EPISODE 170 | Ever wish a math curriculum would be made easier? Now it has been! The 2022 edition of Singapore Math, authored by U.S. homeschoolers, maintains the original curriculum's core principles while catering to American educational needs. It emphasizes problem-solving, critical thinking, and a sequential approach to learning. With a focus on hands-on instruction and adaptability to various learning environments, this edition combines Singapore's rigorous pedagogy with insights from homeschooling. It equips students with a solid foundation in mathematics and essential problem-solving skills, making it relevant and effective in diverse educational settings. Listen in as Janna and her guest Jessica discuss everything Math, particularly Singapore Math. 

ABOUT OUR GUEST | Jessica Kaminski, M.Ed. is an educator, author, and mom of three from Tennessee. She is the founder of Math with Purpose where she aims to provide teaching support, resources, and virtual math instruction to make your math curriculum work for any student. As the author of Math in Focus 2020 Third Grade Teacher's Edition, the co-author of Primary Mathematics 2022 Second-Fifth Grade Teacher's Editions, and the author of Primary Mathematics 2022 Second-Fifth Grade Home Instructors Guides, Jessica understands how the Singapore pedagogy should be implemented with over 18 years of math experience. Her goal is to provide educators of any type with the support necessary to implement these internationally recognized teaching strategies to help students feel confident in mathematics. 


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Podcast Transcript

Janna  00:00 Welcome to Homeschool Your Way. I'm your host Janna Koch and BookSharks Community Manager. In today's episode, we are going to demystify Singapore Math. Now I know you might be thinking I Math Episode I'm out, but I encourage you to hang on because the information that you're going to receive from my guest today could be earth-shattering, for your homeschool and your child's way of learning. So I'm gonna bring in Jessica Kaminski. She is a former teacher and academic coach. She is a consultant. She's been a consultant for over 15 years. She is the co-author of the Home Instructors guide for the US edition of Singapore Math. She's also a homeschool mom, so she knows exactly what you're going through. So let's bring Jessica in. Hey, Jessica.  

Jessica  00:45 Hey, thank you so much for having me.

Janna  00:47 I'm excited, I have told you years ago, that I'm not a math person. But I'm really trying to take that out of my vocabulary and get excited about this subject that a lot of homeschool families feel inadequate teaching. And so we have different methodologies and different programs out there. And one that's kind of been a source of contention in our household personally, with Singapore views, we first started homeschooling our kids, they were using Singapore in their charter school. So we thought this would be an easy transition. And as a homeschool parent, I got lost very quickly. And I didn't understand. And I feel like we lost probably our first year of homeschool in math like it just was non-existent. So having you come in and explain not only the US edition but also some of the methodologies behind Singapore and how it really can help families get excited about math gets me excited. So first of all, let's hear just a little bit about your background in homeschooling and math. 

Jessica  01:54 Awesome. Yeah. So I kind of came around from this and in a different way. If you were to ask me 20 years ago when I was teaching, is this what I'm going to be doing? I would probably say, No, I'm homeschooling my kids, probably not like I love teaching, I was in the classroom, that was my thing. I actually left the classroom after seven years and became a Singapore Math consultant. And I traveled all over the country. And I realized how much fun it was to break down math. Also, I learned that I didn't know as much as I thought I knew, which was super interesting, because I always thought I was a math person. But what I really was was someone who could follow steps really well. And as I started trying to break those apart, I realized that I had holes in my own understanding. And it kind of opened this whole new door for me. And just seeing that math was something that's like a puzzle that has pieces it's put together, and that they work in all these really cool different ways. And there's all these cool patterns. Whereas I was just taught to follow steps and get an answer, check it off, and we're good. So I started doing that. And then we started having our children and I realized how much I just loved watching them grow and their own understanding and their own learning. So of course, I wanted to be a part of that and not send that to someone else. So we decided to homeschool our three. And you know, during that time, I'm still consulting, writing, and working on this. And it's been so much fun because I actually use Primary Mathematics 2020 with my children who are all very different. And watching them experience math in a way that I didn't. And I wish that I had been so cool. Because something that I'm just picking up now of like, I didn't know numbers did that this is really great. They're learning that at seven. And they're looking at numbers in their world. And we're in the car, and we're talking about different things. And we're seeing all these great connections. And it's just been really, really fun to watch that math understanding blossom in such a different way.

