Ok, I think I've narrowed it down to using one of these two programs, since I'm looking for more of a mastery-type program, and only doing 1 topic at a time. So which would you suggest we try first? Thanks!!

I have no idea what Math Mammoth is like, so I can't address it at all. I will say that we used Singapore for my son for a couple of years. Singapore moves very fast, which was a reason why we chose it. Our son is gifted mathematically [gets it from his engineer dad] and so needed to move more quickly. I personally didn't like the program at all [of course, I'm not a math person, either]. I didn't like the sparse explanation of how to do things, and they were doing stuff differently from how I'd learned. The only teacher edition I could find was horrible looking, so I never even used it. We ended up using Singapore for the couple of years but moved on to a different program this year. I honestly feel ambivalent about the program. I mean, it worked for my son; he got through it fine. However, I didn't care for the way it was structured nor for its unusual pace. I found their way of doing things to simply confuse the issue and make something harder to do than it needed to be. My husband did say, though, that many of those techniques were designed to help them do it in their heads rather than on paper. So, perhaps a lot of my issues were just that I'm a non-math person who was using a very math-intensive program.

Do you mind me asking what you're using now? We used Horizons with my son the last 2 years, and this year we started with it. But within just a few weeks he went from loving math to hating it. I just recently found out that he doesn't like the way is jumps all over the place in one lesson. So I am figuring that a mastery approach will work better for him. I've seen both Singapore and MM and they look like they stick to one topic per lesson. He actually saw the Singapore sample and said he liked the way it looked. I've not yet shown him the MM samples. So Singapore is advanced and not much instruction, is that right? Thanks for the help -- some times picking a curriculum is WAY too hard!!! LOL

We used what were essentially the 2nd and 3rd grade Singapore books, so I won't speak as to what the program is like earlier or later than those. The instruction, to me, was minimal and not well done. Frankly, I needed a textbook to understand the textbook! LOL They were using methods I had never learned and, at times, couldn't figure out. Again, though, this is a program designed for advanced math users, so I think some of that could be that the program is designed to fit a particular way of thinking that I don't have. It's not a spiral program, meaning that it doesn't do constant review in addition to learning something new. It has review sections at the end of each unit, but that's it as far as review. I think that appealed to my son as he found Saxon's 1st grade stuff to be too boring [it's a very spiral-based program]. Anyway, we moved him to Teaching Textbooks this year. He tested into the 5th grade in that program, so that's what he's doing. He's over halfway through it already. It's a bit of a spiral program as well, but it seems to be more challenging for him than Saxon was and he enjoys doing all his work on the computer with no instruction for me. Honestly, this was partly a practical decision on our part as well. My daughter has severe math issues, and she needs to have complete attention during math time. This way, he can do his math on his own while she does her math with me.

I have done some reasearch recently on MM, read tons of reviews on the internet. They have two programs/approaches: Blue Series and Light Blue Series. The difference beetween those two searies is: Blue Series concentrate on one topic at a time, while Light Blue series are designed to cover a grade curriculum for one year. Both series are mastery math. You have mentioned that you would like to study by a topic - then Blue Series should work well for you. They have a 7 days trial I believe, so you can try for free. It is very affordable. I purchsed yesterday 4th grade light blue, and for tons of stuff payed only 32 dollars, but it is only an electronic version. They have printed books on Amazon, $12.99 for one book that covers half of material, and $12.99 for another half. Plus shipping is expenceive, I believe around $10 How it geos compare to Singapore math I have no clue since I am not familiar with this program, however I have heard so many two-thumbs-up comments on MM that decidd to try - the most I am loosing is $32.

We are using Singapore Math for 2nd grade. I bought the instructors manual, childs text books and workbooks as well as the extra practice books. (We rarely use the extra practice and won't buy them next time.) I really like Singapore. I don't find the teachers manual confusing at all and actually have used a lot of the games and teaching ideas because my ds does not do math exactly as I do and I'm okay with that as long as he can get the answer. It does focus a lot on mental math which I think is great and he is actually learning his math facts easier than he did in ps last year. I have not heard of Math Mammoth so cannot compare the two. My son is strongest in math so Singapore is not too fast or advanced for him. I'd recommend it.

