karlafoisy wrote:hi Ruby, what is the home instructor's guide? do you mean the small booklet that came with the MFW math curriculum?

Karla,

Home Instructor Guides are sort-of like teacher guides. The author, Jennifer Hoerst, put a lot of helps in them. She now helps answer questions on the Singapore Math website. But don't forget that folks around here like to answer questions, too, if you need help. Cheaper than buying two extra guides per year

Ruby wrote:do you have the home instructor's guide? it's invaluable for teaching the methods. it gives you instruction on how to teach the lesson and most times games or activities to reinforce understanding. i am a complete math doofus but that book made it so we didn't even need to use the textbook. i know it's expensive but if you're having a hard time, it may be worth the expense.

correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't the "mental math" aspect of singapore the optional worksheet masters in the back of the H.I.G. to help them memorize basic addition and subtraction? doesn't the pictoral and manipulatives stage taper off at the fourth level?

Ruby,

I always cringe when someone says they can skip the textbook. Yes, your child can do the workbook without doing the textbook at the early levels. However, they will be missing the things taught in the textbook, such as the fact that one problem can be done in many different ways. The workbook can be done in whatever way your child prefers, but eventually at the higher levels, the child will find that some of the other ways he has seen will work better and far easier. So having introduced those ideas earlier will pay off. Anyways, it's possible the HIG makes up for that somewhat, but I still think it's worth considering using the Singapore textbook for teaching Singapore.

And about the mental math, I've actually never totally known what that means, but my idea is that, yes, it has to do with knowing those math facts inside & out. But math facts are really done separately from Singapore. Mental math, I've always thought, has more to do with doing problems "horizontally" rather than "vertically." And the reason Singapore students can do that because they really *get* what they are doing with the problem and can see where they are going and do a lot of it in their head. So they don't need to write out vertically:

35

-8

but instead can figure it out horizontally

35-8

because they get that the 3 tens and 5 ones will have to shift over to 2 tens and 15 ones, then removing the 8. They don't have to follow any procedures with crossing off and writing numbers above, because they just get it. That's what I've thought, anyways. Wonder if anyone else has come to a different conclusion?

Ruby wrote:let me explain a little on my earlier post....

i have used the Home Instructor Guide, the textbook and the workbook with my 7yo DS since we started. since i didn't get the booklet that comes from MFW, i do not know what is in it or how it's set up. my experience is only with the HIG, text and work books themselves.

the guide itself explains the guide as the parents resource for teaching the concrete introduction to the lesson that is applied through the textbook which in turn, is practiced through the exercises in the workbook. the guide also gives ideas of how to present the concrete introduction using manipulatives to help the child see the mathematical concept being taught. as with any kind of learning, what tools you use to teach will vary. my son is able to catch on quick to the concepts but he has his own methods of understanding and applying the concepts. he gets it. so now in this family there's my way, my husband's way and my son's way of applying the concept. anyway, i really like that the guide explains the work to be done in the textbook, and for the help it gives us, i don't mind spending the extra $35 for the year.