Sunday, March 4, 2012

Problem Solving & alittle humour

I find it ironic that Singapore Math is commonly adopted by overseas homeschoolers while we, Singaporeans, are rolling our eye balls out at our Math curriculum. I really don't understand why our maths must be sooo difficult. I mean hello, how many of us encounter such degree of mathematical difficulty in our daily lives, let alone careers? 1%? No, wait maybe make it 0.5%.

Unfortunately, the son is born here and will be suck into the system. What should a mother to do? Prepare him, what else? I was told that our Problem sums are the real killers. To a certain extent, i do agree. I remember struggling with it and i would go '????!!!!??????!!' after reading the questions. Anyway, i learnt along the way that the key to cracking the problem sums is to practise lots. That is why, i have been slowly introducing him to solving problem sums.

I first started with very simple addition and subtraction questions from the above assessment book. Questions like 'If mama has 5 toys and sonshine as 4, how many toys are there altogether?' or 'Mama has 10 toys, she gives 4 away. How many toys are left?'. I didn't explain the questions, i made him read the questions himself and tell me the answers. I was pleased that he could understand the questions and derive the correct answers. After which, he dabbled simple multiplication questions.

Since he could solve the questions, we moved on to tougher questions like 'Peter has 5 boxes of sweets. In each box there are 6 sweets. Peter gave away 8 sweets, how many does he have?'. Of course, he couldn't solve it at first. So i gently guided him without showing him the workings (we did all problem sums verbally & mentally by the way). I read the first part of the question and asked how many sweets are there altogether? After he gave 8 away, how many sweets are left? With that, he can now solve such questions mentally. For some reason, the odd ball has been asking me for more such questions. I was like 'er...later'. I was too tired to entertain him. :I

I recently read a question on time to him. For instance 'Jane took her nap at 4 o'clock and wakes up 2 hours later. What time did she wake up?' Sonshine had no issues with that either.

So for fun, one night i randomly asked him,

Me: If the time now is 9 o'clock and mummy says you will bathe 15 minutes later. What time will you bathe?'

Sonshine: 10:15!

Me: Nooooo! I said it's 9 o'clock now....

Sonshine: It's 10 o'clock!

Me: (looks at the clock- oh okay, it IS 10 o'clock) Okay okay, So if it's 10 o'clock now, i say you bathe 15 minutes later, what time will you bathe?

Sonshine: 10:16!

Me: (about to say 'noooooo' when i realised the clock had turned to 10:01). Alright! Alright!


  1. Hi

    Can you please tell me the names of Math books (with author's names) that you use with your son. People in the US use Singapore math as a main math curriculum. I am curious to know what Math curriculum/books do Singaporeans use.

  2. Hi, I don't use our local textbooks to teach my son. I only occasionally refer the books at the store & mostly use the assessment books for him to do, like worksheets. But you may want to refer here at Adventure of bear, she use this book. hope this helps!


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