Picking a math curriculum for your student is an important decision for any homeschool.
A good math program not only teaches math in a way that kids can understand it, but explores math at a depth and level of rigor that will prepare students for anything they may wish to study or do with their lives.
Singapore Math and Math Mammoth are two very popular and highly effective math programs with impressive records of helping students succeed and thrive academically.
As a result, it can often be hard for parents to decide between these two programs, especially since they both have excellent reputations and share many similarities in their overall approach to teaching math.
To help out, we compared Math Mammoth and Singpore Math so that parents can better decide which is better suited for their child’s needs.
What is Math Mammoth
Math Mammoth is a fairly well-known homeschool math program aimed at students in grades 1-7 that was created by former math teacher and homeschool mom, Maria Miller.
Math Mammoth is a fairly rigorous but approachable self-study math program that is designed to help students develop a stronger conceptual understanding of math and a more refined number sense that will help them with math and quantitative subjects in the long run.
What is Singapore Math
Founded in the late 1990s, Singapore Math is a math curriculum based on the Singapore math method, an approach to math largely credited with helping Singapore achieve widespread success in international rankings, which it largely introduced to the United States.
Singapore Math offers several lines of textbooks, workbooks and resources aimed at students from Pre-K to Grade 8, and helps develop a strong conceptual understanding of math through a greater emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking, as well as the use of physical manipulatives and other activities to better grasp abstract concepts.
Both Math Mammoth and Singapore Math largely teach elementary school level math.
As stated above, Math Mammoth has workbooks and materials available for grades 1-7 math.
Singapore Math, on the other hand, has solutions for Pre-K to grade 8 math with Singapore Math Primary covering K-6 and Singapore Math Dimensions covering preK-8.
As homeschool math programs, both can be used for students outside their intended ranges (precocious learners or those who are behind), and both have their own placement tests to help parents find the level that’s right for them, which is helpful.
That said, because it covers preschool with Dimensions preK-5, Singapore Math can be considered a little more expansive in terms of grade coverage.
Note: Prices, when mentioned, are correct as of writing and are in USD.
Math Mammoth and Singapore Math do differ quite a bit in terms of cost.
Math Mammoth has a well-deserved reputation of being one of the more affordable homeschool math curricula out there.
A CD containing an entire book series (i.e.46+ books for grades 1-7) can cost just over $120, while individual printed books generally cost under $20.
In contrast, while not terribly expensive, Singapore Math is a more conventionally priced homeschool curriculum, and is a little more expensive than Math Mammoth.
Generally speaking, a single grade’s worth of material can be purchased in printed format for just over $120, although it depends on which edition you wish to purchase (there are several – Dimensions and several versions of Primary), as well as a manipulatives package.
Math Mammoth Vs. Singapore Math: How They Teach Math
Conceptual vs Procedural Math
Both Math Mammoth and Singapore Math are conceptual math programs, meaning they focus more on getting students to understand math concepts rather than the mechanics and procedures of solving them.
In other words, both programs spend more time explaining why math functions do what they’re doing, as well as the logic behind them, and generally encourage students to think about and explore different strategies to solve problems.
This conceptual approach, with less formal drill and rote memorization of math rules and formula, tends to help students get a deeper understanding of math and can help them develop more skill at figuring out solutions when presented with tricky or unfamiliar math problems, especially at higher levels of study.
Approach To Math
Math Mammoth and Singapore Math are also quite similar in how they approach math.
Both programs are, at their core, mastery math programs.
Unlike spiral programs, where topics are broken into smaller bits and introduced a little at a time each time in more depth and rigor, both Math Mammoth and Singapore math delve deeply into each math topic, spending time exploring each concept in depth.
Only once a student reaches a certain level of proficiency does the student move on to another concept, and the original concept is not revisited much or at all.
Review of Material
Classic mastery math programs aren’t well known for the amount of review and drill they offer, and some students do have trouble with mastery since they require a fair amount of revision and work to really grasp concepts and prevent them from forgetting things.
Responding to this issue, Math Mammoth has blended some spiral review into its program.
Each chapter contains cumulative review, and the program has produced dedicated materials, the Skills Review and Review workbooks, that parents and students can use to practice a mixture of current and previously learned math concepts and problems.