Janna  03:56 I think many parents would be shocked to even think about math, outside of the formula. And what I mean by that is like there, there are patterns, and you see it in so many things outside of a textbook, that if you're not looking for it, you wouldn't see it. And so I think that's part of the rub, maybe in our society with math is that it hasn't been brought outside of the classroom of at the kitchen table to really be explained as another language. So you and I were taught one plus one is two and the basics. We carried the one which I didn't even know what that may just you carried the number and added again, like the concepts behind it or why we did it. I didn't have a full understanding of and so it was like maybe you took like an intro to Spanish class and you could ask a few phrases if you had a few phrases down. But you didn't have a grasp of the language and I feel like that's the difference between really loving math is knowing that it is a language that it can be on understood by anyone?

Jessica  05:01 Yeah. It is truly a language. And I think what's really interesting is, so mental math, that's it, that's a great example, I was terrible at mental math, I still struggle with it. And whenever I have to, you know, present on it, I always tell people, this is an area of weakness for me, because I was taught to line all my digits up, get that paper pencil, follow my steps and do that. And then you're telling me that I can manipulate numbers, and I can break them into parts. And I can do that. And you know, the type A and me is like, No, I'm not allowed to do that. I must keep them straight and orderly and neat. But what's super interesting about that is when you go and you talk to people who work with numbers all the time, for example, like a carpenter who's converting measurements, they do extraordinary mental math, because you don't see them with their calculator or their paper pencil. They're working quickly to convert measurements and do all those kinds of things. And it was interesting, I actually had a conversation with a carpenter who I was telling him what I do, and he was like, oh, and I started talking to him a little bit. And he's like, I do that every day. And it was so funny to me, because I'm acting like this is something really brand new. But because of that rigidity, I thought that you had to follow steps. But when you start to see how math plays out in the real world, and how its utilized, and if we teach our children from the beginning, that that's how math is, instead of this thing that is, you know, open your textbook, complete this page. And now we check it off the list, and we're done. But more about, like, it's how we interact with numbers. It's how we interact with our space. And where do you see this happening when we're, you know, doing grocery shopping, or we're converting, you know, a recipe or something like that. It just allows us to interact with math as like, kinda like you said, like, it's a language in part of our life every single day.

Janna  06:51 And the amount of math that we actually use in the real world, we just don't recognize it as math. I mean, there's so many memes, like, oh, who, you know, your teacher tried to tell you, you're gonna need this, yada, yada, right. But then it's like, Oh, I did actually use that when my husband and I were putting in flooring, and we couldn't figure out the angle to cut correctly. Now, I didn't pull out my pen and do a formula. I was like, I know, there is something here, like it was in there, I just had to bake. But I had to visualize it, I had to think about it, it wasn't, it wasn't something I could put down on pencil on with, you know, on paper. And so it's amazing. When I hear that I'm like, actually, you use quite a bit of math, because part of the language of math is problem solving. And that, to me, that's the part I get excited about. I'm like, give me a problem. Like, I prefer more like how to get from A to B really cheap with an airline, I mean, different things like that. But, but all of that is is part of that language. And we need to like shout it from the mountaintops that if you learn it young, just like a foreign language, it will become like second nature. And it's not going to be the struggle that it has been maybe for our generation with math.

Jessica  08:05 Definitely. And you know, I think that problem solving piece is so important. And when you look at Singapore's education, philosophy, they actually have this pentagon shape that represents how they view mathematics and education, you know, in their ministry of education, and at the center of it is problem solving. And everything we do revolves around problem solving. Like, that's the heart of everything we do. And so it's super interesting, because that's their entire philosophy. And when you look at your choosing your curriculum, you know, in making those decisions, you have to if you choose a Singapore math based program, you have to realize like, that's exactly what we're gonna do. When we sit down and we work through math, it's how are we gonna do this? What do you want to do? What strategies do you want to try and really turning that over to your children, which allows them to carry over those same skills to every other aspect of their life, which is super awesome to watch, especially in your homeschool?

Janna  09:01 When you really delve into this particular Singapore edition, it really does demonstrate that very thing because it isn't necessarily about the formula. It's like it's there, right? And for non creative people, and a lot of times people think that math people aren't creative. And that's actually not true. You have to be incredibly creative, to create those shortcuts and to think it through mentally without necessarily writing plugging in the formula. But it really is about like figuring it out in a knot. Like they encourage non traditional thinking, right, which is kind of like, oh, well, that doesn't really line up with math. 

