Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 11:41 amJulie L. wrote:Switch to Singapore even if kids are doing fine in math??? ... Julie L.

[editor's note: see the "end of the story" below, on June 10]

Julie,

Choosing math curriculum can be tough and is such an individual choice.

Here is what I have discovered that looking back I would like to share. I wish I would have known more about Singapore. Singapore 3 is where this program begins to shine. Yes.... my daughter placed right at the end of 4B / early 5A after completing through 6th grade in another program. But, she hadn't learned everything in the Singapore. She could do the computation, but couldn't think about a word problem. She had been "plug and chug" in math. She was not just missing metric and a bit more geometry -- there were other things being missed.

The biggest one was how to think through a word problem that may or may not be directly related to the exact lesson. In other words, in our previous math program, we always knew it was multiplying a fraction in certain sections, without reading the problem. In Singapore, you have 2-step problems. While working with multiplying fractions, you would do that and then have to do one other step to get the final answer. It was a constant review in a way that we were just not doing. We had review -- sorta kinda -- but just not the same way.

Maybe this analogy will help. I described it this way recently. Imagine you are needing to get to the 6th floor of a building. You can take the elevator and you will get there. Or you can take the stairs and get there. Both are good ways to go. Singapore is like taking the stairs --- you get more exercise from it and use more muscle. Now, both of them are good programs. I'm not saying one isn't.

Now that I have "exited the elevator" and "taken the stairs", I just cannot see myself going back. I really liked our previous program. We zipped through the book -- just like you'd take an elevator (easy, quick and you're there). And it meant my daughter could do the computation problems in Singapore 4B (just not the word problems)

I'm not saying you have to switch now or whenever. But I have not regretted switching to Singapore. It has helped move my daughter from the plug and chug variety of word problems to having to think about what she is doing in math.

more than .02 worth.

--crystal