to add in Miquon, both of which were complete disasters.... I love Miquon, but DS apparently hated it...)

 

I did not supplement with any other programs, but we did work on drill outside of the regular Singapore assignments (skip counting songs, card games, etc.), and we used the Challenging Word Problems all the way through.

 

I wouldn't worry much about the missing topics if you think you might continue with NEM (or NSM, or any of the other Singapore secondary school programs) -- most of them aren't skipped entirely, but covered later. Of course if you need them for testing that would be another matter, but I don't know that I'd double up just for that. I know a lot of people do find that by somewhere in 4A or 4B they start needing a little extra practice and supplement with Key To books (fractions, decimals, percents). We didn't need to but as of about that point I was doing more explaining myself rather than relying on the book's explanation. Not necessarily a problem - just something to be aware of.

 

So all in all I have no regrets using Singapore exclusively all the way through. We intend to continue with the NEM series (except for a Statistics course on the side and Zome Geometry for enrichment). I don't find it lacking at all -- we're just adding in some fun tangents.

 

Hope this helps!

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Last year was our 2nd year homeschooling and I supplemented singapore with Modern curriculum press. Mostly it was because of my lack of confidence in teaching math. Also, I backtracked and used the MCP for a little while to allow 9yo ds a little more time to master the multiplication tables before we moved on in the singapore books. I did not like using two complete programs. I prefer the approach of Singapore taking mastry deep rather than learning only a little of many areas.

 

Now I have discovered the home instructors guide and found that was what I was missing in teaching singapore...it fills in where I am not confident in teaching math. I wish I had used the home instructor's guide from the beginning. I will consider switching to the standards edition when they come out with the home instructors guides for them.

 

Next year I will use singapore 4a with its word problems/extra problems. My kids like the totally different approach of Life of Fred so I am integrating it as a mathmatical award...every so often they "get to" do a chapter from Life of Fred as a treat. This will be an important component for my 6th grade dd who will start homeschooling next year since she developed a hatred for math last year in public school.

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I will consider switching to the standards edition when they come out with the home instructors guides for them.

 

They are working to get the HIGs out. I know they expect to have 1A and B (which are currently available on their website), 2A and 3A out by fall, then will do 4A and 5A before going back to work on the rest of the B's. The best place to keep up with the current status is on the Singapore forum at their website

http://www.singaporemaths.com/forums/

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The majority of the list of things "not covered" are actually covered in depth in NEM. One of the advantages to Singapore is that it is not "a mile wide and an inch deep". They don't try to cycle through every concept all the way through the grade levels, instead, time is spent going deeper into the concepts that they do cover.

 

My dd went through the entire primary math series with no supplementation. She dabbled in Right Start geometry while in 6A/6B, but that was really our only supplementation. I definitely would not have spent more time covering things which we hit on quite sufficiently when we reached NEM 1. I'm glad that we had the time and the mental focus to really get in depth with the concepts that Singapore presented and I definitely wouldn't change anything.

 

As for drill, I emphasized the thinking strategies that Singapore teaches.

 

Sarah

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do you ever look back and wish you had supplemented w/ another program, whether it be for extra review or drill or perhaps just another approach??

 

No. DS used Singapore PM through 6B, then went right into NEM and LOF Algebra with no problem.

 

If it's drill or review that you're concerned about, a pack of flash cards costs $0.99 in our Walgreen's. Or there are free online worksheet generators.

 

All those topics krenee listed, well, my ds learned them somewhere along the way. Maybe some in NEM, but he picked up a lot of it before he began NEM. Many of those topics really aren't meaningful at the primary level anyway. As SarahCB pointed out, they are covered in depth at the right time in NEM. I wouldn't put a whole lot of faith in comparing a laundry list of topics from a spiral curriculum with Singapore's building-blocks mastery approach. From my POV as a degreed engineer and as a home school mom of a student doing high school level math, Singapore is far and away superior.

 

Now, if you are NOT planning on continuing into NEM or Singapore's other secondary levels, I would strongly suggest filling in with pre-algebra to cover some of that stuff. I have looked at the Russian Math 6 book and would recommend that; there are others, too. :)

 

Karen

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No. DS used Singapore PM through 6B, then went right into NEM and LOF Algebra with no problem.

