Many of you have probably read about the “woes” we experience here when it comes to math. My oldest son is not a fan; my younger son loves it. We have tried so many different methods with my oldest to try to encourage him and help him gain a better understanding of and appreciation for math. In the past we have had the chance to use CTCMath and while it hasn’t solved all of our math problems; it has helped us to see some improvement in our oldest son. So when we had the chance to review this one, we were happy to do so. My two boys have both been using CTCMath regularly for awhile now. For this review we were given the CTCMath Homeschool Membership.
If you are not familiar with CTCMath, you might want to consider checking it out. CTCMath is a complete math curriculum (online) for kindergarten through high school mathematics. This includes higher level courses like algebra 1 & 2, geometry, calculus, and trigonometry too. Right now we are using this for my boys who are 6 and 10. So nothing too fancy but this is definitely something that helps a ton when it comes to math! And when they get older and are studying the more advanced math, this program could definitely be an asset to our homeschool. Especially since my math skills are far from what they ought to be. Perhaps this momma can learn some things too!
I really like the format of this program. It is very simple for both of my boys to use. There are videos that teach each lesson and then opportunities to practice what they have learned. My kids especially love the teacher’s accent (Australian)!
Now these lessons are very simple, there no animations or entertaining characters, but this is not a bad thing! In fact, I think the way these videos teach the various concepts in math is perfect for any child at any age. The videos and the practice sessions are not too long and not too short. Our kids get enough opportunity to practice what they have just learned without the session going too long either. By the time they have completed their session, we have a good idea as to their ability in the area they are working in. I like knowing decisively where they are when it comes to math. For older kids I do believe there are also worksheets that can be printed and used but this didn’t apply to the areas we have been working in. There are also tests for our kids to take, one for each section, so we can see if they have mastered a concept. This is also handy for determining if we need to cover a topic or not. In some cases my boys already had a strong foundation, so we were able to “test” out of it. And I don’t feel bad this way when we skip a thing or two because I know that they have got it.
My oldest son struggles when it comes to his math facts so for that, there are a couple handy games that help them to really get those facts down! Speed Skills is one of them; my younger son uses this one right now for addition and subtraction. Depending on which level you choose you can practice multiplication, division, order of operations, even mixed multiplication and division. I love how this encourages them to study and practice all of these operations. Both my boys love to try to see if they can beat their time. So we love letting them spend some time on this each day.
There is also the Times Tables Shoot ‘Em Up (my older son uses this one right now) where they have to shoot the rockets (?) out of the sky; they give you a problem and you have to shoot the correct answer. My husband says it reminds him of an old Atari game he played when he was a kid. Either way my son loves it and since he struggles with his multiplication tables A LOT, I am glad to see him practicing (and enjoying) these.
Swap Pieces! is another fun game on here although for the life of me I cannot solve it! haha This one is a critical thinking game (I think of Rush Hour – anyone familiar with that game?) where you have to swap colored pieces from one side of the board to the other . But there are rules about how each type of piece can move. Much easier said than done.
They also have a wonderful area for us parents so that we can see exactly what our kids are working on. They even email me a weekly report so that I can review where my boys are at. You can assign tasks to your children which is a great way to make sure your kids are doing enough or doing those math topics they need to work on a bit more regularly. In this way I guess you can create your own math plans for each day; since my boys are younger I just make sure they are working on their math each day for a set period of time but as they get older (and if they are not so fond of math work) it could be very beneficial to be able to have a plan in place for them to keep them on track.
I have to say this is one of the more affordable programs out there. CTCMath is exactly that. Very affordable with lots of options for monthly or annual subscriptions. They even have a multi-child subscription that includes all of the levels offered from kindergarten through high school for everyone. That is a really big selling point for us – four kids – we need something we can use with all of them without breaking the bank!
Maths Online (Australia Only)