Finding a good math program in the beginning years is not always an easy task! Setting a strong foundation is so important, but you also want your child to enjoy the process – which can be super challenging. There are SO MANY options available to homeschooling families, and we have tried our fair share through the years. For whatever reason, we had never used any Singapore Math Inc. curriculum, though I’ve always heard great things. So you can imagine how pumped we were about the opportunity to review the KA level of their newest program – Dimensions Math PK-5!
What is Dimensions Math PK-5?
Dimensions is an updated, more teacher-friendly version of the original methods used in the Singapore math approach. It is still a more advanced and rigorous program than most math curriculum. The teacher’s guides are full-color and include copies of the student pages, as well as plenty of instructional helps and suggestions for activities to teach and practice concepts. The materials are written for both classroom and homeschool use.
Each level includes two sets of books, A and B, each including a teachers guide, student textbook, student workbook, and online printable resources. There are also test books available, however we did not receive this component.
I was given the set for the first half of the Kindergarten level (KA) of the program for review. The set includes the teachers guide, student text, and student workbook for one semester of math materials. It was very easy to dig right in and start teaching! There was not a lot of reading required on my part in order to figure out how to implement the lessons, it is pretty much open and go! That is always a positive in my book.
Since this was my five year olds first experience with a formal math program, I set out to complete three lessons a week with him. I wasn’t sure how he would handle that, so I was pleasantly surprised when he would often ask to do additional pages!
In hindsight, I might have chosen to start level KB with him, as the material we have worked through up to this point has mostly been review. He has been breezing right through the lessons. However, I am okay with that as it was a great way to gently introduce a formal math program. It’s really given him a lot of confidence and he has been very cooperative in sitting down to work on new pages. We discovered that he really has an easier time focusing if we do lessons before bed, cuddled up on my big king sized bed together. It’s nice and quiet and free from distractions, which is a rare thing in a household of 7 people and 2 dogs!
After going over the pages for each lesson in the textbook together, I tear out the workbook pages for him to complete independently. He is not yet reading, so I read him the instructions, work through the first problem with him to make sure he understands, then sit with him while he finishes that page, in case he needs help or correction.
For most lessons, all that is needed is a pencil and crayons. Some lessons require scissors and glue, or items to sort or count. We like using M&Ms whenever possible, so we can eat them when we are done! Some lessons suggest additional optional exercises using blackline masters that are available on the Dimensions Math website for download and printing. There is plenty of material and additional activities in the teachers guide for extra practice when needed, which is a huge bonus.
Overall, I have only positive things to say about the level of Dimensions Math we used for this review period. The lessons are thorough yet concise and to the point, and the teacher’s guide is easy to follow. The full-color text and workbook are visually pleasing, and have just enough material per page so as to not be overwhelming to beginner mathematicians. There is a lot of variety in the types of exercises for the student to complete and, at least in the KA books, not a lot of handwriting is required – which is a plus for active, wiggly little boys! Most of the exercises we completed required drawing a line to match two objects, circling items, crossing out items, or coloring.
Jack, my five year old (almost six) had no complaints about any of the work required of him and honestly he really seemed to have fun with the lessons! That is saying a lot for him as he very rarely enjoys sitting down and focusing on any kind of written work.
Dimensions Math KA gets our Seal of Approval!
We enjoyed this review and would recommend this curriculum to other homeschool families! Make sure to visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew link-up to read what other crew member families have to say about this product by clicking the graphic below…