Tuesday, July 7, 2009

**NEW** Math Technique discovered by public school...

I had to smile when I read this headline in our local newspaper:

"New math technique to be used in Fayette."

Guess what it is? Come one, take a guess?

Singapore Math

Yep, the new latest and greatest math technique has been used by homeschoolers for about 10 years! Just goes to show, we are on the cutting edge of great curriculum choices. One of the experts was quoted as saying "It's a whole program and approach to math."

I have been saying that for years.

If you are not familiar with Singapore Math, it is pretty much just what it says. It is the national math curriculum for the country of Singapore. Homeschoolers started using Singapore Math because even though Singapore is a very small country, they have placed #1 in international math competitions.

Singapore Math teaches students how to think mathematically. It teaches mental math and math in a real-world context. Years ago when Scotty did Singapore Math, we both liked the pictures of the kids with little thinking bubbles by their brains. It showed what they were supposed to be thinking. Many times, kids have no idea what they are supposed to be thinking--but Singapore really helps them focus and understand mathematical concepts.

When we first starting using Singapore Math, we used the exact same workbooks and textbooks that the students in Singapore use. It is very handy that they speak English! Later, the books were updated and called "Singapore Math, US edition" and that basically meant they added Imperial measurements [and kept the Metric measurements], changed some names and so on, but kept the format and problems the same.

Now, I see that Houghton-Mifflin has published a "Singapore Approach" curriculum that uses 80% of the content of the Singaporian books, but Americanized with terms like gasoline instead of petrol. Another publisher [un-named] is also producing a Singapore-based math textbook which will be used my another Kentucky School system. It seems, we will have options when it comes to which Singapore Math we want to use.

I am excited to see the public schools catching up with the homeschoolers.

I think more math options are great and Singapore Math is really good--however, just like everything else, different children learn different ways. If you are looking for a great math program, check out Singapore Math. Sonlight has been selling it for years, and they have even written Home Instructor's Guides* so you can be a great teacher without having to take 100 hours of training like the public school teachers do!

As a note:
  • Earlybird Math is for Preschool/K
  • Primary Math is for 1st-6th/7th grades
  • New Elementary Math is for students in 7th/8th grade and up--don't let the name Elementary fool you.
Take care,
*Sonlight Curriculum has developed "Home Instructor's Guides" for the Primary Math 2A through 6B programs. The guides bridge the gaps between the textbooks and workbooks. They walk you through the books in a logical, step-by-step fashion. You'll find everything laid out for you: concepts you'll cover in each unit, pages you'll reference, and best of all, numerous exercises to reinforce the concepts you're teaching. The guides coordinate everything and assist you so you’ll be able to give your children a top-notch math education with minimum preparation.


  1. Now that's funny [smile].

    Go Sonlight for being "new" a decade before the school system caught on.


  2. Yep! Chose what works best for your child. How wonderful to have so many options.

  3. You should look into it Pam--since you are a math teacher-you might find something you could pull out to use with your students. When ever I talk to "math people" they always love it.