Over the course of 20 years of homeschooling, there are a few things that I have concluded about teaching young children. One of the most poignant lessons that I have learned is to wait until a child is developmentally ready to learn—whether it is reading, writing, or learning math skills.
At our house, we do lots of hands-on learning until I am certain my child is ready for a more formal approach to learning. Over the last few months, my six-year-old son has shown great interest in math. This includes asking me about more complicated math problems, wanting to know how to find the answers.
To help my son, I was excited to have the opportunity to try CTCMath.
What is CTCMath?
I had never heard of the program before, and wasn’t quite sold on the idea of an online program. However, once I really dove in and saw how the program worked, I was very pleased with how flexible it was for my son.
- There were several concepts that he had already mastered for his grade level.
- There were other concepts that we had not covered yet or had learned in a different way.
- I was able to pick and choose which concepts he needed to work on each week.
- I was also able to pick a few more challenging topics to throw in just for fun.
It did not take long for my son to get the hang of the program. I set his password to something he could remember and type, then showed him where to start his lessons. While logged in, he is able to click on the video he needs to watch and then do the practice problems associated with the lesson. I generally let him do as many lessons as he would like, as long as he is comprehending each lesson before advancing to the next.
There was also an unexpected benefit to CTCMath. When my older children saw my son getting to do his math on the computer, they wanted to do their math work on the computer. The two older children were already progressing in their math curriculum, so I told them that they could do CTCMath in addition to their current curriculum.
Being very competitive in nature, they both strove to complete lessons at much higher grade levels. Because I knew that they were covering all the basics in the other math curriculum, I let them challenge themselves through self-learning. Having the video explanations helped them understand some of the more difficult concepts, and they were both excited to show me their scores on the “hard levels.”
How CTCMath Works
CTCMath is an online, interactive math program geared for grades K-12. High school math classes include algebra 1 and 2, geometry, trigonometry, precalculus and calculus. Parents may subscribe to the single user plan for one student or the family plan for multiple users.
Each grade level has lessons covering the scope and sequence of math appropriate for each grade. Parents are encouraged to utilize the diagnostic testing provided with each lesson to determine appropriate math placement, spend time on areas that need improvement, or skip over areas that have already been mastered.
Each lesson topic includes a video presentation covering the lesson topic, questions to determine student understanding of the topic, a lesson summary PDF that can be printed out for future reference, and practice worksheets (for older student lessons).
How Does the Teacher Dashboard Work?
Once logged into the teacher’s account, the teacher dashboard area has several user-friendly areas. The first thing that you should do is set up each student account.
If you have subscribed as a single member plan, you will only be able to set up an account for one student. However, if you are subscribed to the family member plan, you can set up as many student accounts as needed. Each student will have his/her own login information.
Once each student account is created, move on to the “Latest Tasks” area. This area reminds me of a lesson plan. On this screen, you can:
- Plan out which lessons each of the students should complete.
- Add the date the lessons should be completed by.
- Add in any diagnostic tests that should be completed before beginning the lesson.
Parents also have the ability to hide the year level of each lesson assigned to the student. This allows the parent to either follow the math sequence laid out by CTCMath or customize each week’s lesson to meet the needs of their student.
Take Advantage of CTCMath Reports!
There is an important report area in the dashboard to take advantage of.
In the report area, parents are able to view the progress of each student. You can run activity reports each time the student logs in and on any lessons or diagnostic test attempted or completed during the logged time.
For convenience, weekly reports can be emailed to the parent. Activity reports can also be downloaded for personal recordkeeping.
What’s on the Student Dashboard?
When the student logs into their account, the lesson screen will appear. If the student is going through each lesson of their grade level, they can simply navigate to the appropriate grade level and begin the next lesson in the sequence.
Previously completed lessons will have a grade next to them indicating the lesson has been completed. If the parent has customized tasks (lesson plans) for the student, the student can click on the tasks tab and begin working on the assigned lesson(s) for the day.
Students can click on the report tab at the top of the screen to view their course activity. This includes:
- Completed lessons
- Diagnostic test results
- Pending tasks
- Speed skills assessment
Overall Benefits of Using CTCMath
One of the greatest benefits I have found in using CTCMath is the ability to customize the lessons for each of my children.
I have a child in junior high who struggles with math and another student in elementary who is a math whiz. It is very disheartening for my junior high student to use a math textbook that is below her grade level. With CTCMath, I am able to customize each of their lessons without them knowing what level they are performing at.
I am also very thankful for the comprehensive diagnostic testing that allows me to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each of my students. If there is a particular area where they struggle, I can add in additional lower level lessons until they grasp the concept.
As a mom of seven, I do not have a lot of free time on my hands. So, I greatly appreciate the time saved using CTCMath. Each lesson is thoroughly covered, but I do make myself available for any questions my children may have during the lesson. I am thankful that each lesson is automatically graded and the grades are packaged in a nice, downloadable report.
Ready to get started on the software? CTCMath has a special offer for THSC readers. When you register for a 12-month membership, you will receive a 60 percent discount and an added six months for a total of 18 months subscription! Simply visit CTCMath.com to take advantage of this offer for your homeschool students!