Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Aiming High with Singapore Math in the Philippines

Please. Do not cringe. At least not yet. I know how Mathematics can shut your whole system down in a second. You can shoot me dead after you read my next statement. Of course, that is, if you find me! Read carefully. I LOVE MATH! Yes, I do! Algebraic equations (and inequalities) excite me. Proving theories in geometry were the essence of arithmetic life. I enjoyed Math so much I actually married a man who graduated with a B.S. Mathematics course! 

While I would expect my own child to share the same joy in solving Math word problems, the opposite has happened. My bundle of joy would rather read books about the human body and experiment creating a solenoid than deal with learning the multiplication table. Of course, a mother will NEVER lose hope that someday, she too will fall in deep love with Mathematics.

Choosing books to use for homeschooling is a tall task. There are so many good curricula around promising many great things. When it comes to Mathematics, there are endless approaches to learning and teaching, even though most people find it to be the most boring subject. From all those really good choices, I finally handpicked Singapore Math. After two years of using this math curriculum, I can say that I am satisfied with the results.

Using very "loose" terms, I would describe Singapore Math to be the "Smart Math." Rather than trying to memorize rules and formulas, Singapore Math instructs you to logically understand the relation between the digits, numbers, and basic operations. I love the fact that when Singapore Math introduces new mathematical concepts, it starts with a picture. The math we know as abstract begins with a concrete approach with visual illustrations. I also think that having some math manipulatives around has helped me connect the concrete to abstract learning process. I do not recall ever instructing my daughter to memorize a rule or a formula in Singapore Math. On the other hand, I always hear myself telling her to "think and think harder."

If you would like to use Singapore Math as main math material for your homeschooling or as supplement to your child's math subject, it is already available in the Philippines. The country's top schools have been using it for the past two to three years already. These schools include Xavier, ICA, Uno, and many more. While it may not be the cheapest math curricula in the country, the innovative methodology in learning mathematics is worth every peso spent. Inspire your children to love the unlovable and think beyond their abilities by trying out Singapore Math. You won't regret it. :) 

1 comment:

  1. hi there! we have been homeschooling too and we are on our fourth year. I've been thinking of using singapore math for my 4th grader because I am not very happy with the local books. Is it okay to start with singapore math even if he is in the 4th grade already? I plan to use this also to my preschooler. Hope to hear from you, thanks! Happy homeschooling ;-0