Hi all ds 4 is wanting more math. Just wondering if the school system uses a particular style of instruction that is aligned to any of the major "styles"
I really like the look of Singapore math but I don't want to make things hard for him at school if he needs to learn a completely different method.
(As I understand it) Singapore uses an algorithmic approach to maths which the kids in NZ don't really meet till upper primary (from my experience as a parent). Starting with algorithms too early means that kids get dependent on "knowing the recipe" rather than knowing how things work and working it out for themselves. Having said that, Singapore maths motivates their algorithms by problem solving so the problem is somewhat mitigated depending on how much problem solving is emphasised.
I don't think exposure to Singapore maths is likely to be a problem and, if the kids wants it, it's likely to be positive. They may struggle with wanting to write down an answer whereas in NZ it tends to be more "work it our in your head and tell us what strategy you used, what strategy did your neighbour use".
My feeling would be to encourage the play aspects of maths - building/lego, baking (all that measuring - half a cup of sugar, one and a half cups of flour, put it in the oven for 30 minutes - teaches so many important things that make learning it in school much easier). Making necklaces from beads - the idea of patterns - all good for motivating addition and grouping (multiplication). Kids have real trouble with understanding perimeter, area, volumes, rates and speed in upper primary so it helps to have had understanding of it through physical experiences of it (especially through play).
The Early Maths section of Khan Academy is free and encourages good early maths reasoning and skills and isn't out of line with the NZ curriculum. Have a look there. Have a look yourself so you get an idea of where to dive in.
Thanks all - we are doing khan academy and as per her future school just some random exercise books with manipulatives. Mpledger I take your point about play we do all that already but She's dead keen on proper real school and knows the difference, anyway she's making progress now!
Primary schools do practical maths, especially with addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, measuring etc. I homeschooled our son for a short time and he loved doing his lego maths. I liked it too because he was so serious - it was nice to feel like I was sneaking some 'play' in there and encouraging fine motor development. This website is worth a wee look, and there are lots of pre-printable stickers you can get as well. It's just a chance to take maths out of a book/website and start to apply it. ww.edudemic.com/teach-math-legos/ or http://livingmontessorinow.com/2013/06/20/free-lego-printables-and-70-plus-lego-learning-activities/ are worth a look.
You should try out mathsbuddy - an online maths programme (year 1-13) is based on the NZ curriculum and allows students to progress at their own pace and also choose topics of their interest. They are regularly tested and you get a weekly progress email.