Singapore Math

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  • 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!


  • Reviewed on Monday, September 17, 2012
  • Grades Used: 4th and 6th
  • Dates used: 2012
I can appreciate Singapore Math (SM) in some ways because I was influenced by similar methods from my Asian mother. This early exposure led me to excel in basic ciphering even though math is one of my weaker subjects; however, "early exposure" are the key words here. I introduced two strong math students to SM in the 4th and 6th grades (daughter is 8; son is 11), and I can't tell you how much I regret this decision. What was I thinking?

I have been frustrated and impatient and my children have been miserable. This has been such a problem that I am replacing the material with another math program they are already familiar with even though we have been at it for only a little over a month. Some people might tell me to hang in there but I cannot afford to waste any more time trying to undo some of the methods they have excelled in since they were very young.

I admit there are definitely beneficial aspects to the SM methods but I believe I can better teach some of these "quick-solving" methods as enrichment activities while still adhering to the U.S. methods they already know. After all, that is how I learned as a child. My problems with math did not start because I was not fully taught the SM method but because I despised algebra and working with formulas. I chose to focus on my stronger subjects (like most of us do) and was satisfied with knowing how to use math in everyday interactions.

My children, on the other hand, LOVE math. My son thinks algebra and geometry are cool and is looking forward to learning more. My daughter was already doing 3-digit multiplication and 2-digit division at the age of 7. Yet they have both shed tears over SM (I have, too!) because of the high level of frustration.

If you are interested in this program, I HIGHLY recommend you introduce it when your child is in K or 1st grade or if your older child is struggling with his or her current mathematical methods. If your kids are older, well-adapted to another method, and are not having any trouble advancing, LEAVE IT ALONE! Please don't make the same mistake I did. The old platitude truly rings true for me in this situation: if something isn't broken, don't fix it.