Math U See vs Singapore

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dale1088
Posts: 165
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:07 am
Location: Cedar Park, TX

Math U See vs Singapore

Post by dale1088 » Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:47 pm

Can anyone help me with these two? I am starting my 8yo 3rd grader in Bigger and DITHOR in January for our first attempt at homeschooling. So, I don't really know how she learns. I know that she struggles some in math at school, and has already pegged herself as "no good in math". I have Cathy Duffy's 100 Top Picks book and think that Math U See looks like a top pick for my dd's learning style (as far as I know). But the intellectual in me likes what I read about Singapore. Can anyone who has experience with both tell me what they like or dislike about the two programs? It looks like there are aspects of Bigger that will be too easy, so I may skip ahead, but I am hoping that will give me some quality time in math. Maybe I am putting too much weight on Cathy Duffy's opinion and I should rely more on Carrie's choice of Singapore...?!

Your help and advice is appreciated!!!
~Amy
2009-2010:
Lucy, 9, PHFHG and DITHOR
Elliot, 5, LHTH

mansmom
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:03 pm
Location: IL

Re: Math U See vs Singapore

Post by mansmom » Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:26 pm

I have not used Singapore, so I can't comment there. But we did use math u see for a year and a half....it is Mastery in style...meaning you drill and drill and drill one thing until you know it.... you spend forever on just addition...which probably works well for some kids...but it was over the top boring for my dd....every day was basically the same and led to some major hate of math...she enjoys doing lots of different little activities in one lesson...but again....Math u see works for many people...I'm just trying to say why it didn't work for us.

HTH
Joy

Mary '00 Preparing w/ LLATL orange & Horizons math
Alison '02 some LHFHG and a collection of other things
Nathan '04 LHFHG, RME, and Horizons math
Samuel '07 Constantly talking....

dale1088
Posts: 165
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:07 am
Location: Cedar Park, TX

Re: Math U See vs Singapore

Post by dale1088 » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:45 am

Interesting...

A friend has let me borrow her Beta materials for while they are out of town this week. I am initially thinking it looks okay since my dd still relies on finger counting and still has not memorized her math facts as she should. And I know that the whole concept of regrouping has changed with her school since they have changed curriculum this year, so she still doesn't have multi digit addition and subtraction down even though they are moving on to multiplication. She needs to slow down and master basic concepts I think. Still...Math U See or Singapore...?
~Amy
2009-2010:
Lucy, 9, PHFHG and DITHOR
Elliot, 5, LHTH

mamas4bugs

Re: Math U See vs Singapore

Post by mamas4bugs » Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:48 am

Welcome! We have used both programs. We used and loved Singapore up until book 3A (I think it was) when they started to cover division. The problem that we had was that they hadn't spent enough time on multiplication yet for my son to have any sort of mastery at all of it. They also used multiplication facts in their division that hadn't been covered, like 49 divided by 7 when they hadn't covered the 7's multiplication facts yet. Now, lots of people really love Singapore, but for us, we needed something with a bit more mastery before it moved on. My ds is still afraid of division. :P

So, when he was in tears every day during math for 2 months solid, we switched to MUS. It worked well for both my boys. It does get a bit tedious since you only cover one concept per book. We didn't need quite that much mastery before we moved on! :D The pages are just black and white, which my youngest ds disliked, but if you use the math blocks every day it does make it more interesting.

When we moved this past June, it was difficult to get MUS where we are (England), so we tried Bob Jones and found our fit. It has the variety of covering more topics per book, but it stays on each topic long enough that my kids get more mastery. It's also colorful, which makes my youngest ds happy.

If you decide to go with Singapore, you will most likely need to back up just a bit. I think there are placement tests on their website. It's very common to need to go back a bit when switching, so don't stress about that. :) Feel free to ask any specific questions about either program. Glad to have you! :)

deltagal
Posts: 930
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:29 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Math U See vs Singapore

Post by deltagal » Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:02 am

dale1088 wrote:Can anyone help me with these two? I am starting my 8yo 3rd grader in Bigger and DITHOR in January for our first attempt at homeschooling. So, I don't really know how she learns. I know that she struggles some in math at school, and has already pegged herself as "no good in math". I have Cathy Duffy's 100 Top Picks book and think that Math U See looks like a top pick for my dd's learning style (as far as I know). But the intellectual in me likes what I read about Singapore. Can anyone who has experience with both tell me what they like or dislike about the two programs? It looks like there are aspects of Bigger that will be too easy, so I may skip ahead, but I am hoping that will give me some quality time in math. Maybe I am putting too much weight on Cathy Duffy's opinion and I should rely more on Carrie's choice of Singapore...?!

