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AFthfulJrney

Could use some Math advice

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We have been using Singapore math this year with my 3rd and 1st grader. Both are only a few pages away from finishing workbook "b" and I'm stumped on what to do next. My daughter (3rd grade) would probably do fine moving on to the next level, but my son (1st grade) definitely would not. So, I'm wondering what would be best to use from this point on? We've been playing some math games and are using flash cards, but I think once the workbook is done, he will still need something in its place.

 

What is life of Fred like? Would it be good to use in a situation like this?

 

Honestly, I don't think I want to push my daughter ahead either...a little more review would be beneficial to her as well, so anything you can recommend for both would be so appreciated!

 

And while I am at it, I'm not real happy with Singapore Math. The way things were presented to be taught and explained were, at times, confusing even to me. So, going forward for next school year, what might be a good math curriculum to use coming from Singapore?

 

I'm open to any and all suggestions and advice!

 

Thanks so much!

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Singapore Math teaches math "the Asian way", and if you haven't studied that a bit, it can be very confusing.  My suggestion is that you, as teacher, spend some time watching videos on Education Unboxed (www.educationunboxed.com).  She uses cuisinaire rods to explain many concepts, and shows how she presents these to her kids.  It's a really helpful website.  

 

Now, as for supplementing before moving on to the next level, you might want to consider the Math Mammoth review series.  These are the chapter and cumulative reviews from the full math mammoth curriculum, grouped together into books by level.  To buy just the review levels that you need would not be a huge investment of money, and if you happen to like the pages, you could then go on to buy her full curriculum for future use.  

 

Another possibility is to work mainly on fact memorization for both kids over the spring/summer- addition for the 1st grader (and how it relates to subtraction) and multiplication and addition for the 3rd grader.  Focus on the "making ten" method for addition and use cuisinaire rods or similar until this is reflexive behavior.  For multiplication, focus on "tricks" for mental multiplication, such as Nx4 being the same as N doubled, then doubled again.  This is better than the pure memorization methods.  

 

While you are doing fact memorization/fluency, you can do the Singapore Challenging Word Problems books to give a sort of review of topics as you work through facts if you don't like the idea of the math mammoth review books.  

 

If you truly dislike Asian math, there are lots of traditional programs to choose from, but I don't know much about them, so I'll leave that to other posters!

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What about Math in Focus? It's supposed to do a better job of explaining how to teach it with less gaps but still be Singapore math method. DS is enjoying it now and completely gets it. I'm not mathy at all and really stressed about teaching Asian math but he really gets it so MIF has been great. There are a ton of threads about it if you wanted to search.

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Have you tried using the Singapore Math Home Instructor's Guides? They are really helpful with their explanations and games ideas. I used base 10 blocks and other manipulatives a lot with my dc when they are in SM 1 and 2.  You could certianly supplement with LoF, or use it as a fun way to finish off the year.

 

I used SM with all my dc, and switched over to Saxon Math when my youngest was ready to go into Saxon 54. They are doing well with the spiral approach and continuous review. We also add in Beast Academy and math contests (and some Art of Problem Solving). 

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I agree with Monica. My first year with Singapore, I spent much of the year confused as all get out, lol. Even now sometimes it's confusing to me because I didn't learn math in this way.

 

But I believe in this approach which is why we've stuck with it.

 

Math Mammoth would be great choice to help cover the gap from now until you start the next grade. Also, Khan Academy. I sit my son on that for math review almost every summer. (Probably not this summer, because mine are enamored with Prodigy Math https://prodigygame.com/referral.php?referralCode=7A1E6A3262C4&referralName=Crystal%2BGracioso&referralOrigin=link That's a referral link, btw...we get credit for sharing).

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We switched from Singapore to Math Mammoth and it's been been a great decision for us! Homeschool Buyers Coop has it on sale now and the writer has a lot of free samples for you to try before you decide to purchase or not. We use it as a full curriculum, not a supplement.

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I agree with others, some options to consider:

 

1.  Study the Singapore method in more depth so you as the teacher can better help your kids.  Over the summer review the material again, play math games, work on math facts.

 

2.  Switch to another Asian based math program like Math Mammoth or Math In Focus (buy the MiF books used on Amazon to save money).  Both are, IMHO, easier to teach than Singapore for an instructor not familiar with this type of math.

 

3.  Try another approach altogether, like CLE math (some find CLE much easier to teach, and it builds in a lot of review), but supplement with word problems from Singapore or supplement with a program like Beast Academy.  (You can see samples of CLE on-line and can order just one or two light units to see if you like it before committing a lot of money and time to it).

 

Good luck!  :)

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I recommend the Challenging Word Problems books for a level you have already completed.

 

Math mammoth is a nice (my preferred) alternative to SM. Check it out to see if that's a better fit for you. I like that everything required is in the student book.

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