There is a free online math program from the UK called Mathematics Enhancement Programme.
Free is always good so I thought I would give it a try. It also had some rave reviews from the Well-Trained Mind Forums. Why not, right?
Here is my review: I hate it! Yes, I really do! And I am giving myself the freedom to say it. I do not like this program. I do not get this program. I think it is weird, disjointed, confusing, and frustrating. The program is making me nuts!
Yesterday, I gave myself permission to ditch it. I don’t feel too guilty since I didn’t pay anything for it, but I hate feeling like a quitter. But I am done! I am over it! I am going to get it out of our school room so I don’t have to see my cute comb bound booklet staring me down any more. No more MEP for me!
So, why does this program make me crazy? I’ll try to explain. First, the teacher instructions are ridiculous and completely geared for a classroom. I think many of the exercises waste my time and some are impossible to implement with 1 child. Then you need printouts and other “posters” to illustrate the lesson. I am NOT printing out all of those and keeping track of them!
Some of the questions were so confusing. Ok, this is first grade math, it should not be this hard. And I mean difficult for me, the teacher, to figure out what they are looking for. I would have to stop and find the answer key-and good luck finding that online. (I had a terrible time finding it!) Half the time I would read the answer several times and think, “huh”. Then I would reread and finally understand what they were wanting us to do. Then I would struggle to explain it to Curly.
In one of the lessons the answers to the subtraction problems are negative numbers! No WAY for first grade! Sorry, I am not explaining that concept as it is far to abstract for a first grader. Many times, the answer that I thought was right was not what they book was looking for. This math made me feel utterly dumb and hopeless! I would even show the problem to my husband or to my dad and they would scratch their heads and wonder why the program wanted you to arrive at a certain answer. So, I am not the only first grade math flunk out!
So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good bye! And in this case, I do not hate to go…..I am running to something else! We are sticking with Math-U-See which is wonderful concrete math with lots of practice. Then we will supplement with Math Mammoth which we also love. This is perfect for mental math and slightly more abstract problem solving.
Now, I’m even considering the new Life of Fred elementary series for next summer. It looks so fun!