Mathematics Enhancement Programme (MEP)
MEP is a free math curriculum from Great Britain. Printed workbooks can be ordered from their website, and if you contact them, they may provide you with PDFs.
MEP is workbook-based, spiral curriculum that emphasizes concepts and logical thinking. It is considered somewhat untraditional in its approaches, and contains many puzzle-type problems that require "out-of-box" thinking.
Review of MEP math curriculum
Time: 9 months
Your situation: Teaching 2 kids (6 and 8). Have used multiple maths programs and products before and having a poorly year last year, we're 'restarting' from the beginning this year to give a stronger foundation.
Why you liked/didn't like the curriculum: It's systematic, step-by-step, covers a topic in multiple ways and goes at my kids pace. At first both of my kids worked together, but then my 8-year old was asking for more maths so we're doing 2-4 pages a day with him with the goal of catching up to his age level while his younger sister, who is Year 1 age, is doing 1 page a day typically. It got my 6-year old to love maths with the early pages full of lots of colouring and fun activities.
There are a few errors in the book and lesson plan, as with everything, but they're few and far between and easy to spot so far other than the poster/pictures which need to be checked pre-lessons due to the common mislabelling errors. The only other frustration is that the lesson plans are obviously designed for a classroom - most things are fine for one-two children, but other things need to be adapted or dropped. It also says things like 'action songs' with no examples but these are easy to find elsewhere. For what can be a free curriculum, it's amazing.
Any other helpful hints: This curriculum can be completely free, but buying the practice books (£3 per book in the primary range, 2 books per year) takes away a lot of stress and mess. Read the lesson plans from the computer (not much point in printing them) and get any additional tools and pictures ready before hand for smooth lessons.
Review left July 5, 2013