Perhaps one of the biggest perks of homeschooling is freedom. Freedom to learn what we want, as much as we want, and of course, when we want. Want to spend a whole month learning about mushrooms and butterflies? Go ahead! Feel the need to read every Tomie DePaola book to your kids? Go for it! Your kids need two breakfasts, a snack, brunch, lunch, afternoon snack, and supper . . . every. single. day? No? Just my circus? Hmm. Really? Oh, well, that’s okay. Anyway, you get what I’m saying. Homeschooling allows for a lifestyle that is completely tailored to the needs, wants, and interests of your family.
Amongst other things, this means that if you have six kids and all of them like different math products, that’s okay! I love that as homeschoolers we have the capability to give our children material that suits them and their learning style. Instead of only having one textbook to draw from, we have the entire
world internet! One such favored math in our home is CTCMath. We were given a one-year Family Membership to the subscription-based math website.
CTC Makes Math Easy
During the review period, I’ve had Max (first grade) working with the program. I did create a login for Caroline (also first grade), but I could tell almost immediately that this wasn’t going to work for her. Caroline is my artsy gal. She loves to create, draw, dance, paint, and pretend. She does not like to sit in front of a computer screen. When I realized this, I had two immediate reactions- (1) YAY! One less kid who loves the screen! (2) Oh, wait. Now I have to find something else for her to do . . . Therefore, for the purposes of this review, we’ll focus on Max, my math whiz.
Max loves all things math, technology, building, science-related. So when I sat him down to give CTC a try, he loved it! As soon as he realized there were certificates to be had, it was game on.
The lessons are short enough (2-4 minutes) that he could do several in one sitting. Each lesson begins with a video. A narrator (off-screen teacher) teaches through a series of PowerPoint-type slides. You can see an example below. I appreciate that all the lessons on a given topic are listed to the right so we could tell how far along he was.
Once the lesson is over, they answer a series of 10 questions and are immediately provided with their awarded percentage. If it’s obvious that more practice is necessary, then it’s easy enough to go back and do the lesson again. You also have the option to save as a PDF and print the results.
CTC is designed to be a complete math curriculum for students in kindergarten through 8th grade and supplemental after that. There are lessons through Calculus available.
As the parent/teacher, I have the capability of choosing what grade/concept my children work through.
If I had a complaint about the program it would be the diagnostic tests. When we first started working with CTC, I figured Max could do a diagnostic test to “test out” of certain concepts and/or lessons. It doesn’t work that way. The diagnostic tests (20, 40, or 60 questions long) do not mark things as completed even if the child has demonstrated they know the material. Really, it’s not a big thing, but my incessant need to have everything neatly checked off gets the better of me.
But I guess what’s more important is that Max doesn’t care. He just runs through his lessons, gets his certificates, and keeps on truckin. I’d call this one a win.