October 9, 2017

Take the Stress out of Math with CTCMath {Curriculum Review}

CTCMath Online Math Curriculum Review
A few years ago, we were first introduced to CTCMath and it changed my oldest son's view and attitude on math to the positive. We reviewed it again allowing my youngest to have a go at it. It wasn't a good fit at that time, so we just kept using it for my oldest. This year, we had another chance to review this program and I was curious to see if my youngest would enjoy it more this time and I looked forward to exploring the next grade level for my oldest son. Over the last few weeks we have been reviewing CTCMath's Family Membership with my boys and I have been enjoying seeing them progress through this program! (There is a FREE TRIAL you can try out! Expires Nov. 15, 2017)

About CTCMath

CTCMath is an online program designed to be used like an online math tutor. The program allows the student to work at their own pace, to stop and rewind the teacher during a lesson until they get what is being taught, access their work at any time of the day, get caught up or even jump ahead. Each of the video tutorials is audio and visual with easy to follow explanations and animation. The videos can even be accessed on some mobile devices!

Depending on the level of the math subject, each video is followed with either online questions or an optional printable worksheets. Each answer to online questions is logged and answers are given immediately! The answers are stored so each student can see their progress!

Membership to CTCMath grants you access to every level of math from Kindergarten to Sixth, Basic Math to Calculus and Trigonometry! This allows students to fill in the gaps in their learning at any level--which means you can focus on specific lessons.

Here are the levels available for CTCMath:

*Curriculum for Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade
*Basic Math and Pre-Algebra
*Elementary Measurement
*Elementary Geometry
*Algebra I & II

Each of these subjects and maths have multiple lessons available. The grades K-6th contain 2-8 units consisting of multiple lessons within the following sections:

Numbers, Patterns, and Algebra
Space and Geometry
Statistics and Probability

The individual maths are separated out into parts with each part consisting of several units, which then contain multiple lesson plans.

CTCMath Homeschool Membership offers a monthly, 6 month and 12 month plan. There are single student plans and family plans. The best deal is for the 12 month plan...especially the 12 Month Family Plan on sale right now (as of the date of this posting 10/8/2017) for just $118.80. This plan is good for 2 or more students (up to 10!). That's unlimited access to unlimited levels for all the school age students in your family.

We are using the 2nd grade (for my 7 year old), as well as the 5th and 6th grade maths (for my 11 year old).

Our Thoughts on the Product

We came into this product already knowing what to expect. The boys already had accounts, so I simply had to adjust their information and grade levels. My oldest picked up where he had left off, finishing his 5th grade math. My youngest began fresh in 2nd grade math. With the way that CTCmath is set up, your child doesn't have to do anything in a particular order. They can jump from section to section, unit to unit. I wouldn't necessarily do that once a unit has been been picked, because the lessons do go in order for the most part.

Your child will do the following when picking a lesson...

#1 Pick the grade or math discipline to be completed
#2 Pick the topic to be studied
#3 Pick the unit within the topic to be studied
#4 Pick the lesson within the unit

(Click to see this better)

Click to see larger
Once the lesson has been chosen it opens up a screen that has a video lesson--the child watches the video. The lessons are 2-7 minutes long depending on the grade and topic with colorful characters and a lovely narrator. My boys love listening to it because he's Australian. Once the video is completed, they can click the "questions" tab which takes them to questions on the lesson they just watched. The questions are multiple choice for the most part--though they will be some matching and drop down options. As the questions are answered, your child gets immediate feedback with their score. Once the questions (usually 10) have been completed your child will be told whether or not they passed their lesson. If so, it will ask them if they want to move forward with their next lesson or not. If they don't pass their questions, it will tell them they need to watch the lesson video again or try the questions again.

My boys prefer to wear the headphones when they watch their videos. They also like that they can repeat a lesson as much as they need to if they don't understand it the first time.

Listening to his video lesson
An audio-visual lesson
Here is an example of how a set of questions works. I videoed my 7 year old using the 2nd grade program.

As your child successfully work through the lessons, they begin to have the chance to earn a "badge award" based on their total average percentage for the units. There is the opportunity to earn platinum, gold, silver, and bronze awards. Platinum is only awarded if your child has a 100% average. The nifty thing--your child can keep doing lessons/questions over and over to improve their total percentage--something that automatically gives them extra practice.

When your child has completed all the lessons in the unit, they will earn their badge--this can be printed off for them! You can discover what badges they have earned through email notification, or looking through their award listings on your parent dashboard. Because I don't keep track of what each boy is doing every day, I like seeing these show up in my email once they have been earned. I print them off to surprise the boys with them on their desks the next day. :)

Now, let me do a quick Q &A run through about the program and see if I can address questions people have about it.

