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Singapore Math vs Math Mammoth

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Anyone tried both of these?? I was thinking about Math Mammoth, but gosh, Singaporean kids seem to do so well in math on international tests, that I'm wondering if there's something special in Singapore math. 

 

Let me know mamas! 

 

TIA.

post #2 of 20

I tried Singapore and really didn't get why everyone loves it.  Granted it was 7 years ago and I on;y tried it for a young grade. I LOVE Math Mammoth and so does DH who has a math degree.  It is challenging and covers all elementary math by the end of 6th grade. (No 7th grade math so they go straight into pre-algebra)  Be ready to let it go if you have one who might struggle.  But that is the beauty of homeschooling.  HTH!

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

Always good to get a speedy reply to a pressing question!! Thanks! Have you heard anything about Beast Academy? That's the other math curriculum I'm wondering about. 

post #4 of 20

I only know that the kids who used it loved it and that it is really fun because of the comic book look of it all.  I don't know about the content.... :)

post #5 of 20
Both are good programs. Singapore is more widely tested and shown to be highly successful, whereas MM is a newer program. Singapore is a little less user friendly if you don't pre-read the Home Instructor Guide or have a good understanding of elementary math. It is a different form of math than is usually taught in American schools-memorization is not used as much as conceptual understanding. So there are a lot of *good* graphics, different approaches to actually understanding and handling the math, and it isn't wordy. MM on the other hand is extremely wordy. Unless your child is highly verbal and likes wordy explanations, I would avoid it for this reason. It is a thorough program and both SM and MM are mastery based programs. BUT reviews are mixed because MM is really intensive-if you do all of it, your child will burn out. If your kid needs more visual and hands on help, MM is not the answer, IMHO. It made my kids cry every time I said the word math. We switched to SM and they jumped 3 grade levels and now love math.

If you have problems implementing SM, I would suggest picking Math In Focus. You can often find the texts used, though the workbooks will likely suffice for many students. It is Singapore method designed by the SM people for use in schools, so it is much more user friendly and updated. It is colorful and engaging and you don't need all the extra books (though the Challenging Word Problems series is highly recommended for extra). You can find it on Rainbow Resources, or somewhere online there is a way to see it entirely online to test it out. smile.gif
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 

Oh Kittywitty, thank you so much for your detailed response. I love mothering, seriously! Hmm, so much to think about. Thank you Tassy mama too. I am in a real fix now... I'm convinced by the both of you!  

post #7 of 20

I have used it all!  KittyWitty explains them both pretty well.  I find that in our house (math is my strong area) that we like to use Singapore math as our spine.  I use Math Mammoth (the books by topic, not grade) when we need or want to dive deeper into a topic.  We loved the geometry books, for example.  

 

Beast Academy is completely different.  I used their grade three last year for my fourth grader because I was trying to get more reading done by her and she loves the comics.  She understands math pretty well, but was still struggling with long division.  Beast Academy is really good at being challenging while still staying with grade level topics.  Kinda like the "cast the net wider" approach to giftedness.  We really liked the books, and the way they taught long division just clicked with my dd.  However, they don't have all the years ready yet, my dd is actually advanced at math so I didn't want to hold her back for that program.  I do think it is a great program for mathematically inclined kids.  I think it would be torture to a kid who didn't like math at all.  Most of the workbook feels like brain teasers.  This was fun for dd.  The comics are awesome though!  

 

Amy

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

Okay, thanks for the clarification Amy. Do you think Math in Focus is preferred over Singapore?

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

And does Beast Academy feel like something you'd reach for (if you had a third grader like me) for some challenging and fun problems, rather than a detailed curriculum style math program?

post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

I gotta be honest, I bought Right Start math a while back. We had such a hectic couple of years with moving a few times and we have one last move coming up, that I sometimes feel too scattered to fully delve into it. It's pretty scripted with heavy parent involvement. I'm wondering if we may be able to move a little faster with a singapore math type curriculum. Something that is a little more straightforward. And because I haven't properly I guess excecuted Right Start, I can't say whether it's looking like it'll be good in the long run. 