I just started using Singapore math and so far so good. I wouldn't call it mastery though - it seems more spiral. It revists topics with increasing complexity. Math U See is a mastery curriculum. I have looked into MM, but decided to go with Singapore because I thought my boys would do better with changing from the textbook to the workbook and back again.

We are using singapore and I really like it. But Math is my BEST subject so the lack of explanation in the text book is no big deal for me. I did not get the teacher's edition, and so far I have not needed it. I know some people feel that is does not have enough practice problems but for us it has been fine. I think Singapore math works best for parents and children who are good at math.

Singapore is fast moving. So you either have to supplement or know how to supplement without buying something else. My dh can supplement any math program without blinking off the top of his head..he is a math mind. I cannot do that. However, I love Singapore and regret not using it this year. I have not tried Math Mammoth but after visiting the site I am intrigued. I may check it out.

I've heard that Singapore is fast moving or that the textbook doesn't explain things well. Maybe I'll see that as we use the program more, but it seems more than adequate so far.

Honestly, the speed didn't bother my son at all. He generally has to be shown how to do something once, and then he's got it. I think I picked up more on the speed issue because my daughter is so polar opposite my son in terms of math; she needs to go VERY slowly. As to explanations, again, most of the time it was fine. There were just some times when they wanted something done a certain way, and it was a way I'd never seen before. The textbook just didn't explain those circumstances well for me at all. But, again, I don't have a mathematical mind; my husband always got exactly what they were trying to do. The one thing I've always seen about Singapore is that people either love the program or hate it. I'm kind of in the middle. My son did fine with it; I was the one who just didn't like it. I can't diss the program as the intended audience of it did well under it, but I can't throw my arms around it because it had some quirks that just didn't mesh well with my way of doing math.

I finally found an actual sample of Singapore... wow!! It confused the heck out of me! It was just a few of various pages, and they all had word problems on them and seemed just... I don't know... kind of strange to me, I guess. I'm thinking that's not a good sign. So I printed off a couple of sample pages of MM, and had DS look over them and do a few problems. Then, just bc I stumbled across it, I let him do a sample of Teaching Textbooks. He really liked both of those. After we discussed them at length, he said that since the MM was so much cheaper he'd be happy to use that one. Such a considerate boy sometimes! So I guess I'm off to order MM -- please cross your fingers that this works well for us!!! If it doesn't (and probably in a couple more years either way), I'll try the Teaching Textbooks. Thanks for the advice everyone!!!! We both appreciate it so very much!!

What is neat about singapore, it that is does allow students to do higher level math in their heads, which is neat, but it also has these "abstract problems" that are as confusing as heck but REALLY make a student work. Other word problems seem easy to my son after 2 years of these ones. We are moving slowly through the program (we do the text, workbook, and extra practice - in the higher grades, the extra practice is invaluable). My dd 8 scored in the 99th percentile on her math last year. BUT, all that being said, it is odd to use, and they don't use the standard math I remember - most upper levels of the math use fractions to solve problems (it somehow avoids moving decimals back and forth). My ds was not strong on fractions (we switched over late for him) and bought Keys to fractions to help him out. The combo of the two was very successful. Fraction problems are very easy for him now, whereas I remember getting chills every time I saw one! The program does not make much sense in that we are used to an American way of doing math, and this is presented in the manner they do it in Singapore, so things might seem "wonky" if you are using personal reference as a comparison. Extra bonus - the books are cheap, so you can try it out for half a year or year and see if it works for you.

I have tried many math curriculum and have finally settled on Mammoth math. I like that I can print out only the pages I need. I'll look through the topic that's being taught next and if my son doesn't have much experience with it I will go back and print of remedial sheets from the previous year. If he has had a lot of experience with the subject at hand I will skip pages. It might not be as necessary with my younger ones to do that since I will have it for most of the elementary years. It starts off slow though and I don't usually start math that early anyway. This is so handy and with four children I ended up just purchasing the entire series. I can print off as many of each book as I want and what a deal that is! 4 kids and 5 and half years worth of math curriculum for $123. I don't know if you are that committed to it yet but I will say it gives me great flexibility to do it that way. It comes down to $5.60 per year per student. Just some things to think about before you order.