My husband and I love Singapore Math. It is a fantastic way to teach math, resulting in mastery of mathematical concepts and strong mental math and problem solving skills. It is one of the reasons why students in Singapore are among the top performers in international math exams, why private schools around the U.S. are adopting Singapore Math as their primary math curriculum (see this article) , and why homeschool curriculum providers such as Sonlight and Kolbe promote it. It is also one of Cathy Duffy’s Top 102 Picks.
As wonderful as it is, Singapore Math does have two drawbacks. First, it is up to the parent to co-ordinate assignments between the textbook, workbook, extra practice book, test book, and the mental math exercises. Unlike Saxon, where no planning is needed, Singapore Math requires parents to figure out what they will assign from each book each day. Second, one of the strong points of Saxon is that it provides daily review of previously learned concepts. Singapore focuses on mastery of each topic, but does not have daily review built into its program, something which is extremely beneficial for many students and necessary for some. A lot of review is provided, but only at the end of each chapter.
After having gone through the Primary Math series with my daughter, and with my other children using the program, I have figured out a way to overcome these two drawbacks. Over the years, I have created lesson plans for each level which co-ordinate the teacher’s guide, textbook, workbook, extra practice, test book, and mental math pages. I layered the topics like this (there is some variation depending on the chapter):
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Day 4||Day 5||Day 6||Day 7|
|Topic A textbook lesson||Topic A workbook||Topic A extra practice and mental math||Topic A Test A||Topic A Test B|
|Topic B textbook lesson||Topic B textbook practice||Topic B workbook||Topic B extra practice and mental math||Topic B Test A||Topic B Test B|
|Topic C textbook lesson||Topic C workbook|
|Topic D textbook lesson||Topic D textbook practice||Topic D workbook and mental math||Topic C/D extra practice|
I also split up the reviews and cumulative tests to provide for frequent review.
With these lesson plans, my kids start math on their own each day. They do not have to wait for me to give them a lesson, because the lesson for their assignment was given the day before. As soon as I can, I grade their assignments so I can assess how well they have understood the work. I help them with any corrections and then give them the lesson for the next day’s homework.
Using the textbook, workbook, extra-practice book, test book, and mental math pages, my kids get *a lot* of practice and review. All this really does lead to mastery and confidence.
If you want to use them, they are available here:
Free Primary Math lesson plans for the Standards Ed.
And then, be sure to check out Thoughts and Tips on Teaching Singapore Math for additional help.
I hope you find them helpful and useful, and that your experience with Singapore Math is as rewarding as ours.