What could possibly be better than a fantastic, completely free Math curriculum??
Why, free lovely cover sheets to put on your printed lesson plans, of course! ;)
MEP is short for Mathematics Enhancement Programme, and it is (was?) the public school math curriculum in England, adapted from a program developed in Hungary at the Petö Institute in Budapest. It uses what they call a spiral approach, introducing “advanced” concepts early on in a real-life, age-appropriate way, then circling back to them later with greater and greater depth. It consists of scripted daily lesson plans and a workbook (as well as answer key) to print for your student. The lessons use visual, auditory, and kinestheic techniques (usually a combination for each concept) and make use of simple manipulatives that you are likely to have around your house. We’ve used pinto beans to weigh on a scale, pentagram shapes as counters, and even Saint peg dolls to compare, contrast, and learn about patterns and counting!
We’ve basically just started using MEP in our homeschool–we’ve finished Reception (PreK/Kindergarten) and halfway through Year 1–and we are just loving it. We started with Year 1 with my Kindergartener last year, as he’s got a strong aptitude for it, but life intervened and we only got about part-way through. I had planned on using Reception to get my now-Kinder up to speed and move forward with Year 1, combining them, but it worked out better for us to “take turns” doing Reception/Year 1 every other day, and let the other student “sit in.” It provides a little break for them, gives my more shy Kindergartener a comfortable pace, and makes them feel a little special about their time while not overloading me at this point. (With a toddler running around, there is only so much guaranteed math time available to us!) I hope to combine them eventually, especially since it is a very teacher-directed curriculum (being developed for a classroom), but right now this is what’s working for us.
I had tried, last year, just to teach from the computer screen… then I printed them and put them in a binder… but in the end, it was all fairly awkward and, I think, contributed to it not really getting done.
This year, I printed off all the lesson plans, punched and spiral-bound them, and created pretty covers for them. All of a sudden it feels so lovely and official! I’m almost tempted to package them up in a box and mail them to myself so I can get that “Just opened a new, shiny curriculum” feeling. ;)
I have a spiral-binding machine, but if you don’t have one you can probably get yours bound at a local store like FedEx Office for around $10. I believe you can also order printed materials from CIMT (the producer of MEP) but I’m not sure how that works. If you’d like to try the DIY approach, though, I’m sharing the cover sheets I’ve made for these first two years. I’ll probably be adding more, in my “leisure time” (LOL).
Check back or subscribe to get notified about updates!