or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › Singapore math confusion
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Singapore math confusion

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I've been reading past threads and have been swayed to used Singapore math over Saxon math--sounds like it will work better for my 5 yo son.  However, in looking at the publisher's site and at ebay, Singapore math seems much more expensive than I thought it would be (~$112/semester plus $113 for the CD of virtual manipulatives).  Is it just that the new "Math In Focus" text is more expensive than past versions?  I recall posts from a couple of years ago saying how much less expensive Singapore was than Saxon. 

 

Are there older versions I could use?  An ebay search turned up "K1 Math Child Development Program" with books 1-4, which is labeled as Singapore, but I'm not sure it's the same thing as the Singapore math program that's now publishing the 'Math in Focus' books.  Any insights?  I may end up going back to Saxon just because I'm not sure I'm ready to spend close to $350 for a single year of math materials.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 18

We used Singapore Primary Math 3rd Edition or US Edition, which are usually what homeschoolers are referring to when they talk about "Singapore Math," and the cost was about $20 per semester for the first child and $10 per semester for the subsequent children (because we only needed to buy the textbooks the first time around). 

 

Miranda

post #3 of 18

Holy cow!  We use Singapore math and spend $40/year for each child.  I buy the textbook and the workbook.  I don't buy any home instructor guides or teachers guides.  We use things on hand for manipulatives.  We use the US edition. 

 

Just looked at the manipulatives on their site.  I DO have the "geared clock" (for $2.25) and highly recommend it.  It is a "Learning Resources" clock that I bought somewhere else.  This clock is cool because the hour hands moves as you move the minute hand so that when it is 2:30, the hour hand is in-between the 2 and 3.  My kids also have personal sized dry erase boards (bought at Target for $1.00).  I have a fraction thing from RightStart Math that looks like the rainbow fraction thing on Singapore.  Ours is just simple laminated paper that was included in the RightStart Math Kit.  It does the trick, though I haven't found it necessary.  Before I had it, we used our standard wood blocks.  They illustrated the point quite well too, though not in as much detail.  

 

We use anything/everything for counters.  I use everyday objects for the geometric solids.  I use beads from the craft room as counters and to make patterns.  

 

I am interested to hear what others use because I really can't figure out how you would be spending $350.

 

You are using this site: http://www.singaporemath.com/Mathematics_s/1.htm

right?

 

Amy

post #4 of 18

I'm using Singapore Math materials to supplement for my older dd.  We're looking at a little under $40/semester from the website AAK linked.  And, as someone else said, if I use it with my younger dd too, we only have to replace the workbook.  We could spend more if we bought manipulatives, but I haven't.  

post #5 of 18

I've been using the standards edition, which is a little more expensive. For kindergarten,  I paid about $50 per semester including shipping for the first child, getting the textbook & workbook.  Then I get only the workbook for the second child,  reducing the cost to about $20 per semester.  Levels 1 to 5 are more affordable, at less than $40 per semester for the first, and about $15 for the second child.  I don't buy any of the extras, and usually use legos for the manipulatives.

The Math in Focus is also made by the same people as the Singapore Stds & Singapore US editions, but I didn't realize how much more it costs.

 

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:

You are using this site: http://www.singaporemath.com/Mathematics_s/1.htm

right?

I wasn't.  Thanks for your message, and all the others.  That clarifies things a lot.  In looking at the Saxon math materials, I had found the publisher's comparison of Saxon math and Singapore math, but they were referring to "Math in Focus," their version of Singapore math, which is way more expensive.  Apparently, there are a number of "Singapore math" materials out there now, which I didn't realize.  The materials on the Singapore math site were much more affordable, and your info on which manipulatives you use is helpful too.

 

Btw, on the Singapore math site's info for parents, it mentions that for homeschooling "you only need to get the textbooks."  But it sounds like several of you found the activity books useful, though.  You'd recommend them?

 

Thanks!

post #7 of 18

The workbook is great.  We use the textbook less often, but we do use it.  The Home Instructors book comes in handy when my dd is having difficulty with a concept and I'm sure I have an awesome way to explain it and we have one of those math moments where she fails to grok my awesomeness or the awesomeness of my explanations and I need an explanation/demonstration that actually meets her where she is instead of where I would like to imagine she is because she's been around me for ten years and so surely understands every thought that passes through my head.  

 

SO yes, in my very late night way, I would recommend getting the set for each level.  They're handy, and really very well designed.  

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
where she fails to grok my awesomeness or the awesomeness of my explanations

ROTFLMAO.gif

Love it!  I've had the same moments w/my son.  Thanks for the input on the books!

Margaret

post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by margaret mayhem View Post

Btw, on the Singapore math site's info for parents, it mentions that for homeschooling "you only need to get the textbooks."  But it sounds like several of you found the activity books useful, though.  You'd recommend them?

 

Thanks!


