Welcome to Life at the Holman's.

Within this blog, you will find everything from recipes to school ideas to everyday fun stuff and things we have learned along the way. From time to time you will find just a tidbit of our journey here in Oklahoma. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Our New Math - MEP

Wow!  MEP is great!  MEP stands for Mathematics Enhancement Programme.  It is a math program that is used in the United Kingdom.  Here is a quote from their webpage introducing the founding of MEP: "Much of the material developed for this initiative is based on a Hungarian Series, edited by Professor Sándor Hajdu at the Petö Institute in Budapest, and published by Müszaki Könyvkiadó. This has been adapted and modified for UK schools with the help of Professor Tibor Szalontai and Rita Szalontai."

As I have mentioned before, we were having a hard time finding a math program for Savannah that we didn't dread.  When she began her schooling (K-3rd), she was using Miquon math.  Miquon is a program that is a hand-on, fast pace curriculum which uses a lot of critical thinking in their activities.  We rarely had a boring moment in Miquon.  However, Miquon ended at 3rd grade.  Since then, we have struggled to find a math program that worked along the same lines as Miquon.  Saxon and Abeka were both more worksheet oriented with problem after problem of practice, practice, practice!

I do understand that practice is necessary, especially with math, but these curricula seemed to over do it a little for us.  Savannah was bored, the math took forever, and I was tired of making her do so many problems with a concept that she knew well. ( In all fairness...she usually did not argue about the math, it just took forever because she hated every moment of it.)

I took my question to the forum at www.cafemom.com.  That is where I was introduced to the MEP plan.  It is a math curriculum that is on line and completely free to use (free except that you do have to print it off).  So, I knew that I would be able to try it without having to spend more money on a curruculum that we might or might not like.  The website has the student sheets, lesson plans, and even the copy sheet masters for teaching.  (I do not print off the lesson plan sheets because I can just use my laptop each day and save paper!)

The website has math levels beginning at "Reception" which would be our kindergarten and going through secondary advanced level mathematics.  The Primary Math page divides each year 2 parts (a & b except for reception year) and each part into 3 sections.  Each section has a separate link for student pages, lesson pages, and copy master pages.  We have not used the copy master pages so far because we just use our white board.  

After our first week with the curriculum, I asked Savannah how she liked it.  She said that she loved it.  She really likes the one-on-one interaction that we (Savannah and I) have with this teaching method.  It does not give a short instruction lesson and a page of work to do like most math curricula.  Instead, each page is divided into teaching type sessions.  We work on a concept, use the board and then she is assigned a section of the worksheet to complete with a time limit.  Then you check the work together and move on to the next section.  It does have review built in to each lesson, but it is constantly building upon previously learned math concepts.  Also, she said she likes having the time limit for each section.  She has always loved a challenge so I think the time limit gives her something to work toward and try to beat! (Note: She always loved the Miquon, but prior to starting this curriculum if you were to mention math like Abeka or Saxon...she would quickly let you know that she hate it by the dread you could see written all over her face!)  

Conclusion:  For those who are transferring from Miquon, this seems to be a great transition mathematics.  I searched and searched the internet when I was trying to find a program after Miquon and could not find anyone who had a suggestion as to what to use after Miquon. So, if you are struggling with choosing a math program or just beginning and wanting to find a great math learning tool for your child, give MEP a try.