A Dizzying Choice of the Singapore Math Programs

All Singapore textbooks that were created prior to 2020 are outdated. See why you should select the newest Singapore Math program.
August 29, 2023 711 0 3

After reviewing the four main programs that are thoroughly described in the Singapore Math Comparison Guide, many educators become confused and dazed, having a hard time selecting the right curriculum. What’s even more confusing is that most of these programs have several editions or multiple reprints that look very similar.

What to look for

It helps to give some perspective to the changes in the new syllabus to discern among innovations in the Singapore Math curriculum that are minor and those with lasting significance.

Knowing what learning experiences students should receive will alleviate your struggle in choosing the best singapore math program for your family. Also, while it’s helpful to read the most recent reviews of each curriculum, you should select a program that incorporates the new changes in the latest Singapore syllabus

Singapore Math Programs Table

CURRICULUM CHANGES

ESM

PM 2022MIF 2020

Dimensions

PM editions: US, CCSS & StdEurekaMIF

FOCUS ON NEW GENERATION OF STUDENTS

YesYesYesNoNoNoNo

STUDENT-CENTERED LEARNING, MORE FUN & ENGAGEMENT

YesYesYesNoNoNoNo

NEW PRACTICE

YesYesYesNoNoNoNo

NEW ASSESSMENTS

YesYesYesNoNoNoNo

3 LEARNING PHASES

YesYesYesNoNoNoNo

3 FOCUS AREAS

YesYesYesNoNoNoNo

APPLICATIONS AND MODERN AT HOME LEARNING

YesNoNoNoNoNoNo

The abbreviations in the table are referred to the following Singapore Math Programs:

ESM – Singapore Math Personalized Curriculum
PM 2022 – Primary Mathematics 2022 Edition
MIF 2020 – Math in Focus 2020 Edition
Dimensions – all reprints of Dimensions Math
PM US – Primary Mathematics US Edition
PM Std – Primary Mathematics Standards Edition
PM CCSS – Primary Mathematics Common Core Edition
Eureka – all reprints of Eureka Math
MIF – all editions of Math in Focus prior to 2020

How to tell them apart?

All Singapore textbooks that were created prior to 2020 are outdated

The simplified answer is that all of the Singapore Math textbook programs that were created prior to 2020 are outdated. That means that most of the Singapore textbooks that are currently being sold on Amazon, singaroremath.com and other websites are old. These books are not based on the newest syllabus.

Dimensions Math is outdated

More specifically, Dimensions Math is outdated because it’s based on the Primary Math’s curriculum, which is over 20 years old. Dimensions originated in 2014 as a means to solely improve on the design and usability of the Primary Math textbooks that were created in the 20th century. 

Drawing inspiration from the past success of the Primary Mathematics books, Dimensions Math curriculum is dated because it lacks innovations in teaching and learning mathematics that were made in the 21st century. Since the curriculum doesn’t fully meet the needs and expectations of the new generation of students and teachers, Dimensions Math should be supplemented with Singapore Math personalized learning.

Primary Math textbooks that were created prior to 2022 are outdated

All editions of the Primary Math books that were created prior to 2022 are outdated because they lack the important changes that were made in the Primary Mathematics curriculum in 2012 and 2020. Similarly, all editions of Math in Focus that were created prior to 2020 are outdated. See the Singapore Math Programs Table above. 

Old Singapore textbooks lack relevance

Recent reprints of the old textbooks that were made after 2020 are outdated because these old programs were never updated to incorporate the important changes in the Singapore syllabus that took place over the last twenty years. Therefore, if you’re still using any of the old editions, then you should consider supplementing with Singapore Math adaptive learning.

Select the newest Singapore Math personalized curriculum

If you’re looking to replace your math curriculum or supplement your existing resource or upgrade your Singapore Math homeschool curriculum, then you should make sure that you’re purchasing the new Singapore program that incorporates the innovations in the mathematics curriculum described below. 

The top homeschool math curriculum

Latest improvements in math learning

It’s important for homeschooling families to know about the innovations that were made in the Singapore Math curriculum. Why? Homeschooling parents should incorporate the best instruction and learning experiences into their teaching to improve math learning for their children.

More student-centered learning and fun practice

Homeschooling parents should provide their children with more engaging learning and fun practice.

Why? Learning math the old way by only using textbooks does not elicit interest in mathematics. Practicing math on colorless workbook pages is boring and is simply not good enough anymore. Homeschoolers should consider either switching to a better math curriculum or supplementing an outdated textbook program with Singapore Math adaptive learning.

Need help teaching math? – No problem!

High quality instruction is embedded in the curriculum

The reality is that many parents have to tackle different things and don’t have time to prepare for teaching on a daily basis.  Also, some parents don’t know how to teach Singapore Math using CPA and bars.

As a result, many homeschooling parents default to the old ways of teaching math by memorizing and using procedures. These parents and their children would definitely benefit from using high-quality math instruction, which should be embedded in a new homeschool math program.

Math is more than drilling and practicing

You need a math curriculum that has embedded high quality math instruction ready to be delivered at home. Why? So that real math learning, not only drilling and practice, can take place at home.

While achieving mastery is extremely important, it is only the last stage of the three-pronged learning process. The new syllabus provides for all of the learning experiences that students should receive to achieve mastery. The first and second phases of the learning process are crucial to student success. They broadly include diagnostic assessments, more personalized instruction, and student-centered learning.

Top math curriculum for university model

Connecting in-school to at home learning and traveling

You need a versatile math curriculum that’s capable of being delivered in-classroom, at home and on the road.

Why?  First, to avoid disruptions in math learning. Second, to really connect in-school to at home learning, in both places, students should receive high-quality math instruction that’s closely aligned to their in-school program. Third, to fill in gaps, students must have multiple opportunities to learn and practice using high quality content.

Catching up on missed progress at home and in school

The Covid pandemic caused a sudden stop in education. Subsequent disruptions caused large gaps in math learning. Distance learning that felt theoretical to many educators and parents suddenly became a reality. The pandemic continued to disrupt learning for many months. Since then, things have normalized and kids went back to school.

Still, it is a sign that distance learning can become real and even necessary again. High quality math learning must continue uninterrupted despite unforeseen events such pandemics and weather related natural disasters. Therefore, educators must be prepared for any learning interruption and have a high-quality math curriculum, which parents can easily use to deliver at home.

A reminder

This list offers parent educators a reminder that some Singapore programs are better equipped than others to prepare young learners to become confident problem solvers in an increasingly tech driven learning environment. Therefore, it’s especially important for educators select the newest curriculum or supplement with Singapore Math adaptive learning.

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