The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Tess Hamre and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

Singapore Math Live (used with Singapore Math 2 Full Set) Review by Amy Butler


As parents, we know the importance of our children getting a strong foundation in math, but all too often we lack the confidence to teach it.  Singapore Math is a common name in educational circles and is known for its high-quality math curriculum. The focus on long-term mastery and comprehensive understanding is noteworthy, but very daunting to a lot of already apprehensive parents.  Knowing this to be the case, Singapore Math® Live is designed to equip and support homeschool parents in the teaching of their curriculum. 

Along with a full year subscription to Singapore Math® Live, we received a Full Set of Primary 2 Math which includes Textbook 2A, Workbook 2A, Intensive Practice 2A, Textbook 2B, Workbook 2B, Intensive Practice 2B and Challenging Word Problems 2, which lasts a complete school year.  A subscription to Singapore Math® Live for levels 1 and 2 is $40 a year (3-4 is $70, 5-6 is $100) and provides complete access to a Course Syllabus, Class and Solution Recordings, Student Recordings, and the instructor’s contact information in case further assistance is needed.  The Primary 2 recordings are all done by the same instructor, a veteran homeschool mom and Singapore Math user.  The Class and Solution Recordings are to be viewed by the parent before the week begins to provide an overview of the work and highlight important concepts and wording.  The Student Recordings are to be used as instruction whenever needed.  This could be especially helpful when the student needs to work independently.

Like many parents, math was not my strongest subject and I did not want to pass on that weakness to my children.  When deciding on my 2nd grader’s math curriculum for the year, I considered Singapore, but hesitated at the rigorous reputation it had.  This review opportunity of Singapore Math® Live came up soon after and changed the dynamic altogether.  Between the textbook and the Class Recordings, I had all that I needed to anticipate what might be difficult for him.  The Student Recordings exposed him to someone else explaining the concepts if my explanations weren’t sufficient.  Having access to detailed explanations and teacher preparations gave me a clear confidence in what was being taught and why certain concepts mattered.  What I had viewed as rigorous was really a wide opportunity for mastery.  The syllabus lays out assignments by the week which allowed my 2nd grader to go at his own pace and not get overwhelmed, but also have plenty of practice in many different forms.  From all directions, my desire for my child to have a strong foundation in math was met.

The instructor, Brenda Barnett, immediately instilled confidence in the introductory video because she explains how she has been through the curriculum before and had also graduated multiple students through higher levels of Singapore Math.  This helped me trust her recommendations because she had real life experience with different kinds of learners doing what I am attempting to do.  Without that resume, like someone who has not homeschooled or only one child, I might have been less trusting and less willing to take her word for things in the beginning. 

I do understand why some might resist the intensity of Singapore Math, but with the added help from Singapore Math® Live all of those concerns are eliminated.  2nd grade work is still basic to a person who has graduated high school, but I can see an even greater value in Singapore Math® Live as the complex nature of the work increases.  Based on our experience with this program and the added subscription to Singapore Math® Live, I would not want to do one without the other.  We found them to be a dynamic blessing together.

-Product review by Amy Butler, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2017