We have finally found a math program that everyone can agree is working for this homeschooling family.
CTC Math is an online math program for grades K – 12 that originated in Australia and now offers an American version. I am not one who purchases programs that I just randomly come across, especially when they are computer based. We prefer for the girls to not spend tons of time looking at screens of any sort. So, had I stumbled across this one on my own, I would have skipped right past it. Thankfully, we were selected to review it as part of the TOS Review Crew. It is a huge blessing!
We have been working with the 12 Month Family Plan , which allows all of the girls access to the material they need to work on. It is set up in grade levels and so we just started the girls at the beginning of their respective grade level. While it was well into the spring semester of a grade level time-wise, we decided that since we have struggled so much with math programs this year and finding one that was a good fit, starting at the beginning for the review period would be good.
That was a very good choice on our part because the girls were able to strengthen some of the basic parts of math that were skipped over in their public schooling. We keep finding these holes and CTC Math has done a great job of filling in those gaps. We will just continue to work through their grade level courses.
Since this is an online program with video instruction, you will need a subscription to the site, a computer, and decent internet speed. Once logged in, the child selects the correct course (grade level), the stream, and then the topic. For example, my youngest (5), would currently choose Kindergarten, Numbers Patterns and Algebra, and then Money. Once she chooses Money, she then chooses the lesson within that topic that she is working on (More or Less).
This is how it worked for all three of our girls, working in grades kindergarten, 2nd, and 4th. (Lessons for older students might look very different for high school algebra or geometry or something else.) Each lesson begins with a short video. The shortest video we have seen is a minute and a half and the longest has been almost 7 minutes. The video is easy to stop if the child has a question you need to address. The video can be backed up and a section replayed if it moved faster than the student could follow. It can also be moved forward if this is review for your child and she doesn’t need to watch the rods or blocks being counted out one by one. Our children are not allowed to move the video but can ask that it be moved if they need it. More often than not, we’ll move it because their reason is a good one.
After the video, the child works on a set of questions. The number of questions in each set is not uniform, so on some the child may answer 8 questions and on other sets it may be 20. After the child answers the given questions, they are told their score, given a chance to view every question and their answers as well as the correct answer. (Again, this may look different at the higher levels.) Additionally, they see their percentage score. When the child completes all of the lessons within a topic, the program gives them an award, which is immediately printable.
These awards come in the various colors based on the percentage score at which the child completed the topic - platinum (100%), gold (95-99%), silver (75-94%), and bronze (50-74%). My middle giggly girl is bound and determined to get a platinum certificate every single time, which is okay with me since she has to repeat the question set and get 3 100% scores on every lesson in the topic before it will award her platinum. My oldest has started working on that same intensity level. While I wish they weren’t so focused on the scores and would be more focused on the topics, if they are willing to work over and over (and over and over, etc.) I am more than happy to let them spend their time doing so. Math practice is never a bad thing, especially considering the struggles we have had with math this year.
There is also a section that the oldest giggly girl likes to get on called Speed Drills. It has drills for addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and order of operations. The drill is timed and the student is trying to beat their own high score. There are 4 levels to these drills. The oldest giggly girls tends to do one of these drills every day. I love that she wants to beat her own score so badly that she’ll keep working at these basic skills, which is one of the areas that had a gap when we began homeschooling.
Another aspect of this program that we are glad to have is the weekly emails that come to my inbox with the girls weekly update. Each child is listed separately. It includes each time they logged on, which lessons were worked on and the score for each lesson, and any certificates earned. I appreciate that we have this record easily accessible if I need it for some reason.
If you visit http://CTCMath.com you will find a lot of information to help you decide if this might be the right fit for your homeschool. Additionally, there is a free trial you can sign up for.
CTC Math currently has special pricing for homeschooling families. For a single student, the price is currently $78.80 for 12 months worth of access. For the family plan with 2 or more students, which is what we were reviewing, the current price is $118.80 for 12 months of access. (I believe that the account is originally set up with 5 logins but if you need more the company is more than happy to provide the number you need. All you have to do is contact them.) The normal prices for these plans is $197 and $297, respectively. Visit https://ctcmath.com/purchase/homeschool/ to see the pricing options and to sign up.
I do have one caution statement that I need to share. While I like the kindergarten course, it moves quickly. Our youngest giggly girl turned 5 in February and wanted to begin her kindergarten work. We logged her in for CTC Math and we sit beside her while she works through each lesson. However, it quickly moves from counting to reading the number words. She is not yet reading and so without help, she would not have been able to complete this at all. Her score there is not reflective of her ability. It doesn’t make that big a difference to me since we know where she is on those skills. It is something any prospective purchaser needs to know if you are looking at this for the younger ages.
We are thrilled with this program. Any homeschool math program that gets the girls competitive with themselves and working hard at math is a hit with me. The girls have used this product daily throughout the review period and will continue to do so. At Home.
If you are interested in finding CTC Math through social media, head over to Facebook at
CTC Math – https://www.facebook.com/ctcmath?ref=hl.
There are many more reviews of CTC Math over on the Review Crew blog, including some that will focus on the upper levels of the program, which I did not specifically include here.