So I started year 1 of MEP with my daughter, 6, in September. She is bored to tears with it. For her age she's much more of an abstract then a concrete thinker, and all the repetition trying to help her make the concrete things abstract is driving her nuts.
OTOH, they do introduce new symbols and ideas here and there, so I don't know if I can just jump her ahead a year, and I'm not that confident about knowing how much to cut out.
Has anyone used MEP and know how long it goes on this way? Is there another program more suited to her way of thinking, or am I on the wrong boat in imagining that is really the issue?
We haven't done MEP, but it sounds like your daughter might be similar to my son. We started Singapore Math last year and went through one of the books, but he was bored to tears. And usually he loves math. He wanted to do more interesting things rather than all the repetition that these curricula seem to offer.
I was a little worried like you - are we going to skip over important ideas if we don't do the curriculum? But getting rid of it was one of the best things we have done this year. Math has been awesome. I bought a few non-curricular type books on recommendation (Challenge Math for Primary grades, and Calculus by and for Young People (the "worksheets"), and he has been inspired and amazed. He picks up all the basic stuff he really needs to know as he deals with these far more interesting and difficult math problems. It has gone from "Ergh. Math again!" to begging me to teach him about polar coordinate systems while we're waiting for food at a restaurant.
It's very interesting - by getting rid of our math curriculum, all of a sudden, our homeschool life has become centered around math. I don't think that you're in the wrong boat at all, considering whether your daughter's math program is not right for her.
Another vote for skipping and/or dispensing with curriculum. We never used MEP. We started with Singapore, but we skipped ahead to find the appropriate level of challenge (typically 2B for my kids at KG age) and we skipped around liberally within the program.
My kids actually liked Singapore because there wasn't much repetition and if there was too much it was very easy to sort through the exercises and find the next interesting different thing. The word problems for level 3 or 4 on up were really interesting to them, as there were often multiple ways to tackle them, and they involved multiple steps and the sort of "brain-teaser" questions I recall only getting once I had been taught algebra. I wouldn't say Singapore is a magic bullet. It worked for us because we (a) didn't do the easy first few levels and (b) found it easy to skip around in and glean what the kids liked from it and move at whatever pace was right for them without actually spending a ton of time at it. My 8-year-old is finishing 6B (~7th grade) and has typically spent about 15 minutes on it a few days a week.
We too have enjoyed Challenge Math and Calculus by and for Young People. We also liked Hands-On Equations. The latter is suitable for 5-year-olds and up, so long as they understand basic multiplication and division. The two other ones are probably more suitable for kids 8 and up and have enough stuff in them to challenge kids up to the high school years.
Math isn't nearly as sequential as a lot of curriculums lead you to believe. You don't have to wait until after ratios and fractions to introduce algebra. You don't have to memorize the timestables before learning long division. You don't have to master multiplication before learning about complementary angles in trapezoids. If something important is missing you'll bump up against the gap and you'll know what needs to fill it. "Oops, division of fractions, didn't I ever show you that? Well, here, I'll explain it. Here's the part in the book where there are some exercises, if you want to practice."
Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up
Thanks for the replies. I'm going to have a look t some of those resources. Someone else suggested to me looking at a program that teaches to mastery rather than in a spiral.
I may also have a look at just skipping ahead a bit in MEP and see if that solves some issues.