Even schooling on a traditional schedule, the kids still do a lot of math practice over the summer. Math is one of those topics that I feel we can never really take a break from. Without practice, all our hard work mastering things like factoring and exponents will fly out of Bug’s head before the fall, and I’ll be stuck having to do months of review to catch back up. That’s why I didn’t balk at all when I was asked to review the 12 Month Family Plan from CTC Math.
CTC Math is interesting because when you open it, you aren’t put on a specific lesson sequence, nor are you restricted to a grade level. Lessons are not numbered, you can start anywhere you like, and work at any level you like. Access covers ALL the content.
This is a fantastic thing for summer learning (and my family in particular) because it means Bug can go in and review only the things he really needs. I found his curriculum last year to be a bit weak in Geometry, so I had him start there. He’s going into a Pre-Algebra class in the fall, so being able to start poking around that level is pretty valuable too. He’s getting in extra practice, but it’s all at his pace. He gets to make the choice each morning as to what topics he wants to learn about, and with my child, choice = less drama and resistance to school work.
The lessons themselves are formatted well too. Nothing is terribly long. Each lesson has a short video/animated lesson, with audio narration that lasts 2-10 minutes tops. After the video lesson, there are a small questions to complete. That’s it! Short lessons have been good for Bug too, because I can have him go back and forth between math and other subjects, and he doesn’t get overwhelmed.
The program does give instant feedback if a problem is incorrect, but the correct answer is shown immediately, so there isn’t a way to have your child “try it again” if they miss the question the first time. The solutions are not worked on the screen either, so you do need to work with your child some if they want to see the problems worked out so they know where they went wrong.
For me, as a working mom especially, CTC Math fits my needs because not only is it solid instruction, but it also provides detailed reports for me to keep on top of his work. The reports let me know how many times he tried an activity, and how well he scored, and there is even a way for me to get weekly emails showing his progress. On the parent dashboard I can see when he logged in to track his work as well.
One thing that I REALLY love about this program is that it’s pretty darn inexpensive, especially if you have a large family. The membership gives you access to all the grade levels, for up to 10 kids. I am too afraid to actually do the math, but considering math programs are easily 100 dollars plus per child, getting a family subscription every year has the potential to save you hundreds (thousands??) of dollars over the years.
One small factor to note is this program is Australian, so some of the terms and phrasing is different than what is used in the United States. It does have the option to choose which location you are in (and which level of standards you want to follow) but the phrasing differences are still different. Every once in a while Bug will ask me what a word means, and I just clarify for him.
All in all, it’s a wonderful program! Stop by and read more reviews by clicking the Schoolhouse Review Crew banner below.