My Math Curriculum Pick

By Lara DeHaven
Jake doing his MEP math.

Jake doing his MEP math.

Growing up I never enjoyed math.  It was one of the few subjects I actually had to work at to make a good grade.  So when I began homeschooling, I wanted to give my children a solid understanding of math.  I did not want them to just memorize facts and formulas as I did in school.

There are many good math curriculums available to homeschooling families.  I want to share which one we use and why I’ll be sticking with it.  It is called MEP (Mathematics Enhancement Programme).  As you probably guessed based on the spelling, MEP is from Britain.  As far as I understand, the program was originally developed in Hungary, which is a country ahead of students in the United States in mathematics.  In the 8th grade, Hungary is ranked 6th in the world in mathematics with the USA in 14th place.  To see it for yourself, click here.

This of course immediately intrigued me.  Then I find out that the whole program from Year 1 past Calculus is absolutely free.  It is all on-line; you just have to print out the student worksheet pages.  You simply download the year you need and print it out.  It sounds too good to be true.

A video documentary of Hungarian students doing math in class sold me on MEP completely.  The children at all levels seemed to truly grasp the mathematical concepts.  They were trained to do most of their figuring mentally.  I sat back and watched them work complex problems in their little heads with amazement.

I know that we live in a technological world, but as a parent and teacher, I want my children to be able to do math without the aid of calculators and computers.  I want them to be able to function when the electricity goes out or the batteries in their calculator die.

Now that three of my children have almost finished a complete year of MEP math at their own level, I have decided to use MEP all through their schooling.  MEP teaches math differently than how I was taught.  Sometimes I have to refer to the free teacher’s notes in order to figure out what the program is teaching.  I have honestly learned as much if not more than my children this year.  I actually enjoy math for the first time in my life.  My husband is amazed at the way our daughter, Kyla, can figure out math in her head.  The strategies are unlike any I was exposed to in school, including college.

Since it is a British program, it is heavy in the metric system and uses pounds instead of dollars.  Science is filled with metric units; therefore, I feel my kids are getting great exposure to this way of measuring.  Additionally once I explained to my children what pounds were, my children never had a problem with the symbol on the page.  They just pretend the question is asking for dollars.  These “problems” were not problems in my household.

I highly recommend watching the documentary produced by the BBC called “Primary Maths – How Do They Do It in Hungary?”  To view it, you do have to register at teacher.tv.  It is free and easy.  Then download the video.  If you like what you see and want to know more, go to http://www.cimt.plymouth.ac.uk/projects/mep/default.htm to see what the program offers.  Keep in mind that the program is advanced.  I placed my children a year under their grade level.  This was recommended by the MEP-homeschoolers yahoo group.  As this article could not possibly address all the information, questions, and concerns you might have, feel free to contact me or search out the yahoo groups posts.  They have a lot of information for beginners in their group’s files.

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11 Responses to “My Math Curriculum Pick”

  1. […] Texas Homesteader placed an interesting blog post on My Math Curriculum PickHere’s a brief overview…of math.  I did not want them to just memorize facts and formulas as I … is ranked 6th in the world in mathematics with the USA in 14th place […]

    #61
  2. Lisa

    Lara, I’m so glad you shared this information because I don’t think many people have even heard of MEP. I too highly recommend it! I have been using MEP this year with two of my children and have been amazed at the results. I plan to switch my 10th grader over next year. Previously we had been using Math U See, which I was happy with, but my fifth grader was math phobic. Before MEP math did not come easy for her; she threw up a huge wall every time a new topic was introduced. You should see her now. Math finally makes sense to her. She is now doing double digit addition and subtraction problems completely in her head as well as multiplication and division problems. It is truly amazing to see the change in her. The girls have never written out a single math problem all year. It is all mental math. MEP is heavily logic based with a heavy emphasis on word problems as well. Each page is like a new puzzle to solve so it is never overly repetitive or boring. I too was never taught to do math this way. Being a visual learner and having learned to write out my math problems MEP has been extremely beneficial for me as well; I’ve been stretching my brain muscles too. I think that MEP is unlike any other math program out there with the added, unbelievable bonus that it is free. Your only cost will be printing it out. I highly recommend you watch the video “Primary Maths – How Do They Do It in Hungary. If you decide to give MEP a try, join the MEP yahoo group at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mep-homeschoolers/ . There you will find the password to access the answer keys to the student workbooks.

    #64
  3. Becky

    Cool! I’m gonna try it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    #288
  4. Thank you very much, because you share information just about this good topic .

    #574
  5. Hi,
    This article is really awesome and informative; I learned a lot helpful information from here, thanks for sharing with us.

    #612
  6. Wow! I’m excited to look into this for my kids; thanks so much for blogging about it! :)

    #787
  7. […] Have you started planning for next year yet? Lara DeHaven reviews the free Mathematics Enhancement Programme in My Math Curriculum Pick. […]

    #926
  8. It was a very nice article! Just want to say thank you for the information you have shared. Just continue writing this kind of post. Thanks.

    #960
  9. Nice info! Very cool post.I have looked over your blog a few times and I love it.I can`t understand how to add your site in my rss reader. Can you Help me, please

    #1037
  10. Hello fellow blogger! I’m rather new to blogs but I just wanted to say that I enjoyed your blog here about homeschool magazine reviews; It kept me engrossed all the way to the end! Keep up the fine work… I’m always hoping to learn more about Home Schooling.

    #1309
  11. What a terrific post on help with math word problems! I honesty enjoyed reading it, and my own site is about Math Help so I’m not just saying so lightly. Keep up the excellent work!

    #1565

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Psalm 128:2

"You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessing and prosperity will be yours."