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CTC Math - a review

I've shared before my thoughts on not pushing math in the early years. My boys survived our stressful years of pushing them during their first few years of schooling. They did well through it all, even if tears were a common math time occurrence. I noticed though that, through all of that pushing and working ahead, they evened out with their "slower" peers by the end of 3rd grade. Thankfully, they weren't scarred and math is now their favorite subject.

From this, I learned to slow down with my girls. We studied and practiced math, but in a much more relaxed manner. My girls had much better pictures of why things worked than their brothers did during the early years. They've done great, but stalled out when it came to multiplication. Again, they perfectly understand the why of multiplication, but they are not accustomed to drill and we've made slow progress without the multiplication tables fully memorized. I relaxed a bit too much, it seems. We've worked hard this past year to catch back up, but I was still stressing and worrying about them being behind thanks to my lapse in discipline. I was very grateful for the opportunity to review CTC Math and their 12 Month Family Plan. It has greatly helped MY confidence level, not to mention that of my girls!

CTC Math Review

CTC allows you to start wherever you like. Honor is in 4th grade, but I wanted to be certain we had covered multiplication before moving on. She was able to work in both 3rd and 4th grade levels as we assessed how she's doing. Both girls happily worked on an hour of math a day, completely independently. Their results were emailed to me each week and I was always able to log in to see their work each day, if I wanted.

Here is a sample of Sarah's recent history, as of today:

The program does not contain random grasshoppers. 
I slapped one on, using picmonkey, for a bit of internet safety.

I can quickly see how she's doing, at a glance. I can view even more detailed reports, such as this one giving details for the fours times tables.

The program does not contain random grasshoppers, either. I really like picmonkey.

Unfortunately, Comprehensive Tests do not show up in the detailed reports. Honor has not worked individual lessons, but has spent the past month doing tests in each level. When I get my weekly reports, it tells me that Honor has not completed any lessons. I have to go into my history and scroll through to see that she did take the test and to see the score that she made. I cannot view the tests or her incorrect answers. While this is annoying, students would generally be doing the lessons, not the tests and Honor will settle in at her proper level soon.

Passing so many tests has really boosted Honor's confidence. She knew that she needed to work on memorizing those times tables, and she was worried about being behind her friends in math. Seeing the many areas in which she is adept has helped her approach math with a fresh confidence. It was a huge boost to my confidence to have it confirmed that taking it easy really was a good fit and that our only lag is in the memorization.

CTC Math Review

The program is created for grades K-12 and covers everything from introducing your numbers to calculus. Students log in with their individual accounts and choose their grade, topic, and lesson. They can take a test over the entire topic if they think they might be ready to skip, or they can dive right into the lessons.

Lessons are about 5 minutes long and are excellent at conveying concepts in a straightforward way. Pat Murray created and presents the lessons. He has an Australian accent which my girls loved listening to. I found it a bit distracting, with my cheap speakers distorting the sound a bit. Learning the tables by "heart" sounded like "by hat", which obviously makes no sense.

The lessons are taught with nice and simple diagrams. It isn't a flashy program, and that is a GOOD thing. There is nothing distracting or confusing. You can watch a sample video, which I highly recommend doing, to get an idea of how this works. From it, you can see that the lessons are short and simple, progressing step-by-step, and that they are not overwhelming.

Once the short lesson is over, students work through a series of problems. There are about 10 problems. After completing these, students can choose to do more problems or go on to the next thing. 10 problems really isn't enough to get a true picture of their understanding, in my opinion, and I require mine to do an extra set.

The problems are not timed and there isn't much gauge of how long it takes students to complete the questions. While I love the method of teaching, it hasn't really helped with our multiplication memory problem. My girls are able to get 100% on multiplication questions, but they have unlimited time and are counting quite often, I'm afraid. But it is excellent at presenting new ideas and it has helped my girls with their confidence in math.

There is a huge sale right now and homeschool families can receive a 60% discount! There are several different subscription plans, but the one year subscription for the whole family currently runs $118.80 with this discount.

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