Edited by spiritofthings - 10/18/13 at 8:02pm
post #11 of 20

Don't have any experience with Math Mammoth, but we've been doing Singapore Math (in some shape or form) for some time now. My youngest (8.5) started with 1B about 2 years ago, also did 2A, 2B and 3A. We switched to Math in Focus (Singapore Math based) at some point during 3rd grade, so he ended up doing both that and some of the regular Singapore math for 3A, and mostly Math in Focus for 3B (although did some pages here and there in his "regular" SM as well for 3B). I only bought Math in Focus for 4th grade for him (mostly because I thought I was going to homeschool both kids, so I bought 2 sets of 4th grade Math in Focus, but my daughter ended up in public school this year). It seems to be working just fine for him, although I might switch back to the regular SM for 5th grade, not sure yet. He seems to like both actually, so long as I let him do some skipping ahead when it gets too easy, and add some more challenging things from time to time. I just started him on some very beginning introductory exercises to pre-algebra today, and he was eating it up! For my daughter though, both the "regular" SM and the Math in Focus seem to go too fast, so I think it really all depends on the kid. One thing that has always bothered me a bit about SM is that there doesn't seem to be much review of anything, but I guess that's how a mastery program works. I do give some extra worksheets to make sure he doesn't forget things like long division and adding and subtracting with borrowing/regrouping from time to time. I just make those up, or I let him make them up sometimes too.

post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

Does Math in Focus require heavy parent involvement like SM I wonder ? Not that it would be a deal breaker, but would just like to know. It sounds like it may be a sort of condensed SM am I right?


Edited by spiritofthings - 10/18/13 at 3:24am
post #13 of 20

Thank you so much, mamas! 

 

I'm just lurking because my dd goes to a public school (a gifted magnet school), and she said that she would like to be challenged in math. The teacher is trying to "enrich" her.  (Every time my dd says that, I feel like she is talking about uranium.) My dd must be desperate because she asked me to teach her the pre-algebra.  (The stubborn child refuses to tolerate it when I try to help her with her math homework.  She seems to think that I am not qualified to help her with her elementary school math, even though two of her teachers were former students of mine when they were in college majoring in elementary education.)  I bought Singapore Math 1A and 1B when dd was in kindergarten, and I was not impressed.  It's not that I can't handle the elementary math; I have a PhD in physics, and my husband has a PhD in Civil Engineering.  I need something that dd can sit down and teach herself independently, because she's not going to listen to a thing I say. A friend of mine owns the local Mathnasium franchise, and my dd has often begged me to enroll her.  I would have loved to do so, because I really like their approach to math instruction, and if I were to homeschool, their approach is exactly what I would have done myself at home.  However, Mathnasium is 40 minutes away, which is too far to be able to make good use of the instruction, and I fail to see why I should pay so much money when my dd refuses to listen when I tell her the exact same thing for free. 

 

I had never heard of Beast Academy or Math Mammoth before.  The last time I looked into supplemental math was 4 years ago, and it looks like these resources are relatively new.  I am so glad that you mamas brought them to my attention.

 

I am absolutely impressed by the Beast Academy sample pdfs I saw on their website.  My dd is in gr 4 right now, so she's covered all the topics in the Beast Academy books, but I really like how they seem to approach the topics differently from regular math books, and I like how they seem deal with the topics in more depth than my dd's teacher does.  My dd will really love the cartoon format.   I'm going to buy the entire lot this week!

 

I am also really impressed by the Math Mammoth Blue Series.  (Those are the topic books, not the grade level books, to which a pp referred.)  It took me a long time to figure out how to view the sample pdf pages for the topic books, so I first started by reading downloadable catalog.  The way that the website described the instructional approach for each topic was so thorough and so logical, that I was sold on this Series even before I figured out how to view the sample pages. Once I was able to see what the inside of the books look like, I decided that I am definitely going to buy the entire Blue Series this week!

 

I had planned to look at the other curricula mentioned by the PPs, but I have to get back to work.

 

Good luck OP with finding what will work best for your child!

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiritofthings View Post
 

Does Math in Focus require heavy parent involvement like SM I wonder ?

 

No idea about Math in Focus, but I just wanted to mention that I've never found Singapore Math to require heavy parent involvement -- far from it, in fact. We didn't start formal math until the 2B/3A level, but I basically just let the kids work through the workbooks on their own. Occasionally they had questions ("I'm just supposed to multiply these, and then these, and add them, right?"), which I'd answer quickly, or if they were confused about a new topic I might pull out the textbook and help them find the relevant section that explained it. Didn't happen much though. Usually they just did the stuff on their own.

