When it was time to choose a math curriculum for our homeschool, I chose Singapore Math (Dimensions) for a number of reasons. I had used other versions of Singapore Math as a public school teacher, and I knew that the private school I used to teach at used it, too. If we ever put our children into that school, they would be on the same page with math. I also like how Singapore Math gets great results all over the world, all while being hands-on and engaging.

Since I've used this program for a while and in multiple settings, I thought I would share some tips I have that will make you successful with it!

# Tips for Using Singapore Math

## Do the Lessons

Obviously, if you have a child who would prefer to race through the workbook and not do the lessons, more power to you! But, most children want and need direct instruction surrounding each skill. The lessons are creative and pretty fun! Singapore Math's approach is unique, which brings me to my next point.

## Know About Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract

Being aware that this is the main method of instruction for Singapore Math can be really helpful. This approach starts students out with hands-on math work, moving manipulatives or playing games to understand the concept. Once the concept is introduced, they see it modeled in pictures in the math text book. After practicing with pictures, they move on to abstract representation in their workbooks. This means they solve problems with numbers and symbols rather than with objects and pictures. Knowing this approach can be really helpful, because it might be tempting to skip one part of this process. Since the value of Singapore Math lies in this method, it's good to be mindful of it, and not just skip straight to the abstract work, as is tempting!

## Use the Video Subscription

At an extra cost (currently about $85/year) you can get videos to go with your Singapore Math curriculum. We have never used these, but they came highly recommended from a friend. I plan to use them this year as my 4th grader starts getting into more complicated math. Sometimes she needs to hear it from someone other than me!

## Get Familiar with the Free Resources

It's easy to forget that the company of any math curriculum wants it to work for you more than anything else! To get it to be a success for you, there are often free resources available online.

Singapore Math's website has easily-printable resources to use. I find these to be easier than copying the back of the page on my little scanner!

## Learn the Modeling Method

This math program has a modeling method that is really helpful. It involves drawing bars to depict the problem, and the type of problem determines the type of bars. Strangely enough, I never learned this as a public school teacher! When I went to renew my teaching license, I found out I could take classes through my library at GALE Courses. GALE courses had several Singapore Math courses, including one on their modeling method. This has been so helpful!

## Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract

Being aware that this is the main method of instruction for Singapore Math can be really helpful. This approach starts students out with hands-on math work, moving manipulatives or playing games to understand the concept. Once the concept is introduced, they see it modeled in pictures in the math text book. After practicing with pictures, they move on to abstract representation in their workbooks. This means they solve problems with numbers and symbols rather than with objects and pictures. Knowing this approach can be really helpful, because it might be tempting to skip one part of this process. Since the value of Singapore Math lies in this method, it's good to be mindful of it, and not just skip straight to the abstract work, as is tempting!

If you'd like a comparison of math curricula, sign-up for this homeschool math series through the button below. You'll automatically be redirected to a page where you can download the form immediately (no need to wait for an email!)

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