CTC Math {a Schoolhouse Crew Review}

CTC Math Review
If you’ve been reading here for long, you know that math curriculum has been hit or miss.  I have found things I like, but it works well for only one child, etc.  All of my children seem to learn in different ways (you’d think there would be some similarities, right?).  One child learns by doing, another visually, still another by hearing.  We’ve been using CTC Math about a month now.  We have the 12 Month Family Plan for review and all of my children using it love it!  That’s just unheard of in our house!

CTC Math Review

Yes, I know that says math tutor, but this has been working extremely well as the sole curriculum for my children.  Did I already say all of them?  Yes, from the Kindy-girl to my middle schooler, all ages are covered (through high school Calculus).  I even have the ability to instantly switch the level my learner is working at instantly.  One of my girls catches onto math concepts quickly and hates too much practice and review.  We can quickly and easily (she can even do it herself) move to the next grade (or two) to be challenged on a topic.  It works just as well to move down a grade level – perfect for my math challenged daughter.  My audio learner likes that she can replay or pause the lesson – they are presented by video.  
The video is the first part of a lesson in a topic.  They are very thorough, yet not too long.  She often is working the examples as she watches (listens) the second time.  This has been working great for cementing the process for her.  She then moves on to the questions (problems).  She gets immediate feedback on how well she has done and can do more problems if she wants, move on if she wants or repeat the whole lesson (starting with the video again).  When a problem is answered wrong, it is immediately known, before doing the next question.  When my learner is really struggling with a topic, she can stop and review the lesson (or the same topic from an earlier grade).  One of the things I like with the structure of the questions is that the answers are required to be entered — no multiple choice (and best “guesses”). 

When the questions are completed, a percentage is shown.  This has been on of the biggest motivators for my children.  They want that percent to be high enough for gold (well, until that math-wiz, perfectionist daughter shared with the others there is something higher than gold – platinum).  My two daughters that normally do the minimum math questions are working and re-working and repeating until they get 100 %.  Each time is averaged (up to the most three recent sets of questions), so a miserable result from a first time through can be “even-ed out” by repeated attempts (which also has the (not so) surprising result of better understanding *grin*).

We are not test takers (I know, we’ll need to work on that sometime – and we may start soon with CTC just for the experience), so I am thrilled with how CTC Math handles tests – they are optional!  There are two test names within a section – Standard test and Comprehensive test.  You can use one to  “test out” of a topic and the other when the topic is completed (the tests cover just the topic, so not comprehensive for the “stream” or grade).  With the detailed reports, I can see just how one of my learners is doing.  I love that my children can be independent in their learning, yet I can see exactly where they are.

Independence means they can sign in by themselves – each child has their own sign-in and password. When they sign-in they are brought to the the last spot they were working in — I love that we don’t have to keep track of it.  In keeping with short lessons, we set a timer.  If I start seeing that they aren’t working efficiently (I’m sure some of you know what I mean), we will change that to a topic or two for their math time.  We’ve recently discovered that they can even change their background color.  It starts as a bright blue, but most of my girls changed it to a soft pink.  Because it is online, they can access this anywhere they can get online.

You may have noticed I am mainly speaking of my older girls’ experiences (upper elementary to middle school).  Two of my younger children are also working in CTC Math – my second grade son and kindergarten daughter.  They are not able to work independently, I do need to be in the same room and available as they work.  Watching the lesson is obviously no problem.  Because of their reading ability, I need to be available when they work the questions. 
CTC Math may be new to many of us, but it has been around for 17 years.  The instructor, Pat Murray, teaches all of the lessons.  My children have not had the experience of a new teacher each year like I had in school, so they don’t know how this can possibly wreak havoc in your learning.  One thing you’ll notice when you watch the introduction and demo is that Pat is Australian.  Nearly all of my children love this accent.  Surprisingly, it is my audio lover that is not as crazy about the accent (it doesn’t, however, affect her requests – yes, requests! – to do math).  The Australian origination does not mean they are learning Australian math.  When we sign in, we are working a U.S. version.  This version does use the metric system for measurement.  For our family, this is great!  We are learning inches, feet, cups and pounds through daily activities, homesteading chores, cooking etc.  Having the instruction on the metric system in our math curriculum makes this mama quite happy!

We have been thrilled with CTC Math and will likely continue the subscription.  At only $118.80 for the whole family for 12 months, it cannot be beat!  Whole family means just that.  The default is for five students, but if you need more student sign-ins, simply contact them and you’ll have what you need for your family.  Pat himself is the father of 10 children, so bigger families are nothing unusual for them.
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Thank you, CTC Math!
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