Wednesday, November 13, 2013

MEP Math, Year 1, Lesson 1

I'm using Mathematical Enhancement Programme (MEP) Math with Isaac this year, because I've heard such good things about it from other Charlotte Mason educators. Also, it's free - all the files can be downloaded and printed, or viewed electronically if you prefer. I would recommend printing the workbook for your student, but you could easily use the lesson plans on a tablet or computer. I did look at this when the girls were younger, but thought it was confusing. I looked at it again a few months ago, and it's not terribly confusing. I don't know if I'm more comfortable teaching math now, or what, but it seems very do-able, so here we are.

Anyhoo, in the very first lesson, we were instructed to look at a poster number 9 with five pictures, and tell the story about each picture. The links are to PDF files, in case you'd like to see what I'm talking about. If we weren't familiar with the stories, we were supposed to make them up. I have a hard time with making things up. I like to have All The Things ready to go, and can get stuck if I don't have them. I decided to look up the stories, and post them for other people who might have the same issue. I found them all except "The carrot comes home." I have never heard of a story like that. If you know it, and could link me to a book or online story, I would really appreciate it. My curiosity has been piqued.

The Little Cockerel's Golden Penny - Fable from Aesop, also called "The Cock and the Pearl" or "The Cock and the Jewel."

A Cock was busily scratching and scraping about to find something to eat for himself and his family, when he happened to turn up a precious jewel that had been lost by its owner.

"Aha!" said the Cock. "No doubt you are very costly and he who lost you would give a great deal to find you. But as for me, I would choose a single grain of barleycorn before all the jewels in the world."

Precious things are without value to those who cannot prize them.

Two Stubborn Goats - "The Two Goats" in Milo Winter's version:

Two Goats, frisking gayly on the rocky steeps of a mountain valley, chanced to meet, one on each side of a deep chasm through which poured a mighty mountain torrent. The trunk of a fallen tree formed the only means of crossing the chasm, and on this not even two squirrels could have passed each other in safety. The narrow path would have made the bravest tremble. Not so our Goats. Their pride would not permit either to stand aside for the other.

One set her foot on the log. The other did likewise. In the middle they met horn to horn. Neither would give way, and so they both fell, to be swept away by the roaring torrent below.
It is better to yield than to come to misfortune through stubbornness.

The Three Rabbits - This seems to be a Turkish tale, and I found a nice retelling, which I've linked. I'm not posting the entire thing because it's done by a storyteller, and I don't want to infringe on a copyright. He has a button on the page to print the story. He also has a version of the Two Goats story.

The Bird with Borrowed Feathers - Another fable from Aesop, "The Vain Jackdaw and His Borrowed Feathers:"

A Jackdaw chanced to fly over the garden of the King's palace. There he saw with much wonder and envy a flock of royal Peacocks in all the glory of their splendid plumage.

Now the black Jackdaw was not a very handsome bird, nor very refined in manner. Yet he imagined that all he needed to make himself fit for the society of the Peacocks was a dress like theirs. So he picked up some castoff feathers of the Peacocks and stuck them among his own black plumes.

Dressed in his borrowed finery he strutted loftily among the birds of his own kind. Then he flew down into the garden among the Peacocks. But they soon saw who he was. Angry at the cheat, they flew at him, plucking away the borrowed feathers and also some of his own.

The poor Jackdaw returned sadly to his former companions. There another unpleasant surprise awaited him. They had not forgotten his superior airs toward them, and, to punish him, they drove him away with a rain of pecks and jeers.

Borrowed feathers do not make fine birds.

All the fables come from Milo Winter's version of Aesop, which is what I have at home and have used with my children. The website I linked has fables in English, Latin and Greek. Isn't that cool? You could have a lot of fun with that, if you were learning Latin and Greek.


  1. Thank you so much! I found some of the stories, but was stumped on the golden penny and the three bunnies.

  2. You're welcome! I was SO confused. I thought it was interesting to see how close the stories were to some that I knew, just with a different name or a little twist. Folk tales are fun!