Singapore Math

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  • Reviewed on Wednesday, October 1, 2014
  • Grades Used: 3rd Grade
  • Dates used: 2014
We used A Beka arithmetic for 2nd grade.

My daughter is 8, did great in public school for both Kinder and 1st grade. And mastered A Beka in all subjects and made an A on every test for the year of 2nd grade. (To give you an idea of the type of student I'm referring to.)

BUT I wanted something different for 3rd grade-

I wanted something that was more thorough in what it presented so that you move from one concept to the next with confidence. And the truth is, if you homeschool- YOU DON'T HAVE TO SPEND A BUNCH OF TIME ON ANYTHING IF YOUR KID ALREADY GETS IT. But if they need more work, a curriculum should provide the practice to get it down. And in math, you should be really good before taking the next step, right?

I also wanted something that didn't make her brain shift 5 different gears daily, basically doing a cumulative review of all skills. That's just annoying. Especially if it never let you get really good at any one specific skill. "Spiral Method" is I believe what this is called, when you constantly present everything to reinforce it. Like I said- this would be tolerable if it did a really good job teaching concepts to begin with.

Lastly, I wanted a curriculum that had real thought put into the order in which concepts are presented. Something that would build a solid foundation and grow outward. Build the puzzle from the ground up, not jumping levels then coming back.


It gives you:

Teachers Edition showing you how to teach each exercise.

Textbook for guided practice to help them put knowledge into practice with help from you.

Workbook to do it independently and show that they've mastered it and can do it on their very own.

If you do your homework, you will find that this is based on the methods used in Singapore. And that their kids rank high in testing for math skills. From Wikipedia:

"Following Singapore’s curricular and instructional initiatives, dramatic improvements in math proficiency among Singaporean students on international assessments were observed.[1] TIMSS, an international assessment for math and science among fourth and eighth graders, ranked Singapore’s fourth and eighth grade students first in mathematics three times (1995, 1999, and 2003) among participating nations.[10][12] Likewise, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)'s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a worldwide study of 15-year-old school students' scholastic performance in mathematics, science, and reading, has placed Singaporean students at second place, after Shanghai, China in 2009 and 2012.[15][16]"

Who wouldn't want their kids on this track to learning math? QUALITY over QUANTITY

I think your child is really a math whiz, the spiral method is fine. I've heard of success with Saxon and A Beka. But if you feel like your kid is having to work even a little and not necessarily confident- TRY THIS. And certainly, if they are struggling, I could see this being the solution.


  • Reviewed on Saturday, August 16, 2014
  • Grades Used: 1st, 2nd
  • Dates used: 2013-current
This math curriculum was a great fit for us. My son went from virtually no math skills to being a human calculator in one year. (1st yr of hs) I have a very logical/analytical math-minded ds and I love that this curriculum stretched him to understand visually.
I have not used Singapore Math with a kid who struggles with math. This one's a keeper.


  • Reviewed on Monday, May 20, 2013
  • Grades Used: 1st
  • Dates used: 2012-2013
I am very grateful that we ended up with Singapore (U.S. Edition) for my first grader. He excelled in math this year. My son is a self-motivated learner that catches on very quickly. For children that are designed this way, I would recommend Singapore. However, if your child has a more difficult time with math and needs extra encouragement in this subject, you may want to go with Math-U-See (which I have enjoyed using with my third grader) or Teaching Textbooks.


  • Reviewed on Saturday, November 17, 2012
  • Grades Used: K-1st
  • Dates used: 2012
After extensively researching math curriculum for my first grader and kindergartner, I finally chose Singapore Math, and I'm glad I did. It is definitely an advanced math program and is challenging, especially the first grade level (by contrast, my four year old "kindergartner" has had no problem with the K curriculum). I find that Singapore's advanced level is a strength, though, as it has really pushed my first grader to use his brain! We are about halfway through the year, and he is about to start multiplication! I really like how the program stresses "mental math." For example, he just finished a unit where he added and subtracted using two digit and one digit numbers (for example, 34-7, or 25 + 8). He hasn't learned anything about carrying numbers yet; he is just expected to figure it out in his head. The textbook teaches several strategies to do that, and it has been very successful for us. I will say that I find myself printing out lots of extra worksheets to "drill" him, since Singapore is VERY light on drill. Sometimes I have even had to park us at a lesson for a week or two and just practice and drill that one concept until he had mastered it. In short, I've kind of given the "Singapore" technique a more "Saxon" feel, which really helped. I can't deny the results of this program: just yesterday, I was trying to figure out the date, and my first grader figured it out by asking me what day was Thanksgiving. I told him it was the 22nd. Knowing that it was one week before Thanksgiving, he responded, "Then today's the 15th." I am embarrassed to say that it took me longer to mentally CHECK his math than it took him to do it! (What can I say: math is not my strong suit!) Then today, when his sister showed him her video game score of 185, he said, "That's great! You just need 15 more points to have 200!" Those are just two examples from the last two days. I love how Singapore has given him the mental skills and abilities to use math quickly in his everyday life!