Jessica  09:42 Yeah, you know, I think one of the researchers that Singapore relies heavily on is Richard scamp. And he talks a lot about you know, understanding why before you learn a shortcut, and the best analogy I've thought of, and I guess it applies to me because we're big hikers is you know, if you learn a shortcut on a trail Like, you can follow a map, you know what to do. But if you really understand the park where you're at, if you were to get lost, you would understand, like, you have your bearings, you know, you would know, like, Hey, I remember we were next to the river or I remember that trashcan, I remember seeing it, you know, and you start having this so that if you're lost, you actually have an awareness where if I only knew how to get from point A to point B, and had no awareness of anything else, if we got lost, we'd be in trouble. And I think that's the same thing. You know, in tying that to mathematics, we can learn a set of procedures, like that's fine. But what happens when you're in a situation where you forget, or it doesn't quite measure up, like there's that random zero or a decimal point or something, and instead of our students just, you know, panicking and saying, Well, I don't remember, I forgot, if they have that relational understanding of saying, Well, you know, this is this kind of number, and I can think about it this way, and maybe I can work this way around, they still have a way to solve the problem. And again, I think that is such a difference. You know, I think you worded it really well and saying it's like a language because you're understanding the whole premise, as opposed to just that shortcut to get there. And I think that's a difference too, in the way we were taught, we were taught the shortcut. Well, we didn't know why it was a shortcut, because we didn't learn the long way. We just thought that was the way to do it. So instead, we learned all that surrounding information. And then of course, we developed to the shortcut, because it is faster, but we learn why it's faster, so that we can make sense of all of it together.

Janna  11:32 Case in point, when you're in a class, and you have an example or your text gives you an example, it makes sense. And then you go to do it on your own, and it's different numbers, and you're like, wait a second, I'm so lost. I've seen that in my with my own kids. They're like, the example wasn't the same that the instructor gave us. I was like, well, the concept should be the same. But you know, if you didn't really learn if you were just learning, you know, how to do how to plug in the number like you said, and not understanding the concept around it. I think we've all been there, we've all been like, and there's no answer key for the odd numbers.

Jessica  12:08 Well, and you know, what's really interesting to me is, you know, part of the Singapore curriculum, they always embed novel questions, which are questions that don't look like what they've seen before, because they want to see what students do. You know, and I always tell people, there's no way for us to give students every single problem you're ever gonna see in your life. Like, we can't do that, nor do we want to, because we want them to problem solve. But it's really interesting to me, because it's always the grownups who get really bent out of shape about this problem. So like, number four was nowhere in the book, you know, show me where it is, the students are, are not that worked up about it. They're like, Okay, this looks different. Let me think about what I'm going to do. And they just try to work through it. But again, it's us in our own rigidity, thinking, Okay, we've got to have, you know, something that looks similar. Whereas when we teach our children from the beginning to problem solve, and just try to work through and create that mindset, it's not that surprising to them, and they're actually pretty open to it and willing to try.  

Janna  13:09 Yeah, and a lot of things in homeschooling, it's us as parents getting out of our own way, honestly.

Jessica  13:17 100%.

Janna  13:20 So let's talk about the part that you were very influential in you were consulting for Singapore for all of these years. And then there was the US edition that came out of Singapore. And now what's this next edition that's out there?

