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Thread: Anyone using Singapore Math and transitioning from 6B to NEM?

  1. #1
    Dear Friends,
    I have just begun New Elementary Math Syllabus D (Singapore Math), with my daughter. I am wondering if any of you that have gone before me would be willing to comment on how their children did?
    Happy to be wife to Ash and thankful to stay home and learn so much sneakily, while I teach Andrea.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Central Arkansas
    I've had two transition from 6B to NEM 1, with a 3rd dc ready to make that leap next year. NEM is a big jump from the Primary series; my boys went from spending (typically) 20 to 30 minutes on math per day to an hour or more per day, and they still wouldn't always finish an exercise in one day. (For what it's worth, they are very good math students.)

    The first 4 (or 5? I can't remember) chapters of NEM 1 are pre-algebra, and there are some tough problems in there. Take as much time as you need to nail down the concepts in those chapters. According to Jenny on the Singapore site, completion of NEM 1 and NEM 2 is equivalent to the completion of Algebra 1 and Geometry, so don't be alarmed if you don't finish both books by the end of 8th grade.

    Dh and I actually decided to slow down our boys' progression through NEM because we realized that if they finished NEM 4 in 10th grade, as the students do in Singapore, they would be forced to take some college level math courses during their final two years of high school. Right now, we're planning for them to begin NEM 3 towards the end of 9th grade.
    Wife of Joe, Mom to Zachary (17), Ryan (17), Catherine (14), and Elizabeth (10)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Sona, I'm not ahead of you, but we are doing NEM 1 this fall. We are a little ahead of schedule on math so my ds is technically a sixth grader. He turned 12 in September so he's one of those "cusp" children in terms of school.

    We are working on the revisions after chapter 4. The biggest problem he is having is both his horrible handwriting (my dh had to retype an exam in law school so I'm afraid ds does not fall far from the tree). AND he thinks he can do a complicated order of operations problem without restating in writing the equation as he works through it. I don't see either of these as a math problem as much as a bit of both character and a child hitting his first bit of work that can't be easily contained in his head something that must happen to us all.

  4. #4
    I've taken one child almost all the way through Singapore math (PM 3 through NEM 3B - starting NAM in January), and another child is now in NEM 1.

    NEM 1 is tough. Not only are the review chapters hard, but also there is some new material presented quickly (especially dealing with negative numbers). Then the algebraic manipulation chapters (maybe 5 and 6?) are very fast-paced. Take a look at the expressions that they're supposed to be simplifying at the end of chapter 5, the first algebra chapter. My second can do this; my first couldn't move that quickly. She had to pull out of NEM during the two algebra chapters. We put her into another program for a while to work on the basics of algebra. Then we returned to NEM (at her request) and it went much more smoothly. (We had to do this one other time during NEM 2, as well).

    Rest assured that this breakneck pace does not continue. These first six chapters of NEM seemed to us the hardest of the entire series. Don't worry if it takes you extra time (and extra resources, and extra hand-holding) to cover them.

    When your student is understanding the concepts, I wouldn't recommend working all the problems - half of them, or even sometimes a third, may be enough. Even that is time-consuming.

    If you had her do some of the supplements for PM, you'll probably be in better shape. I assigned my oldest less than even in the basic PM; I now consider that a mistake. With my second, I assigned half of Intensive Practice as well, which was a lot of work in fifth and sixth grades, but which makes NEM look to her a lot easier than it did to her sister!

    You will probably need to work with her - I discovered that it's not a good idea to try to treat NEM as a self-teaching curriculum, even with a good math student. But I did use these tutorial sessions as a stepping stone to independent work: I would have my daughter read a line or two of text and then explain to ME what was happening. This seemed to be helpful. (I need to start this with my second daughter now!)

    My oldest just tried the PSAT last month, and I believe that she was quite well prepared. I haven't seen her scores yet, but I feel quite confident that the mathematical understanding that she built up during these years of NEM increased her scores substantially. We'll see!

    Edited 3/3/10 to add: I still love NEM but there are challenges to it. I've recently switched my second daughter to Discovering Mathematics, another Singapore curriculum sold by, and it's working very well for her. I think I'd recommend that one for most students -it's very solid and easy to teach. I still plan to use NEM for my math-hungry son; it has amazing challenges in it that will prepare him for anything in the future. And I may supplement with NEM for this daughter as well, in the future.
    TOG Year 1
    Doing TOG since 2005
    R (17), D (14), UG (9)
    Math: Singapore Primary Mathematics, Discovering Mathematics
    German, Spanish

  5. #5
    Dear ladies,
    All three of you have been most kind and extremely helpful in allaying my fears and giving me to impetus I needed to carry on with courage. Thank you! We are very new to the US and while academic credentials are not part of our vision for our daughter,yet I wanted her to be able to sit the PSAT and other exams for the sake of the experience. I have loved the Singapore Math approach from the start and have been very happy with it. Yes, I do agree that a good review at the end of PM is a very good investment in time. We did a bit of the Intensive Review Book and have then launched into the Hueristics Teacher's Guide, which we have all found very interesting (My husband too), now we are working through the first chapter in NEM 1 and I think I will continue to go back to the Intensive Review book over this year and work on the hueristics as well from time to time with her. I can see how the 30 minutes a day might not be enough, especially as she does math only 4 days a week. But we love so much of other learning and life is so rich and wonderfully full of learning opportunities... Latin, Greek, Art, French, History the list is so long and inviting!!
    I am so glad to have found that we are not going to be alone on the journey with these books and am thankful that perhaps if we hit a snag I will find gracious ladies willing to give wise counsel.
    May God bless you richly as you persevere!
    Happy to be wife to Ash and thankful to stay home and learn so much sneakily, while I teach Andrea.

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