 

Now, I learned math in what seems to have been a fairly "Asian" way (in Canada in the 1970s), so that approach to math has influenced how I've naturally spoken to my kids about numbers. Maybe that helped. shrug.gif

 

Miranda

post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by emilysmama View Post
 

 

I am absolutely impressed by the Beast Academy sample pdfs I saw on their website.  My dd is in gr 4 right now, so she's covered all the topics in the Beast Academy books, but I really like how they seem to approach the topics differently from regular math books, and I like how they seem deal with the topics in more depth than my dd's teacher does.  My dd will really love the cartoon format.   I'm going to buy the entire lot this week!

 

From the rest of your post, I think your dd will love Beast Academy!

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiritofthings View Post
 

And does Beast Academy feel like something you'd reach for (if you had a third grader like me) for some challenging and fun problems, rather than a detailed curriculum style math program?

It could be either.  The only reason I didn't continue with it was that they didn't have 4th and/or 5th grade ready yet.  The problems are fun and challenging.  Even the third grade level had the child learn how to use a variable.  Also, the way they make everything into a game. . . my dd was practicing her math facts all the time just by working through their probles/puzzles.  

 

I also have to agree with Miranda in that SM has never been parental intensive.  I don't buy the home educators guide.  I do have the texts and the workbooks.  The texts are optional too (IMO) but I am using them more now than I was before.  I feel that I should have encouraged my oldest to learn to read a math text earlier vs just having me explain things.  I would say that I spend about 15-20 minutes per week going over the lessons and then a bit of time for random questions.  Also, at the beginning of a new topic, ie regrouping with subtraction for my second grader, I first took a day where we played with the flats, rods, and unit cubes to work out example problems (about 20 min).  Then, a couple days later, we will introduce it on a white board, etc.  

 

Amy

post #17 of 20

It does seem that Math in Focus requires a bit more parental involvement than the regular Singapore Math, although that could just be because it's getting a little bit harder, not sure. I have been debating whether or not to get the 4th grade set of SM for my son and see if switching him to that would work better. But that would be an extra $40-$45, and my DH already complains about how much all this curriculum ends up costing... So I'll probably just have him continue with Math in Focus for 4th grade, and possibly switch back to SM for 5th grade. 

 

We're having good results with SM (and Math in Focus), and he seems to like both, although did say he liked SM a bit better. But I don't really feel like completely switching to something else. Don't fix what ain't broke, right? LOL

 

Edith

post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much everyone! I am so happy and grateful for your replies because I feel I have a pretty good idea about what I want to do. Love that SM doesn't require that much supervision (which I read somewhere). Um, yaaay!

post #19 of 20

I want to thank you mamas for leading me to Beast Academy.  I ordered the whole thing, and my fourth grade dd just started the first chapter of grade 3.  It is everything that I had hoped for.  Dd loves it, and she says that her teacher "needs to see this".  So dd is going to take it to school and show her, and I am sure the teacher will be interested.  Beast Academy is an excellent supplement, but I  am not sure that I would be happy using it as a stand alone if I were homeschooling. But I love that my dd can read it by herself, and the book teaches her without my having to.  If I had to teach the material to my dd, she would never listen to me.   The only problem we had with Beast Academy is that my dd initially wanted to read the comic-book format instructional guide book straight through from cover to cover, and I had to impose a rule that she can't start the second chapter until she does the first chapter of the practice book.  But after she started the practice book, she really likes that too, so my rule is no longer a problem.

 

I'm going to hold off on purchasing Math Mammouth until I see whether Beast Academy takes care of my dd's supplemental needs.

 

Thank you very much!

post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by emilysmama View Post
 

I want to thank you mamas for leading me to Beast Academy.  I ordered the whole thing, and my fourth grade dd just started the first chapter of grade 3.  It is everything that I had hoped for.  Dd loves it, and she says that her teacher "needs to see this".  So dd is going to take it to school and show her, and I am sure the teacher will be interested.  Beast Academy is an excellent supplement, but I  am not sure that I would be happy using it as a stand alone if I were homeschooling. But I love that my dd can read it by herself, and the book teaches her without my having to.  If I had to teach the material to my dd, she would never listen to me.   The only problem we had with Beast Academy is that my dd initially wanted to read the comic-book format instructional guide book straight through from cover to cover, and I had to impose a rule that she can't start the second chapter until she does the first chapter of the practice book.  But after she started the practice book, she really likes that too, so my rule is no longer a problem.

 

I'm going to hold off on purchasing Math Mammouth until I see whether Beast Academy takes care of my dd's supplemental needs.

 

Thank you very much!

I am so glad that it is working out for you!

 

Amy

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