Things to Know When Planning Your Maths Curriculum

At Education Reformation, we sell two types of maths curriculum: Singapore maths and Life of Fred. Singapore maths programs have consistently produced the top maths students in the world and are a good choice for home educators. Life of Fred provides a different approach to traditional maths programs and is helpful for children who need a rest from workbook maths or need to be taught from a different angle. It is story based and weaves maths into Fred’s life, thereby bringing real life maths to the fore. Most people use it as a good supplement to their main maths program, and a few as their main program, depending on their child’s needs. In this article, we will focus on Singapore maths.

What makes Singapore maths different?­­

Singapore maths is based on a three-step learning process beginning with concrete hands-on learning, moving to visual representation and progressing to the abstract concept (pen and paper problem solving). This middle step of a pictorial approach involves children drawing diagrams and using manipulatives. Singapore maths programs move at a faster rate than traditional maths programs and by Grade 6, are ahead of the Australian National Curriculum by about 6-12 months.

For more in depth information on how Singapore maths works, watch these videos produced by Marshall Cavendish.

How do I compare Singapore maths with the Australian National Curriculum?

There is no need to worry about whether your child is keeping up if you are using Singapore maths, as they are often ahead of the Australian grade levels. To check on how the concepts line up, read through the product pages on our website, and compare them to the ANC grade concept descriptions .  I think you will be quite satisfied you are on the right track with Singapore maths.

How do I place my child in the right level of Singapore maths?

Placement tests can be found here. The tests for the 3rd Edition may be used for all the Singapore maths programs we sell.

Which Singapore maths program do I choose?

This is probably our most asked question. How do the programs differ? In order to choose the right Singapore maths program you need to prioritise the features. Do you want metric mesures only or imperial as well? Does American money bother you, or do you want the same money denominations as Australian currency? Do you want a program that is currently used in Singapore? Is price important? The answers to these will determine which program you choose and we have put together a table of these and additional features to help you.

Singapore Maths Buying Guide

             NS 2nd Ed                    3rd Ed                  U.S. Ed


Extras to enhance your child’s learning.

Manipulatives play an important part in teaching Singapore maths and help with the three step concrete>visual>abstract learning process. Base ten blocks, counters, connecting blocks and more provide a tactile approach so necessary to young students.

Challenging Word Problems train your child to translate real life scenarios into abstract maths problems. Word problems become more prevalent in the Singapore highschool texts, and are a strength of Singapore programs. These books can be used with any maths program.

Extra Practice books give just that. Perfect for either a struggling child who needs more opportunity to grasp a given concept, or for a fast moving student that could use some extension work or slowing down. Very handy to have on your book shelf for travelling, when extra work is needed, or for review.

What About Highschool Maths?

If your child has completed any Singapore maths program satisfactorily up toLevel 6, they are now ready for Secondary maths. New Syllabus Maths (Secondary) and New Maths Counts are the two programs we have available.

New Syllabus Maths is a well organised accelerated program providing three levels of skill: Basic, Intermediate and Advanced. Exercises are divided into problems targeted at these levels, as well as Review and Revision execises for each chapter. Although the explanations are clear and well presented,  the Teacher's Resource Book is highly recommended, if not essential, for comprehensive teaching as it has all the fully worked solutions to the textbook exercises. (Answers are provided at the back of the textbook.) The workbook is optional, as there are enough exercises in the textbook to complete a year's work, especially with three levels of skill provided. Tests are not provided in any Singapore maths programs, as these are teacher/school led, however some families treat the revision exercises or workbook exercises as tests. There are four books which take the student up to Singapore Grade 10 (Book 3/Year 9 is equivalent to Australian Year 10).

New Maths Counts is a program suited to students who are progressing at an average pace, using 5 books to Singapore Grade 10. There are no guides to accompany this program, but answers are provided at the back of the textbook.

By Joelle Grubb Copyright 2015