Placement  Why MFW starts at 2A? (or does it?!)
Placement  Why MFW starts at 2A? (or does it?!)
I've read alot about Singapore at singaporemath.com and I'm pretty sure they recommend any one who can, even with older kids just coming into the program, starting at Primary Math 1A because the rest of the levels build on this 1st level.
So, I'm wondering why MFW suggests starting at the 2A level?
Does MFW 1st grade level math prepare them so well that they can really skip PM levels 1A and 1B and have success in the remainder PM levels?
Or is it really better to just go ahead and start a 2nd grader in PM level 1A even if some of it will be too easy and can be sped through?
thanks,
Teresa
So, I'm wondering why MFW suggests starting at the 2A level?
Does MFW 1st grade level math prepare them so well that they can really skip PM levels 1A and 1B and have success in the remainder PM levels?
Or is it really better to just go ahead and start a 2nd grader in PM level 1A even if some of it will be too easy and can be sped through?
thanks,
Teresa

 Posts: 2925
 Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
 Location: Minnesota
Singapore
Teresa,
I think MFW recommends starting Singapore in 2nd grade (not starting at 2A).
In 2nd grade, MFW recommends your student take the placement test and start at the level according to the results of that test. I have heard that Singapore students are a year older than typical American students, so you may well start at level 1A in 2nd grade. There is a pretty thorough explanation on the MFW math page. Hopefully that will help:
http://www.mfwbooks.com/singaporemath.html
I think MFW recommends starting Singapore in 2nd grade (not starting at 2A).
In 2nd grade, MFW recommends your student take the placement test and start at the level according to the results of that test. I have heard that Singapore students are a year older than typical American students, so you may well start at level 1A in 2nd grade. There is a pretty thorough explanation on the MFW math page. Hopefully that will help:
http://www.mfwbooks.com/singaporemath.html
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd12th grades (20042014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd12th grades (20042014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Julie is right on! 2A does not mean 2nd grade but is just the level title.
And yes there are some kids who have done the K and 1st MFW math who have come out ready to move into 2A but that does not mean all will. So as Julie said do the test and see where to start.
Lucy
And yes there are some kids who have done the K and 1st MFW math who have come out ready to move into 2A but that does not mean all will. So as Julie said do the test and see where to start.
Lucy
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.
thanks to both of you!
I was going by the MFW catalog and didn't see their explanation on the web site. That makes more sense now. I suppose MFW just doesn't think a prek or k child really needs to be doing the workbooks in Singapore's Earlybird books either. So, I assume the math in MFWK and MFW1 is sufficient to get your child where they should be in math at the end of a typical U.S. 1st grade year?
Teresa
Teresa,
I thought a list of MFW K and 1st grade math goals may be helpful for you.
K program: Math is taught using an informal, integrated approach. Skills included are: counting, writing numerals, preparing and understanding charts and graphs, comparing, classifying, sequencing, ordinal numbers are introduced, some intro to fractions, clocks, coins, addition and subtraction. These skills are reinforced through everyday situations (examples are provided in the TM). There is also a 100 chart, calendar introduction  helps to learn patterns, colors, shapes as well. And also place value.
1st grade: The TM's lists the first grade math goals.
Numbers: count read and write to 100; recognize greater than, less than; count by 2's 5's, 10's, counting backwards from 200, ordinals first  tenth.
Addition/subtraction: addition and subtraction facts to 18. Add 3 numbers to 18; learn commutative property; add/subtract 2 digit withOUT regrouping.
Place value and expanded notation
Money (coins). Time to hour and half hour. More calendar work, patterns, charts, graphs, tallies.
I used the MFW 1 before they added The Complete Book of Math, which is a workbook covering 1st2nd grade math concepts.
Again, in 1st grade, MFW uses primarily the informal hands on approach to math so that math becomes part of daily life. If you prefer a structured, workbook approach with daily plans, you will need the Complete Book of Math. MFW 1st does include a daily plan to use this book in the current edition of the program. It is a separately printed schedule from the TM. (That will make sense if you see it.)
hth
Crystal
I thought a list of MFW K and 1st grade math goals may be helpful for you.
K program: Math is taught using an informal, integrated approach. Skills included are: counting, writing numerals, preparing and understanding charts and graphs, comparing, classifying, sequencing, ordinal numbers are introduced, some intro to fractions, clocks, coins, addition and subtraction. These skills are reinforced through everyday situations (examples are provided in the TM). There is also a 100 chart, calendar introduction  helps to learn patterns, colors, shapes as well. And also place value.
