My oldest, John Allen, seems to be a whiz in math. Even with his high school math, he seldom uses pencil and paper to write things down. Unfortunately, Joshua is not the case. Math is one of his weakest subjects. For a while, he was three or four years below grade level in math. I don’t know if it is his autism or what, but he just can’t wrap his brain around some math concepts. We are constantly looking for a program that he will like and will really help him bring up his math level. I think we have found it!
Recently the opportunity was given us to review the CTC Math Twelve Month Family Plan. I was both a little excited and a little skeptical. We had tried online math programs before so I was skeptical as to if this one would work. However, I was excited to try something new and pray that it might be just the ticket. I learned a long time ago to never give up and to keep trying. You never know if the next thing you try might be a winner so I was happy when we were chosen for the review.
The Twelve Month Family Plan is a plan specifically developed for homeschoolers. It allows you to register up to 10 kids for one low price! Each child gets there own log-in information while the parent has a log-in of their own in order to keep track of what the children are doing. And, not to worry, every child in your home can use CTC Math’s Twelve Month Family Plan. It goes from kindergarten math all the way up to high school math including Algebra, Calculus, Geometry and Trigonometry. Another great feature is that it allows every child access to every level. I know that in the past when we’ve reviewed online math programs, we’ve had to register for one grade level or course. With this program, if a child works quickly through one grade level then he can begin on the next one. Or, perhaps you thought that your child was ready for a particular level but found he needed to review what he had previously learned first. No fears. Just move him back!
I wasn’t quite sure where to start Joshua so I went to the grade level that I thought he would match up (the previous curriculum we had been using was ungraded) and had him sit down to do the diagnostic test for that level. That helped me to know what he could do and what he couldn’t. We began on a topic that he had trouble with in the diagnostic test and went from there. For the grade level that we decided to start him on there were 20 topics with about 100 total lessons. However, the diagnostic test told us that he already had mastered the content for 18 lessons, so he only had 82 lessons to go to complete that grade level. The diagnostic test also allowed him to get a feel as to how to input the answers to the questions – a very easy task.
Now for the fun part. The actual lessons! The lessons for Joshua are a lot of fun. CTC Math is a program that was developed in Australia but has been completely adapted to United States standards so the instructor is from Australia and therefore has an Australian accent. Since Joshua really loves geography and languages, the accent really intrigued him. You can’t see the actual person, but you can hear his voice while he is doing the lesson in a powerpoint style. The lessons are very easy to follow and explained very well. Joshua was excited (and so was I) that he was able to pick up on things quickly. The instructor explains a new concept and then demonstrates it four or five times in a video that lasts just a few minutes long. The recent videos that Joshua has watched have been less than three minutes but I looked ahead and some videos can last up to about five minutes. What is wonderful about these videos is that if Joshua doesn’t understand something he can always go back and review it again. It is like having an instructor that is always with you! I also like the fact that the videos are just the right length for Joshua. They are short and to the point.
After the video lesson is completed, he moves on the questions. So far on his grade level Joshua has had about 10 questions to complete for each lesson. In the parent section, which I will explain about later, the parent sets the bar as to what a “passing grade” will be. I set it pretty high for Joshua because I want to make sure that he really understands that concept before he moves on. So far he has only had to do two sets of questions one time to master a topic. Usually it only takes him one try. He has chosen to do more sets of questions in order to practice more and to bring his score up, but he didn’t have to in order to make the passing score of 90 that I had set. A student can do as many sets of questions as they want and the scores are averaged together. Joshua’s total math score so far is 97% so if he makes a grade lower than that, he usually does another set of questions to bring his grade up. The fact that he is that conscious about his scores has really impressed me. After he masters that particular lesson, he moves on to the next. Soon he will be able to take the diagnostic test again to see if he needs more work in that topic or if he can move on to the next. A person could actually skip around if they wanted, even outside of grade levels, but we have chosen to work in the suggested order. Some of the other things included are speed skills where he practices addition and subtraction and races against a count down clock to see how many correct answers he gets in a certain amount of time, and the award sections where he is given a level of bronze, silver, gold, or platinum depending on how well he does on the questions.
I really like the parent section. As I mentioned before, one of the things that I have control over in this section is what Joshua’s passing grade is going to be. However, there is so much more to this section. I can also set a new login name and password for him if I choose. I can check to see when he has logged on, what lessons he has completed and what grades he has made. I can choose see a summary or I can choose to see a detailed report. I really like being able to check in whenever I want to see if he is doing what he should be doing.
As you can tell, we are really impressed with our CTC Math 12 Month Family Plan. Joshua likes it and is doing wonderfully. If he continues at the rate that he is going, I can see him completing two school years of math in one year. CTC Math is a keeper for us!
I was going to take some screen shots of what Joshua is doing to show you all, but a screenshot really wouldn’t do this program justice. Click on any of the highlighted links above to get to the CTC Math website where you can find a video that shows a sample lesson, and you can sign up for a free trial to see if you like it. If you have half the success that Joshua has had, though, I think you will be very pleased. Many of the other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed CTC Math’s 12 Month Family Plan and you can see what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. Happy Homeschooling!