Updated CTC Math Review (2020)

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Have you heard of CTCMath? This program has been around for awhile, and today, we look at their 12-month family membership plan. If you've never used an online math subscription before, you'll be pleased to know that this is a very user-friendly option for even those who have never homeschooled before.

It's been over five years since we last reviewed CTCMath, and we are thrilled with the upgrades in this offering that covers Kindergarten math through Calculus, including:

Activity Tab: My Favorite Feature

One of the best features of the Parent Dashboard is this Activity tab, which quickly shows all of the last 30 days of logins for your kids, including the times they logged in and what they were working in. While there are also weekly reports you can download with a bit more info (and these are also emailed to you weekly), the Activity tab is perfect for my needs. You can see at a glance if your child did what they were supposed to do for the day and what the results were.

While we started my kids on the lessons that they needed the most practice, and then jumped around from there, many parents might want to formally assign specific tasks or lessons. We didn't, since I could easily just tell my two boys, "Do this lesson on long division" and followup by looking at the Activity tab to see that they did. If you want to take a more formal approach to assigning work, however, it's easy to do.

How to Add Tasks in CTCMath

This is what the Add Task screen looks like, and you can see that there are a number of options for assigning work. You can choose to name the task what you wish, as well as type in a description. Here you also assign what kids it goes to, the lessons included, and any diagnostic tests you want to run as part of the task. Question banks are also available (more on that below.)

Question Bank Wizard for the Win!

One of my favorite homeschool tools is a worksheet generator. In CTCMath, they call these "Question Banks," and they are a super simple way to automatically generate questions from any lesson or set of lesson for your kids to practice. This takes just a minute to use, and it's highly customizable. Note that I created one for long division problems. I started by using step one (Lessons) to search for all the lessons that have long division in them, then picked the lessons I wanted to review. The next tab had me choose Presets, including the difficulty of the problems. You can choose easy to hard, with a mixture of both, if you want. Then, you pick either a number of problems or a set time that the child is expected to use to complete the problems. In the final screen, the Final Check, you can review the problem generated, ordering them, if you choose. Once everything looks good, you can save your Question Bank and assign it with the Add Task tool we mentioned earlier. 

The Student's View

How does the program work for the child? It's pretty seamless on their end, too. When a student logs in, they can see a tab for Lessons, which will prompt diagnostic testing the first time. The second tab includes Tasks, or the list of items you created in the Add Task mode. A student can see how they did at any time with either the Results tab or the History tab. But this isn't the only way they can learn.

We actually did this more loosely than most, and I did not assign tasks or make my kids work through a set grade level from beginning to end. Since this is summer, and we are somewhere between two years of another math curriculum, I used CTCMath to help my two of my kids (who are in the same grade) master the concepts they were struggling with. In this case, long division was where I focused.

I typed in "long division" into the search bar, where I found 84 lessons on that topic. I picked the ones closest to my kids' grade level, and got to work!

Then, my kids went through the lessons from beginning to end. How do lesson work? They start with an explainer video, then they are given review questions. Since long division is best done on separate paper, that what they were prompted to do; after getting an answer, they input it into the program to check their work.

The kids liked that they could review the video as many times as needed. They could pause, too. The practice questions were a good way to see where they were with mastery, and if they didn't do so well, I could also generate more from a Question Bank. 

CTCMath Review

We have reviewed CTCMath in the past, but much has changed about this program. As families look for options for a completely online math program, CTCMath should be considered as a strong opportunity for both learning new material and review. While it could serve as a stand-alone math curriculum, we used it at our house as a supplement. It's value even as a supplement is well worth the investment, with plans for families of all sizes and ages to make it a good value for budget-conscious families. 

Parents should know that there are Parent and Teacher accounts, but that the Parent account has everything you need for managing multiple homeschool children. I can't think of any administrative tool that I would want that wasn't included in this service level. CTCMath is extremely intuitive with the user interface, so it's easy to get started right away. I didn't feel I needed to use the Help documentation at all, but it's easy and accessible for those who want to refer to it. Plan on jumping right in with this program! 

Where can I learn more?

Follow the CTCMath accounts on social media here: