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Singapore Math, Grade 5 Set Review by Wendy Robertson

Jennifer Hoerst
Singapore Math
19535 SW 129th Avenue
Tualatin, OR 97062

Math is an important aspect of any education, and a homeschool student is not immune from this. There are tons of different options for teaching your children math, and I prefer a textbook approach. Singapore Math is perfect for that style of teaching. I received the Grade 5 set to use with my 10-year-old son. Included in the set is:

  • 5A and 5B Home Instructor Guide ($17.50 each)
  • 5A and 5B Student Textbook ($13.50 each)
  • 5A and 5B Student Workbook ($12 each)
  • Challenging Word Problems workbook (Common Core edition) ($13.50)
  • Extra Practice for Primary Mathematics workbook ($17.20)
  • Intensive Practice workbooks 5A and B ($11.80 each)

As suggested by their names, 5A is the first half of the set and 5B is the second half. This could be done over two semesters or two school years as this set is written for students in grades 5 or 6. My son and I have been working through set A.

The three main books work together beautifully. The teacher’s manual spells out the concepts in a way that’s perfect for explaining to your student(s), meaning that there are a lot of words in this book. The student textbook simplifies the explanations so it’s easier for students to focus in and see exactly what’s being taught. There are a lot of pictures and diagrams in this book. The main difference between the two is that the information is less concise in the Home Instructor guide. This allows tons of room for explanation, which is important if your child doesn’t understand the concept the way it’s presented in the student textbook. The teacher’s manual offers very detailed phrasing to make things clear. The teacher’s manual tells you exactly which page it corresponds with in the student textbook, so there’s no guesswork on which pages go together. This is important on the chance that you miss a few days (or weeks, ahem) and have forgotten where you left off. Find first blank page in the workbook, find the corresponding page in the textbook, and then you can find the right page in the teacher’s manual.

Once the concepts have been taught, you have the student workbook to check comprehension. This is just what it sounds like: a book of exercise pages, just like any other workbook. In comparison to a public school textbook, this is the part of the lesson where the practice problems are. By having a workbook instead of problems in the textbook, you don’t have to have separate paper for solving the problems. This can be good or bad, depending on your point of view. (Everything’s all contained in a workbook, but it’s something else to store whereas leafs of paper could go into a binder with other subjects.)

The final four books (Challenging Word Problems, Extra Practice, and Intensive Practice A/B) are workbooks that live up to their names. Really, most of what you need to know about them are summed up in their titles. They go along with the main curriculum, but aren’t necessary in my opinion; they’re just good bonus practice for students.

We’ve really had a great experience using Singapore Math. The instructions are clear (while there’s not really a “how to use this” section, it’s pretty self-explanatory) and easy to implement. I think the prices are pretty reasonable, especially considering these are new books. If price is a problem for you, there are a myriad of ways to mix and match (or eliminate) the books to still be able to use this program. My son, who used a traditional public school textbook for his 4th grade math, really liked the Singapore Math system. As the teacher, I found it was a lot easier to teach using this system over our previous book. The teacher’s manual and student textbooks are non-consumable, so if you have multiple children, this has the potential to be really budget friendly. Overall, I’m very pleased with this program, and we will continue to use it for the rest of the school year.

-Product review by Wendy Robertson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2017