Similarly, while Singapore Math wasn’t traditionally known for providing a lot of drill and repetition in its curriculum, recent editions and updates (especially with their 2022 Primary edition) have integrated a lot more cumulative revision and practice problems into their books and lessons.
The company also offers a host of workbook supplements to help both those who need more practice and revision (Reteach Workbooks, Extra Practice) as well as materials for enriching and challenging students by taking the learning up a notch (Extensions and Challenging Word Problems).
That said, while both Math Mammoth and Singapore Math have worked hard to integrate more revision and practice into their mastery curricula, those looking for more dedicated math drill and memorization would probably still be better served by a more procedural and spiral program.
Use of manipulatives and hands-on learning
One place in which Math Mammoth and Singapore Math differ quite a bit is in their use of hands-on, tactile learning.
While there are some optional physical components that parents can buy with Math Mammoth, by and large Math Mammoth relies more on clear explanations and visuals to teach math, rather than hands-on activities and manipulative use.
In contrast, Singapore Math is rather famous for its integration of hands-on, tactile learning to help students grasp and integrate abstract math concepts.
In addition to the written and visual explanations provided in their workbooks, Singapore Math books contain a number of guided activities, especially at the younger levels, that make use of physical objects, such as Tangrams, dice, clock faces, scales, math cubes and more.
The overall idea of these is to help students learn by touching and handling physical representations of math concepts before moving on to their written formats, i.e. symbols and equations.
As a result, the learning experience with Singapore Math is a bit more multisensory and perhaps a better fit for students who are more tactile-oriented.
Independent vs Parent-Led Learning
Another place in which Mammoth Mammoth and Singapore Math differ is the level of parent involvement required.
Math Mammoth is designed to foster more independent learning and is more of a self-study math program for students than Singapore.
By and large, workbooks are written to the student and carry them through the lesson, explaining concepts clearly and providing students with opportunities to practice and put their learning to use with various exercises and problems.
As a result, Math Mammoth is less intensive and demanding of parents time, letting parents step back into an oversight role and letting them concentrate on other homeschooling or life tasks.
Singapore Math, on the other hand, is more parent-led.
Although the program gently encourages independent learning as the program goes on, it does require more parental involvement as far as instruction goes, with parents helping students learn and understand the material, discussing concepts in some depth and generally helping conduct various hands-on explorations of math.
Use of Technology
Although neither Math Mammoth or Singapore are the most cutting edge educational programs out there – you won’t find advanced, multimedia adaptive software systems with these – both do make use of technology to help students learn (and parents teach) math,
Math Mammoth is available as a digital program, with all its books digitized into PDF format and available on CD/as a download. It also offers a selection of instructional videos ( (also available on Youtube), some online practice problems, and access to math software (Soft Pak) that provides access to digital/printable worksheets and various digital problems and exercises.
Below we’ve included a link to one of Math Mammoth’s instructional videos, so parents can get a sense of their instructional style.
Similarly, Singapore Math has taken a deeper dive into the world of educational technology in recent years. Its Dimensions Math program has a variety of in-depth instructional videos for each grade level offered as an addition to the main textbooks, Teacher’s Guides and workbooks (sold seperately), as well as some digital books, guides and resources available through Marshall Cavendish’s EduHub.
Singapore Math also offers a variety of extra teaching resources for the Dimensions curriculum free on it’s website.
Parents can also check out a free sample of one of their instructional videos on the company’s Vimeo account with the link below:
Both Math Mammoth and Singapore Math are considered rigorous math programs when compared to many other homeschool math programs.
Now, this doesn’t mean that these programs are only for advanced students or for more gifted students.
After all, many homeschools swear by both Math Mammoth and Singapore Math, and the Singapore Method is the primary method of instruction for all elementary school students in Singapore, gifted or not, so both are generally accessible and usable math curricula.
That said, both programs do approach math more conceptually, diving into math concepts with less memorization, review and drill than some other programs.
Similarly, both programs do offer a good deal of problem solving, word problems and multi-step problems than other curricula, which tend to involve a good deal of critical thinking beyond simple computation.
Finally, both programs do tend to go at their own pace, which can introduce topics a little earlier than some other homeschool programs.
Versions and Editions
Both Math Mammoth and Singapore Math have a few series of books that they offer.
In addition to its supplementary material, Math Mammoth generally has two book series for homeschooling math: Light Blue and Blue.
