CTCMath (A Homeschool Crew Review)
Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew
Members of the Crew were given a 12 month subscription for the online math curriculum CTCMath which includes up to 5 family members. This allowed for both Ashleigh and Garrett to take advantage of this program.
CTCMath is an online, browser based mathematics curriculum designed for all grade levels, beginning with Kindergarten and progressing thru to higher level high school math, including Trigonometry and calculus.
Students enrolled are granted full access to the entire CTCMath curriculum. All grade levels and lessons are made part of their subscription. This allows students who are might struggle with a math skill at a lower level to review and achieve proficiency on that skill while still working at their grade level. This is also extremely useful when the student is working thru concepts from both Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 during the same year or if a child is ready to move up to the next grade level mid year, or if the child needs remediation for skills in lower grades when necessary.
The instructor is clear and concise and presents the information in a fairly simplified way. Students watch a short video lesson that teach the skill. These videos are between 5-10 minutes in length.
Following the lesson, the student is then presented with several questions covering what they have learned in the lesson. Testing feedback is immediate as the program informs the student if their answer is correct or not as soon as the answer is submitted. If the answer is incorrect, the correct answer is given.
Once all the questions are completed, the overall score for that lesson is given and a printable copy of the questions along with the child's answers is provided, which can be kept for record keeping.
Parents can select a mandatory passing grade final grade for each portion of the program, or use the programs default passing grade. If the student does not answer enough questions correctly to achieve the passing grade, the program will not allow the student to progress to the next skill. Instead, the student is to rewatch the lesson and attempt the questions again until the passing grade is achieved. This ensures proficiency of the skills and avoids the student simply skipping material they don’t thoroughly understand.
For this review, we decided to use CTCMath strictly as a supplement with our primary math curriculum. As the kids covered a skill in their math book, we would turn around and find the same skill on the CTCMath program and have them watch the lessons and do the questions for that section. Since we had access to all the grade levels, this made finding what we were working on easy. The search function on CTC math made this super simple to do, as I would just type in the concept and search and select the lesson we needed. We did notice that the grade level for the material didn’t necessarily match the grade level to the other curriculum – that’s why having ALL grade levels on CTC available with the subscription became highly useful for us.
I really like that the lessons are explained in a way that, for the most part. To see how the two curriculums compared, we would alternate using CTC first, followed by the other math curriculum and then do the other first followed by CTC the next day. I did notice that while the kids preferred the shorter lessons that CTC math offered, especially with the shorter amount of questions that followed the lesson as opposed to the longer lesson with the other curriculum followed by a mix of both review material and topic questions, there were a few times that the kids didn’t necessarily understand the concept the first time around with CTC. This can easily be remedied by rewatching the lesson in CTC. This could also be attributed to the fact the kids are in “summer mode” and didn’t pay close attention the first time.
One function that we really liked is the Times Tables Shoot Em’ Up. This lil gem is in plain site on the page but not really attention grabbing and we overlooked it for quite some time. Once we clicked it and found out what it is, we quickly realized it was something that will be used quite often in the future. Basically, it’s kind of like Space Invaders, where students have to shoot the space crafts that have the correct answer to the given problem. Let me tell you, it is so much more engaging than regular math drills, especially when you have kids who are gamers. This was right up their alley.
Overall, the program has been a great addition to our homeschool routine. Having a secondary lesson for math skills to help supplement and reinforce what the kids are learning as well as provide additional practice for mastery has really helped them with their math assignments. I also like the fact that if I so desired, I could drop my other math curriculum and switch completely to CTCMath as a solid mathematics curriculum.