Jessica  13:38 Yeah. Okay. So, again, I had no idea about any of this until I was on the team. So I learned a lot about you know how this works, and got to work with some really amazing authors from Singapore. But basically, the US edition had many varieties. It had a standards edition, the Common Core edition, again, that were modified, but they're about 15 years old. And one thing you have to keep in mind is Singapore does not have homeschool. And they do not have Teacher’s Guides or anything like that. Because all their teachers attend one college, they all learn the same way. And so whatever book they're working from, they don't need a teacher's guide, because that's just the way they do math. A joke is like, what is Singapore Math in Singapore, it's math, you know, like, that's just how they teach, right? So when those materials came to the US, it was very fast. We wanted to get those teaching materials in the hands of people, but you know, it was just kind of done in a quick process. So when it was time for these to be updated, because we have totally different learners than we used to. Our students are doing jobs that were not around 10 plus years ago, they have totally different expectations, a lot more problem solving a lot more 21st century skills, communication, those types of things. So Singapore sat down and said, you know, what do our new learners need and they actually updated their syllabus and said You know, what are the things we want to prepare our students for as they enter the job force. And so they sat down same original authors, and they came up with a completely brand new edition called the 2020 edition. And it looks completely different when you when you stack them right next to each other, you will say, Wow, this is not the same book, they look completely different. Then they reached out to some US consultants and asked us if we would be willing to write the teacher's guides in the Home Instructors Guides. And what's really great about the Home Instructors Guides, the people that wrote it are all home instructors who have also been Singapore consultants for a number of years, we all know each other. And we sat down as a team and said, What do we want to communicate as homeschool parents that we know may not always be communicated, you know, because you you get a blurb about this big that you get to write and tell. So what do we want to ensure that parents know and understand. And so we really sat down and thought about how to put in question prompts and answers and teaching tips and really communicating to families when you help and when you don't help and what the additional support is. And so it's really great, because this new addition, has been completely revamped to show those 21st century skills. And also, as a team, we really tried to meet the needs of what our homeschool families were telling us. We even interviewed other homeschool families and ask them to share their viewpoint with us. And we would come back as a team and just talk and communicate. And we're really proud of the changes because we feel like it's meeting a lot of people where they are and they're not so timid or, you know, nervous about trying this out, because they can see how it will assist them in teaching their children.

Janna  16:46 Would you say that with the new addition of a home instructors manual written by homeschooling parents, the support for homeschooling in general, it is there where I personally felt like it wasn't in the past?

Jessica  17:04 I think it's hard because I do think that in the past, like I said, knowing how quickly books are published and put out there, I think it was just kind of, we need a home instructors guide, let's you know, let's get this out there. Whereas with the new edition, the team that was put together was very purposeful. And we really had time to sit down and think about what this should look like and what components we need. And I feel like even with the supplementary materials, you know, there's so many other materials now that will let you meet your advanced learner, your learner who's struggling, that it's like Singapore really said, let's hear what people are needing. And let's ensure that we have all these components and make it available to each person. And so again, it's almost like watching something mature, right? You know, you had the very first edition that came and here's let's see how everybody responds to it. And then we hear all the feedback and we make the necessary adjustments.  

Janna  18:00 Now for a family who has been enjoying the original addition, if they were to say, if it's not broke, don't fix it. How would you respond to that? Because I, I think the new addition is phenomenal. And I almost wish I could go back with in time and have a different experience with this new addition. But there are people who who rave about how Singapore is and how it set up. And it just it has worked well for them. Do you feel like this addition is still beneficial for those families?

Jessica  18:34 One of the really beautiful things about homeschooling and I say this to to everyone is that we all have our teaching styles, we all have unique children that we get to meet the needs of individually. And I think that that's really important. When it comes to putting the old edition next to the new edition, you are going to see a lot more problem solving in the new edition. And in fact, I think you'll see a higher level of problems. And so what I tell people, you know, I totally get if that's your comfort zone, and you want to stay there, but I encourage them to take a look at it because there may be some components. And honestly, it's at such a great price point that you know, there's this option to really have a more colorful and more engaging book that has you know, steam projects and performance tasks and all these really great connections that I think you're going to see when you put them up that this could be a whole experience. Whereas before it kind of felt like this was just a textbook that you worked from and you did the problems and you moved on. And so I just you know, again, I think it's great that we have choices, which is always wonderful. But you know, when you look at them side by side, I think you're gonna find that the new edition really lends itself to more of that math as like a whole encompassing subject versus just something we get done and check off and move on.

Janna  19:54 Specifically on the new edition, it has fewer problems Maybe per lesson. But do you want to touch on like what families can add to the basic package of, you know, your A and B book?

