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One of the most interesting things to come out of COVID-19 is the mass migration to homeschooling for the 2020 school year. Whether you call yourself a temporary, impromptu, or accidental homeschooler, WELCOME!

Almost all first time homeschoolers are transitioning from other math programs, which means many of the same concerns and questions come up. This guide addresses those.

Where do I begin?

Select a program.

Place your child at the right level with our placement tests.

As long as you spend just a little bit of time on these two steps, you will set yourself up for a great homeschool math experience. 

Which program is suitable for homeschool? Dimensions Math or Primary Mathematics?

All of our Singapore math programs are suitable for homeschool, and have been used with great success by the homeschool community for years. Our two main programs, Dimensions Math PK-8 and Primary Mathematics 1-6, each come with their own advantages.  

Essentially, Primary Mathematics is our original series and has decades of proven success. It’s often what people think of when they think of Singapore math. Dimensions Math is our newer series which we created to improve on aspects of the Singapore math experience. It features better design and more comprehensive teaching resources, all while maintaining the methods and rigor of the Singaopre math approach. These days, most homeschoolers who have tried both prefer Dimensions Math. It’s delightful to use!  

This is a simple comparison of Dimensions Math and Primary Mathematics.

Placement & Grade Levels

Our grade levels align with those of U.S. schools. For example, Dimensions Math 1A and 1B are for first grade. Primary Mathematics 2A and 2B are for second grade. 

However, giving your child a placement test is essential to ensuring success.  

Many students start one half grade behind when they switch to Singapore math. For example, a student starting Grade 5 might begin with 4B. This is totally okay! Erring on the side of review allows for a gentler transition. It gives room for settling back into the rhythm of school, which seems to be universally needed as school closures over Spring 2019 meant one very long summer break this year.

Why are there A and B books? 

Our programs divide the school year into two halves, or semesters: A and B.

If you go with Primary Mathematics

What is the difference between all the Primary Mathematics editions? 

All three editions maintain the integrity of the Singapore math approach while serving diverse needs.

U.S. Edition: Almost identical to the original program used in Singapore, but with U.S. measurements and currency. 

Standards Edition: Written to meet the 2006 Mathematics Contents Standards for California Public School issued prior to the Common Core State Standards, this edition includes probability, data analysis, negative numbers, and coordinate graphing. 

Common Core Edition: More closely aligns with Common Core State Standards. This edition has minor changes to the scope and sequence, and the format for the Teacher’s Guides is updated to include student materials.

What are the books I need for one year of Primary Mathematics?

You will need the A and B Textbooks and Workbooks. We highly recommend having some sort of teaching support in the form of Home Instructor’s Guides (designed for homeschool use) or Teacher’s Guides. 

As an example, Primary Mathematics for Grade 1 would include all these titles:

  • Primary Mathematics Textbook 1A
  • Primary Mathematics Workbook 1A
  • Primary Mathematics Home Instructor’s Guide 1A
  • Primary Mathematics Textbook 1B
  • Primary Mathematics Workbook 1B
  • Primary Mathematics Home Instructor’s Guide 1B

What do we do for Kindergarten?

Primary Mathematics begins in Grade 1. We have several Kindergarten options, including Essential Math, Earlybird Math, and Dimensions Math.   

What manipulatives do I need? 

Here are lists of suggested manipulatives for each grade for Primary Mathematics. Please note we are out of stock of manipulatives (probably until September), so you will want to consult this list and find manipulatives from another source for now.   

If you go with Dimensions Math

What are all the books I’d need for one year of Dimensions Math?

As an example, the complete year of Dimensions Math Grade 1 core materials includes 6 books:  

  • Dimensions Math Textbook 1A
  • Dimensions Math Workbook 1A
  • Dimensions Math Teacher’s Guide 1A
  • Dimensions Math Textbook 1B
  • Dimensions Math Workbook 1B
  • Dimensions Math Teacher’s Guide 1B

You may optionally add Tests. In this case, the year would be rounded out by: 

  • Dimensions Math Tests 1A
  • Dimensions Math Tests 1B

What manipulatives do I need? 

Here are lists of suggested manipulatives for each grade for Dimensions Math. Please note we are out of stock of manipulatives (probably until September), so you will want to consult this list and find manipulatives from another source for now.   

Do I need the Teacher’s Guides for Dimensions Math?  

At the earlier grade levels (Kindergarten and younger) it is not necessary to have a Teacher’s Guide. The Teacher’s Guides for PK-K focus a lot on classroom activities and group play, which is less relevant for most homeschoolers. The topics are simple enough that you probably don’t need a lot of instruction on how to teach them. Still, they offer fun activity ideas and definitely do enrich the program.  

For Grade 1 and above, a Teacher’s Guide is highly useful. Not only do Teacher’s Guides give you background information, teaching notes, and activities, they also include all answers for Textbooks and Workbooks.

We will be coming out with Dimensions Math Home Instructor Guides for Grades 1-5 starting later this year. Until then, consider Teacher’s Guides an excellent home resource even if some of it does not pertain to one-on-one teaching.

Is Dimensions Math Common Core aligned?

Dimensions Math PK–5 is not precisely aligned with the Common Core State Standards, but covers the standards in its own unique progression. The few standards not included in the Textbooks (for example, line plots of measurements to fractions of an inch in Grade 3) are covered in the Teacher’s Guides.

Dimensions Math PK–5 Common Core Standards alignments (PDF) 

We hope this guide helps you some. You may also want to consult our general FAQ or Getting Started page. Please reach out to us if you have any questions. We’re here for you as you start your homeschooling adventure!