Having almost every grade level in my home, I’m always on the lookout for online homeschool programs that offer a family membership. CTCMath has updated their site from the last review I did for them, and their Homeschool Membership is a great fit for us! Let me show you how my kindergartners, elementary student, middle school kid, and high schooler all use this program.
Caleb and Lynndi have been using the program from the very beginning, starting with the kindergarten numbers! Caleb is pretty advanced; he picks things up quickly and moves quickly through almost any curriculum I set in front of him. The CTC is perfect for him because he can sit as long as he wants to, which of course is different every day, and get through as many lessons as he likes. Occasionally, he hits a snag with exactly what the computer wants him to do, but I’ve discovered that it’s not because he doesn’t know the answers.
Lynndi, on the other hand, learns at a more relaxed pace. Sometimes she can sit and work on things for hours – computer programs seem to be right up her alley (I suspect that she is a mostly visual learner) – but she needs repetition and practice before fully grasping a concept. CTC works great for her, too, because I can set it to have her do more practice questions every time or to move on if she aces the first practice.
The best thing about the program at their level, for me, is simply that they can do it independently. The first step is to watch the video; it’s easy for them to find where they need to click the next words that don’t have a check mark yet. Then the video teaches them the lesson, and I showed them how to click on the Questions tab after that. The questions all have a sound button so that they can click on that and the program will read the question to them. They click on the box to enter their answer and hit enter; if it’s correct, they see a check mark and can then click the continue button at the bottom of the page. After they finish, the program displays all the questions and if they got them right or wrong, and there’s the option to click for more questions. Lynndi knows that if she doesn’t get them all right, she needs to click on that part. I just love that they really can do this all by themselves!
Brandon is dyslexic and his learning style is all of them. He does best by repetition and input in various forms for the same concept. CTC works great for him because it’s auditory and visual by nature, and he receives immediate feedback for the questions he answers. The best part about the program at his level, in my opinion, has been that the website retained his grades and progress from when we reviewed this 2 years ago.
The diagnostic tests have improved drastically and that is being a really great way for us to gauge his true level. I kid you not – I will not ever let this program expire again for Brandon’s sake. It’s the thing that has worked best for him in all this time, and I’ve changed it to be his core math curriculum; we’ll use anything else we have and like to supplement from time to time when he needs it.
Drew also used this online homeschool math program previously, and the best part about it for him is the diagnostic testing. One of the best updates is that I can now assign him the task of completing the diagnostic exams in a given area. Then, if he doesn’t do well, I can assign the lessons for that section as a task. The teacher area of CTCMath is fantastic, and I love that I don’t have to try and glean information from Drew in order to figure out how well he’s doing. The record keeping is the best of any other online homeschool program in any subject that I’ve ever seen, and honestly lacks nothing in my opinion!
My high school student – a senior this fall – has some catching up to do in math. It’s not that he’s not been able to grasp it, but more that he leaves it for the last thing to do and has simply fallen behind the time schedule. My biggest concern for him is taking the standardized testing and entrance exams he’ll need for college entrance this year and next. We started him out by taking the diagnostic testing for Algebra 2 which is the only math required for college that he hasn’t taken yet. He didn’t score well, but that’s okay! It just means he actually needs to take the course.
While CTC won’t fulfill a full credit for what he needs, we plan to continue using it for him as a test prep course in math. He’ll review concepts from Algebra 1, and honestly his Geometry coverage was very slim so we’ll enjoy having some extra instruction in that course as well. He’ll take what is available on the Algebra 2 as well, and there are even some higher level maths available that will allow him to get a great overview of those courses. You can download a full lesson list on the FAQ page and compare the high school lessons to your state requirements to see how this might work for you. I’m convinced that using the site this way will improve his testing scores and allow him to be properly placed into a math at the local community college next year.
The new layout of the site is much more user friendly, and my kids are enjoying using the program. Homeschoolers receive a 60% discount on the program! That discount makes it $15.97 a month for the family plan, or you can get a full year at once for $118.80. Because all students have access to all lessons in all grade levels, and the website itself keeps track of the grades (even if you let the subscription lapse! ours was for over a year), I find this to be a fantastic value! I even have places for myself and my husband a student account, so we are essentially utilizing 7 student accounts. That’s just $17 a year per student account, or just under $24 a year per student for my actual 5 students for the ease of grading and a full curriculum!