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My child has never done Singapore math before. Is it too late to start?

​Will Singapore Math be out of reach for my child, who’s only ever participated in mainstream instruction before? How does it compare?

At Mentorhood, the Singapore math techniques complement lessons that follow standard curriculum expectations for each grade level. While there is a learning curve associated with visualizing concepts in new ways, the goal of Singapore math is not to teach advanced mathematics. Rather, it is designed to equip students with advanced tools in understanding and problem solving, enabling them to face more advanced mathematical concepts later with less of a steep curve.

As with anything new, student new to Mentorhood and the way we employ Singapore math may experience a bit of a learning curve. While new models for representing and manipulating mathematical information may need to be explained, this is no different than learning a new concept in any setting. Most of our techniques are relatively intuitive, and can be a virtually non-existent hurdle depending on the child’s experience.

The real learning curve will come in in how students understand why certain methods are being used, and learning to apply this understanding to new problems. And this is where the very power of Singapore math comes into play. While students are learning concepts on pace with counterparts at their grade level, they are also learning to approach them in a much deeper way. They may not be aware that in learning to solve one type of problem, they are building a multi-faceted understanding of how to solve problems with similar qualities. They are not so much climbing faster up the staircase in conceptual advancement, but rather are taking their intuitive foundations and digging them down deeper.

We celebrate the learning curve, because the learning curve is just that―it’s learning. Without realizing it, our students at Mentorhood are bending that curve to support deeper understanding and to build more capacity for understanding later. We’re not teaching them new math; we’re training their brains in a new way to look at math, which will serve them later when more complexity is demanded of them.

Singapore math also emphasizes individual mastery. It’s less about diffusing information, like scattering seeds far above a field and hoping that at least some of it will be taken in and germinated. Mentorhood’s model is more like gardening: we thrive on small classes because they give us the chance to plant and fertilize each concept and provide special attention to the flower beds that may need it. We recognize how understanding creates more understanding, and our passionate teachers strive to care for each step along the way. And for those families that desire even more intimate attention, we offer plenty of one-on-one tutoring, providing a space for flexible practice.

And not the least importantly, we make math fun! We certainly have a blast working with our students via accessible, engaging materials, and we pair this with games, visual problem solving methods, and plenty of encouragement that makes our environment rich with satisfying “Aha!” moments.

While the Singapore math methods and emphases might be new for you, we think this is a great thing! Any learning curve our students experience is there because their brains are working at deeper levels than they’ve been used to. This will prepare them for even smoother learning experiences later, as they grow accustomed to reaching into the deeper levels of their intuitions.

And as students strengthen their conceptual abilities working intimately with instructors, we believe that this provides them with a special opportunity to grow in a way many of their counterparts don’t have the chance to.

Singapore math is for all. Students who are mathematically inclined and already delight in math’s logic love our teaching methods. They can be challenged to grow and apply their knowledge broadly. Students who have previously struggled in math often comment on their newfound understanding and comfort level with figures. And teachers can attest to the universal sense of joy in their classrooms.

So, have you missed the boat? Is it too late to start? Never. There’s always time to cultivate a bright understanding of math, to build the foundation blocks that make the mathematical realities of our world more intuitively relatable. We’ve got a spot for you, and we hope you’ll join us.

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