 

If it's drill or review that you're concerned about, a pack of flash cards costs $0.99 in our Walgreen's. Or there are free online worksheet generators.

 

All those topics krenee listed, well, my ds learned them somewhere along the way. Maybe some in NEM, but he picked up a lot of it before he began NEM. Many of those topics really aren't meaningful at the primary level anyway. As SarahCB pointed out, they are covered in depth at the right time in NEM. I wouldn't put a whole lot of faith in comparing a laundry list of topics from a spiral curriculum with Singapore's building-blocks mastery approach. From my POV as a degreed engineer and as a home school mom of a student doing high school level math, Singapore is far and away superior.

 

Now, if you are NOT planning on continuing into NEM or Singapore's other secondary levels, I would strongly suggest filling in with pre-algebra to cover some of that stuff. I have looked at the Russian Math 6 book and would recommend that; there are others, too. :)

 

Karen

OK, so my follow-up question... what if I DON'T plan on using NEM (of course I might change my mind, but right now I'm leaning towards a different text)? Will a pre-algebra text be enough to fill in the holes, so to speak, or do I need to keep up the Horizons now (or some other program) to prepare for that transition after 6B?

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I am having my 7th grader do Saxon Algebra 1/2 next year to round out those pre-alg subjects. But I'm not sure if we will go with Saxon after that, or try Jacobs.

 

Oh, I didn't answer your originial question - we have used only Singapore with both girls and have been extremely pleased with it.

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OK, so my follow-up question... what if I DON'T plan on using NEM (of course I might change my mind, but right now I'm leaning towards a different text)? Will a pre-algebra text be enough to fill in the holes, so to speak, or do I need to keep up the Horizons now (or some other program) to prepare for that transition after 6B?

 

We're not quite there yet, but my plan is to stick with Singapore until 6B and then look into Chalkdust or Dolciani pre-algebra. As for right now, I'm not planning on doing two programs. :)

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the deciding factor in our choice to supplement was that we were pretty certain that public/private school was in our future. Also, if I wasn't going to NEM I would consider supplementing around the 5B/6A level just to make sure gaps were filled in before moving to a different program.

 

That being said, I really like Singapore and we used it by itself for a good while.

 

Good luck in your decision making.

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My oldest needed some of the Key to books along with Singapore because Singapore's instruction in fractions, decimals, and percents wasn't quite enough for her.

 

My middle dd didn't do anything other than Singapore and is doing just fine now in algebra.

 

My youngest is working through Evan-Moor Daily Math Practice along with Singapore. She needs a systematic review to be able to retain what she's learned.

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do you ever look back and wish you had supplemented w/ another program, whether it be for extra review or drill or perhaps just another approach??

 

No. I wouldn't want to use two math programs simultaneously, have felt no need to do so ~ and admittedly scratch my head a bit when I hear of others doing just that. Having said that, I do have my guys go through the Key to... workbooks covering fractions, decimals, and percents. Whether it's necessary, I honestly can't say, but those are handy books and just an enjoyable change of pace. My oldest used those during 5th grade; my second son went through them earlier this year, as a 4th grader. Beyond that, I've never used anything alongside SM's Primary Math series.

 

What if I DON'T plan on using NEM (of course I might change my mind, but right now I'm leaning towards a different text)? Will a pre-algebra text be enough to fill in the holes, so to speak, or do I need to keep up the Horizons now (or some other program) to prepare for that transition after 6B?

 

I never planned on using NEM, but I had no concerns about my oldest son transitioning to another program. My only concern was that he finished 6B just as he turned 11, and I simply didn't feel he was ready, developmentally, at that point to tackle the logic of algebra. So I had him go through Lial's BCM during 6th grade, and that was perfect. I highly recommend using that text as a "bridge" between any primary math program and an algebra course.

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Thank you, thank you thank you, ladies for sharing.... I've been planning all along to use the Keys to... series ( I figured they'd be good review and a nice change of pace, as you noted Colleen); it's great to hear that they proved profitable for many of you. And thank you, Colleen, for the recommendation of the Lial's BCM text. Like yours, my ds will be young when he finishes 6B, assuming all goes according to plan, and I think I'd be more comfortable allowing him an extra year before jumping into algebra.

 

Have a great day, everyone, and thanks again~

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