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  1. #1
    Senior Member Evolved Gabriela's Avatar
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    Default Can someone explain MEP math to me?

    Last year, we used all US made math curriculum - workbooks, worksheets, websites

    This year, because we are in Latin America, I wanted to throw in some math in Spanish.
    I found a free MEP download for "Year 4" translated to Spanish, and printed it out. We're in 4th grade.

    Thing is, it's SO freakin' hard.
    I have a hard time with math, but with all the US stuff, I wasn't finding it difficult yet.
    At first I thought that it was just because of the formatting (that both me and my son would freak out at first glance of an exercise). I thought that maybe because there aren't any pictures, and the pages don't have much "white space", it was just a visual thing.

    We were managing to work through them. Until yesterday. It was sooo hard.
    It then occurred to me that Year 4 might not correspond to 4th grade.
    I looked it up, and read that it DOES. But I also found out that it is made in the UK.

    So does this mean that US math standards are just way lower than the UK's?
    is MEP math specially made for math genius kids?

    I find that the exercises require much more logic and analysis. There are hardly any just straight up mult and div exercises. There are lots of "find the missing numbers", "finish the sequence". On the other hand, the word problems are pretty simple. I don't get it - why is it so different from everything else I'm finding for 4th grade math level?

    Have you used it? What do you think?
    4th year homeschooling my one and only ds11, 6th grade, in Bananaland
    and writing about it in my spare time at Luminous Fire - our homeschool journal

  2. #2
    Senior Member Arrived hockeymom's Avatar
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    We started with it in grade 1, but didn't use it for long. I thought my son would enjoy the puzzles and spiral method...I was SO wrong! lol I can definitely see if you start "late" in the program (like you are) it might be very confusing--it was bad enough for us even just starting out. The methodology is so different than what most of us are accustomed to and from what else is out there. I can see it being great for some kids, but it's definitely not for everyone.
    Mama to one son (11)
    2014-2015: Jacobs Algebra, CPO Earth Science, HO2 Middle Ages, IEW, AAS

  3. #3
    Senior Member Evolved Sherry's Avatar
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    We love MEP. We like that concepts are introduced in several different ways and that daily topics are varied. We like that it makes the child think and not just memorize facts. But - we started with reception and worked our way up to year 1. Even so, the first few weeks of year 1 were hard. We had to work up to doing a full lesson in a day. We do 1 lesson or 30 minutes a day, whichever comes first. If we aren't done with the lesson after 30 minutes, we stop and pick up at that point the next day. It took 8-10 weeks for us to be able to complete most lessons in one session.

    MEP is organized differently than most US math texts. Concepts are often introduced earlier than in other programs, but mastery is not expected the first time the child encounters the concept. Keep moving, the topic will come up again. You need to follow the lesson plans and not just do the worksheets. New topics are introduced in the lesson plans. The worksheets are review. Your child is not expected to complete every problem on the worksheet on his own. Some of them are group exercises. Also, MEP was intended for a classroom. The more difficult problems are challenges to give advanced students something to do after finishing the review problems (while slower students are still working on the basic problems).

    The general advice I have seen for people starting in the middle is to drop down a level or two. Move quickly through the concepts your child has already mastered. This lets you and your child get a feel for the program. MEP is considered a tough program even in the U.K. It is okay if your child is working on a lower level. Remember that most students who complete year 6 are ready for algebra.

    People on the Yahoo! group could give you more advice on starting in the middle.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Evolved theWeedyRoad's Avatar
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    I find this thread interesting! I printed some of the sheets out to use in conjunction with our regular math- I thought my kids would like the sort of.. game style of the problems. OOOOh no way. I still have that stack of sheets here somewhere, gathering dust. To be honest, when I looked over it, I couldn't figure out what they were asking sometimes, either.
    Finding the flowers on the road less traveled!

    Homeschooling dd (8yo, 2nd) and ds (10yo, 4th) eclectically

    My blog! :P : http://theweedyroad.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    Senior Member Arrived farrarwilliams's Avatar
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    You also have to keep in mind that part of the MEP philosophy is that it's good to have a mix of levels of problems as well. They specifically insert both reviewish, easy questions along with challenge questions to get kids to stop and think. There were problems in the Y1 that made me pause for a moment. Also, they use some odd notations. Specifically the 5 <2 7 thing, which means 5 is 2 less than 7. Simple when you realize it, but it's not a common way of writing things. I'm guessing there are probably more things like that. Also, in the upper levels there's more with the metric system than you would get in a US math text.
    Disclaimer: Everything I'm saying is just my own opinion, based on my own experiences teaching and with my own kids and my own life. You should just ignore me if I'm annoying you. I don't mind.

    But if I don't annoy you, feel free to visit my blog:
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Evolved Gabriela's Avatar
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    The metric system part is really important for us here, so that's actually a plus for us.
    But, yeah, some of the problems just don't make any sense to me.
    Dh is really good at math, and will sometimes have to look at them for a while to make sense of them.
    So I guess I'll go back and start at an earlier grade level.

    Thanks for helping me with this!
    4th year homeschooling my one and only ds11, 6th grade, in Bananaland
    and writing about it in my spare time at Luminous Fire - our homeschool journal

  7. #7
    Senior Member Evolved Jackielyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherry View Post
    We love MEP. We like that concepts are introduced in several different ways and that daily topics are varied. We like that it makes the child think and not just memorize facts. But - we started with reception and worked our way up to year 1. Even so, the first few weeks of year 1 were hard. We had to work up to doing a full lesson in a day. We do 1 lesson or 30 minutes a day, whichever comes first. If we aren't done with the lesson after 30 minutes, we stop and pick up at that point the next day. It took 8-10 weeks for us to be able to complete most lessons in one session.

    MEP is organized differently than most US math texts. Concepts are often introduced earlier than in other programs, but mastery is not expected the first time the child encounters the concept. Keep moving, the topic will come up again. You need to follow the lesson plans and not just do the worksheets. New topics are introduced in the lesson plans. The worksheets are review. Your child is not expected to complete every problem on the worksheet on his own. Some of them are group exercises. Also, MEP was intended for a classroom. The more difficult problems are challenges to give advanced students something to do after finishing the review problems (while slower students are still working on the basic problems).

    The general advice I have seen for people starting in the middle is to drop down a level or two. Move quickly through the concepts your child has already mastered. This lets you and your child get a feel for the program. MEP is considered a tough program even in the U.K. It is okay if your child is working on a lower level. Remember that most students who complete year 6 are ready for algebra.

    People on the Yahoo! group could give you more advice on starting in the middle.
    Oh there's a Yahoo! group!? I just started my 6 yr old on year 2, could really use some pointers.
    Army Family of 5--
    DJ and Jackie
    Corbin, Reid and Faith

  8. #8
    Senior Member Evolved Sherry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackielyn View Post
    Oh there's a Yahoo! group!? I just started my 6 yr old on year 2, could really use some pointers.
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mep-homeschoolers/

  9. #9
    Senior Member Evolved Jackielyn's Avatar
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    Thank you kindly!
    Army Family of 5--
    DJ and Jackie
    Corbin, Reid and Faith

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