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Singapore vs. Math Mammoth


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I need math advice.  I am trying to talk myself into Math Mammoth.  We are currently in various stages of Singapore Math.  I am a pretty extreme SM believer.  However with four children currently in it, two more coming on, and others who have significant special needs, we are behind.  I tried SM Live and it just didn’t click with us.

SM is pretty laborious for us as I struggle with math, and even with teaching it at times.

I’m not so much worried about being “behind” as I am that we might continue to get further behind if I don’t change something.  We are currently doing Primary with the textbook, workbook, Intensive Practice, and Challenging Word Problems.  I stumbled upon MM, and I’m intrigued.

Is MM really as deep as SM?

Does it actually save time?

Would I still need IP and CWP to keep the depth?

Is a better idea to keep SM and just drop IP and CWP to save time?

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

Edited by homeschoolwarrior
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I made the switch for similar reasons, but much earlier in the progression.

My oldest did Singapore Essentials and Singapore 1. After a year of the Singapore model, I knew there was no way I would be able to juggle 2 and then 3 and then 4 kids all using so many books (we used the textbook, workbook, DWP and sometimes Process Skills book).

At that point I decided to switch to Math Mammoth, and we have used it ever since (my oldest two have gone through all the levels, #3 is in MM5 and #4 is finishing MM1).

I really like Math Mammoth. I think it does a great job of incorporating the textbook and workbook elements together - by MM2 my kids use it largely independently, with me only stepping in occasionally when they misunderstand or struggle (often because they skipped or skimmed the teaching boxes).

I think Math Mammoth is a very similar pedagogy and challenge level to the Singapore textbook and workbook. I think Math Mammoth often includes too much review and practice, but I view that as a feature and not a bug since I can easily have my kids skip what they don't need. I often only have kids do 1/2 to 2/3 of the practice problems (and all of the word problems) and I only have them complete the rest if they struggle with the first set they do.

There have been times that Math Mammoth felt a little too easy for my kids...times that they went long stretches without getting any problems wrong. At those times I normally have them do Singapore CWP or Process Skills along with MM - that still means we are only juggling two books, which is very manageable.

In my opinion, the weakest aspect of Math Mammoth is the geometry. It is just incredibly lackluster and repetitive. We skip some of it, skim some of it, do some orally, and supplement with Hands on Geometry and Patty Paper Geometry.

One other thing to note is that MM4 is notoriously dense. It is just a bear compared to any of the other levels. I don't know if any of your kids would be starting at that level, but it could be a hard one to jump into cold turkey. It covers multi-digit multiplication and long division and major chapters on fractions and decimals. After having gone through it 3 times, I now just anticipate having to slow down a bit. I also normally grab the Singapore CWP book for that level because sometimes we get tired of trudging through one of the difficult topics and just need to take a break for a few days, so we only do a couple MM problems each day and fill in with CWP for interest and to see the forest for the trees.

Feel free to ask me other MM questions.

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I would walk away from SM without hesitation.  My (strong) personal opinion is that teaching our kids and making sure they understand concepts and how to apply them is more important than which program you use.  I strongly dislike the use of bar diagrams and am far more confident in teaching my kids algebraically.  SM would have led to weaker math students, not stronger, in our family bc I didn't have the time to sit there and figure out how to teach bar diagrams.  But, I can teach my kids how to think about math.  🙂 

FWIW, I used what is considered a "weak" math program by many posters on this forum (I happen to disagree with that assessment bc I know where my kids have ended up since 6 of the 8 are now adults).   Horizons math provided every single one of them a solid foundation and the ability to go on to be strong upper level math students.  (I have a chemE, a physics grad student, and an atmospheric science major.....my physic geek used AoPS in high school.  He wasn't math inept bc of Horizons.  😉 )

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19 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

I would walk away from SM without hesitation.  My (strong) personal opinion is that teaching our kids and making sure they understand concepts and how to apply them is more important than which program you use.  I strongly dislike the use of bar diagrams and am far more confident in teaching my kids algebraically.  SM would have led to weaker math students, not stronger, in our family bc I didn't have the time to sit there and figure out how to teach bar diagrams.  But, I can teach my kids how to think about math.  🙂 

I'm actually also not a fan of bar diagrams and prefer simply jumping to (scaffolded) variables. 

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I used SM K-2 and then dabbled in other things through upper elementary just because we wanted some change. We had had a good experience with SM, so no complaints. We used some Beast Academy and some Math Mammoth. All 3 focused on helping my kids understand concepts and served them well. They are now excelling in Algebra 1. Do what makes sense for your family. SM is not a gold standard. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

We jumped from Singapore to MM last year, levels 2, 4, and 7, and haven’t looked back. With 3 kids to teach I just couldn’t face the Singapore teachers’ manuals. I love that MM has everything in one place and can be done mostly without help. There are plenty of practice problems- we can even cross some out sometimes. It is incremental and thorough- I don’t notice a huge difference in topics from Primary Math. We have videos through the site if we need them. My kids are all good at math, but varying degrees of low in confidence, and at least two developed more of an appreciation for it and higher confidence after a year of MM. It’s not perfect but much easier to use than SM if math isn’t your favorite to teach. Also you get to purchase a stuffed mammoth support animal just for fun. 

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On 7/6/2021 at 6:31 PM, wendyroo said:

I made the switch for similar reasons, but much earlier in the progression.

My oldest did Singapore Essentials and Singapore 1. After a year of the Singapore model, I knew there was no way I would be able to juggle 2 and then 3 and then 4 kids all using so many books (we used the textbook, workbook, DWP and sometimes Process Skills book).

At that point I decided to switch to Math Mammoth, and we have used it ever since (my oldest two have gone through all the levels, #3 is in MM5 and #4 is finishing MM1).

I really like Math Mammoth. I think it does a great job of incorporating the textbook and workbook elements together - by MM2 my kids use it largely independently, with me only stepping in occasionally when they misunderstand or struggle (often because they skipped or skimmed the teaching boxes).

I think Math Mammoth is a very similar pedagogy and challenge level to the Singapore textbook and workbook. I think Math Mammoth often includes too much review and practice, but I view that as a feature and not a bug since I can easily have my kids skip what they don't need. I often only have kids do 1/2 to 2/3 of the practice problems (and all of the word problems) and I only have them complete the rest if they struggle with the first set they do.

There have been times that Math Mammoth felt a little too easy for my kids...times that they went long stretches without getting any problems wrong. At those times I normally have them do Singapore CWP or Process Skills along with MM - that still means we are only juggling two books, which is very manageable.

In my opinion, the weakest aspect of Math Mammoth is the geometry. It is just incredibly lackluster and repetitive. We skip some of it, skim some of it, do some orally, and supplement with Hands on Geometry and Patty Paper Geometry.

One other thing to note is that MM4 is notoriously dense. It is just a bear compared to any of the other levels. I don't know if any of your kids would be starting at that level, but it could be a hard one to jump into cold turkey. It covers multi-digit multiplication and long division and major chapters on fractions and decimals. After having gone through it 3 times, I now just anticipate having to slow down a bit. I also normally grab the Singapore CWP book for that level because sometimes we get tired of trudging through one of the difficult topics and just need to take a break for a few days, so we only do a couple MM problems each day and fill in with CWP for interest and to see the forest for the trees.

Feel free to ask me other MM questions.

We have never used Singapore, but I agree with everything Wendyroo says here. When we started hs'ing, I was intimidated by all the parts of Singapore but still wanted a strong conceptual program that was fairly cheap and easy to implement and MM fit the bill perfectly. 

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