Review of CTC Math 12-Month Family Plan10:24 AM
Like any family, not all of our kids like to learn the same way. I have boys who insist on using workbooks for math and others who thrive in online environments. When we were asked to review CTC Math and their 12 Month Family Plan this past month, I knew exactly which kids this would be ideal for, so I had them take the diagnostic tests that are included in the program, and they were off and learning!
CTC Math is one of those companies that I have seen everywhere over the years in my homeschool magazines and online. I was really eager to see if it lived up to its reputation in ease of implementation and ability to diagnose just where each child is in their math knowledge. My 8-year-old, who is a 2nd grader, but reads at a 6th grade level, was learning math at an average level, but he really went through his math lessons quickly -- almost too quickly -- because of his reading aptitude. I was hoping that this program could have him slowing down instead of whipping through worksheets, and it did.
The program itself is very, very intuitive. Based on the diagnostic test at the beginning (which can be a bit hard for kids to finish since it goes into materials they certainly haven't learned yet), parents can see what materials they have mastered and which ones they haven't. In our case, I could see right away that my son had difficulty with estimating, so we started him on that particular lesson.
What I love about this program, is that each lesson is clearly labeled with the topic it covers. You can jump around and learn just the materials that your child is lacking, and you can always have him review older material, if you think it would be helpful.
How did he enjoy it? He really didn't say much, other than asking to do his math each day. I think the biggest appeal to him was that it had such a clean interface. He really shies away from computer curriculum that is clunky or requires him to remember to do to many things to record his grades or find new material. For someone like him, who requires a simple set of processes (or he gets distracted) this program works very well.
I also enjoyed that each lesson has a summary that you can view in advance of the lesson or after. When my son doesn't do so well on a lesson, I can view exactly what it is that he should have learned, and I can take time out to explain more or in a different way. Some online programs really leave you in the dark on what exactly is being taught; this feature, however, lets me feel like part of his education!
My favorite feature of the program is that it is so tech-complimentary. You can use it on almost any mobile device, and in our case, we used it on the iPad. I loved this because it seems we are always waiting to share the family computer, and the full course can be used in a browser on a tablet or laptop, not just used as a liter "app" like some programs. Upon logging in, just know whether you want to use Flash or HTML 5.
There are also some fun ways to learn in addition to the standard lessons, like the Speed Tests! These fun games remind me of the "2-minute math" worksheets we did in elementary school. The goal is to get as many answers right as you can in the time allotted!