Demystify mathDemystify math

Jessica  20:11 Yeah. Well, so here's one of the things that's really cool. So Singapore believes that we don't need to do 15 of the same type of problem, they really believe that problem should get harder and more challenging as you go. So they call it variation. And so in the green Student Book, when you get to the learn together, you'll notice there's like four or five problems, but every single problem changes. And so it's interesting because you start a problem. And then I always, I always joke with my kids, I'm like, Ooh, let's see what the next thing is, what do you think it's going to ask us to do this time. And so we change and we keep going. And what happens is, you're taking that one tiny objective, and you're stretching it and stretching it to all its different ways. And you're seeing if your student can be flexible, and can your student really think about this in a different way. So you end with those types of problems. It's almost like you're building to the highest level of understanding. And then they get a handful of practice on your own problems that they can try. And then you have the additional practice workbook that allows them to again to do that, but you're not looking at, you know, buckets and buckets of problems. However, with your home Instructor’s Guide, you get online access to a reteach, which is a PDF that you can print off if your student needs more examples or just more visuals. And then on the other end of that, there's the extension, which you can print off for every single lesson, which is like, really hard problems. And I always tell people, make sure you do them, because some of them are really fun. And if you were to just tell your student like, Oh, hey, go try this, you may end up needing some support because some of those are pretty challenging. And you just want to take a look at him. So you also have that. And then they even came up with like a distributed practice, which is mastery and beyond where the skills that have multiple lessons, it's like a cumulative, you know, review at the end. So you have all these different options for your day-to-day that you can decide what to do. And for me, you know, one of my children is a gifted learner. So he does need some of those advanced options. Whereas one of my children has some learning difficulties where he needs fewer options. And it's really great because I can kind of pick and choose where we need to go. And everybody's getting what they need for math instruction, which is really nice.

Janna  22:30 And I would say that was something that was definitely missing in the original edition. So that that's so that's so great to hear. Tell us a little bit. No, this is one thing that parents call us a book shark and we constantly advise on people want to schedule, they want to know how long it's going to take. So, again, every one is different. And depending on how you choose to customize it, I would say with this new one, even each day could look differently because the concepts themselves, you might need more unite might need less. But could you walk us through a typical day for maybe your gifted and your struggle, or just so people can get an idea of what that could look like? Sure.

Jessica  23:11 So here's one thing that I will say in every single chapter, one of the nice things and again, having presented on a Singapore math lesson all over the world. This has been my favorite textbook series because it breaks down what a day should look like. And it's a routine. And so you know, previously when I have instructed schools and parents, it's like, well, your day could kind of look like this or this. But they've really broken it down. And they've taken the guesswork out of it. And I find for us routine is really nice. And so we know, hey, here's math lesson, here's what we're gonna do, here's how it's gonna look. So that's really nice. You'll find at the beginning of every chapter, they have a calendar set out for you where they will break it up by day, and every chapter is going to look the same, you're going to have an opening activity where you review and just get them ready. And then every day's lesson follows the same similar pattern. And then at the end of the chapter, you have a couple end of the chapter review type things to sum up everything. But I tell homeschool families match should not take longer than 30 minutes. In fact, so I've worked with Marshall Cavendish, and I'm an independent consultant, as mentioned before, and I'm kind of their homeschool person to, to check in with. And I tell people 20 to 30 minutes is what your day should look like. Because all you're doing is connecting, communicating, collaborating and comprehending. And so as you're going through that you start each day I call it like, I'm going to act like a peer with my student, where we're going to look at this problem. We're going to use manipulatives. We're going to talk and I just I'm just the sounding board. I'm like What do you want to do? How do you want to solve this? This is, this is hard. What do you want to do? And I let my students just kind of talk it through and then we go through the problem together. And then we go to those learn together problems. And I actually start to move away from my student during that time where I'm like, you know, I want you to try this, I want you to see what you're able to do. But I'm here for support as needed. And then they go to independent practice. And so for my gifted child who's older, he's in fourth grade, we always start that part together. And then as he goes through those learn together problems, I will actually start working with my next child, who's two grades younger, but I'm still there, you know, as needed, because he'll when he usually gets to the more challenging one, he's like, Mom, come on, check in, we need to talk through and we'll ask questions, and there's some math chalk moments that we'll have. And then he goes straight into independent practice. And again, even in the independent practice, they like to put some novel questions in there. So again, we'll usually come back and say, oh, man, this one was hard. Let's talk through it. Let's see how we're doing. But he's really, I mean, with my fourth grader, we're spending maybe 10 minutes together, like really involved. And the rest of the time, he's kind of going with me just checking in my second grader who does have some learning challenges, we break it up into chunks, because he doesn't want to sit there longer than 10 minutes. So you know, we'll do 10 minutes together and just kind of see how we're going take a break, come back and do the independent part with some support for me as needed. But it follows the same process. And then my kindergartner who still figuring out what kind of learner she is, because you know, kindergartens, kind of a mixed bag, she's working through the kindergarten program, which has tons of hands on activities in it. So we actually disperse those throughout our day. So there will be little games that it starts with, you know, concrete, pictorial activities you can do. And so we just will kind of be like, Hey, why don't you play this, or let's try this, or let's do this, you know, five minutes here or there. And so every single day follows a similar pattern. And we get through with math pretty quickly. And all three of them are happy to get it done. I you know, I'm really surprised to say that I know it sounds funny, because I'm a mom, right? Who teaches math. And so of course, like math is our thing. But it's hard sometimes. And they actually, because of that pattern, they are pretty open and go and ready to you know, sit down with their materials, let's get going. And they know it's gonna be 2030 minutes, and we're done. And that seems to be a good pattern of just following the routine every single day.

