# What to do about MEP freak-outs?

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About once every ten days, Abby flips out over math. She looks at one section of the MEP sheet and decides she can't do it. They are problems she can very well do. Part of her flip-out is out of working the same number all week, another part is that she does not KNOW the math facts, and that drives her batty to have to figure the sum AND do the puzzle-type problem. I know that it's designed for classroom help and so I try to work with her, but in her mind that's like saying she's dumb because she cannot readily see the answer.

I have MM, SM, and MEP. Should I drop MEP in favor of something with less puzzle-like problems that are more straight-forward? Should I keep up with it and drill/play games for these math facts on the side? My plan is to move back to SM and complete 1B before moving on with the rest of SM.

Edited by blondeviolin
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Part of it might just be maturity. My son couldn't have handled that kind of challenge at age 5, even though he was advanced in math. Put it away, and try again in a few months or even next year. If other things are working well, stick with what's working. I don't think there's any reason to stress out a 5 year old over math. :)

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Part of it might just be maturity. My son couldn't have handled that kind of challenge at age 5, even though he was advanced in math. Put it away, and try again in a few months or even next year. If other things are working well, stick with what's working. I don't think there's any reason to stress out a 5 year old over math. :)

I just don't want it all to feel disjointed. And I'd still like her to complete MEP 1b. Maybe we'll move back to Singapore and do the MEP stuff after she's finished SM 1b. We just addition war today and she has a fair command of most of her facts (still needs work on 7+5, 8+4, 8+5, and 8+6). That's not bad for five...

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I know that it's designed for classroom help and so I try to work with her, but in her mind that's like saying she's dumb because she cannot readily see the answer.

that's probably an attitude you will have to work on--because if everything came easy, she wouldn't really be learning anything. She's going to have to learn to accept challenge as a learning opportunity, because this is how her brain will get "stretched".

It is possible that she's too young for MEP, some of the stuff in there throws *me* for a loop. :001_smile: Or maybe you just need to take time to "camp out" at some of the trickier puzzles. I use MEP with a bunch of other things and my 5 y.o. DS gets really crabby at some of the puzzles when he can't figure them out right away. We just put it away and bring it out another day and do Miquon in the meanwhile.

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that's probably an attitude you will have to work on--because if everything came easy, she wouldn't really be learning anything. She's going to have to learn to accept challenge as a learning opportunity, because this is how her brain will get "stretched".

It is possible that she's too young for MEP, some of the stuff in there throws *me* for a loop. :001_smile: Or maybe you just need to take time to "camp out" at some of the trickier puzzles. I use MEP with a bunch of other things and my 5 y.o. DS gets really crabby at some of the puzzles when he can't figure them out right away. We just put it away and bring it out another day and do Miquon in the meanwhile.

We're definitely working on it. It's a fine line to walk between pushing her and not challenging her. She is definitely a perfectionist.

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We're definitely working on it. It's a fine line to walk between pushing her and not challenging her. She is definitely a perfectionist.

This sounds like my DS5. This is what I have noticed. He was getting very frustrated with Miquon for awhile because it was slightly too challenging for him. Since he is a perfectionist, he thinks everything should be easy for him. I backed off on Miquon for a couple of months and just kept working on our other math program (McRuffy at the time). We are doing the same 3 programs you are. You are even further ahead that we are. I would say that you can relax on this and just give it some time. Maybe take a month off from formal math and play math games. RS math games are great. My kids LOVE Sum Swamp to solidify math facts. I wouldn't make math stressful, especially if she is gifted in math. You want to challenge, but not overwhelm. Some of the problems in MEP1 are hard enough that I have to check the answer to get it. Maybe you can walk her through it slowly and then make up some similar problems for her to do. You could also write the problem on a whiteboard and have her do it on there. That always stresses my son out less than doing it on paper. It sounds like you have a very bright daughter and you are far enough ahead that you could definitely slow down or stop one program temporarily.

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We talk about it. My 7yo in particular freaks out when something is a little bit difficult. Everything has come so easily that doing something even a little challenging causes tears and inability. So I have her go get a drink of water, take some deep breaths, remind her that this has happened before, she succeeded before, that she can actually do it, and walk her step by step through the problem(s). I don't let her stop thinking she can't do it because she and I know she can.

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Before either you or she despair, you might look ahead in the lessons. I'm just coming out of one of those freak-outs myself--and I've had them in the past as well. My son will slow to 0 mph on his work. I'll think it's a discipline issue at first. Then I'll decide we'd better just stop for a while. We take a break, playing math games, drilling facts, whatever, and then we slowly take up MEP again, with me doing lots of hand-holding, doing maybe one practice book item a day. THEN within five lessons suddenly the lesson plans will make a hard right turn and we'll be doing something super-easy like, say, running around the house measuring stuff. We're in Y2, but it's only now that I'm beginning to recognize this pattern. MEP ramps up really hard but then backs off for a while. I just hope I recognize the signs next time around. . . . :001_smile:

Thanks for this! We are smack dab in the middle of the teens lessons and after a while her eyes glaze over. I've been splitting them up so she doesn't get too done with them. I have noticed that she's more apt to freak when something is new and after doing it a few times, it's not as freaky for her.

This sounds like my DS5. This is what I have noticed. He was getting very frustrated with Miquon for awhile because it was slightly too challenging for him. Since he is a perfectionist, he thinks everything should be easy for him. I backed off on Miquon for a couple of months and just kept working on our other math program (McRuffy at the time). We are doing the same 3 programs you are. You are even further ahead that we are. I would say that you can relax on this and just give it some time. Maybe take a month off from formal math and play math games. RS math games are great. My kids LOVE Sum Swamp to solidify math facts. I wouldn't make math stressful, especially if she is gifted in math. You want to challenge, but not overwhelm. Some of the problems in MEP1 are hard enough that I have to check the answer to get it. Maybe you can walk her through it slowly and then make up some similar problems for her to do. You could also write the problem on a whiteboard and have her do it on there. That always stresses my son out less than doing it on paper. It sounds like you have a very bright daughter and you are far enough ahead that you could definitely slow down or stop one program temporarily.

We haven't had to take a break with Miquon. In fact, she'd fly through it if I let her. LOL She loves it. I have heard Sum Swamp is good. Are the sums over ten, though? I've peeked at it on Amazon and it doesn't look like they are. She can do all of her sums to 10 like clockwork. What she really needs to work on now is regrouping, which I guess is a fairly advanced skill from the benchmarks I've seen. And this is why I like MEP 1 because it IS challenging her, but it's not expecting my five-year-old to regroup all the time (because that's tiring for a young brain like that at times).

We talk about it. My 7yo in particular freaks out when something is a little bit difficult. Everything has come so easily that doing something even a little challenging causes tears and inability. So I have her go get a drink of water, take some deep breaths, remind her that this has happened before, she succeeded before, that she can actually do it, and walk her step by step through the problem(s). I don't let her stop thinking she can't do it because she and I know she can.

I also don't let her give up because then it will set precedent that she can just give up whenever...which is already her inclination. :glare: TBH, it's either too easy or "SOO HAARRD" and "I DOON'T GEEEETTT ITT." I'm glad that when I pause and talk her through it, it's not doing any damage to her skills. I'm hoping that by leading her through some problems (ones that are beyond plain sums), she will begin to eventually process those things on her own.

If she would use manipulatives, it'd probably be easier, but she thinks that means she's not getting it or something. I am constantly pulling out the c rods so she can SEE.

Sometimes I think she's too smart for her own good...

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