As a homeschooling mom, it’s important that the resources I purchase help me to meet the educational goals I have set for my children. In one particular subject area, math, I want my children to be able to easily pick up on math concepts and build on them in a way they can naturally relate to. This is where Dimensions Math curriculum comes in. (This article is written by Michelle Huddlestons – A homeschooling parent)
What is Dimensions Math?
A refreshed approach to Singapore Math, Dimensions Math is a curriculum that offers a deep, yet practical, elementary math foundation. As parents, we all know how important it is for our children to get “the basics” as those are what’s needed before they can smoothly move on to anything else.
This curriculum is clear and relevant with vibrant images while staying true to the original model laid out in their Singapore Math curriculum (progression and scope). I also like that all materials are included and offer differentiation. You get teacher’s guides, textbooks, workbooks, and tests. Each component works together to bring a well-rounded math education to my children.
The Components of Dimensions Math
As I mentioned earlier, the different resource components with this curriculum work together to help you teach math and your child learn math. They each play a special role in accomplishing this.
In my opinion, this is one of the deciding factors when looking at a curriculum to use. If the teacher’s guide is overwhelming to look at, let alone teach from, then it can make it difficult for the parent to use. With the Dimensions Math teacher’s guide, it’s far from overwhelming and quite simple to navigate.
There’s a layout that plainly describes how to navigate each section of every chapter. It is the same throughout so there is no guessing on what to do. It flows with the layout of the textbook so you’ll always be in step with what your child is seeing on their end.
Each chapter includes the following sections to help make teaching a breeze:
- Think (provides structure for teacher guidance)
- Learn (guides teach to analyze student methods)
- Do (expands on specific problems with strategies)
- Student textbook pages (allows for following along with student book)
- Extend (ideas and activities for extension)
- Small group activities (have fun while working with others)
With everything laid out for you in an open-and-go kind of layout, it makes teaching the math concepts much easier.
Textbooks and Workbooks
I paired these together because they go hand-in-hand to ensure that children are truly learning the concepts and simply memorizing them. The textbook uses vibrant colors and cute characters to help make suggestions on how to think about problems, remind children of strategies they’ve learned, as well as encourage them to come up with their own solution.
Coming from a discussion-based perspective, each lesson begins with a problem to solve. I really like this approach as it helps me to see how my child is thinking about the problem as well as how they come up with answers. The suggested use of manipulatives also provides an additional step in learning while getting my children to think concretely about the concept being taught.
Throughout the lesson, children are able to easily make connections through the illustrations given and the manipulatives used to find answers. The best part is the real-world application, which is the most important aspect for me. I want my children to be able to actually use what they are learning versus memorizing just to reach another milestone.
This is also where the workbook comes in. It starts with simple problems and progresses toward more challenging ones, ultimately offering the practice needed to secure conceptual understanding.
Although most of us homeschooling parents opt out of giving our children tests, they are still important for being able to see what our children know, have learned, and still remember. The tests provided by Dimensions Math are not overwhelming to the child because they are split up into two different categories:
- Test A focuses on key concepts and fundamental problem-solving skills.
- Test B focuses on the application of the skills and analytical thinking.
These tests are also a great way to stay organized, especially if you live in a state that requires annual testing and/or showing proof of homeschooling.
Is Dimensions Math for you?
Overall, you would have to answer this question for yourself, but just to give you some mile markers to consider… Dimensions Math would be perfect for you if:
- You need (or prefer) detailed instructions of what to teach.
- Enjoy a consistent teaching layout.
- Like the hands-on approach using manipulatives (perfect for kinesthetic learners).
- Well thought out resources for your children (textbooks and workbooks).
- Optional activities.
- Optional supplements.
- Reasonably priced (about $100 per year).
One thing to always be mindful of no matter what curriculum you choose is the learning style and developmental level of your child. In some cases, your child may need to have a different option for this subject, or this could be the very thing they need.
You can check out Dimension Math samples and get an idea of what you would be investing before buying, which is always a plus. Consider printing off some of the sample pages and using them with your child to see if they like it. Remember that learning shouldn’t have to come at the expense of pulling teeth so ask them if they like it. Pay attention to their behavior. Then, make your choice.
I believe Dimensions Math is worth trying as it’s a tested, tried, and true math program that has been around for a long time. I honestly wish I had learned math this way growing up!
Related Post: Singapore Math Curriculum Comparison: Math in Focus Vs Primary Mathematics Vs Dimensions Math.
Singapore Math Learning Center
At Singapore Math Learning Center, we provide online tutoring and online courses to those who are using any Singapore Math curriculums or who are interested in the Singapore Math method. For a free math assessment, please contact us.