The textbooks do have several exercises to do, but they don't leave room for any work.  My kids like to be able to work the problem on the page, rather than having to transfer it to another paper.  However, if the budget is really tight, you could do just the textbook.  I (personally) would be more inclined to do just the workbook.  But, this method really works well for me and I "get" their progression and rarely need to look at the text.  We have used the textbook's exercises as problems to do together.  My kids do the workbooks by themselves (usually).  

 

Amy

Amy

 

post #10 of 18

If your child needs a lot of repetition, get the workbooks.  Otherwise, they may be a complete waste of money.  We've used the textbooks (which have the full instruction in them, unlike the workbooks) and never once cracked open the workbooks.

 

I would also suggest that it's a good idea to learn to work on a separate sheet of paper, instead of writing in a book.  If your child can do this, and doesn't need a lot of drill-and-kill, I'd suggest going with just the textbooks.

post #11 of 18

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UpToSomeGood View Post

If your child needs a lot of repetition, get the workbooks.  Otherwise, they may be a complete waste of money.  ... I would also suggest that it's a good idea to learn to work on a separate sheet of paper, instead of writing in a book. 


Alternatively if your child doesn't need a lot of instruction, skip the textbooks and just go with the workbooks, saving money that way. The advantage I see with the workbooks is that the practice is varied in format and much of it is self-checking. 

 

Ultimately I think it's a helpful life skill to be able to copy out problems, organize them on a page so they can be referenced later, and correctly solved. But at age 4 or 6 or 8 or whatever, it was more important for my kids to have the motivating benefit of "filling up a book" with their answers so that their progress was visible and tangible to them. Eventually when they finished Singapore Primary they all easily adapted to working on a separate sheet.

 

Miranda

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the input.  Very helpful!  We got the textbook and workbooks and started on them today. 

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

 

Alternatively if your child doesn't need a lot of instruction, skip the textbooks and just go with the workbooks, saving money that way. The advantage I see with the workbooks is that the practice is varied in format and much of it is self-checking.



That's no advantage, since the practice is varied in format in the textbooks too, and there's less repetition.  I can't imagine expecting a child to just learn a bunch of math by having problems put in front of them.  Nor is there any cost savings by skipping the textbook and going with the workbook; all you'd be doing is eliminating the instructive part of the curriculum for no cost savings.  Not a good choice in my book, but YMMV.

post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by UpToSomeGood View Post

That's no advantage, since the practice is varied in format in the textbooks too, and there's less repetition.  I can't imagine expecting a child to just learn a bunch of math by having problems put in front of them.  Nor is there any cost savings by skipping the textbook and going with the workbook; all you'd be doing is eliminating the instructive part of the curriculum for no cost savings.  Not a good choice in my book, but YMMV.


Just putting it out there as an option -- go don't have to agree that it's the best choice for your kids. My kids don't generally need instruction other than a quick explanation from me. I understand math in a very Asian way, so that's been easy for me. My kids appreciated all the word-finding, maze-completing, puzzle-solving exercises in the workbook, which is what I meant by the variety in format. 

 

We did own all the textbooks when my elder kids were working through the program but we didn't use them and so I donated them to our homeschool umbrella program. 

 

I don't understand why there wouldn't be a cost savings in buying only the workbooks? The textbooks and workbooks each cost about $10 per semester. Whether you eliminate one or the other you'd be saving $10 per semester. 

 

Miranda

post #15 of 18
I'm glad to see the OP has her question answered but I just thought I would jump into the workbook vs textbook thing. My DD is doing 2A, we used the latter part of earlybird then workbook only for 1A/B (actually we skipped most of A as she didn't need it after EB). I wondered if we were missing something so switched to textbook for 2A but I am finding just what Miranda said - that DD appreciates the workbook format better and doesn't really need as much instruction as the textbook offers. She doesn't need as much repetition as the workbook has either but somehow it's psychologically easier to skip a page here, half a page there in the wb.
I'm sure some kids do better with just the text or with both but for us I think the wb works best. Oh & I should add that DD has also told me in the past that she prefers the b&w workbook to the colour text because it doubles as a coloring book lol.gif:
post #16 of 18
We are just getting the HIG for 3A and see how that goes. i've found with dd that she can do the equivlent of one section on the board in 15 minutes whereas it will take 45 minutes to n hour with much grumbling in the workbook. Any time I've bought the txtbooks, they end up sitting on the shelf, it just seems like overkill for dd. She "gets it" by doing it; I usully hlp her work though a couple example probs and then she quickly goes on to practice on her own with the rest.

Just an idea! My dd hates workbooks but responds really well when I put the same info on the board. From what I've seen of the HIGs there is plenty of info to get the concepts across.
post #17 of 18
I've just started my research, but I get the sneaky suspicion that houghton miffin harcourt's Math in Focus is just a fancy, modernized US knock off of the original imported Singapore Math...as in the national curriculum used in the country of Singapore. am I on the right track or totally iff?
typing on my phone...sorry for the crazy!
post #18 of 18

I believe you are right. . . it has been a while since I've looked at Math In Focus, but it seemed like a more colorful, overpriced version of Singapore.

 

Amy

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Learning at Home and Beyond
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › Singapore math confusion