Singapore Math K-8

February 1, 2011
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Singapore Math

Content: Mathematics
Grade(s): K-8
Religious Perspective: Secular
Prep Time: Moderate
Teacher Manual: Yes
Teacher Involvement: Essential
Cost: $ || ?
Publication Date:
Last Upated: May 26, 2017

Common Core Aligned: Available as separate edition

From Singapore Math’s website:

Singapore Math is recommended for those who want a solid, basic math program with a proven track record and an emphasis on concept development, mental techniques, and problem solving. This is primarily a direct instruction program. Students are given several approaches for solving problems and are encouraged to discuss ideas and explore additional methods.

The Primary Mathematics U.S. Edition series of elementary math textbooks and workbooks is meant to be part of a system of learning in which adult supervision and independent practice go hand in hand. The main feature of this series is the use of the Concrete to Pictorial to Abstract approach. Students are provided with the necessary learning experiences beginning with the concrete and pictorial stages, followed by the abstract stage to enable them to learn mathematics meaningfully. This approach encourages active thinking process, communication of mathematical ideas and problem solving, which helps develop the foundation students will need for more advanced mathematics.

Teacher’s Guides are best suited for classroom use. Home Instructor Guides are best suited for home use.

Have you ever used Singapore Math? How did it work for your family? Share your review below.



  • Sharon J. May 9, 2014 at 12:02 am

    We have always used Singapore Math, and I think that there isn’t another way of laying a good solid foundation of mathematical thinking than this curriculum. The books are thin, inexpensive, and the textbooks are reusable. I think that the word problems are very good; they really stretch the mental muscle, a little tricky, but do able. The bar diagrams are a very easy way to visualize how to solve problems. I wish that I had learned math with a curricula like Singapore. I have relearned a lot from teaching it.

  • Loretta Pioch August 11, 2011 at 7:27 am

    We began using Singapore Math when we began homeschooling our 4th and 6th grade boys. Our 4th grader was able to start using level 4A (US Edition) even though Singapore Math is usually about 1 year ahead of us in the US. Our 6th grader started with level 5A.

    I am most impressed with the method of problem solving (the bar diagram method) that really concretizes what a problem and a solution really means (instead of knowing a particular chapter is about divisions or ratios so I’ll give that a try). It was a strange method for both, so it took a little time, so late in the game, for them to get a handle on. Once they did, they really flew with it.

    To demonstrate its powers, my husband and I took a challenging problem…he would solve it using Algebra (which kids at this level do not know) and I would solve it using the bar diagram method. I finished a split second before he, but my son understood my solution clearly, while he felt the Algebraic solution was just a bunch of letters and numbers. When he begins pre-Algebra in level 6, he will have a clearer understanding of what is happening with the math than just a jumble of letters and numbers with rules of manipulation.

    We used the Textbook, Workbook, and then supplemented with Intensive Practice. We did not do all the problems (even in the Workbook) if it was clear they understood the concept. (If they didn’t, they’d never make it through the Intensive.) That way, I would not frustrate them with easier problems that are just repeated without need.

  • Mary Beth Miotto August 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I have used Singapore Math a few times and do like the problem-solving skills it introduces early. For instance, kids get challenged with mixed operation word problems on a regular basis in the early elementary years. My son did not like the simplistic “bundling” of sticks and graphics overall but we would work quickly through the explanation and really focus on the Challenging Problems. Currently, we have found that mixing Singapore with other modalities (EPGY,Thinkwell videos, Math Olympiad questions, AMC 8 questions) works well for our 9 year old. It has a spiralling curriculum that is worlds ahead of Saxon or Everyday Math but for a gifted intuitive math student, one really needs to move quickly and mix up the media here and there.

  • AG June 10, 2011 at 8:14 am

    We dropped out of our public school system after second grade, mostly because the curricula was such a freaking mess! The math was especially awful, with the kids being pushed to do too much too fast just so the overall district would look as if it had lots of “advanced math” students. Apparently this is a problem in lots of districts, according to Diane Ravitch, the former education secretary and critic of No Child Left Behind. For this reason, I rejoiced in the Singapore Math program, which emphasizes basic skills and mastery over rushing and advancement. It was really a breath of fresh air and my kids became much stronger at math and were much better at applying it to real life, etc. I was shocked, however, at how many of the basic skills had been glossed over by the public school system; as a result we had to go back a full year so that my son could gain the missing skills. It is two years later and we have yet to “catch up.” My son was actually recommended for the gifted program before we left school! He is very smart, but they had skipped a lot of the basics. I have a feeling that when we return to school he will be stronger for it, I only hope we can get him up to grade level.
    Singapore Math is best taught with manipulatives. It took me a full year to realize this. The number discs that go up to a million are really great for getting my kids unstuck in division, for example.
    Overall, this is a great program that arms kids to be confident mathematicians.

  • Katherine alexander February 27, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    I have mixed feeling for this program. It provides very colorful workbooks. My son used these from Pre-K – 2B. At times he ejoyed them and at other times he didn’t like them at all. The only problem I didn’t like about the books was that there was no review on past problems that my son had done. Even through most of the time I knew he knew how to do the past problems he still needed to do 1 or 2 every once in a while.

  • Julie February 27, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    I think SM is a great program. I’ve used preK through 6th and into the New Elementary math series. I think it is good for anyone and it teaches kids to think. There are many, many word problems and students have to understand the math to be able to do them.

  • Regena February 25, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    I used Singapore math, levels 3-6, with my older son and absolutely loved it. I don’t think I’ve seen a better program for teaching kids to think mathematically than this one.

    By the time my younger son was ready for Singapore, they had come up with the U.S. edition so I used that with him. However, I think that the other edition, which works almost entirely in metric units, is probably really superior for teaching the metric system.

    I also discovered that a lot of the foundation for teaching mental math skills is laid in Level 2 of this series, so if I were starting a child in it later, I think I’d backtrack to that level in order to lay the proper foundational skills for the rest of the work.

    I searched around for something to fill the gap between Singapore 6 and algebra work for my older son, because he really wasn’t ready for algebra in seventh grade, but I wasn’t really happy with my choices at that time.

    My younger son did begin algebra work in sixth grade, last year, with an outside instructor, while still finishing up Singapore 6 work at home. I wanted some good pre-algebra level drill work for him to complete this year in the couple of days left in the week after he’d completed his algebra homework, and I found a book called Russian Math 6 (Perpendicular Press) that makes a terrific follow up to the Singapore series. I enjoy it as much as I always enjoyed Singapore!

  • Davonna Cufley February 16, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    We used these in kindergarten (level 1a, 1b), and my gifted kids enjoyed them. Simple, lots of pictures. I was confident my kids were getting a solid conceptual grasp of what they should know at that point. Just enough practice with the workbooks, not WAY too much as we’d experienced with K-12. I tried Larson Math at that point with my kindergartner; Larson starts with “3rd grade” and provided more challenge but I missed the pictures and general approach in the Singapore series. In retrospect we may have done best sticking with Singapore but having the guts to skip some of the early books.

  • Randi February 15, 2011 at 9:00 am

    I taught my kids through a natural math approach with lots of games and living-learning experiences, but I like the Singapore math workbooks. They’re extremely inexpensive and were a great way to get paper and pencil practice with basic facts. My kids especially liked the word problems because it made the practice more interesting, instead of just doing a worksheet full of fact problems. Also, we skipped around between the different workbooks to mix up concepts like time, fractions, measurement, etc.

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