Summer Help in Math

** Do your children need outside help in math?
Have them take a free placement test
to see which skills are missing.

Saxon Math and Singapore Math Placement Tests and Curricula (Free)

Comment from Laurie Rogers:
Below are links to free Saxon Math placement tests for K-Grade 12.
Below that are links to free Singapore Math placement tests for K-6 (the U.S. editions, and the Standards Edition).

Which placement test should you use?
My preference is to use the Singapore Math placements tests for K-3.
I prefer the Saxon Math placement tests for Grades 4 to 12.

Which curriculum should you use?
Always use the curriculum that works best for your student. It might be the ones I like; it might not. I am always on the lookout for a better K-12 math program than Saxon, but I haven't found it yet. I don't make money off of recommending Saxon, and actually, for the high school math, I prefer the older versions, which you can easily buy secondhand.

A curriculum should contain sufficient content, practice to mastery, explanations, examples, definitions, and an index. Saxon does all of that better than any other curriculum I've seen. School district administrators do not tend to believe any of this, but that's why their math programs generally are overall failures.

K-3: I prefer the Saxon Math teacher's editions (Saxon 1, Saxon 2, and Saxon 3) as guides for content.

Singapore Math for K-3 can be word-and-problem heavy, and it isn't as thorough in content. If a child is capable and interested, however, Saxon (for content) and Singapore (for word problems) can be a powerful combination.

4-8: I prefer Saxon Math textbooks for grades 4-8. (Saxon 5/4, Saxon 6/5, Saxon 7/6, Saxon 8/7, and Saxon Algebra 1/2.) I have the second edition of each. We skipped Saxon 8/7, but I can see the benefit to doing all of the books.

As a tutor, I modify to suit the students. Parents can modify as well, leaving a skill when the child knows it and just checking back to be sure it hasn't been forgotten. Some students need to do all of the problems; others don't. But they're all there if needed, and the constant refreshers in each chapter are a structured and low-key way to put skills into long-term memory.
Again, Singapore can be a great supplement to help children develop skill with word problems and putting equations together. This is how my family did it for grades 4-6: Saxon did the heavy lifting, and Singapore was an interesting and useful supplement.

High school: I do not prefer Singapore Math for high school. Once our daughter finished 6th grade math, we left Singapore behind. For high school, we used Saxon (Algebra 1, Algebra II). I have the third edition of Algebra I and the second edition of Algebra II. She progressed at her own pace and capably blew all subsequent assessments in math out of the water.

Math has not changed since the 1980s, when Saxon Math was first written, but calculators have. The calculator instructions will be slightly different, but it's better to have a solid textbook like Saxon and just do any calculator work according to the newer machines.

Saxon Math placement tests:

Saxon Math Placement Guide
Saxon Math textbooks are based on skills, not grades. Students should be placed into the material that best suits where they are in skill, and then be allowed to progress from there in a logical and linear fashion. See this Sonlight guide to help you choose the appropriate Saxon Math placement test for your child.

Singapore Math placement tests

This link will take you to all of the Singapore Math placement tests. (If this link changes, please let me know, and I'll find you another.)

Caution: Singapore Math now has a discovery series they say is aligned with the Common Core State Standards; my recommendation is to avoid the Discovering Math series from Singapore Math.

I also would be supremely cautious about any series that emphasizes its alignment with the Common Core.

I've used the U.S. Editions and the Standards Edition of Singapore Math to tutor, and I found them word-heavy for some students and missing some content, but otherwise pretty solid.