It’s true that I’ve spent a lot of time searching for the right math for us. We have tried many different math programs through the years, all ending with tears and with failure to learn and progress. I had had several of my friends rave about CTC Math, so when I received the opportunity to review their 12 Month Family Plan, I decided that it was time to see if CTC Math was a good fit for our family.
What We Received
We received a 12 month family plan that is one membership for up to ten children in your family. Because we received the family plan, I immediately set it up for all four of my children. Each child has access to all levels of the program, and the program extends all the way from Kindergarten to Calculus, so that your child can easily go back and forth between levels, which is great if they need review.
The program is streams online, so you’ll need a good computer with a strong internet connection to operate this program. We used both Safari and Chrome to operate CTC Math, and both worked perfectly . Some of the older levels have worksheets to print off, but my oldest child used the fourth grade program, and all work was completely online.
Each lesson has similar components. You begin with a video lesson. In the kindergarten through fourth grade that we worked in, most lessons were between 2 minutes and 4 minutes. The instructional video gives the instruction component of the lesson and works through several types of problems that your child will see on their question set.
Once your child has listened to the video instruction, they are then able to do the questions. In most cases, in the grade levels that we worked in, there are 10 questions for each section. Their questions are immediately graded, and then they are given the opportunity to print out their completed worksheet or to try again to better their average on any given question set.
There are also diagnostic tests that your child can take in each section to see if they have already learned the skills in a section before asking them to complete lessons in a section so that you’ll know what to target in your lessons. As a parent, you are also able to set a score that your child has to reach on a section’s questions before they are able to have that section marked completed. We have ours set to 90%, which I feel is a good mastery level, and the children have really worked hard to get those scores on their questions. At the finish of a section, based on scores, your children are awarded a certificate with a medal of platinum, gold, silver or bronze.
My Opinions on This Curriculum
There are so many things to love about this program. One of my favorite things is the ability to move easily back-and-forth between grade levels. When I’ve had a child having difficulty in something in their grade level, it is easy to back up and work on it at an easier level as review. Being able to do that has also been a great confidence builder for my children.
My children also really loved the award certificates. In fact, Rose was so excited about the awards that she would often complete lessons over and over again to earn higher averages for better level awards. She was encouraged to do math, and often asked for math above other subjects because she wanted to earn certificates. I feel like she grew in her math skills over the course of the review period.
There were two things that were cons for me about this math program. The first is that there was really only one video instruction for each math topic. Because it’s not incremental and step-by-step, it would have been hard for a couple of my children to use as a complete math curriculum.
Instead, I found myself being able to gauge what we needed to create offline math experiences in by what gave them difficulty in the math. For example, even after listening to the instruction several times and answering the questions multiple times, my eight year old was still having difficulty with line symmetry, so because this program had pointed out the weakness that she was having in that topic, I was better able to plan teaching experiences and supplements to shore up the weakness that I was observing in line symmetry.
The second thing that was a con for me is related to the first. The lessons sometimes would suddenly jump in difficulty. For example, Firecracker was going through a progression of lessons on money. He was doing great until he got to the last lesson and that last lesson was too difficult for him to complete on his own, even after listening to the teaching video a few times. Several times we had that difficulty where we needed an “in-between” step between the lesson we had just done successfully and the lesson that we were attempting to do.
However, despite these cons for us, this program is really well set up, and many of the lessons were really fun for my children. I especially saw the fun and the way it encouraged math progress in Rose because she got into the whole system of rewards and the rewards compelled her to do better with math. This math program wasn’t perfect for my two younger children, but it is the math program that Rose will use going forward because she enjoys it and she’s learning from it.