Math is one of those subjects that so many parents dread teaching their children. It can be difficult, that’s for sure. I would never want to do it without help – and I was good at math! Australian company CTC Math is here to be that help for us. For the purposes of this review, I was given a free 12 Month Family Plan subscription.
How it Works
CTC Math is an online math curriculum for all ages, Kindergarten through 12th grade. The program consists of over 1300 video lessons, each one narrated by Pat Murray, a father of ten (who, I might add, has a lovely Australian accent!). The videos are very well done, each one clearly explaining the concept being taught along with animated examples. Once the child has watched the video, they move on to the questions portion of the lesson, which is really just an interactive worksheet.
For the lower grades (K-5), CTC Math qualifies as a full curriculum; for grades 6-12, it should be used as a supplement to something else.
CTC Math is offering a special promotion right now for homeschoolers: you can get their family plan (unlimited access to all grade levels for as many students as you have) for $118.80. The normal price for this program is $297, so this is pretty significant savings. One thing to be aware of is that when you sign up for the program, you’re given 5 student spots. If you have more than five students, just shoot them an email and they’ll open up your account to allow as many as you need. They’re always happy to do that. (Remember when I said that narrator and founder Pat Murray had 10 kids? Yeah. These guys understand big families!)
How Seahawk and Munchkin Used the Program
The best part (at least for our family) was that they have the videos set up to work on a computer with Flash or on a mobile device without it. Because we only have one computer, which Will needs for work most days, it was a nice surprise when I tried CTC on the Kindle Fire and it worked. On days the computer was available, the boys used it, but over 90% of the time, they used the Kindle, so it was really awesome that we had that as an option.
As a rule, we do the “together” schoolwork first, and then I get the boys going on their individual assignments. CTC Math is included in the latter category. I would get one of them going on math and the other on a different subject, and they would switch.
Like I mentioned before, there’s a short video on each topic that the child watches first. These videos range from about 2-7 minutes long. The student can watch the video as many times as (s)he needs to in order to fully comprehend the material. There were times when my boys needed to watch the videos more than once, so it was really nice that there were no limits on the video-watching. Once they’re confident they understand the information, they move on to the questions portion of the lesson.
I had the kids use the program every day – it took the place of our previous math curriculum, which was actually pretty similar to this, just without the video. Being able to add the video in was excellent. Our other workbook didn’t do a very good job of explaining what to do or why things were done that way. CTC Math covered essentially the same topics as that workbook, but Pat explained things much better than I could. The kids really started excelling whereas before, they were just getting by.
I think this product is pretty awesome. It’s most useful if you want a “traditional” math curriculum for your kids. As a public school graduate, “traditional” is all I know. This fit that bill beautifully. My kids . . . well, I hate to say it, but they’re lazy when it comes to schoolwork. They don’t love anything we do. At least not the stuff that feels like “real” school. But they like CTC Math a whole lot better than our old workbooks, so that’s good praise for the program.
My only real critique of the program is that everything is done in the metric system, even though we were on the United States curriculum. That’s a pretty minor thing in my opinion, though. After all, the entire rest of the world uses the metric system, and honestly, the mechanics for measuring are the same whether you’re using centimeters or inches.
They boys’ absolute favorite thing about the program was the certificates they earned by performing well on their questions. If students get 100% on all of their questions in a particular unit, they earn a Platinum certificate, 95% earns a gold, 90% earns a silver, and 85% gets bronze. These certificates are emailed to the parent for optional printing. We don’t have any printer ink right now, so we didn’t print the certificates, but I’ve saved all the emails so we can print them at a later time. Even just seeing the certificates on the screen put huge smiles on my kids’ faces.