Every homeschooling parent needs to learn how to teach. What subjects will I cover, what schedule will I keep, how will I prepare? One important decision revolves around which style of math you want to use to teach your child.
There are two basic choices in math curricula, Saxon and Singapore. Each of them are different and each child is different. Some will do better with Saxon, some will do better with Singapore. So what's the difference?
Saxon Math uses a cyclical teaching cycle. A lesson covers some theory, followed by clear examples and then plenty of practice to burn it in. As you progress, the system will cycle back to review problems that were learned earlier to further burn the concepts and practice into your child's memory. Saxon's primary objective is to help children learn the skills involved with solving math problems, and lock these skills into memory through repetition. There are some critical thinking skills included, but the main focus is on executiona dn repetition.
Singapore Math is based off the highly successful system implemented in Singapore back in the 80's that has continually allowed them to score at the top of internation math rankings. The system focuses on developing mental math skills so that the student understands the concepts of how they are solving the problem, rather than just executing a memorized response. Singapore uses a lot of word problems as well as graphs and other visuals. This system is usually recommended for students who have strong math skills and a teacher who will work with them. It is important not to get caught up in grade levels with this system, and make sure your child is at the right level. You can take a placement test at singaporemath.com to help determine the appropriate level for your student. Because the course focuses heavily on mental math, your student may progress faster or slower than the standard grade levels. Be careful not to switch your child into Singapore Math's Elementary Math program if they haven't completed level 6A & 6B. The Elementary Math is designed for 7th-10th grade, but if your student has not experienced the previous levels in this system, they may have a hard time adjusting to the course due to their shift in focus.
Elementary Math combines algebra, geometry, and trigonometry throughout the four year course. If your child has not been exposed to these concepts earlier, they may get lost. Also, if your student requires repetition and review to truly grasp a math concept, be sure to supplement the Singapore system with daily practice.