Your help and advice is appreciated!!!
Hi,

I've used both extensively. I began using MUS with my oldest because he was a late reader and he could do the worksheets without being able to read. HE also did extremely well with the mastery approach, BUT as each book moved to focus on another discipline he would forget the fundamentals of the other discipline. For example, when we began working on fractions and the review of multiplication would come up he would say "mom, I keep forgetting how to do things I've already learned." He also would score VERY well on his math achievement tests. However, I was concerned about the fundamentals and how they just didn't seem to be solidified and decided to use an alternative to review fundamentals - enter Singapore. He was in the Epsilon book of MUS and I began him in the 3B book of Singapore at the age of 11. But he is zipping through the books. He is doing really well with the Singapore, reviewing fundamentals and learning new material. He likes that the lessons are short. HE can read now - so he can do the work and there is an element of fun in the lessons that he enjoys. My younger 2 boys have used both Singapore and MUS since they were in Kindergarten. Again, they enjoy the visual stimulation of Singapore and the brevity of the lessons. I think that Singapore requires an element of patience on the mom's part as you wait for the concepts to take root. It almost seems too simple and playful at times, but it does click. The problem I had with Singapore the first time I tried to use it was that I expected it to do all the work, but with Singapore you've got to get in there and teach. But the lesson is QUICK! We are currently using Singapore with all the boys and we also do a quick review of math facts 4 days a week - day one addition, day two subtraction, etc. I do still have my MUS on the shelf. I haven't parted with it yet. But sometimes I think I'm ready to let it go.
With Joy!
Florence

My blog: http://florencebrooks.com/

Began HOD 1/2009
Currently using: Bigger, RTR, Rev to Rev and MTMM

ksjk3
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 6:55 am

Re: Math U See vs Singapore

Post by ksjk3 » Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:24 am

I also have used both curriculums. When my oldest was in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade, I used Math U See. It worked great for me in the beginning. She had been in public school and really struggled in math. They were teaching math in a very nontraditional way, and it was completely confusing her. Math U See helped her get back on track with her computation. But . . . when we hit 4th grade with the long division, she started to detest math. Imagine a year of only division . . . lots of long division. The last thing I wanted to do was have her hate math. I tried her in Singapore math, but it wasn't a fit. Singapore does a lot of mental math. It's an excellent program in developing thinking skills, it just moved too fast for her mentally. She was in a constant state of confusion . . . again. So, we are with Teaching Textbooks now which she loves, but my 2nd grader is in Singapore. She's a thinker. She isn't one to shut down when she sees a challenging math problem. She will work it through until she finds the answer. So . . . I guess I have discovered you've got to find what kind of learner your child is. Does she need repetition? Does she need her computation skills to be perfected? If yes, go for Math U See.(Two areas that Math U See is very weak on . . . time and money. I would suggest supplementing in these areas.) Or, does she like to think outside of the box? Does she see critical thinking problems as a challenge and doesn't get easily frustrated? Then, try Singapore. Or, take the best of both. Do Math U See as your base, and supplement with Singapore's Challenging Word Problem Book. That worked for a while with my oldest. Above all, seek the Lord's guidance. He'll show you what fits "His" child the best! Our choices have been a journey of changes, but our kids have made progress which is what counts! Hope this helps!
Kristi

Mother of 3 girls ages 10, 8, and 3 years

erdrmom
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 10:09 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: Math U See vs Singapore

Post by erdrmom » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:02 am

I haven't used MUS, I am currently using Singapore K2A/2B and 1A/1B for Kindergarten. My neice is also homeschooled and I think she was using Horizons, although I am not positive on that. My sister and I went to a convention to browse the math curriculums for her to choose something new for my neice. She is in 5th, but went back to Singapore 3A/B to pick up the concepts. She was being overwhelmed by the number of problems on the page and the lack of visual interest. She is beginning to excel in math which she previously dreaded.

The thing I liked most about Singapore is that it teaches you the concepts behind the math and not just rote memorization of the facts. I think that the learning/memorization is easier and makes more sense if you understand what you are doing. It definately helps when you get to higher math (I am a degreed engineer with a lot of math experience). I do feel that it is light in some areas, and heavier in some that maybe aren't as crucial. Like, there were 3 pages of leaning ordinal numbers and 5 pages to learn the days of the week (one did have a review of the ordinal numbers). I do find myself supplementing with additional practice, either from free websites or from books my family has given us.

