Thursday, April 24, 2014

CTC Math {Schoolhouse Review}

We found our groove with math this year. I found a curriculum that both of the kids respond well to and seem to enjoy (as much as one can enjoy math). We have spent the whole year learning the ins and outs of multiplication and were just a few lessons away from being ready to move onto the next year-long level on division. And then an opportunity to review the 12 Month Family Plan from CTC Math became available.

CTC Math Review

To be honest, I wasn't very enthusiastic. I mean, why mess with the methods that have worked so well? When I was chosen to review the product I didn't go into it with the level of enthusiasm that it deserved. We have been using a dvd/workbook curriculum with great success. The 12 Month Family Plan from CTC Math is a web based curriculum. As we have not had a lot of luck with those types of programs, I went into this review with a negative attitude.

And then my socks were knocked off by how great it is. In fact it is so great that we are going to continue to use it past the review period.

CTC Math Review

What We Received

We received a full year subscription to the 12 Month Family Plan with unlimited access to all lessons across all grade levels. These included Math for kindergarten through 6th grade, Basic Math and Pre-Algebra, Elementary Measurement, Elementary Geometry, Algebra 1, Pre-Calculus, Algebra II, Geometry, and Trigonometry. The product is intended for children of all ages from kindergarten through Grade 12. The necessary materials were all within the online format.

How We Used the Product

When we received access to the 12 Month Family Plan, I registered both my 8 and 10 year olds. They each received their own username and password.

I looked over the program thoroughly to try to decide where we should start. I could either start them at the beginning of their grade levels (3rd/4th grade) or I could pick and choose what topics I wanted them to cover during the review period.

I decided that for the purposes of the review that I would have them start with the very beginning lessons of Division in whatever grade level it started. That happened to be 3rd grade.

I had each of the kids start there with the first video lesson and then do practice problems for that lesson for 15 minutes. That usually had them going through three levels of practice problems which was enough for me to gauge their understanding of the concepts.

The next day they went on to the second division lesson in 3rd grade, then the third lesson on the next day, and so on until they completed all of the lessons on Division for 3rd grade.

Then they moved onto the lessons on Division for 4th grade, which included two separate levels with multiple lessons under each. As of the date of this review, they have completed 2/3 of the lessons on Division for 4th grade. Today they learned Remainders by Grouping. Next week they will start Remainders by Division Facts and by the end of the week will be doing 2-Digit Division, 3-Digit Division, and Short Division with Remainders.

Do you know what? My kids have learned how to do division without me having to give the first lesson or grade the first problem! The video instruction is thorough and succinct enough for them to understand the concepts and the practice problems are graded and corrected as they go along.

What will we be doing next? After the kids complete the 4th grade division problems, I will have them move on and complete the 5th grade division section. Then this summer I plan to have them go back to 4th grade math and start at the beginning to go through all of the 4th grade math concepts. CTC Math will be our exclusive summer math program.

Some Neat Features

One of the things I really appreciate about this program is the Weekly Report I receive to my e-mail. It tells me how much time each of my kids has spent on the program each day and their progress on the lessons. Although I check what they are doing each day, these reports are a nice touch.

The kids are also working towards a Certificate of Completion with each set of lessons. There is a Platinum Certificate, Gold Certificate, Silver Certificate, and Bronze Certificate based on the cumulative percentage of correct answers. Each time one of the kids receives a Certificate, it is e-mailed to me so I can print it off and award it to the kids.

I can also print off Summary Reports and Detailed Reports. These are fantastic if you live in a state that has reporting requirements. I plan to print them off and keep in our portfolio. I am treating the reports as assessments.

There is a Search feature whereby you can enter a keyword and the program will pull up each lesson that covers that search topic. For instance, when I typed in "Angles" it provided me with 12 different lessons from Grade 2 to Grade 6 from which to choose. You can also search by Lesson Number if you know it.

There are Speed Skills whereby you can choose a level between 1 and 4 and then the concept. The kids can then play speed drills to test their quick knowledge.

At the end of each set of lessons, there are Standard Tests and Comprehensive Tests. I have used these as a Final Exam at the end of each set of lessons.

My Opinion

The 12 Month Family Plan from CTC Math is a winner. If we continue to have success with it, we will likely purchase it as a supplement to our regular curriculum. I do believe that it would be an appropriate stand-alone and full program. If I had kids in high school, I would be all over this for their math curriculum.

Product Details

The 12 Month Family Plan includes full access for one child. The regular cost for one child is $197. However, at this time there is a special pricing for homeschoolers of just $78.80 for one child. For two or more homeschooling children the total regular cost is $297. But the current sale has a full-year subscription for two or more children for just $118.80. That is a phenomenal deal and I would grab it while it lasts!

To read other reviews on this product, visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

Click to read Crew Reviews

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