1st grade: The TM's lists the first grade math goals.
Numbers: count read and write to 100; recognize greater than, less than; count by 2's 5's, 10's, counting backwards from 200, ordinals first  tenth.
Addition/subtraction: addition and subtraction facts to 18. Add 3 numbers to 18; learn commutative property; add/subtract 2 digit withOUT regrouping.
Place value and expanded notation
Money (coins). Time to hour and half hour. More calendar work, patterns, charts, graphs, tallies.
I used the MFW 1 before they added The Complete Book of Math, which is a workbook covering 1st2nd grade math concepts.
Again, in 1st grade, MFW uses primarily the informal hands on approach to math so that math becomes part of daily life. If you prefer a structured, workbook approach with daily plans, you will need the Complete Book of Math. MFW 1st does include a daily plan to use this book in the current edition of the program. It is a separately printed schedule from the TM. (That will make sense if you see it.)
hth
Crystal
I will just say that I have a 2nd grader in Adventures, and when she took the placement test, she did not do well... meaning the test intimidated her, and I knew that she knew more than the test indicated. However, I decided that from everything I had read, it would not hurt us to start at the beginning, so we got 1A, and have moved through it quickly to 1B, and are going to finish it and begin 2A this week. We still have 10 weeks to go (a little behind because of other circumstances), so we will likely progress quite a ways into it. I am VERY comfortable with where we are, and would be even if we didn't get to 2A. Her confidence, understanding, and ability to do mental math have been well worth the step back to 1A. As was mentioned earlier, I am not even sure it was a step back...
HTH,
HTH,
Fly2Peace (versus flying to pieces)
Well, I'm sure MFWK has more math fun than what my K son has experience so far this year. We'll be doing MFW1 this Fall for sure. I'll keep in mind the advanced pace of Singapore when we get to 2nd grade so I won't feel he's behind if we start with PM1A in 2nd gr.
I did talk to someone at MFW about this yesterday, it wasn't David or Marie, but the guy I spoke to did say that he thought MFW1 covers the same things as PM1A and that a child should be able to go directly into PM2A. However, I can see how fun handson math can do a great job in teaching math concepts and still not prepare a child for taking tests since tests are workbook oriented. A child probably just needs a little test prep to "learn the lingo" of taking tests. Maybe that's where the Complete Math Book comes in.
I did talk to someone at MFW about this yesterday, it wasn't David or Marie, but the guy I spoke to did say that he thought MFW1 covers the same things as PM1A and that a child should be able to go directly into PM2A. However, I can see how fun handson math can do a great job in teaching math concepts and still not prepare a child for taking tests since tests are workbook oriented. A child probably just needs a little test prep to "learn the lingo" of taking tests. Maybe that's where the Complete Math Book comes in.
Teresa
I have been folowing this thread with interest.
I am curious why Singapore?
This is what I found on the MFW website:
Has anyone actually spoken to someone at the office and can elaborate why the like Singapore so much? It can't just be the mental math component.
And if they want people to switch over to Saxon in 7th grade, why not just start with Saxon?
God bless!
I am curious why Singapore?
This is what I found on the MFW website:
Up to this point I had not even considered Singapore.We have used Singapore Math and found it to be an excellent program. It is called Singapore Math because it is from the country of Singapore (but modified for the United States). It has a strong mental math component (unlike many U.S. programs) that we see as one of its prime strengths.
Has anyone actually spoken to someone at the office and can elaborate why the like Singapore so much? It can't just be the mental math component.
And if they want people to switch over to Saxon in 7th grade, why not just start with Saxon?
God bless!
God bless ~
Suzanne
Happily married to Bob (almost 13 years!)
Mom to DS, 7, and DS 6
Getting ready to start Adventures!
My blog: http://zipperedheart.blogspot.com/
Suzanne
Happily married to Bob (almost 13 years!)
Mom to DS, 7, and DS 6
Getting ready to start Adventures!
My blog: http://zipperedheart.blogspot.com/

 Posts: 2925
 Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
 Location: Minnesota
Singapore
Suzanne,
I have heard the Hazells explain this. Let's see if I can recall the main points.
* MFW tries to streamline subjects so you have time to really finish them, even in a large family. Singapore is quite slim & focused.