We did look at the MUS at the convention and I didn't like it. It felt overwhelming to me, and I didn't feel it taught the concepts well. But, my thoughts are based on trying to find something new for my neice that would help her succeed.

Math is our friend. We use it constantly in life. I would say that you need to determine what would be the best thing to encourage your child to at least like math (rather than hate it) and something that would give her little successes. In my opinion, restoring her confidence will go much further for future math learning than mastering a particular topic.

HTH,

Cindi
http://www.tdfamily.blogspot.com
Blessings,

Cindi
Loved teaching and learning through LHTH, LHFHG, BLHFHG, BHFHG, PHFHG, & DITHOR
Planning for the upcoming year with DD10 in CTC half-pace and DS7 in BHFHG half-pace

Mandy in TN
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:42 am

Re: Math U See vs Singapore

Post by Mandy in TN » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:03 pm

Background-
Oldest ds (homeschooled beginning in 5th grade)- unsuccessfully tried Singapore, stumbled through Saxon 65 (5th) and 76 (6th), bungled through pre-alg (7th) and alg1 (8th) with various materials, successfully used Math-U-See Geometry (9th) and Algebra 2 (10th), currently clawing his way through Kumon Center Math and advanced topics with a tutor (11th)

Second ds (homeschooled beginning in 3rd grade)- used a Singapore/ Saxon combo Singapore PM 3-6 and Saxon 54-87, Math-U-See Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Currently reviewing various math topics with Kumon Center Math and learning to use a graphing calculator, will move on to advanced math topics in the spring seriously considering Calculus without Tears College text (skipped 7th grade registered in 10th)

Third ds (homeschooled since birth)- Kumon Workbooks, dice, dominoes, cards, 100’s charts, Cuisenaire Rods w/ most of Miquon Book 1, Math-U-See Alpha, Singapore PM 1 and 2, currently swimming through Kumon Center Math level C and Saxon 54 (K)

Math typically falls into one of these categories-
Mastery programs work very hard on computation. These programs have a narrow scope. They basically work on one skill at a time: Math-U-See, Kumon Math, Mastering Mathematics, Developmental Mathematics.
Basal programs work on one skill in a section but cover a broader range of topics (many sections) in each level: Singapore, BJUP, MCP.
Incremental-spiral programs cover a broad range of concepts by introducing pieces of topics throughout the year and in each lesson reviewing the concepts previously taught: Saxon, Horizons.

With my oldest I wish that I had used Math-U-See from the beginning. With my second I wish I had stayed with Saxon for high school math! For both the older two I wish that I had put them in Kumon math and never taken them out.

Because my little guy is accelerated through Kumon Center Math, I have decided that he needs the constant review that Saxon provides. I plan to stick with the Kumon/ Saxon combo at least through Saxon 87. However, I haven’t ruled out keeping the Singapore textbooks in his bag for concept introduction and fun!

What you use really depends on how your child learns and how you teach.

JMHO- In elementary school I like using combos. I like knowing that the skills taught in one program transfer to another. However, some kids just can’t physically, mentally, or emotionally keep up with two math programs. My oldest couldn’t. For him I wish I used Math-U-See from the beginning, because what does it matter if he was introduced to multiple concepts if he didn’t master calculation and then wasn’t confident with which concept applied to the problem. While he is doing fine, he still is not a fast nor a confident mathematician.

HTH-
Mandy

jewel7123
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:26 pm
Location: TX

Re: Math U See vs Singapore

Post by jewel7123 » Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:21 pm

Teaching Math scares me to death! I have NO idea which curriculum to go with. Singapore, Abeka, Saxon, Math U See, Right Start, the list goes on and on. The problem for me is that I hate math, I absolutely detest it. It was my worst subject when I was in school, and I always felt like it was too hard and I couldn't grasp it well. Background, I was taught with Abeka and then Saxon. I don't feel that I retained well what I learned, and I didn't ever feel confident in Math. Is that just because I am right brain person who is creative and loves subjects like english and history and the curriculum just didn't fit me? I am terrified of picking a math curriculum and then years down the road not be able to help my daughter because I am so dumb at math myself. Cathy Duff says that Math is something you should stick with and not keep switching curriculums, and so that's added pressure to pick the right one from the beginning. I am just so overwhelmed......
Jennifer in TX

dale1088
Posts: 165
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:07 am
Location: Cedar Park, TX

Re: Math U See vs Singapore

Post by dale1088 » Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:37 pm

Thank you SO MUCH for these incredibly thoughtful and informative responses! I guess the real problem is that since my daughter has been in public school, I don't know how she learns math. What I see coming home are worksheets. They do seem to cover lots of topics and it looks like they spiral back for review. I guess math will be one of those topics that I might stumble and have to try a new program if she struggles.

