Let me start by saying that we use 4 different math programs. I know that may seem crazy to many of you, but each program has it’s own strenghts and weaknesses in my opinion. We rotate the first three programs listed with MEP being thrown in more often than the other two. The fourth program is done whenever my dd pleases, as it is for fun.
1. MEP math: We are currently more than half way through Reception year and my dd loves this program the most right now. Most of the lessons consist of talking about pictures and what is in them. This program is very strong on poistional words (over, under, next to, first, second, etc) and it is very easy to have a conversational style lesson using MEP. We did have to spend some money to have all the pictures printed (~$20 spiral bound), but you could certainly print it all out yourself and put it in a binder (everything is free!). Bonus: the material is also available en espanol.
2. Rightstart: This is an expensive program, but I love that it weaves in geometry and grouping by fives. My dd loves the abacus and all of the games that can be played (we bought the card games as well), but she tends to get bored with the lessons.
3. Singapore: My dd finished Earlybird, but I am not sure if I want to begin with 1A yet. So, I just ordered Essential math to see why many people on the WTM board prefer this program over Earlybird (both are kindergarden programs). I believe that this will eventually be our main program and that is why I include it in our math rotation. However, I do believe that Rightstart’s groups of five and use of the abacus is superior to Singapore’s number bonds (of 10).
4. Miquon: This is our fun math. I put a few sheets into a notebook for my dd and she gets to decide when to pull the Cuisenaire rods out and explore. This is a very student led process and if you don’t feel happy when you think about math then this will probably not be a good program for your family. If you do purchase this program, then be sure to buy the First Grade Diary as it gives you an insight into the program – without this book Miquon is quite befuddling indeed.