Wednesday, October 11, 2017

CTC Math Review

Math can be tricky business - the foundations are so important and it's not something I want to turn the girls off to. I am always open to reviewing a math curriculum, simply because it's always worth seeing if something is a good fit. Last year, we actually did a major, mid-year switch of math curriculum because of a review I did. Since we're so happy now, it may seem odd that I was willing to rock that boat, but I was very curious to see how an online program compared to our paper/pencil program. I was thrilled to receive CTCMath's Family Membership with my kids (and they've got a great promo running - a free trial and homeschoolers can get 60% off + 6 bonus months.)


For Madison, who is in second grade, math is a strength. She excels in "real life" math - often calculating remaining time left before appointments, count down days to exciting events, percent off sales, and adding up what we've spent in a store, all in her head. She picks up concepts quickly. She feels confident with math, and I'm excited to see where she goes.

Reagan is in kindergarten, and to be honest, I struggled a bit finding a curriculum for that didn't cost an arm and a leg (Madison started kindergarten at a first grade level, so I didn't have anything to look back to and her current curriculum doesn't have a kindergarten option). We settled on one that we think is ok. She finds it pretty easy right now, and I think it's a little bland, but we've looked ahead and once it picks up, it takes off, so we'll keep at it for now before deciding if she should jump to Madison's.

Or, we could be adventurous and try this online program. Even if we weren't reviewing, this program is great, because there is a free trial available, and homeschoolers can get 60% off + 6 bonus months.


So how did my girls like it?

Every user is given access to the complete program from Kindergarten to Calculus.  I think the thing I love most about this program is that moving between levels to reinforce older concepts or just for extra practice is a snap, and if it's too easy, moving ahead is simple.

When we began each of my girls took the “comprehensive test” for the grade level that I suspected they would qualify for based on the topics covered at that level.  There are three versions, short, standard, and comprehensive.  We did the standard test, and looked at where we should start.

I do want to point out that my kids don't use the computer that often in our homeschool, so an online program was a shift for them. We spent a lot of time at the library so they could work on math together, each using their own computer. If we make this a permanent curriculum change, we'd need to make sure they had adequate access. The program is able to be used from iOS devices, which is a great help.

Each lesson begins with a video followed by practice problems.  The videos are pretty short, usually under 4 minutes.  They work through several problems just like the ones that the child will get try in just a few moments.  The problem sets are often just ten questions long, sometimes as few as 5.
Once all of the lessons are completed on one topic, the child is awarded a certificate. Perfect scores on all problem sets earns you a Platinum Certificate. 90% or above equals Gold Level. There is also Silver and Bronze. Children can redo the questions in the problem sets in order to achieve 100% and earn that Platinum.This was key for Madison. She wanted that platinum.


For me, this program was easy as could be. No planning, no correcting, no paperwork to keep track of, and no real "teaching" was required at all. If the girls were confused, they could replay the video, and all the work was done online. All I had to do was make sure I knew where they were by keeping track of their accounts. The parent dashboard laid everything out for me, and weekly emails kept me up to date. All the "help" that was asked of me was technical (my kindergarten kiddo still needs help navigating a website with a mouse and keyboard). It's worth noting that you can print out worksheets, if that's your style.

Will we make the switch from "book" math to "computer" math? I can't say for sure yet. The girls liked the program, but they also like having an interactive math experience with me. But with the deal that is currently running, it's definitely worth it!

CTCMath Online Math Tutoring {Reviews}

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