# Question for Singapore users.......

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Do you like Singapore for pre-algebra? From what I can see, pre-algebra starts with 6A? Is that right? My daughter is finishing up her 7th grade year and we have been behind some in math so we are putting all of our attention on math and math supplements for the rest of this year. She will be in 8th grade in the fall and I thought of placing her in the 6A book for pre-algebra. Would she still be WAY far behind or is Singapore just really advanced compared to other programs? Right now she is trying to master fractions, decimals, and percents.

I started using Singapore with my youngest along with Rightstart activites and I love the way it makes them think about math. I want my oldest to have this as well. What are your thoughts?

Thanks :001_smile:

:lurk5:

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hmmm, I don't think theat Singapore 6 is "prealgebra". Prealgebra can be kinda squishy. It's really just an inbetween step between basic math and algebra. If your dd hasn't used Singapore previously, I think she may have a difficult time transitioning into it. Singapore covers fractions, particularly addition and subtraction with unlike demoninators, in 4A/B.

I would suggest using the Keys to Books for fraction/decimiles/percent and/or BJU Fundementals of Math. Fundamentals is a full year curriculum that covers all of basic math. Here's a link:http://www.bjupress.com/product/236083?path=3058

You can have a look at the TOC and the first chapter at the link.

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Right now she is trying to master fractions, decimals, and percents.

In that situation, I'd probably recommend LOF Fractions and Decimals/Percents. They are comprehensive, but also fun, and not so long - they'd be a great way to catch up and really put focus on those subjects.

As a supplement for mixed review (not teaching), I've also really liked using Decimal Destinations and Fraction Finders from Mindware. They have a page of problems with decimals or fractions, and then you self-check by filling in a grid (coordinate graphing!) - if you have the correct answers, it will spell out an animal's name.

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My understanding is that pre-algebra is just a review of all basic math. Singapore skips pre-algebra and just dives into algebra from what I see. Starting in level 3, if I remember right, and through level 6 you work on algebraic type problems through making bar graphs, so a foundation for algebra thinking has already been laid.

Because Singapore doesn't cover pre-algebra it basically starts algebra a year earlier than most program, so the level 6 books can be used in 7th grade. She probably isn't quite as behind as you think. I honestly would have your oldest take the Singapore placement test and see where she lands. Remember that if she places in an earlier book that much of it might be review that can be done more quickly or skipped entirely, but nothing beats a good foundation.

Heather

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Singapore 6A covers:

Algebraic Expression

Solid Figures

Ratio

Percentage

Speed

6B covers:

Fraction (division)

Circles

Graphs

Volume

Triangles and 4-sided Figures

Depending on the Algebra text you are going to use, this may or may not be enough pre-algebra. For example, if you are going to use NEM this will be enough but if you are using a different program which assumes you've learned negative numbers, absolute numbers, and exponent, Singapore 6A&B will not be enough because Singapore does not cover these topics until middle school.

If your goal is to solidify fractions, percents, and decimals, I would say Life of Fred is probably a better choice.

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Yeah, I'm sticking with Singapore through level 6, then looking at doing Russian math 6 (Perpendicular Press) in seventh grade prior to starting algebra.

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Okay...let me clarify: she is currently working through Math U See/Epsilon and the "Key to" books Decimals and Percents. I plan to finish those by summer so I will need to figure out what to put her in. I could do one of two things: 1) Go ahead and get Singapore 5A/5B or 6A/6B and work through those now so she can get used the Singapore's methodology or 2) just finish what we are doing and then have her take the placement test on Singapore's website and see where she falls.

What do you think? Heather? HSDCY?? anyone...??

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Okay...let me clarify: she is currently working through Math U See/Epsilon and the "Key to" books Decimals and Percents. I plan to finish those by summer so I will need to figure out what to put her in. I could do one of two things: 1) Go ahead and get Singapore 5A/5B or 6A/6B and work through those now so she can get used the Singapore's methodology or 2) just finish what we are doing and then have her take the placement test on Singapore's website and see where she falls.

What do you think? Heather? HSDCY?? anyone...??

Just out of curiosity, are you determined on Singapore? As much as I like Singapore, my oldest used it from 2A-6B, I think it's a tough program to transition into with no prior experience, especially at the higher levels. I wouldn't consider level 6 prealgebra. NEM 1 would be more like a standard prealgebra.

In your shoes I would definately finish up what you've been working on (Epsilon and Key to books). Can you stay with Math-u-see and work over the summer to finish up Zeta? You could begin Math-u-see Prealgebra in the fall.

Just some thoughts.

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Thanks, Stacey. I have considered that. I guess I was just a little skeptical of MUS pre-algebra because I have read some reviews that say it is not as thorough as other pre-algebra courses. I wanted to skip the Zeta course altogether, hoping that the "Key to" books would suffice. Have you used MUS pre-algebra or any of the other higher level courses?

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That's all very true, transitioning into the last levels is probably not optimal.