Janna  27:25 I think I have heard a common misconception again, about Singapore that they don't rely on manipulatives. But I don't think that's true helped me through that.

Jessica  27:36 So here's what's interesting about manipulatives. So Singapore, when you look at what Singapore does, they are not writing anything new. Okay, so their math is not anything new. They just took all the best research, and they just lumped it together, and their curriculum worked. And it put them number one in the world. And so when you look at the way that they teach math, they rely on certain researchers, and one of them was Jerome Bruner, who said that anytime students learn a new concept, they should do it in a real way first, and he used manipulatives. But he even said, like, the more real that you can do, the better. So, for example, if we were learning, you know, addition, for the first time, we used our little toy dinosaurs, and we talked about the dinosaurs, like, you know, these dinosaurs or came over to eat off the tree. And these kids are and we played with our dinosaurs, and we work through it. Because what happens is, when you work with your hand, you remember it, and you're like building this experience. And so you'll find in primary math 2022, it'll actually tell you to start every single new concept, which is at the beginning of the lesson, it'll say, have this material out. And working with the Singapore team, it was really interesting, because they were adamant that every single lesson started with an option to have a manipulative out when we were writing the teacher's materials. So they would say, No, you've got to have a hands-on first because we want students to remember what they do with their hands, so that they're carrying it over to build the visual memory and work quickly with numbers and formulas and all those kinds of things.

Janna  29:16 So what do they provide? Or do they recommend a set of manipulatives or in the Instructor Guide does it give you ideas of what to grab, like just even around your house,

Jessica  29:28 they will typically recommend a couple of things that are things that you're familiar with base 10 blocks, you know, place value, chips, shapes, things like that. But then in the home instructors guide at the beginning of every chapter, you will find that we list you know what you might want to have around your house. Because there's also in the home instructors guide. There's an option at the end of every lesson. There's something called do more at home, that we will say like hey, if you want to keep doing math, you know, here's a great way to encourage it. And so we do list those I items that you might have lying around your house. If you do math outside, like we do sometimes, like what's nature objects, things like that. And then there's just the generic math manipulatives that you could get, you know, anywhere that you typically use.

Janna  30:13 I think that's always good information to have when people are learning about the different styles, and different methodologies of Teaching Math to know that a lot of times parents will say, I don't know what what learning style my child is, especially if they're new to homeschool. And it's like, well, yeah, you kind of just start with one. And if it doesn't work, I mean, it's not not one thing is for everybody, right? So, you know, there is definitely different ways that you can see if, if a methodology is gonna work better or not for your child, would you say in your experience, and I know, you're, you know, you work for Singapore? So obviously, you know, that's gonna, that's the top but as a homeschool mom, do you feel like Singapore really could work for anyone?

