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Do I really need the Home Instructor’s Guides for Singapore Math?

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Do I really need the Home Instructor’s Guides for Singapore Math?

A friend told me that the Home Instructor Guides are essential to teaching the Singapore way of thinking. So, I took her advice and purchased them for Levels 1A/1B. I did the HIG plans and the Beyond Little Heart’s 1A/1B hands-on math plans. Our days got long, but overall my twins really liked Singapore Math.

This year, based on my friend’s advice again, I was contemplating switching to Singapore’s Standards edition alongside the HIG guides. Well, talk about pricey! I went back through and recalculated everything. Based on doing things the Heart of Dakota (HOD) way, I’d save a HUGE chunk of money. Please reassure me that following the HOD plans 100% will be FINE. I don’t really want to spend in excess of $250 for the Standards math resources and the HIG’s for my children next year.

More and more the desire of my heart is to switch everything over to HOD. Really, I want to quit worrying about all the ‘helpful’ advice from moms using other things. I’m already trying to switch us over to the HOD spelling in the guide instead of using R & S. I’m also considering dropping the R & S penmanship once the twins finish cursive. (It seems silly to buy them penmanship workbooks when they’re going to be doing copywork everyday in Bigger Hearts!) Every dollar counts, and I’d love to have extra money in the homeschool budget to use for quality HOD read-aloud books! I’d actually love to buy all three read-aloud sets! I guess my question is, do I really need the Home Instructor’s Guides for Singapore Math, or can I ditch them?


“Ms. Please Help Me Feel Okay About Ditching the Home Instructor’s Guides”

Dear “Ms. Please Help Me Feel Okay About Ditching the Home Instructor’s Guides,”

We’ve only ever used the HOD plans for Singapore and have not used the Home Instructor’s guides with our kiddos. The Home Instructor’s Guides are actually written by Sonlight to accompany Singapore math (which Sonlight carries and sells as well). So, those instructor’s guides are a U.S. creation and are not part of the original Singapore math series used in Singapore. The textbook/workbook combination is what is used in Singapore and is what was designed to teach the Singapore way of thinking.

With that being said, we did look at whether we should carry the Home Instructor’s Guides at any level and chose to write our own plans for the early levels instead. We found the instructor’s guides at the early levels made the program much more involved and complicated for the teacher than it needed to be. For the middle levels, we found the explanations in the textbook and workbook combination to be clear enough that the Home Instructor’s Manuals were not needed. We have chosen to carry the guides, however, for Levels 5A/5B and 6A/6B. (We carry these for reference only, as needed, rather than for daily teaching). This is in case kiddos need more practice or in case the parent needs a bit more help at those much more difficult upper levels. I hope that helps!


Follow-Up Reply from “Ms. Please Help Me Feel Okay About Ditching the Home Instructor’s Guides”

Thank you, Carrie. What a relief to read your response! That is very reassuring. Honestly, the HIG’s seemed more confusing to me than not having them at all. I’m going to go back to solely using HOD’s plans for math. We are gradually doing more and more of HOD, and it is such a freeing feeling! I really appreciate your response and how I feel like I “know you” well, even though you are the author. That is rare. Off to happily buy my extra HOD read-aloud sets rather than the HIG’s!


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