1. Is there a placement test to determine what grade my child would use?

No. There aren't any "placement tests". I use the Diagnostic Tests as a type of placement test (which is suggested to be used as placement tests by CTCMath). There are three options--a 20 question, 30 question, and 40 question diagnostic test for each unit. The more questions you choose for them to do, the more you get an idea of how your child has done with the lesson. I like to use the 30 question test as my "placement". Basically, for any unit, I will have my boys complete the 30 question diagnostic if I think there is a chance they already know the material before we study it. This has been extremely helpful. I also can use the 30 or 40 question test as my "final unit exam". Once completed it will include a breakdown on how my child did in each section--which coordinates with the units--easy to figure out if there needs to be more work done in any given area.

2. Does the CTCMath save my child's work?

Yes and no. CTCMath will save your child's SCORE, but you will not be able to view the questions or the tests for the actual problems they completed unless they PRINT IT OFF as soon as they complete it. This is important if you want to keep a record for your files. There is even a note that once you close the window the tests cannot be printed. My boys know to print off all their diagnostic tests and to call me in before closing out their regular question scores. But the program will keep tabs on your child's percentage score. In fact, on your parent dashboard you will see a cummulative percentage for the ENTIRE work your child has done. At any time you can also print off a list of all the assignments your child has completed with their average percentage score.

This is available for print out for my files--this is my youngest son's progress.
3. Can you schedule lessons or assignments?

Yes! I encourage you to read my review from the previous time we did CTCmath, as I go into detail about how you can schedule assignments. It's very easy to do.

4. What if my child needs to go back and do earlier math than the level I have him in?

No problem. You can move between ALL the grades at any time. You do not have to complete any one grade or unit before moving on to another!

5. Is this a complete curriculum?

If you are using it for K-6th, I would say yes. I haven't really explored the other units, so I don't know about the higher maths and how complete they are. But I believe that there is absolutely enough covered in the grade level work to be a COMPLETE curriculum. CTCMath is the primary math we use for my oldest (5th/6th grade) because he likes it. The diagnostic tests show me he's learning everything and he can go his own pace doing whatever lessons he desires. We spend about 30 minutes on math--and I can just be his advisor! It's great! My youngest COULD use it as his primary math curriculum, but he adores math so much, he wants MOOORRRREEEE so we add on other things.

6. Can I use CTCMath on my handheld devices?
Yes! I used CTCMath on my Kindle Fire 8 and my iPhone 7 without having any trouble! The program was designed to be used on all modern HTML5 platforms including iOS systems.

7. Can I determine what a passing score is for my chld?

Absolutely! You can go into each child's account and set up their passing score. For one of my boys I have it set for 85% and the other at 80%. If they don't hit these marks with their questions, the website will advise them they need to spend more time learning the material. I can also revise this at any time on my parent dashboard.

8. My child isn't a strong reader. Is that going to be a problem?

No! The lessons are all audio-visual and the questions all have the availability to be read aloud by clicking an icon by the question words. There is also no time limit on completing the questions.

I hope this has given you an idea of how CTCMath works! I have found that THIS YEAR is an optimal year for using it. We are between grade levels for both boys--this program allows me to work between grade levels to find where there are holes, and where we can move forward! I discovered recently that as the website adds to material, it will just show up in our lesson lists. This is very handy, although I would love to see a notification about it appear in my email or on my parent dashboard. I also appreciate that it's now compatible for other devices, so one can work on the Kindle Fire 8 while the other is on the laptop! All in all, we just love CTCMath and I will always recommend it to people who need to try to isolate math issues--or bring math levels up. It is easy and fun to use, and has definitely made math a more enjoyable subject in our house--something that definitely decreases the stress for everyone involved!

Before you leave, here are two offers I have for you from CTCMath--these end November 15, 2017!

Free trial: I encourage you to do a free trial of CTCMath to see if it would work for you! Click FREE TRIAL for more details.

There is special pricing for homeschoolers! 60% off + 6 bonus months! Click 60% off + 6 bonus months for more details!

Want to Know More?

We have been reviewing CTCMath's Family Membership with my two boys. We have explored grades 2 and 5, but there is much more to explore! Make sure you visit my fellow crew members to learn more!
CTCMath Online Math Tutoring {Reviews}

I encourage you to read my other two reviews on CTCMath to learn more about what this program has to offer!

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