Let me first give the disclaimer that every child is different and learns in different ways.
Zander has used (so far) two different types of Math– Singapore, which I believed was curriculum developed by the state of California to meet state requirements and Horizon, made by Alpha Omega Publications.
Singapore introduces one concept, has several lessons on it and then a review. The pages area very colorful and busy.
Horizon builds upon itself; reviews past lessons within a new lessons. The pages are clean looking with extra objects to count or use for more teaching.
Using both, Horizon has worked so much better then Singapore for Zander and I. Singapore had too much going on, on a page and distracted my student from the real task at hand. It was also the same thing over and over in a short time which lost his interest. There was a 2 page lesson that was nothing but tracing and copying 1 – 10.
Horizon’s pages were white background with only directions, math work and a few extra objects to use to count or work with for the lesson. Horizon builds concepts onto each other. Instead of giving a bunch of pieces to the puzzle at different times like Singapore, Horizon gives the whole puzzle in different ways to better understand it and see how it works all together. Concepts are reviewed multiple times in different ways in future lessons instead of review at the end of a unit of lessons. I found that this really help to see if he truly understands and retain the concept or as with Singpore just learn just for the test.
Zander had a difficult time with the crash course style of the lessons with Singapore regarding money, calender and time but with Horizon since it works slowly with other concepts he has already gained a huge understanding with in 4 weeks. For example, when Horizon teaches ten, they will work in by objects, counting to ten, ten on the clock, a dime, tally marks, on a calender, on a domino, etc.
I also have the Horizon Teacher’s Guide and love the premade lesson plans. I know exactly what I need and what to teach.
I was so amazed at the difference of learn from just switching from one to the other. It goes to show when you find the right way, it will all click.