MEP math? The Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching (CIMT) came up with Mathematics Enhancement Programme (MEP) because of a concern that previous reform in mathematics curriculum in the UK had been unsuccessful. Using information from years of research they created MEP.
My son excels at math... when he applies himself. But how do you make a child apply himself if he is bored with the monotony of memorizing math facts, and completing torturous worksheets with unending problems? This is where MEP comes in to save the day.
Though my son has already learned basic math, he is not ready to move on. I am constantly having to remind him "the friends of 10", and it takes an inordinate amount of time for him to answer the most basic math questions. When it comes to doing a simple timed math quiz, he is completely lost. I believe MEP will be able to address these problems, and also teach math in a more creative way. After the first two pages my son was begging to start with math each day.
Now, this review is directed for students starting the program in grade 3-6 since that is primarily my son's level. It may be different in the upper grades. Also, when my son looked at the first page he commented that he had already learned the material. After all they are not reinventing the wheel. (2 + 2 still = 4) But, the more he worked on that first, and then the second page, he realized it was more difficult than it first appeared. It was a whole new way of looking at math. MEP forces the student to use portions of their brain not previously touched.
The last and best part of starting MEP math in this manner was the "check" feature on the interactive pages. My son knew immediately if his answer was wrong, and where he had made the mistake. He could go back, look it over, and work through the problem right then. (Bonus for me: It wasn't me having to tell him he was wrong.)
So why would instant checking make a difference. Here is an article from a very experienced homeschooling mom to explain why this is better for your student in the application of math.
Math Is Too Hard!
The primary reason that students seem to spiral out of control in math is that they continue to make the same mistakes over and over again without getting any “intervention.” By doing this, they don’t allow themselves to come to an awareness of the execution problem they are having, and therefore, they reinforce the same bad habits over and over again, making them not only bad habits, but subconscious “systems” that are hard to break.
Instead, if we allow our homeschool students to figure out what they might be doing wrong along the way – gaining immediate feedback – they can break the pattern of bad habits and begin to reshape the way they think about their process. This isn’t only true for math, but math is the predominate area where application of this system can be quickly applied.
No matter what homeschool curricula you are using, what if you changed up the way you did math just a bit? Instead of having students do 30 problems in math or more, and then allowing them to get validation of correct versus incorrect answers at the end of their assignment, what if you allowed your student to get an immediate answer for each problem as soon as it was complete. If a problem is correct, your student can move on. If not, your student would be required to stop, identify the source of their problem, do a “Critique,” and then they can move on. Doing this will allow your student to get an awareness of what they have done wrong immediately for the purpose of correcting that habit right then and there.
The trick to the Critique is that it is not terribly time consuming, but that it forces the student to see what they have done wrong so that they don’t repeat that step or build on a bad habit. However, it should be “tedious” enough that the idea of doing a critique is not a lot of fun so students will pay enough attention while doing their work that they will be sure to apply good habits, not bad ones, and execute properly each time.
Over time, this process will do a couple of things. It will help students to identify their unique weaknesses with regards to things or processes that trip them up, and it will allow them to proactively take steps to avoid those traps. It will also focus their attentions more acutely on the work before them. (So many students, homeschooled and otherwise, have said that they made a math mistake because they, “just weren’t thinking.”) And finally, it will develop a series of good habits over time that will lead to improved confidence and skill in math.
For a free copy of one possible Critique System, click here. But by all means, if you are not teaching math with a tool to correct for the bad habits, begin doing so now and see if your child’s math skills don’t begin to improve as they work to reinforce the good habits and eliminate the bad ones as they work!
Mrs. Camille Rodriquez is a wife and mother, with experience as a pastor’s wife for more than a decade and as a homeschool mom for almost 20 years. Visit her website at National Homeschool Academy.
*Note: I have not looked into the Critique System, so I cannot endorse it. Also, I have only done preliminary research into year 3 and 4 of MEP for our use of the curriculum. You will need to look through this program on your own to see if it would be suitable for your student. I was not paid or given any compensation for this review. I only offer my humble opinion of the curriculum. If you are interested in the free MEP program or would like more information about all our free curriculum visit our Homeschool Resource blog for the links.
Also linked here