* MFW strives for depth of understanding, rather than rote memorization. You will see that throughout the MFW curriculum. Singapore is worldrenowned for high achievement, and some of that is probably because their students learn to be "math thinkers" rather than fillintheblankers :o) (I need to add that drill/memorization is definitely expected, but not memorization of steps to solve a problem etc., because real life problems are all different.)
* MFW recognizes that young children need manipulatives to "see" the concept, but that an older student may be hindered by a dependence on such things. I found this true with skip counting songs, which my ds loves but has actually become encumbered by. Singapore includes manipulatives & their famous bar diagrams for new concepts, but the goal is to move to "mental math."
* This is my own addition: Singapore presents concepts from several points of view rather than just one. I found with my dd that the real test is when you take the workbook away & present the problem from another book  can they still recognize the concept whatsoever?!
* Another of my thoughts: Singapore is more fun to look at than some, but not as busy as others. It is kind of a happymedium. There are illustrations and fun puzzles to solve, but you won't find random stuff added such as, "Write all your answers in the rocket ship!"
As to why MFW moves on to Saxon, I have not heard that explained and I have no experience in that department. Maybe someone else will chime in on that.
Personally it took me a while to settle into Singapore. At first I didn't understand that if the textbook just showed 6 problems for the day, I should actually spend my "teaching time" just going thru these 6 problems with my child, and watching to see if he understands all the steps. (These are then reinforced in the workbook.) There is no assumption that he won't understand. There is no overkill on the review. But there are specific problems to check on for the day by doing them together. And if he doesn't get something, we can just go back to the previous section where that piece was taught with visuals etc.
I have heard the Hazells explain this. Let's see if I can recall the main points.
* MFW tries to streamline subjects so you have time to really finish them, even in a large family. Singapore is quite slim & focused.
* MFW strives for depth of understanding, rather than rote memorization. You will see that throughout the MFW curriculum. Singapore is worldrenowned for high achievement, and some of that is probably because their students learn to be "math thinkers" rather than fillintheblankers :o) (I need to add that drill/memorization is definitely expected, but not memorization of steps to solve a problem etc., because real life problems are all different.)
* MFW recognizes that young children need manipulatives to "see" the concept, but that an older student may be hindered by a dependence on such things. I found this true with skip counting songs, which my ds loves but has actually become encumbered by. Singapore includes manipulatives & their famous bar diagrams for new concepts, but the goal is to move to "mental math."
* This is my own addition: Singapore presents concepts from several points of view rather than just one. I found with my dd that the real test is when you take the workbook away & present the problem from another book  can they still recognize the concept whatsoever?!
* Another of my thoughts: Singapore is more fun to look at than some, but not as busy as others. It is kind of a happymedium. There are illustrations and fun puzzles to solve, but you won't find random stuff added such as, "Write all your answers in the rocket ship!"
As to why MFW moves on to Saxon, I have not heard that explained and I have no experience in that department. Maybe someone else will chime in on that.
Personally it took me a while to settle into Singapore. At first I didn't understand that if the textbook just showed 6 problems for the day, I should actually spend my "teaching time" just going thru these 6 problems with my child, and watching to see if he understands all the steps. (These are then reinforced in the workbook.) There is no assumption that he won't understand. There is no overkill on the review. But there are specific problems to check on for the day by doing them together. And if he doesn't get something, we can just go back to the previous section where that piece was taught with visuals etc.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd12th grades (20042014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd12th grades (20042014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

 Posts: 32
 Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 9:39 pm
Hi, we my dd is in 2A right now for 2nd grade, and doing great. I don't think she will make it all the way through 2B this year, but I suppose that is okay. She also use Calculadders daily, and I hope to get something like Quarter Mile Math when I can afford it. I just want to add that I got the Home Educators Support Guide and it is a huge help with how to explain concepts and good suggestions for manipulatives and games. It is not from Singapore. You can get them through Rainbow Resources.
I did not use MFW's suggested math for 1st Gr. and I am very sorry that I did not now. It was our first year homeschooling and I felt very insecure, so I wanted a more traditional math program. We had an extremely difficult and confusing math year, and even after finally settling on Singapore my dd is still not confident about math, though she is doing much better this year.
I don't know if this will help you any, but it is my experience.
Laurie
I did not use MFW's suggested math for 1st Gr. and I am very sorry that I did not now. It was our first year homeschooling and I felt very insecure, so I wanted a more traditional math program. We had an extremely difficult and confusing math year, and even after finally settling on Singapore my dd is still not confident about math, though she is doing much better this year.
I don't know if this will help you any, but it is my experience.
Laurie
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