You might want to ask about NEM levels on the high school board. I seem to recall in a recent conversation that it was mentioned NEM 1 covers pre-algebra, Algebra I and part of geometry, while NEM II covers perhaps some portions of algebra I left out of the first book, Algebra II, and the rest of geometry. Then I believe NEM III finishes up Algebra II topics and covers trig and pre-calc. The NEM books are a huge step up from PM, in my humble opinion. I'm not a math person and I was not prepared to do the books with my older son. I had to look elsewhere for an algebra program.

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Thanks, Stacey. I have considered that. I guess I was just a little skeptical of MUS pre-algebra because I have read some reviews that say it is not as thorough as other pre-algebra courses. I wanted to skip the Zeta course altogether, hoping that the "Key to" books would suffice. Have you used MUS pre-algebra or any of the other higher level courses?

I have only used the lower levels of MUS with my younger son. My oldest is doing prealgebra this year using multiple resources, including NEM 1.

I do think that consistency in curriculum is valuable, though. Whether any particular curriculum is rigorous or not probably isn't as important as the consistency in just using it. Sorta like a NIKE commercial (Just Do It). If you're dd has used MUS consistently and successfully, it may be best to just keep on truck'in, IYKWIM. I really like the Singapore CWP (Challenging Word Problem) books as supplements. If you use them at a lower level, along with MUS, you'll be upping the difficulty level while staying the course.

Again, just some thoughts.:001_smile:

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Okay...let me clarify: she is currently working through Math U See/Epsilon and the "Key to" books Decimals and Percents. I plan to finish those by summer so I will need to figure out what to put her in. I could do one of two things: 1) Go ahead and get Singapore 5A/5B or 6A/6B and work through those now so she can get used the Singapore's methodology or 2) just finish what we are doing and then have her take the placement test on Singapore's website and see where she falls.

What do you think? Heather? HSDCY?? anyone...??

It really depends on what you want to accomplish in her 8th-grade year and what text you want to use after that. Have you decided on an Algebra text to use when she is in 9th grade?

To answer your question, if she completes MUS and Key to books on Decimals and Percents this year, I don't see why she can't just use any pre-algebra text you choose next year. As for teaching her to use Singapore's problem solving method, you can just get their Challenging Word Problems book to supplement instead of using textbooks and workbooks.

Now if you really have your heart set on doing Singapore next year, I'd advise you to wait until she finishes her current math to do the placement test.

HTH.

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This could be the info that you need.

Julie in Monterey

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I have only used the lower levels of MUS with my younger son. My oldest is doing prealgebra this year using multiple resources, including NEM 1.

I do think that consistency in curriculum is valuable, though. Whether any particular curriculum is rigorous or not probably isn't as important as the consistency in just using it. Sorta like a NIKE commercial (Just Do It). If you're dd has used MUS consistently and successfully, it may be best to just keep on truck'in, IYKWIM. I really like the Singapore CWP (Challenging Word Problem) books as supplements. If you use them at a lower level, along with MUS, you'll be upping the difficulty level while staying the course.

Again, just some thoughts.:001_smile:

Thanks for your input, Stacey. Now that I have had time to think about it, my dd has done ok with MUS so I think it is probably wiser to stick with it. I think I will take your advice and supplement with other material to make it a more rounded program. :001_smile:

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Okay...let me clarify: she is currently working through Math U See/Epsilon and the "Key to" books Decimals and Percents. I plan to finish those by summer so I will need to figure out what to put her in. I could do one of two things: 1) Go ahead and get Singapore 5A/5B or 6A/6B and work through those now so she can get used the Singapore's methodology or 2) just finish what we are doing and then have her take the placement test on Singapore's website and see where she falls.

What do you think? Heather? HSDCY?? anyone...??

I am very much philosophically in line with Singapore, and if I were in your shoes and had a shift in my thinking, I too would have a hard time continuing to use something I didn't feel passionate about.

You also need to ask yourself if you are up for Singapore, because it is known to be tough. If your dd gets into a tight spot will you be able to help? (or your dh?) Also keep in mind where other programs use a graphic calculator Singapore has the child do it by hand.

I still would be interested to know how your dd would do in the Singapore placement test. Also does she have any idea of future plans? Does she want to be an engineer, where she would use math or a science field? MUS may not be all that but it could quite possibly be adequate for your dd's needs.

You probably also need to consider what NEM covers and where you need to go after it is finished, because it only goes through 10th grade. I am unclear as to what gaps would need to be filled after that. They recommend a Algebra texts that is college level, so I assume that would function as algebra 2/finish Pre-cal and set them up to do Cal for their senior year, but you would want to make sure.

The other thing is it would probably be good to sit down with the Scope and sequence of MUS that you want to skip and with the TOC HSDCY posted and figure out if everything needed is covered there and in key books. Then just recognize that it will be a tough year moving to Singapore. Your dd is going to have to learn how to do the bar graphs. I think there is a booklet for parents on bar graphs, you will probably want to work through it before she starts 6A, so you can help her.

Guess I am saying I do think it is possible to transition, but I don't think it will be easy. The easy road is to just stick on the path you are.

BTW have you considered using RS vs. Key to? Yes that means a whole new set of research to go through. :D

Heather

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