Jessica  31:00 I think, I mean, I teach it to my own children. And honestly, you know, to say, I was unsure with one of my children, because he's had a really hard time. And I, you know, I would get to some of those mental math chapters. I'm like, oh, no, like, I don't know that we're gonna be able to do this, you know, this may not. And it worked. And he got it. And yes, it did take us a little longer. And we did slow it down a little bit, but I just kind of went with it and just saw where we were gonna go. And I was telling somebody, recently, it, it was so cool. He was doing a subtraction that was super hard for him. And he sat and he wrote a little number line on his on his paper up to 10. And he goes, You know, I can't always remember, but if I could write this down, I can count it. And I know immediately, and I was like, I'm so proud of you for just, you know, he, he knew his tools, he knew what he was able to do. And he had the confidence and he made that decision. And what was funny is he only needed it for like the first one just to build that confidence. And then once he had it, he didn't rely on that tool anymore. But he still knew how to go get that. And I think that this type of problem solving, and just giving him hard problems that may seem a little scary sometimes but it it shows them to be confident and like you can do hard things, we can figure out hard things together. I think as a parent, especially if math is not your thing, or if you know, learning new math strategies seems intimidating. A Singapore program can be can be an adjustment. And you know, I just like language arts is not my thing. I'm definitely a math person. But I am willing to learn when it comes to language arts, I'm willing to like open up my mind and understand that this is an area that's hard for me, but I'm willing to sit with my student and say, like, I'm gonna figure this out, I don't remember that. Let's talk through it together, I'm going to watch this with you really quick. And I think that's kind of the same mindset to have, you know, you can provide your child with a math education, but you can provide your child with a really good math education. And I mean, the latest, you know, test results came out. And again, Singapore has been number one, year after year, because their students know how to attack any problem. And I think that's what's really cool about it is, regardless of the type of student you have, you're teaching them a life skill that's going to carry over into so many other areas. And if you're willing to embrace that, as a parent, I think you will find that you're gonna love learning this alongside your student as well.

Janna  33:41 I agree. And after looking through the Home Instructors Guide, it is a totally different way of learning. Not a different way of learning math, but it's definitely there's some differences from what you were in you're saying in the beginning that rigidity of like, just do it. I don't know why just do it. But I do feel like this guide is super helpful for parents like myself who didn't think creatively about math. It definitely doesn't leave you stranded, you're not like, and I'm clueless. I have no idea what to do here. Because I will admit, that is how I felt in the past with the older edition of Singapore, and I didn't have I had no idea. I was so lost and reading through these pages of the newer edition. I was like, wow, this is so nice. It's like step by step like It's like hand holding. It's it's not as complicated as I once thought it was but yeah, you have to be willing to definitely think outside the box and just kind of get a new concept around what math can be. So I am super excited for anyone who chooses to look into this newer addition, which is again, Primary 2022 which I might be butchering.

Jessica  34:55 We're calling it Primary Mathematics 2022 because that was the year that it was you know, released, but it's the newer edition of Primary Mathematics from the original publisher Marshall Cavendish.

Janna  35:05 All right? Well, that is always good to know, just before we go, we always ask our guests to share a homeschool hack that we can take away with us.

Jessica  35:15 So I was thinking about that, I think we'll do a math-related one, because here's when that some people, you know, they want their children to memorize memorize their math facts, which are definitely super important. But when you're in the day-to-day math, have a multiplication chart or a number one, two, and 100 charts in a page protector and a dry erase marker, if you start allowing your student just to build those visual memories, and like, you know, draw it with a dry erase marker and look for patterns, all those things. One, you're not going to be frustrated, because you're spending a lot of time trying to recall effect quickly. But you're also going to build that visual memory. And it will be such a nice relief, you're still working on fluency, you're still doing those things. But you know, you know, in those lessons, like word problems, you don't want to be fussing over the math facts. So having those resources next to you, is going to be a huge help. And your student may look at it two times. And then by the third time, they're not looking at it, and they're just starting to build that visual memory. But it's gonna save everybody time and a little bit of frustration to because this will be so much easier. 

Janna  36:26 Anytime we can do math without tears, I feel like it's a win. So I can't be the only one and that, Jessica, where can our listeners find you and your consulting and some of the additional support that you have for homeschool families? 

Jessica  36:39 Sure. So I have a company called Math with Purpose, which you can find out more about from, where I have a blog with free resources. Today, tons of just additional games, downloads, and things like that, because I aim to connect Singapore math to anyone and really to make it accessible regardless of your student or your own learning style. But how can we make this accessible to you? There's even video support and other additional resources available especially for homeschool families. 

Janna  37:10 All right, well, we'll make sure to put that in the show notes so that our listeners can find that easily. Thank you so much for taking the time to come on today and demystify Singapore for us.

Jessica  37:20 Thank you so much for having me and it's always super fun to talk about that.

Janna  37:25 Thank you, guys. Until next time, bye