Make Math Fun!
Are you in full-on planning mode for the fall? Or, if you found this article some other time of year, you may be unhappy with your current math curriculum and are looking for a better fit. I know what a struggle it can be to choose curriculum, and math tends to be one of the hardest! There are so many choices!
When I started looking for a math curriculum for my 12-year-old son, one of my goals was to choose a curriculum that would make math fun for him. As a student, I never really loved math and didn’t think I was very good at it. I want my son to enjoy math. I want him to feel confident in his math ability. I want math to be a subject he enjoys!
Sounds great, right? But the hard part was narrowing down my options! Some of my favorite ways to narrow down my curriculum options are: reading reviews, asking around in homeschool groups, and watching videos on YouTube. But doing all of these things can quickly lead to information overload! And if you’ve got more than one child, you’ve got double (or triple!) the work to do. Because, as you well know, not every resource is a good match for every family…or even every learner.
I already mentioned that math curriculum can be difficult to pick out. It’s an important subject and, depending on what your child’s learning style is, it can be tricky to find the right fit. Many moms (like me!) struggle with teaching math because it’s a subject that doesn’t come naturally to us. It’s one of those subjects I wish I could hire out and let someone else take over. Unfortunately, the budget doesn’t always allow for that. Private tutors are pricey.
I think I may have found the next best thing — CTCMath!
There’s not much bad or ugly to be found because, as we discovered, CTCMath is a solid program and one we very much enjoy.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you’d like a chance to win a one-year family subscription to CTCMath, read all the way to the bottom of my review. There you’ll find a giveaway for your chance to win!
CTCMath — Our First Impressions
When looking at the CTCMath website and deciding whether or not to give it a go, there’s a lot of information to sort through. It can be overwhelming, but this is a good thing. Let me repeat…this is a GOOD thing.
Take some time to sit and read through the reviews and watch the tutorials for how to set up and use CTCMath. Don’t try to jump in without taking a good look around the site. I promise it’s time well spent. This information will help you make an informed decision as to whether this program is right for you and your child. Oh, and be sure to try out their FREE TRIAL! That’s another great way to get familiar with the curriculum and see how you like it before making a commitment. If you decide you want to buy a subscription, you can do that for 50% off!
When I first set my son up with CTC, he was off and running pretty quickly. The site was really easy for him to navigate. The interface was sleek and smooth and uncluttered.
He has ADHD, so the minimalistic design worked in our favor. It helped him to stay focused on the task at hand.
He did end up a little frustrated with the quizzes because he (like his mama!) is a perfectionist and wanted to get 100% right across the board. If he scored lower, he got upset and wanted to retake the quiz.
Anything higher than 90% and I was okay with him moving forward. To me, that signaled that he knew the material well enough to move on to the next lesson.
Overall, our first impression of the site was very positive. It’s comprehensive, yet easy enough for this tech-challenged mama to use.
Understanding the Placement Tests
One thing I initially struggled with was figuring out where to place my son. He’s a bit behind in math and they don’t have one singular placement test that tells you what level your child is on. What CTC has, though, is even better (even though it’s a bit time-consuming at first).
For each topic covered, CTCMath has a choice of two placement tests — standard and comprehensive.
I didn’t realize this at first and thought I must be missing something. It was my mistake, as it’s clearly explained in the FAQ section on their website.
So I reached out to get some help and was personally contacted by the owner of CTCMath. He spent time on the phone with me getting my son’s specifics and helping me figure out where to place him.
It takes a bit of extra time and effort to work through the placement process, but it’s worth it because you find out EXACTLY what concepts your child already knows and what they may be struggling with.
It’s a highly individualized process, not unlike a tutor…only far less costly!
More Than a “One-Size-Fits-All” Program
When you pay for a CTCMath membership, you automatically get access to every single grade level K-12th.
That means if your child is struggling with a certain concept, you can take extra time to practice. Or if your child has had to slow down for any reason and you’d like him or her to catch back up, you can do that. Got a math whiz who likes to work ahead? No problem!
As mentioned above, my son was a bit behind where I wanted him to be, and we were able to meet him at exactly his level and move forward at his pace.
CTCMath also works well for various learning styles.
If you’ve got a visual learner, all the lessons are taught by video with examples of each concept shown on-screen.
If you’ve got an auditory learner, hearing each concept explained on video is helpful.
If you’ve got a kinesthetic learner, there are worksheets that accompany each lesson and really bring a hands-on experience, even though this is predominantly an online program.
And if you have a child with a combination of more than one learning style or who just needs extra practice, the worksheets are a great way to drive the concept home without a ton of busywork.
The best part? Because CTCMath is online and accessible from any computer or smart device, you can take learning with you wherever you go.
The video below gives a great overview of this curriculum. It’s worth taking a few minutes to watch!
Independent Learning for Busy Families
Many of us work — whether from home or outside of the home — while simultaneously homeschooling our kids. Even if you don’t work a paid job, you’re likely very busy. Parents nowadays have obligations pulling them in every direction.
I mentioned above wishing I could outsource math to a private tutor. That’s not ONLY because math isn’t my strong suit. I’m also a single work-from-home mom of four. If there’s one thing I don’t have, it’s time.
Whatever your responsibilities entail, CTCMath helps you take math off your plate.
For a very reasonable price, you essentially get an incredible instructor taking over and teaching math FOR you.
With a little practice, your child can navigate the site independently, and you can mark math off your list knowing it’s taken care of.
To keep track of your child’s progress, CTCMath offers detailed progress reports you can access from the parent login on the site. You can also have weekly reports sent to your email inbox in case you forget to log in.
I’ve found that CTCMath is an excellent curriculum choice that allows my son the opportunity to work independently and gives me peace of mind knowing that he’s learning math from an expert — all at a rate I can afford.
CTCMath won’t be the right choice for every child, but it is an excellent resource for many.
They’ve taken great care to ensure that their curriculum caters to each individual child AND family by adding in features that make their platform endlessly customizable.
In a nutshell, here are 10 of my favorite CTCMath features for both parents and children:
- Being able to toggle between grade levels as needed is a huge advantage!
- My child can rewind a video and watch again if needed.
- I can print out worksheets to reinforce concepts learned.
- My child can work online from anywhere!
- Concepts are explained in a way that my son is able to understand. I think that’s the hallmark of an outstanding program.
- The platform is easy to navigate, but having an interactive learning environment and engaging instructor are even better!
- The folks at CTCMath are willing and able to give you help getting started with the curriculum. (That’s a big deal for me! I don’t want to feel lost when I start something new.)
- I love that I get extensive reports about my son’s progress. Since I’m not the one teaching math, I want to know how he’s doing and where he struggles and excels.
- Their new adaptive questions track each student’s progress and deliver questions based on that student’s needs.
- You can get CTCMath for 50% off (PLUS a bonus 6 months!), so it’s affordable for most families!
Amy Thetford is a freelance writer and blogger who homeschools her tribe of tiny humans while pursuing her lifelong dream of becoming a published author. She is fueled by coffee and the desire to do ALL. THE. THINGS. She has the attention span of a squirrel, though she somehow manages to make it through each day with everyone fed and happy (well, mostly happy! Ha!) while striving to make every tomorrow better than the last. You can hear more from Amy at Real Talk with Amy, where she blogs about all things motherhood.