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Singapore Math, Grade 1 Set Review by Jennifer King

Primary Mathematics 1A Textbook
Primary Mathematics 1A Workbook
Primary Mathematics 1A Home Instructor's Guide
Primary Mathematics 1B Textbook
Primary Mathematics 1B Workbook
Primary Mathematics 1B Home Instructor's Guide
Extra Practice for Primary Mathematics 1
Singapore Math Intensive Practice 1B
Primary Mathematics Challenging Word Problems 1
Singapore Math
19535 SW 129th Avenue
Tualatin, OR 97062

I do not have a head for mathematics; my husband on the other hand is very math oriented. This is one of those things he doesn’t take lightly. So we were really’ happy to have the opportunity to review the Singapore Math Grade 1 Set.  I was amazed at all that came with this set when it arrived too. Each level comes with two textbooks, two workbooks, and two home instructor's guides.

This was mostly used for my younger son, who is seven and loves math! But my daughter who is five, really enjoyed quite a bit of this herself!

I think it is interesting to know that this was first published for students in Singapore as Primary Mathematics. This program’s primary goal is to encourage our children to develop their skills in mathematical problem solving. Since this program seeks to teach we learn how to solve something new using the information we already have. In this way we begin to understand the application of concepts taught.

In Book 1A we begin with counting to 10; but it quickly moves into addition and subtraction with lots of colorful and fun pages to practice these concepts. My son loved the practice pages where he had to make up a story for the number sentence shown; in some exercises he had to come up with as many stories as he could. Some of them got pretty crazy too!! This book also teaches shapes, length and weight.

In 1B single-digit multiplication is introduced. However they do not encourage the memorization of times tables just yet. They also briefly introduce division here. This books also teaches graphs, numbers to 100, money as well as halves and quarters.

Singapore Math also offers a number of supplemental books to help strengthen mathematical concepts being taught.  They also offer a placement test on their website.  If you are not starting at the beginning it is strongly encouraged that you do complete the placement test to determine the appropriate level for your child. They do advise that it is not unusual for a child to place one to two levels below their grade level.

We received the Extra Practice workbook which contains 96 extra practice pages. This is a nice way to practice those concepts that are still a bit of a struggle. There are two to four pages for each lesson offering lots of practice.  We used the Extra Practice books mostly with my daughter although as we moved into more complex concepts, my son also really benefitted from these practice pages. This isn’t something you need to use daily but it is great for problem areas as they arise.

We also received the Singapore Math Intensive Practice book. This has a little over a hundred pages for review of concepts learned as well as a review and challenge to strengthen their understanding and interest in mathematical thought. Each topic has about 5 pages of exercises so your child can Take the Challenge. I actually used this book with all three of my older children (their ages are 5, 7 and 11) and was especially pleased to see my oldest especially, really beginning to get some of these concepts he has really struggled with, in a greater way.

There is also the Primary Mathematics Challenging Word Problems (Common Core Edition) book to use along with this program. This has over 300 practice and review questions. This includes worked examples as well as hints in case you get stuck.

We really like how the understanding of concepts is stressed rather than simply memorization and the drilling of facts. They do provide suggestions in the Home Instructor's Guide for fact drills should you wish to do so as well as other suggestions to help introduce concepts in a concrete way (I really appreciated this part of the manual myself!) and they also offer other activities to help practice and reinforce the concepts being learned. Some of their suggestions include: Go Fish, the use of dominoes, using toys or images to create your own math stories, game cards and there are some great mental math worksheets to use in the appendix.  This program also contains a suggested weekly schedule along with objectives for each lesson.

This program covers so much more than I could have imagined and meets so many needs! For three of my children this has been their “formal” beginning in math.  For my oldest son this has been a great help to him in understanding and beginning to think in a mathematical way.  And it certainly is a great blessing that all three enjoy this program!  It is definitely a great way to inspire our children to a love of mathematics. I never knew that mathematics could be at the same time, so intensive while also so much fun!

-Product review by Jennifer King, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2017