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CTC Math {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

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CTC Math Review
 

Is there a such thing as too much math? I really don’t think so! In our home, I use many math resources to help teach concepts and give my children additional practice. The newest tool in my arsenal is CTC Math‘s 12 Month Family Plan, which is an online program with complete curriculum for all levels of math.

What is CTC Math?

CTC Math is an Australian company, which has created video lessons for all levels of Math. Their curriculum covers Kindergarten to Calculus, and comes with automated grading for parents. The 12 Month Family Plan gives you access to ALL levels of math, for ALL your children, for one price.  CTC Math costs 118.00 for the whole year for everyone (sale price), which is about what I have been paying for math for ONE child.  You can jump children from level to level, and have only one math expense for the year instead of having to buy more than one program. Since it is computer based, and streamed online, there is no books or disks to add clutter to your home.

CTC Math Review
How Lessons Work

Elementary and Advanced math is presented in a slightly different way.

In the elementary levels, the lesson is presented in a video lecture form, with worked examples. Once this lesson is complete, your child is presented with question sets. Each question is shown one at a time, with immediate feedback. The program will tell you if the answer is wrong, and what the correct answer is instantly, but it does not explain the rationale behind the answers. There are multiple question sets for your child to attempt.

In higher levels (after 6th grade), the topics are presented as a video lecture, and then you are given a set of questions  in a printable format. You print the questions, work on them offline, and then come back to plug in your answers. If you do not score high enough, you are told to re-try the questions, but after three attempts, you are able to view the solutions. The program does not walk you through how to do the questions step by step in video form, but the solution page does a worked solution.

Within each group of lessons, there are also “standard” tests and “comprehensive” tests which can be used to test your child’s mastery of the material. You don’t have to use the tests to move on to the next lesson, but the option is there if you would like to.

CTC Math

How Grading Works

Each lesson is automatically graded. For elementary levels, the last 3 question sets are given an average score, which shows up as the grade on the teachers account. Each week, you are sent an email which shows all the work and grades completed by your children within the last week. I love how the program took care of the grading for me, so I could just check my email, and I knew right where the kids stood.

Our Experience

I started the review period using this program with both Mr. Man and Bug, but realized quickly that it was not working well for my Kindergarten student. He enjoyed the video lessons, but when it came time to do the questions, the program stopped reading the text aloud to him, and he doesn’t read well enough to do the problems on his own. I solved this problem by having Bug help Mr. Man at math time, and that worked well, but I would have loved for him to have been able to be independent.

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Bug really enjoyed CTC Math. The lessons are short, less than 10 minutes long, and detailed enough for him to understand what he needed to do the first time he watched them. I really liked how the questions were broken down into small sets, because it kept him from becoming overwhelmed.

He is the kind of kid who will jump from concept to concept for fun, so he didn’t do a good job staying on task with so many lessons available to him at once. I fixed this by showing him how he could complete one whole lesson set, and earn a certificate. Once he realized this was an option, he diligently worked to complete a section, and got his own certificate!

I do wish the advanced levels would show more detail on the solutions pages. Some solutions had enough information for me to see where mistakes were made, but others could use more detail. For a tutoring program, I would love to see more step by step support in solving the problems, especially if they could be made in video form like the lessons are.

Overall, I really enjoy this program, and we will continue using it for additional math practice this year.

Use on the iPad

One of my favorite features of this program is that it can be used on the iPad because they have a non-flash version of the program. This version is every bit as clean as the online computer based version, and can be accessed inside your iPad browser (no App needed). I loved being able to have one child on the iPad while the other was on the Computer, and being able to access it while on the road was a huge perk for our family since we travel so much.

CTCMath Order of OperationsA note on cultural differences

One thing to keep in mind if you decide to use this program is that it is based in Australia, which means there are a few differences in how things are presented. For example, the order of operations, which is taught as PEMDAS (parenthesis, exponents, multiplication and division, addition and subtraction) in American schools is taught as BIDMAS in CTCMath. Not a huge deal, in my opinion, but you should be aware in minor differences in phrasing, as well as a difference in sequence and units of measure. If you are trying to follow a typical US course of study, this is not the program for you.

However, I don’t feel like the cultural differences make a huge difference to my family, and we were able to adapt easily to changes in phrasing. While I would have loved to been able to just follow a typical US Scope and Sequence, I was able to work with this program’s topical sequence. CTCMath is laid out by topic, so I could pick and choose what I wanted my child to work on in any order- I went along with his other standard US math program, and just chose the corresponding CTCMath lesson to complement his work.

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Purchasing Information: CTC Math has special Homeschool pricing- right now, a year for ALL your students is $118.80 or you can get it for just one student for $78.80. There are a couple different options for monthly, or 6 month pricing, so check all your options out on the CTC Math Homeschool purchasing page.

Don’t just take my word for it! My crewmates have also been using CTC Math, and there are 100 reviews from homeschoolers with students on all grade levels. Check out their reviews, especially if you are thinking about purchasing, by clicking on the banner below.

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3 Comments

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  • Thank you for this detailed review. Can CTCMath be used as the primary math curriculum? Or is it really best to use it as a supplement? We have been using Teaching Textbooks but I really like that this is internet based. Thank you for your help.

    • It can be used as a primary curriculum. I have used both TT and CTC, so just as a point of comparison, in TT, during the lesson, there is an interactive element, your child will work with the examples, filling in the blank as they go and receive feedback. Same with the solutions, they are shown one problem at a time, and if they do not get it correct, they have an opportunity to see the problem worked. With CTC, this element is missing, the lesson is delivered via video (5-10 minutes) without interaction, and then the child is given a question set (with supplied answer keys, but no worked examples). It does require more parental support for this reason, and when used as a primary curriculum, you may find yourself needing to work more one on one with your children than you would using TT. However, financially, if you have many children, the cost difference between many levels of TT and one family subscription to CTC is substantial. I hope that helps!

  • Interesting about the BIDMAS vs PEDMAS. I never even knew what those were until you said something…so as you can see that wouldn’t be a big deal for me! LOL! I think it’s great that you were able to use it on your iPad too!

    Oh, and I love your ranking graphic at the end! What a great way to summarize everything!