Just like many before who didn’t take Singaporean Math, a lot of people were scratching their heads as to what this Math was. What was the difference between the two? If anything, there were some things that they knew about it. One, it still uses numbers. Two, it was still complicated. And three, kids still didn’t like it.
To make matters harder, parents found themselves stumped on how to teach Singaporean Math as it was something new. Everyone had been accustomed to the old way that the sudden introduction had everybody scrambling. So, what is the difference of Singaporean Math and just the regular math? Here are some notable differences people can take note of.
It’s more visual-based
Unlike the old way of learning math, Singaporean Math requires their students to draw out the figure. From this figure, students would then be able to figure out what operation they need to use instead of looking at the problem and picking it out word per word.
Word problems are simplified
When you look over the old problems, you’ll notice how much more wordy they are. In Singaporean Math, a lot of their problems are straight to the point. They don’t have any fancy words that can confuse the reader. And because of this straight forward way of wording problems, children won’t have to struggle using context clues to actually understand what’s going on.
If someone were to ask a Junior High School student (say around Grade 7) if they know simple Algebra, they’ll be scratching their heads: what’s that? That’s because the new students were not taught terminologies. They were just taught the basic operations and how it was used. And by removing all the complex parts, students find themselves having an easier time.
Think of it removing certain parts of the book because it doesn’t add up to the plot. It’s quite similar to that.
Having a hard time teaching Singaporean Math? It’s okay!
For parents, please don’t look so badly at yourselves. It’s an entirely new system. Back then, the math you knew was taught differently and no one is asking you to know it immediately. Being exposed to something entirely new can be frustrating especially when the old methods don’t work. And if you have a hard time studying and teaching Singaporean Math to your child, that’s okay. That’s what tutors and teachers are there for.