Math Works! comes from the same folks who created Singapore Math/Primary Mathematics. Math Works! courses, available for only levels 5 and 6, serve as an intervention course for students who are struggling in Primary Mathematics up through level 4. If students shift into Math Works!, they review previously-taught concepts, and new concepts are introduced at a slower pace than in Primary Mathematics. The scope and sequence is more comparable to other programs even though it lags behind that of Primary Mathematics.
Students who have been working in other programs might also find Math Works! a good choice for fifth and sixth grades because of the foundational review and the thorough, interactive teaching methods.
Level 5 begins with whole numbers and place value then reteaches operations with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. By the end of level 6, students will have also learned all about fractions, decimals, and percents. Because of the time spent on review, the courses are covering a lot of territory, so you might need to slow down if the pace is too fast for a student.
Detailed lesson plans in the teacher's guides lay out teacher-directed lessons that use discussion, manipulatives, learning aids (from the back of the teacher's guides), and calculators. All of these learning aids coupled with the teaching methods and plenty of word and application problems help students learn very effectively.
Since Math Works! was written for students in Singapore, the courses occasionally reference Singapore, and they sometimes use conventions unfamiliar to students in the U.S. (e.g., spaces are used rather than commas to divide hundreds from thousands and hundred-thousands from millions, the word "revision" is used rather than "review"). These shouldn't present major issues.
For each level, there are two teacher's guides, two student coursebooks, and four activity books. Coursebooks are in full color while activity books are black and white. The full-color teacher's manuals have reduced images of both coursebook and activity book pages with overprinted answers. Detailed lesson presentation is in wide margins along with other teaching information, including potential trouble spots and suggestions for children's literature that relates to course topics. Lesson presentation assumes a class group, so many of the activities will need to be adapted for use with a single child. Some lesson preparation and presentation is required.
Even though it was created as an intervention program, Math Works! retains the basic methodology of Primary Mathematics that works so well. Many homeschoolers might find Math Works! an attractive alternative.