I have looked over the Math U See Beta book and it does seem kind of dry, but maybe it's just the lack of color. Since I am a very visual person, and I think my dd is too, I think she might like some color and something that is a little more visually stimulating for math. We have a new Mardel store in our area where I can go see Horizons, BJU, Saxon and maybe others in person. I just get intimidated because I'm not sure what I should be looking for. Mandy, thanks for those great categories where the different math programs fit.

Everyones comments have given more to think about and also put me a little at ease that I might stumble some before finding the right fit for her. I think I will try to take her with me to look over some books to get her initial reactions too. Not saying I will let her decide it, but just to see what kind of layout she responds best to.

Jennifer, I am feeling the same way! I was seriously bad in math in school, barely made it through algebra and have retained very little. I am completely intimidated and overwhelmed at the thought of having to teach it to my kids. Especially in the older years. I can add and subtract and muliply and divide okay, but later with geometry and algebra...oh brother. Add to that the fact that I am pulling my dd from 3rd grade public school, so she already has ideas and information in that head of hers!

I think we have to trust that if God is leading us to homeschool He has a plan and we just have to seek His will in what we do.
~Amy
2009-2010:
Lucy, 9, PHFHG and DITHOR
Elliot, 5, LHTH

Kathleen
Posts: 1980
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Location: NE Kansas

Re: Math U See vs Singapore

Post by Kathleen » Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:37 pm

Amy,

I can only comment on Saxon as it's the only other program that I've used besides Singapore. We switched from Saxon to Singapore this year. My ds was doing fine with it, but it wasn't moving fast enough for him. He catches on to things quickly and didn't need as much review as they have built in. My issue with it though was that it took a huge chunk of our day. I breezed through the "math meeting" part of the day and didn't even do everything that they suggested in the Teacher's Manual...then on to the lesson and the fact sheets and the 1st side of the worksheet...and then the other side of the worksheet to be completed later in the day. We were spending an hour at least on math. :shock: I didn't want to devote that much time to math in our school day, and looking down the road, I'll soon have more than one child to teach math to. And we weren't even hitting any concepts that my son didn't already understand last year as we were doing math, so if a concept would have been difficult and needed more explanation or hands-on practice, we would have spent longer.

This year with Singapore we're doing great. I love that we can do the hands-on activities in the Bigger guide and then he completes the pages in the workbook. We spend 20 min on math. :D And he's really learning to think mathematically! The word problems in Saxon are all worded the same...very predictably. Singapore has really made my son think.

Hope that helps some...and doesn't confuse you more!
:D Kathleen

Edited to Add: If you were to go with Singapore, be sure to go to their website and print off the free placement tests! (I think someone already mentioned them. :wink: ) My ds who breezed through Saxon 2 placed in Singapore 2A. Actually he got more than 80% on the test, but I could see a few chunks of the test that we'd not covered much in Saxon, so I decided to start him there. It proved to be the perfect place to start. Singapore has a different approach and makes the kids think harder on the word problems, and he did really well here. (I skipped a few pages that were easy for him.) We're now in 2B and he's moving ahead confidently. :wink:
Homeschooling mom to 6:
Grant - 19 Kansas State University
Allison - 15 World Geography
Garret - 13 Res2Ref
Asa - 8 Bigger
Quinn - 7 Bigger

Halle - 4 LHTH

Carrie
Site Admin
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Re: Math U See vs Singapore

Post by Carrie » Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:25 pm

Math is one of those areas where there are many very solid choices, so I want to assure you that you're not going to make a terrible mistake! Also, you won't be permanently harming your child if you choose something that doesn't especially seem to click the first time around. :D

If you are overwhelmed by teaching math and by the choices, I would encourage you to look at Singapore for several reasons. First, it is all scheduled for you in our guides in short sessions. Secondly, the hands-on activities are included through 2A/2B in the guides already, and thirdly it is a very solid program. 8)

Sometimes the best math program is the one that systematically gets done. It also helps if the parent doesn't feel overwhelmed with a lot of preparation and presentation. That way you'll feel like you have time to be able to help your child as needed while he/she works the problems.

