Singapore Math: Changing The Way We Solve Problems

American’s aptitude for mathematics isn’t adding up. In actuality, our country is falling way behind. According to The Program for International Student Assessment, the United States ranks 37th in mathematical performance compared to other countries across the globe. Conversely, Asia not only holds the top seven spots, but their educators have also paved the way for improving mathematical achievement through the implementation of the Singapore Math Program.

Enrolling your child in any online maths tutoring course over the Summer can make a colossal impact on their mastery of mathematics, giving them an advantage over their peers. Monster Education offers an exceptional Singapore Math curriculum for students in grades K – 5. Taught by accredited and experienced Singapore Math teachers in small groups of 4-6 students, the program ensures that your child will get personalized attention. Each child is carefully assessed so they are placed in the right class and level for their needs and abilities.

What is Singapore Math?

Frankly put, it is math taught in a much better way. Unlike Western methods of teaching, the Singapore Math curriculum focuses on building a solid arithmetic and pre-Algebra foundation that will carry your child through their advanced math courses. It doesn’t just prepare kids for the test. Rather it equips them for the entirety of their mathematical education and beyond.

what is singapore math

Building A Solid Framework

The goal of this program is to implement a broader way of thinking through the layering of skills. This is achieved by the use of a three-stage learning process that circles around the pillars of concrete, pictorial and abstract thinking. What this means is that in early grades, students begin with concrete, or tangible tools to understand concepts. Blocks, pegs, dice and balls are just some of the many items used to demonstrate mathematical procedures like addition and subtraction.

Once they master these skills, they transition to visual learning to grasp more complex mathematical processes. This is accomplished through the use of diagrams and bar modeling. Finally, they graduate to abstract deduction by employing numbers and symbols to solve problems. The culmination of these ideas gives students more ways to look at a problem and effectively formulate a solution. This approach develops problem solving and cognitive skills and prepares students to tackle pre-Algebra in middle school.

Finally, when it comes to test time, for word problems students are required to first draw the scenario and then show the problem and solution using numbers and symbols. Lastly, they will write out the answer. While this may seem a bit tedious, this reinforcement of patterns guarantees that they truly understand the concept and it gives them the opportunity to check their work in a variety of ways!

How is it Different From American Math?

The general theme of American math courses is to show an individual a problem and how to solve it. Teachers then assign similar questions where students duplicate the same technique. This solely prepares kids for exams, but doesn’t foster out-of-the-box thinking. When you consider this current method of teaching, it should come as no surprise when your child struggles on standardized tests and in higher level courses.

In fact, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, within the past five years, over 60% of eighth grade students were not considered proficient in math. Moreover, research indicates that today’s average parent only has a sixth grade level understanding of arithmetic. Unfortunately, these staggering statistics are never going to change unless the methods for teaching the subject do.

Why Should I Choose Singapore Math?

Singapore Math breaks the mold by appealing to spatial, audible and hands-on learners. By taking written concepts and combining them with visual abstracts, students can better master general theories and learn to make logical connections. The key to building a successful understanding of this topic is to ensure that the students comprehend the basics and then build upon them.


American educators have taken strides in recent years to mirror the methods of Singapore Math in the present Common Core Standards. They focus on a smaller pool of math topics and teach them in greater detail. However, in this transition, the strategies used to instruct our kids have actually become more complicated. Moreover, statistics show that students are not improving in this topic, despite the change.

Conversely, exploratory studies indicate that those who learn Singapore Math at an early age develop a competitive edge in this subject matter. Researchers found that “Singaporean students [are] more successful in mathematics than their U.S. counterparts because Singapore has a world-class mathematics system with quality components aligned to produce students who learn mathematics to mastery”. It’s no wonder that elite private schools across the United States have been teaching Singapore Math for nearly two decades.

How To Give Your Child A Boost

One of our education system’s biggest downfalls is the summer slide. It is the regression that American students experience each year when Summer vacation commences. This extended period where education is put on hold leads to a loss in comprehension of academic concepts and skills. Furthermore, research shows that these deficits tend to be greater in math based courses and the regressions are not recouped when the new school year begins. Therefore, it is imperative that you take steps to give your child an advantage!

Monster Education offers the Singapore School of Math, which provides a personalized learning opportunity for your kids. This digital Summer camp will give your son or daughter a solid mathematical foundation through their interactive program. Moreover, the very small class sizes allow for your kids to receive individual attention from their experts as well as a constant assessment of their progress. Additionally, these courses are fully remote so your child can learn from the comfort of your home or your vacation destination.

Final Thoughts

Whether you homeschool your children or just hope to better their mathematical foundation, the Singapore Math program is a proven method for success. Not only that, but studies show that students enrolled in this curriculum grasp concepts faster, are better equipped to conduct mental math and test higher than those taught through American curriculum.

As of 2019, Singapore continues to rank highest in the world according to math scores for both grades four and eight, according to the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). With this kind of track record, why wouldn’t you want to take the initiative to increase your child’s chance of success? 

Salman Zafar

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