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Advice needed for PreK/K math - will use Singapore in 1st grade

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Hi everyone, 

My 4yo son will be turning 5 in late August. We have decided not to "start" Kindergarten until he turns 6. He will be attending a PreK program this year, but will be homeschooled the following year. I would like to start a little bit of math with him at home during this last year of preschool. We currently homeschool my upcoming 4th and 2nd graders and use Singapore math (standards edition), which I am really happy with.  What would you recommend we use with my 5 year old, knowing that will use Singapore in the future? I've read mixed reviews on the Singapore Kindergarten Math. Should we go with that or is there something better? 

 

Thank you so much for any input - this will be only our second year of homeschooling, so I'm still quite new to all of this!

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I really liked SingaporeK, and used Singapore all the eay through 6th grade. My daughter needed a lot of hands on work, she did Right Start games and abacus as well, my son was fine with just Singapore K, he is naturally mathy and she is not. You can see samples online, and it is not that expensive. The full Right Start is expensive, but just the games and abacus and activities for abacus are reasonable.

Edited by ElizabethB

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I love Singapore Math, too, but am one of those who found the kindergarten program kind of useless. Having looked through other K programs, I've concluded this isn't a problem with Singapore so much as (my personal opinion of) K math. For my kids who understood math concepts early, it was way too repetitive (esp. when followed by grade 1 math, which covers all the same concepts, only faster). For the kids who don't understand math concepts early, no amount of repetition hurries the developmental milestones. For us, K math programs were busywork (which some kids enjoy-- the colorful pictures, the counting, the writing numbers backwards...but for this purpose my own kids preferred the cheap workbooks I could get that weren't necessarily part of a full curriculum) that was better spent playing math-y games, playing with manipulatives, reading books and talking...if you are already teaching Singapore, you have an idea of what lies ahead and I bet you could do an awesome year of math-y stuff with your little guy without a curriculum. (Dice games, card games, dominoes, pattern blocks, measuring and weighing household items, playing around with c-rods, dot-to-dots, counting anything forward and backward, etc.) Then when you feel he's ready he can go straight into Standards 1A!

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I did Singapore Essentials and CTC with DS as pre-k math before he started MIF and I thought they were pretty useless. I started DD on Essentials much younger, at 4, and the work is easy for her but she's not ready to write very much or form all of the numbers on her own so that means depending on the unit she only does a couple of pages at a time. Kumon is more important at this time to help her practice formation. I was impressed with Miquon when I finally got over my fear/confusion with it and dived in later in 1st grade with DS. I wish we'd started that sooner. He wasn't willing to use the rods but I still think he's getting a lot from it and how it makes you think. I'm not at all mathy and I was impressed with how he was learning multiplication and division as a concept so young. For that reason I'm planning on starting it earlier with DD. Right now I'm thinking of starting it after she turns 5 and hopefully can write all her numbers on her own. I think introducing her to rods younger will be helpful and we will just go slowly. The sequence starts with Orange and be warned it looks different and to me weird until you dive in. I still hate that there's not an answer key so I actually have to do math in my head to check the work but that's probably good practice so I can keep pace with what they're teaching and looking for. Right now we are doing both Miquon and MIF for DS because as much as I like the Singapore style math I think Miquon is a great foundation of thinking and practicing concepts.

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I had my oldest son complete Singapore Essentials in kindergarten, he was done with both books by Thanksgiving (I think, it's been a few years). I felt like it was a preschool book at that time and it was way too easy for him.

 

I had my daughter start SM 1a and Miquon in kindergarten, we went very slowly and it was perfect for her.

 

I will be using a SM Essentials with my 3rd child this fall. He doesn't know any of his numbers and I think it will be a good fit for him. When we finish we will move on to Miquon Orange. When he officially starts 1st grade we I will have him move into SM 1a.

 

I would look through samples on the Singapore website to determine if it would be too easy for your child.

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There are two Singapore K programs, Earlybird and Essentials. I used Earlybird with my oldest and I was really iffy on it. I'm using Essentials with my current K and we both really like it. :) She's going through A very quickly, but we'll slow down and take more time on B and then go straight into 1a from there. 

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I like Singapore Essentials before Primary math. It's not necessarily challenging, but it reinforces some concepts and introduces others. There are activities to do at the bottom of each page to make the concept concrete. It's been a great jumping off point. We are also using Kumon numbers to 30 to practice wiring numbers.

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MEP Reception and 1A would be a good FREE program to use prior to Singapore 1. That is what I did with my DS prior to Right Start B when neither of us liked RS A.

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I like Singapore Kindergarten Essentials.  It's rather easy, but DD enjoys it and everything I've seen at the "kindergarten" level has looked VERY easy.  I would also add the Kumon addition and subtraction workbooks as well as do a gentle start with math facts if your child enjoys them.

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