Monday, June 23, 2008

Mathematics Enhancement Programme

[Photo by Ethan Hein.]

Perhaps the most difficult task facing homeschool families is to find a math program that fits both the teacher's instructional philosophy and the student's learning style. A good math program must provide a firm foundation of understanding the basics of mathematics while also challenging the student to think creatively about how to solve math problems. And it must be difficult enough not to be boring, but not so difficult that it discourages the student.

Most homeschool families try several programs before settling on the one that fits --- and then we continue to argue with ourselves about whether we made the right choice! Well, here at least is one option that won't bust your budget. I have not tried this program myself, since I have so many other math books left from my older students, but I have read several forum posts recommending it.

Mathematics Enhancement Programme
The MEP is published by the Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching (CIMT), based on math programs and teaching strategies used in Hungary, especially on materials developed by Professor Sándor Hajdu at the Petö Institute in Budapest. MEP's goal is to challenge all students (and teachers) to think mathematically. Highlights of the program, according to the CIMT:
  • High expectations of students and teachers
  • Mathematics taught as an integrated subject
  • Continual review of facts and concepts
  • Interactive lessons
  • Stress on the logical foundations of mathematics
  • Use of models and manipulatives to help students visualize concepts
  • Encourages creative thinking and problem-solving
MEP is free for non-profit use, and is available online to anyone with the (free) password. You can get the password by sending an email to CIMT or by joining the MEP-Homeschoolers Yahoo Group. If you plan to use the program, I highly recommend the Yahoo group, which offers advice from experienced homeschoolers and many helpful resources, including placement information.

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