By Nalika Unantenne | The Asian Parent – Fri, Jul 11, 2014Mathematics. One simple but crucial word when it comes to a child’s education. A good understanding of mathematical concepts teaches children important mental skills such as logical and critical thinking. Learning about money, calculating percentages and understanding fractions in early elementary grades will teach kids practical life skills such as computing their taxes and following a recipe when they are adults. S.A.M vs Kumon vs MPM vs E.nopi: Which math programme for kids is best for your child? Needless to say, it is next to impossible to live an independent life without math. These days, parents are spoiled for choice when it comes to math enrichment programmes. But having so many math programmes out there can also be overwhelming. How do you choose one that best suits your child’s needs? To make your task a bit easier, we present you information on 4 very popular math programmes here in Singapore: Seriously Addictive Mathematics (S.A.M) Kumon MPM (Multi Process Model) E.nopi (now known as Eye Level Math) Seriously Addictive Mathematics (S.A.M) Seriously Addictive Mathematics (also known as S.A.M), is a math learning programme from Singapore that offers a unique curriculum for kids aged 4 to 12 years old. The S.A.M programme is designed based on the Singapore Mathematics curriculum, which is one of the most successful math programmes in the world – according to the Trends in International Maths & Science Study (TIMMS) survey. Math programmes for kids: The S.A.M method is based on the curriculum of Singapore Maths. S.A.M offers over 30,000 pages of ‘step up’ worksheets and lessons are conducted by a team of qualified trainers. This makes S.A.M one of the most comprehensive programmes for Singapore Maths, and it was even awarded The Best Mathematics Programme by Parents World magazine. S.A.M uses The Worksheet Experience and The Classroom Experience to help kids master the Singapore Math syllabus. Under the S.A.M method, worksheets for each student are tailored according to their learning abilities. Benefits of Seriously Addictive Mathematics (S.A.M) Under the Worksheet Experience, kids will get to practice self-discipline and independent learning through a designated study time at home. The workload and level of difficulty for each child are carefully assigned to make sure that the learning process is kept challenging and fun, according to their ability. Trainers will interact with kids through dialogue, asking questions, props, games and through words of encouragement – which makes lesson time fun and interactive. Through their interaction with the kids in class, trainers will assess how each of them is coping with the worksheets. This allows them to look out for problem areas that need to be worked on and keep the progress of each child in check. S.A.M equips your child with skills that will help him/her perform well in maths. These include Critical Thinking, Heuristics, Logical Reasoning, Metacognitive Understanding, Modelling Techniques and Situational Word Problems. For more information about Seriously Addictive Mathematics (S.A.M), click here. Kumon method The founder of the Kumon Education and Research Association of Japan, Toru Kumon, created the Kumon method in 1954 to help his eldest son, who struggled with math at school. In 1978, the first Kumon center was opened in Osaka, Japan; in 1990, the first Kumon Institute of Education was opened. Now, there are more than 7,500 Kumon centers around the world in 25 countries, with over 2.5 million students. Kumon encourages kids to solve maths problems on their own by nurturing qualities such as self-confidence. What is the Kumon method? The Kumon method is an individualised learning method. The starting point for students depends on their ability to achieve a perfect score through individual study. Advocates of this method believe that if students continue to study at their own pace, they will catch up with their school level and soon advance far beyond it. If your child is struggling with math at school, consider a supplementary math system to help him not just cope with school math, but to excel at it as well. Benefits Starting at an appropriate level of understanding means your child will start to love learning math. Your child progresses at his or her own pace. Parents play a very important role in the Kumon method. Your child will eventually be able to advance beyond school grade level. Your child develops the ability of self-learning, which is a great study habit. Your child develops reading comprehension, strong calculation and analytical ability, which are essential skills to solve problem sums. Kumon in Singapore According to information on the Kumon website, the Kumon Math system definitely supplements the Singapore education system, eventually helping kids undertake the self-study of senior high school math with ease. For more information on Kumon in Singapore, click here. Multi-Process Model (MPM) math system MPM is a math system designed around the concepts of Multi-Process and Multi-Concept mathematics. MPM has been around since 1989 and has more than 100,000 students around the world. Math programmes for kids: MPM teaches kids to love math! Similar to Kumon, this system is personalised to each student and focuses on self-learning with minimum intervention from instructors. MPM prides itself on helping students to develop their skills in problem-solving and independent logical thinking. Students work with MPM to solve problems in Algebra, Geometry, Coordinate Plane, and various areas of math. What’s more, learning math is made fun so kids understand math concepts without pressure. MPM goals and advantages It promotes problem-solving skills through the development of independent and creative thinking. It encourages an active self-learning attitude in your child through a Personalized System of Learning (PSL). It strengthens your child’s self-confidence by continuously challenging the new and the unknown. It encourages your child to enjoy learning math. For information on MPM in Singapore, click here. You can also download sample MPM worksheets for your kids here. E.nopi (Eye Level Learning) maths system The E.nopi supplementary educational system (now known as Eye Level Learning) was founded in 1976 by Dr Young Joong Kang in Korea. The Eye Level Learning program consists of: Math, including Basic and Critical Thinking Math English, including reading, writing, speaking and listening Korean Eye Level Learning has over 2 million students in 16 countries, including Singapore. This system, like Kumon and MPM, is based on an educational principle where students learn at their own pace. Eye Level Maths, or E.nopi, lets the child work and develop his math skills at his own pace. The Eye Level system believes that when a teacher understands the learning needs of a student, then teaching becomes effective. Eye Level Math focuses on helping kids improve their problem-solving skills by using a “small-step” approach. Eye Level Math combines Basic Thinking and Critical Thinking math that encourages students to master math concepts. Benefits of Eye Level Math It provides systematic study materials for all levels, based on your child’s abilities. It uses study materials that helps your child develop the ability to solve problems alone. It uses an interactive teaching method that includes proactive feedback and open communication between students, teachers and parents. It helps your child develop critical and analytical thinking skills. It equips your child with the ability to use his/her skills in all areas of study. For more information about Eye Level Math in Singapore, click here. So parents, which of these math programmes for kids would you choose for your child? S.A.M vs Kumon vs MPM vs E.nopi So parents, faced with the choice of S.A.M vs Kumon vs MPM vs E.nopi, what would you choose? It is best to speak to a representative from each centre to find out how the programme can benefit your child. While all 4 systems focus on encouraging self-learning in kids, the best way to decide on one would be to speak to a representative from each learning centre. Find out what each centre can offer that best suits your child’s abilities. Also, speak to your child’s teachers at school. They should be able to gauge whether your child needs the help of a supplementary math system. They also might be able to recommend which system will help nurture your child’s natural talent. Are your kids enrolled with any of these math programmes? Share your experiences with us by leaving a comment.
