TOS Crew Review: CTC Math

CTC Math ReviewJust as we were beginning our search for a new math curriculum, we were asked to use and review CTC Math‘s 12 Month Family Plan.  Talk about perfect timing!  We were blessed with a full year’s subscription to this online math program.

While I believe that there are many fabulous curricula out there for subjects like science, literature or history, math has always been a subject that produced a definite response in my son (the student) and in me (the teacher).  We have either absolutely loved a math curriculum or we have wanted to run screaming in the opposite direction.  (Really.)

We were elated to discover that CTC Math fell into the former category, rather than the latter!  We found it to be easy to set up, simple to use, rewarding and very useful for our family.

What is CTC Math?

CTC Math was created and is produced in Australia.  (For any of you who want to avoid Common Core issues here in the U.S., this sidesteps that completely, by the way; CTC Math states that they do not support, nor are they aligned with Common Core.)  There are versions available for both U.S. and Australian audiences.  It is a fully online course (teaching, grading and scoring) for grades K-12, and includes the following:

  • Math courses for grades K-6
  • Basic math and Pre-Algebra
  • Elementary Measurement
  • Elementary Geometry
  • Algebra I
  • Pre-calculus
  • Calculus
  • Algebra II
  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry

The lessons are set up in a sort of whiteboard style online.  The teacher (who speaks in a  pleasant Australian accent) presents a new concept, then works 6-8 problems for the student, showing each step in the process.   Then, the student is given questions to answer online (generally between 7 and 20).  Sometimes these can be done while the child figures the answer in his head, and other times the student will need to work the problem on paper, then fill in the answers online.  The lesson is considered to have been learned if the student can score 90% or above on the questions.  There is also the opportunity with each lesson to answer more questions when the first set is completed; this is a neat way to let struggling students work more on comprehension.

The 6th Grade Math we used was divided into the following sections, with the following problem types included in each section:

  • Number, Patterns and Algebra (number, patterns, algebra, conversions, fractions, decimals, problem-solving)
  • Measurement (units of measure, time, area and volume)
  • Space and Geometry (angles, plane shapes and solids)
  • Statistics and Probability (graphs)

Each week, the parent receives an email entitled “CTC Math–Weekly Report for ______.”  This report shows lessons attempted, the scores achieved, and any certificates earned.  The certificates are awarded at the end of each segment of a lesson series.  Depending on how well your student scores, he’ll earn either a silver, a gold or a platinum certificate.  (These were great motivators for Jackson to strive for excellence and work carefully.)  Students receive the certificates via email, which the parent can then print and display.

There is also a comprehensive test for each section, so you and your students can confirm that there is true understanding of all the course work that has been completed.  The test results will show you what your student has comprehended, plus what might need extra work.  The parent can also use these comprehensive tests when the entire grade level is finished, to serve as a sort of “final” exam.

Although we never did this, CTC Math can be used on both Android and iOS devices.  This would be a great option for travel, doctors’ appointments or other scheduling issues!

For grades K-6, CTC Math can be used as a full curriculum.  For the grades starting with Basic Math and Pre-Algebra, CTC Math is in process of making it a full curriculum but at this point, it’s probably more useful as a tutoring program.

CTC Math Review At the time of this post, homeschoolers can receive 60% off the regular pricing.  That makes CTC Math’s 12 Month Family Plan a very affordable:

  • $118.80 for 2 or more students for 12 months, or:
  • $78.80 for 1 student for 12 months

These memberships provide complete access to all courses, for all students.  There is also a free trial available at CTC Math, if you’d like to try it out first!

How we used it:

We used CTC Math for our regular math curriculum, for 6th grade math.  As the parent, I logged in and created a family account, setting up an account name and password for Jackson.  Once you have done this, the child can log in daily to do whatever you’ve assigned them.  Generally, I assigned Jackson two lessons each day and sat nearby while he completed them.  Most of the time, the lessons and the way math concepts were presented were quite similar to the U.S. math curricula we’d used in the past, although sometimes Jackson needed a little help comprehending why a problem had to be worked a certain way.  So I was available for questions when needed, although he didn’t usually need me.  This also helped me to quietly observe him to see how he was doing with new concepts.

We are still working on the first segment, Number, Patterns and Algebra, although we’ve completed the sections on number and patterns, and are over halfway through the algebra portion.  I’ve been pleased with Jackson’s work and understanding; he is gaining a solid knowledge of and ability to work all the problems he has encountered.  And, he is encouraged to strive for his best; he’s very interested in getting those gold and platinum certificates!

In conclusion:

We were very happy with CTC Math:  the way lessons are set up online; the way it clearly teaches and instructs the students; the way students are encouraged to strive for excellence; and the way they’re rewarded when they do.  We will continue to use CTC Math for this grade level and the next, quite happily, as a matter of fact!

Other TOS Review Crew used this product, for a variety of grade levels.  Check out their reviews at the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog!

Crew Disclaimer Enjoy!  –Wren

 

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