A Complete Online Math Program for Your Homeschool
I am reviewing the Homeschool Family membership package, appropriate for both secular and Christian homeschoolers, covering levels from kindergarten to calculus.
How to Judge Homeschool Curriculum
There are seven things I expect out of the perfect curriculum. Of course, most curriculum is not perfect, but thinking about what we want out of curriculum and which of these points is the most important to the success of our homeschool right now, helps us choose wisely and spend less time worrying about whether we made the right choice, or if there is something better out there. For a quick explanation of these categories read How to Judge Homeschool Curriculum. Below you will find a quick summary of how CTCMath stacks up in each of these categories.
- Organization of material – 5 stars – excellent
- Ease of use – 5 stars – excellent
- Beauty – 3 – ok
- Fun/Laughter – 1 – not included
- Leads child into thinking – 2 – needs improvement
- Multi-sensory – 3 – okay
- Uses the power of story – 1 – not included
Now, you may think the above list is expecting too much from a math program. I admit, no program I have seen so far would get 5 stars in every area. Still, some get closer than others and I can’t help dreaming.
I received free access to this product and compensation for the time I spent writing this review. I am not required to write a positive review. I am not an affiliate. Below you will find my honest opinion of CTCMath, my kids thoughts, and any information that I think will help you decide if the product is a good fit for your homeschool right now.
Kids Thoughts About CTCMath
I had four kids between the ages of 9 and 13 try out CTCMath. We used several levels of the program. For some kids, I pulled up lessons that would cover new concepts and for others I pulled up lessons that would review concepts.
Vidoe’s Are Slow
My kids were all in consensus in feeling the pace of the teaching in the video’s was slow. This is not a deal-breaker, because the student can, at any point, toggle between the video and questions. They do not have to watch the whole video with all the samples before trying out the problems.
I understand the reason the teaching is slow because the kids do need time to think about the operations being taught. This may also just be a peculiarity of my kids, I suggest reading some other reviews to see if other kids feel the same way. I think slow pace may be an important part of what makes the videos clear and easy to follow.
All of my kids also said that the videos were easy to understand. This is probably a lot more important than whether or not they enjoyed the pace of the teaching.
Kids Ask Why
Another point my kids brought to my attention was that the videos did not explain the ‘why’ behind concepts. They clearly illustrated ‘what’ to do. But not ‘why’ to do it. Now, my kids are used to digging pretty deep into math concepts and the why behind every operation. Their dad has a master’s degree in mathematics. I would say some households will not be bothered by this, but others will be.
I think one thing the kids were getting at when they made the above complaint was that the video’s are just a sequence of examples. My kids wanted more explanation. Now, the examples are good. They use appropriate visuals. They clearly explain the concepts and steps to be taken. But my kids wanted more than that. (For example, my kids don’t just want to be told the formula for finding the circumference of a circle. They want to know why the formula works.)
They all enjoyed the multiplication space game and logic-tile puzzle.
CTCMath may be a good fit for you if:
- You need a program that saves mom time. The teaching and grading are both done for you, tracking and reporting are also done. Mom’s primary role in this program will be to set a clear standard of how much time is to be spent on math lessons and how many lessons are to be completed each day/week. You will hold your child accountable.
- You need an inexpensive option that will cover a large family. If you are just starting out homeschooling, or are switching math curriculum for several kids, buying math for several different levels at the same time can add up fast. But CTCMath has a 50% discount for homeschoolers. This makes it a very affordable option.
- You need a program with built-in flexibility. This program is designed for real kids. That means it is very easy for you to pull up as many extra practice problems as your child needs for any concept. You can also adjust the level of mastery you want your children to achieve. You can have a child working in multiple grade levels at the same time. Maybe they need to review a few difficult concepts from last year but are ready to move forward in other topics.
If you think CTC sounds like a good fit, check out the free giveaway below and make sure to sign up for their free trial.
CTCMath may NOT be a good fit for you if:
- You are looking for a program to ignite your child’s curiosity. I did not see any sense of the wonder of numbers present in the lessons of this program. Numbers really are amazing, beautiful things. If you are are trying to get your child interested in math, or want to help them fall in love with math, this program, on it’s own, will not do the trick. Having said that, if you like exploring casually with your kids you can use books from the library and videos from Youtube to ignite their wonder and use CTCMath to pull up practice in the concepts you are exploring.
- You are looking for a hands-on program. Although CTCMath is multi-sensory in the sense that there are videos with good visuals, and of course videos also include auditory input, it is not a program where kids actually touch math concepts with their hands. I would not call it kinesthetic. Some kids, especially when they are young, need to ‘touch’ math. Moving and manipulating objects to practice concepts before the move to the visual world of illustrations and then to the abstract world of pure numbers. If this aspect is important to you or your children this might not be the best program, at least not on its own.
Want to know more about how the program works? Check out the CTCMath YouTube Channel where you can find sample lesson videos and all the details about how to assign problems, print reports, and more.