So, anyway, before having the math melt-down, know that you won't ruin your child with your choice and that you can switch if needed. However, we don't recommend switching often, as you'll hit snags with any math program, and sometimes it's just best to work through them. :D

Blessings,
Carrie

my3sons
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Location: South Dakota

Re: Math U See vs Singapore

Post by my3sons » Fri Nov 28, 2008 10:24 pm

I enjoy Singapore math for many of the reasons already mentioned. The hands-on math written in the HOD guides is so awesome that I used an HOD guide my ds wasn't even doing to get just the hands-on math activities for that level! :D I want to assure you that even if you didn't like math - and even if your dc don't like math - and even if either one of you feels math is awful - doing Singapore with HOD is easy and pretty stress- free. Correct placement is HUGE though, so do take the time to have your dc take the free placement test on the Singapore website (it's short and very accurate) - just click on "Placement" on the green tabs at the top:
http://www.singaporemath.com/
Oh, and don't be blue if your dc scores lower than you thought they might - Singapore is typically thought to be advanced.

One last thing - I tutored for a handful of years, and many of the children I tutored struggled with math (or reading). Those who had used Math U See really struggled with letting go of the manipulative - they really needed the objects still to figure out answers - and not just any objects, but the Math U See objects. In fact, that's what the parents shared with me prior to my starting to tutor them. The dc also struggled with retention and mental math. We had to completely do something different to transition them into mental math without manipulatives. There are people very happy with MUS though. I guess if I were you, I'd give the Singapore placement test, order whatever level they tested at when you order your HOD guide, and give it a shot. You are ordering the HOD guide anyway, so you'll have the plans and you can get the math for less in most packages anyway. Then, if you give it a good old college try - say 6-8 weeks or so - and it's not working - you've got a backup plan of Math U See already in your mind. Oh, and be sure you take the time to read the HOD guide's Introduction. It has great tips about how much of math should be written, and how much can be orally done or on a markerboard instead.

HTH - and don't worry! You're already making the decision to homeschool your dc - and that's the most important decision. From there, all other decisions are not as monumental - you can always make a change if need be. I'm so glad you are here on the HOD board, and I hope some of this has helped!

In Christ,
Julie :D
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
Sister to Carrie

moedertje
Posts: 761
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:31 pm
Location: Sarasota, Fl

Re: Math U See vs Singapore

Post by moedertje » Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:13 pm

I guess this question is for you Julie, since you are familiar with all the guides. Does Carrie do math extensions in Preparing Hearts for Singapore?
I am still trying to figure out whether to keep MUS on the back burner, my son does not mind doing both at this time so it's just extra reinforcement.
I do agree that I don't like that they only use there blocks and that is why I do Carrie's activities using snacks and other counters to make it transfer more into real life situations and now have decided to get the 1A and 1B workbooks as well.
We were using Critical Thinking books along side MUS, but they are soooooooooo pricey!!!
Raising Arrows; Psalms 127:4
ds17, Class of 2020, now at IHOPU
ds 15, WH
dd 13, MTMM
In year 1 of homeschooling it all started with LHTH for us.

my3sons
Posts: 10604
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Math U See vs Singapore

Post by my3sons » Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:30 pm

moedertje wrote:I guess this question is for you Julie, since you are familiar with all the guides. Does Carrie do math extensions in Preparing Hearts for Singapore?
I am still trying to figure out whether to keep MUS on the back burner, my son does not mind doing both at this time so it's just extra reinforcement.
I do agree that I don't like that they only use there blocks and that is why I do Carrie's activities using snacks and other counters to make it transfer more into real life situations and now have decided to get the 1A and 1B workbooks as well.
We were using Critical Thinking books along side MUS, but they are soooooooooo pricey!!!
No, there are not hands-on math extensions in PHFHG to accompany the Singapore books. At that point, the Singapore Textbooks are used as teaching tools, and the workbook is the independent part. The hope is by 3A/3B, the child can give up the hands-on manipulatives and move to paper/pencil. We are doing 3A with PHFHG now, and we do the textbook part together on marker board. Then, my ds does the workbook on his own. This has worked well for us now, but I think he needed the HOD hands-on math activities/Singapore math workbook combo prior to this point. I think if you did the HOD hands-on math with the 1A/1B Singapore (as planned in Beyond) and then next with the 2A/2B Singapore (as planned in Bigger), your little one would be ready for the way it is taught in PHFHG. HTH!

In Christ ,
Julie :D
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
Sister to Carrie

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