The Light Blue series is a full curriculum, organized by grade level, covers several math topics and essentially takes students through a year of math learning.
The Blue Series, on the other hand, is organized by topic, with each book covering one concept in math (a book on Place Value, for example), and can be used for targeted study or for supplementing another curriculum.
Singapore Math, in contrast, offers several versions of its program.
Dimensions Math is its flagship program. Developed by Singapore Math itself, the program offers pre-K-8 learning (through the PK-5 series and Math 6-8 series), and can integrate with the company’s digital videos and materials.
The PK-5 Series has its own scope and sequence, while the 6-8 series meets or exceeds common core standards.
The Primary Series, on the other hand, offers K-5 learning and is based on the original Singapore method and curriculum. There are several editions of this series including:
- Primary Mathematics (2022 edition) – a revised and updated version of the program with US standards alignment, an adjusted pace and greater options for differentiation,
- Primary Mathematics US edition – a translated and US-adapted version of the original Singapore Math
- Primary Mathematics Common Core Edition – Designed to closely align with common core state standards
- Primary Mathematics Standards Edition – Designed to meet California State Standards
On the one hand, Singapore’s selection of programs offers parents a great deal more choice and variety in how they would prefer to teach their kids math.
Parents can choose from the company’s own Dimensions program, revised and redesigned editions of the classic Singapore Math method, or its classic versions.
Similarly, parents can choose between common core and non-common core Singapore Math programs, which is nice.
On the other hand, having fewer versions to choose from, Math Mammoth has a more streamlined and intuitively understood by parents looking for a homeschool math program.
Math Mammoth Vs Singapore Math: Overview of Similarities
- Both programs largely teach elementary school to middle school math
- Both programs are considered fairly rigorous
- Both programs teach math conceptually and emphasize problem solving and logic
- Both programs take a mastery approach to math, teaching a single concept in depth over time
- Both are widely respected in homeschool communities
- Both make some use of videos and educational technology
- Both have integrated some review materials beyond what pure mastery programs would offer
- Both programs have supplemental books and materials to help students deepen their learning
Singapore Math Vs Math Mammoth: Overview of Differences
- Singapore Math can cover a wider range of grade levels (preK-8 with Dimensions vs. Grades 1-7)
- Singapore Math is more multisensory, with a great deal of manipulatives use
- Math Mammoth lessons involve more self-study, Singapore Math is more parent-led
- Math Mammoth has fewer editions to choose from
|Singapore Math||Math Mammoth|
|Full Math Curriculum||✅||✅|
|Grade Range||Pre-K-8(depending on editions)||Grades 1-7|
|Rigorous approach to math||✅||✅|
|Approach to Math||Mastery||Mastery|
|Conceptual or Procedural Math||Conceptual||Conceptual|
|Main Style of Instruction||Parent-led||Self-Study|
|Common Core Options||✅||✅|
|Optional Video Instruction||✅||✅|
Bottom Line: How do I decide between Mammoth Math and Singapore Math?
Both Math Mammoth and Singapore Math are highly respected and widely used programs in the homeschool world, and because they have a great deal of similarity in terms of pedagogy, it can sometimes be hard for parents to figure out which is best for them.
As with any math program, parents should consider how their student learns best.
To help out, we put together a small chart offering some points that parents might want to consider before choosing either one of them.
|I’m a parent and…||Consider|
|I’m teaching grades 1-7 and want to use a single program for continuity||Either Mammoth Math or Singapore Math Dimensions|
|I’m teaching pre-K and/or Kindergarten||Singapore Math|
|Time is a factor and I prefer a curriculum with less parental supervision requirements||Mammoth Math|
|I enjoy working closely with and teaching my child in a more traditional parent-student lesson||Singapore Math|
|I prefer my student to work a little more independently||Mammoth Math|
|I prefer my child develop a deeper math understanding and stronger critical reasoning and mathematical thinking skills||Either|
|My student likes working with their hands and using manipulatives to understand math concepts||Singapore Math|
|I’m on a fairly tight budget for a math curriculum||Mammoth Math|
For More Information
To learn more about these programs you can check out:
Check out each company’s curricula on Rainbow Resource
Or visit each company’s website:
About the Author
David Belenky is a freelance writer, former science and math tutor and a tech enthusiast. When he’s not writing about educational tech, he likes to chill out with his family and dog at home.