When I began to research math curricula before I began homeschooling, I had two main criteria. I wanted a program that would teach math in such a way that it is understood by the student, and I didn’t want to pay a fortune for it. I found several curricula that didn’t meet either requirement, a few that met one of my requirements, and one that met both of my requirements. My choice was Singapore Primary Mathematics.

**Mastery Based**

Singapore Math was the official math program used in the schools in Singapore from 1982 through 2001. It uses a **Concrete–> Pictorial –> Abstract** sequence to teach new concepts. It also utilizes a mastery approach to mathematics in which one concept is introduced and practiced thoroughly before adding to it with a higher level concept. It does however, introduce all of the operations and various other concepts such as fractions and decimals in the most simple manner before moving on to another topic. Topics are then revisited in later books. There are also periodic reviews in the text. So it is not a mastery program in the purest sense, but would not be considered a spiral program.

**Word problems**

Singapore Math has an emphasis on word problems that sets it apart from other math programs. A unique visual method using bars to illustrate quantities enables students to solve problems that are more typically solved using algebra. The problems are widely varying so that students aren’t able to memorize a method, but need to think in order to determine the solution.

**Ease of Use**

For each school year there are two textbooks and two workbooks. Each lesson in the textbook is correlated with one or more workbook exercises. In our home, I go over the lesson in the textbook orally with my student before having him complete the workbook problems independently. The workbook exercises typically contain few problems per page. I have found the few problems to be a good fit for my children who are easily overwhelmed by long assignments. Also available are Home Instructor Guides that include additional explanations for the instructor, reinforcement activities, manipulative ideas and answers to the problems.

**Low Cost**

Each year of Singapore Math includes 2 softcover texbooks and 2 workbooks that retail at $9 each. The optional Home Instructor Guides are $16.50 each. That equals one year of math curriculum for as little as $36! Plus, the textbooks and Instructor Guides are non-consumable so they can be used for younger students, further reducing the cost of the program.

I have been extremely pleased with Singapore Primary Math. My oldest child has almost completed the series and has an excellent understanding of mathematics. I believe this series is terrific preparation for algebra and other high math courses.

For more information on Singapore Math visit their website, www.singaporemath.com. Included on the websites are tables of contents for each text, sample pages, and a placement test.

*Written by Kristen, Math-loving mom of 4*

Brandee says

July 16, 2009 at 10:33 amI am a little confused, The title of the post is US ed, but it has different things than what is mentioned here. The Home Inst guide is used with the stand ed. Is it the Standards Ed that you used or the US ed?

Thank you!

Let the Son shine,

Brandee

Brandee says

July 16, 2009 at 10:38 amSorry it was the teacher’s guide, did you use it or was it ness?

Let the Son shine,

Brandee

Kristen says

July 16, 2009 at 1:36 pmI did not use the teacher’s guide, but I have a lot of experience with math. What I did purchase was the answer key for levels 4-6. That was absolutely necessary.

I wrote the review on the U.S. edition because that is what I have used. The California Standards edition is new. From my understanding, the material is essentially the same but is presented in a different order. The teacher’s guide for the standards edition is NOT interchangeable with the Home Instructor’s guide for the U.S. Edition.

Jessica says

July 16, 2009 at 12:30 pmWow, so glad to find your site – especially since I’ve just gotten started picking a math curriculum. I’d never heard of Singapore before a few friends recommended it, but it certainly looks wonderful. Thanks for the very helpful review!

Lizzie says

July 16, 2009 at 9:31 pmThanks for the review!

We use Math U See, but I always like learning about other things so perhaps I can help a friend as they decide:).

Brandee says

July 16, 2009 at 9:56 pmThanks for your help….

Lynn says

July 16, 2009 at 9:57 pmI’ve used Singapore Math-US Edition going on 3 years and love it. My 9 year old daughter has an excellent understanding of math which I think is due to the Singapore method of instruction. She starts 5A next month.

I just found this site and want to try everything that’s been reviewed! Finally, one I don’t have to go out and buy something because I already have it!

Dawn says

July 16, 2009 at 9:57 pmI have used Singapore since my eldest started school and am so glad. It has been challenging at times (I agree with the statement about buying the answer key for 4-6) but the text explains everything so well that my sons have been able to rise to the challenge. Great review!

Makita says

July 17, 2009 at 9:26 pmWe, too, use Singapore Math and absolutely love it. My DD is currently in 2B and we haven’t yet used the Instructors Guide or the Answer Key but I likely will when she reaches level 4.

Great post!

Ali Hassan says

September 9, 2009 at 1:27 pmHello I am Ali Hassan from Pakistan. I join a home Tuition as an instructor. First time i saw the O-Level book of 5th class. It was surprise for me. I was confused first day.

My problem is that i wants the key book of singapore Primary Mathematics 5A. If anyone can help me then please reply me or send me pdf copy of instructor’s manual (key book). My email address is [email protected]. I wants softcopy of this keybook free. So anyone can help me.

Thanks for Reading.

Kristen says

September 9, 2009 at 2:20 pmI don’t think they make just an answer key for just that level. You might try asking on the Singapore website linked in the review.

Ashley says

April 1, 2011 at 6:05 pmThanks for the review. We used Singapore this year – and it went well. I love the element of teaching mental math. However, teaching math is not my forte. Due to this I was encouraged when I saw the home instructors guide & the teachers guide. I was wondering – I noticed the home instructors guide is written by Sonlight & the teacher’s guide is by Singapore. It appears that the teachers guide might be more for classroom use. If someone has used the home instructor’s guide – I’d love to hear if it helps you teach this program better. For the most part – we did ok with 2A & 2B, but sometimes I think I could have used some teaching pointers. This will probably be more important as we move to higher levels. Also – I think having some manipulatives on hand may be helpful with this program – but we did ok with 2A & 2B without them. This was my 1st year to homeschooling.

Elinette says

June 19, 2011 at 12:03 amGreat review of this wonderful curriculum. We just finished our first year with Singapore Math (2A/AB and 1A/1B) and my boys loved and so do I ! They are truly learning to think math. I used the Home Instructor’s guide and it is my favorite thing! It gives many great ideas for math games, additional practice, mental math practice, answer keys to all textbook and workbook pages .