Singapore Math has been ranked amongst the top in the world since 1995, according to Trends in International Math and Science Study worldwide. It is no wonder then that Singapore Maths can be a daunting subject to many. To the students at S.A.M however, Singapore Maths is fun and challenging. Started in 2011, Seriously Addictive Mathematics (S.A.M) is an education enrichment program where children are taught Singapore Math through a two-pronged approach: The Worksheet Experience and the Classroom Experience. The Worksheet Experience With over 30,000 pages of planned worksheets for 4 to 12 year olds, S.A.M worksheets are specially designed to break down mathematical concepts into simple, bite-sized pieces. Based on Singapore’s Mathematics syllabus, these worksheets aim to help your child absorb math concepts quickly. Each student is given 3 books of worksheets to be completed in 6 days. Students attend classes at S.A.M once a week to correct mistakes, reinforce ideas and learn new concepts with guidance from trainers. The worksheets are completed over the week on their own. S.A.M trainers work hand in hand with parents, to encourage students to complete their worksheet every day within 15 to 30 minutes (depending on their age), with Sundays as their rest day. This helps to instill values of discipline and diligence. Meticulously designed with a step up approach, new and more challenging questions are introduced with each worksheet. Furthermore, being modular in nature, the worksheets also allow S.A.M trainers to jump around topics, to cater to each child’s ability. “We have children who are 5 years old, but are preforming well beyond P2 level. If we see that it is within their ability to learn more, we will challenge and encourage them to attempt more difficult sums or concepts. For students who are more challenged, we will start them off slower and provide experiential classroom learning to help them in their understanding. We understand that each child learns at their own pace, according to their abilities.” Macy Wong, Centre Manager at Holland Grove adds. 3 and half year old Randall, who joined the centre a few months ago, hardly knew how to count to 10. Now, he is able to add and subtract numbers beyond that. So what makes this enrichment program different from tuition centers? The Classroom experience With a small trainer to student ratio of 1 to 8, S.A.M believes in individualized and personalized guidance for each child. Samuel Chia, Executive Director of S.A.M explains, “S.A.M is not a maths tuition class where the teacher teaches on the board, and the students merely follow. Here, we have Specially Trained Coaches and a Training System with individual based learning for each student. The trainer’s role at S.A.M is not to spoon-feed the child, but to engage them with leading questions, and encourage independent learning.” The S.A.M Certification Program imparts knowledge and coaching strategies to trainers on S.A.M worksheets, thus ensuring a consistent quality in the delivery of the program. Certified Trainers, combined with S.A.M daily worksheets, form the two pillars of the S.A.M Approach to Mathematics. The program is suitable for 4 years old to 12 year olds. Pre-primary level classes are 45 minutes in duration, while Primary level classes are 1 hour.
8 Tricks to Stimulate Your Child’s Interest In Math Every parent believes in the ability of their child. All parents believe that their children can perform well when special attention and motivation are given to them. Some children may be smarter than others, but this doesn’t mean that they can always be the best and others can perform well. What children need is proper motivation and attention and they can do the rest of the effort to perform well in class. We can help them stimulate their interest in Math for them to perform better. Here are some tips that you can try in order to motivate your children to have interest in Math: 1. Use educational math toys When teaching our children, we can use a lot of resources in order to motivate them to learn and at the same time have fun. When we use toys to teach our children, it makes them more attentive and interested in the things that we are teaching them. Using toys that are colorful and moving toys will attract our children to watch and listen. Be sure to use the right toys that will relate and improve the mathematical skills of your children. 2. Play games that require mathematical skills There are a lot of board games sold in the market that require mathematical skills. Or you can also make your own games that require mathematical skills such as simple addition, decision making, problem solving, and many more. 3. Explain that Math is a part of an every day life Relate to your child Math in everything that he does. Connect any simple event to Math such as doing shopping, joining sports events, travelling, and other events. When your child thinks that Math plays in important in their lives, they will be more motivated to learn about it. 4. Increase your child’s interest in technology Use of computers, learning materials for math, calculators, and other mathematical equipments can help your child improve their knowledge in Math. 5. Explain the importance of Math when looking for a job Help your child see that Math plays a very important role to any kind of job, from simple kind of work to more complex work. Explain to your child that all kinds of professionals do simple math in their everyday lives. 6. Don’t push your child too hard Adding pressure to your children in learning Math won’t help. They will have lesser interest when they feel that they are being pressured. Make the learning experience fun for them. 7. Visit your child’s Math teacher Take time to visit your child’s math teacher and ask how your child is doing and school, and how you can help him at home. 8. Attend Mathematics Enrichment Classes Look into interesting Mathematics Enrichment class, which can hone up your child’s interest and ability in the subject. Experts simply knows how to spice up the subject!