Tuesday, June 16, 2015

CTC Math {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

Over the years I've found lots of educational program to use on the computer. Unfortunately, I've also found out that Lauren generally doesn't enjoy doing school-type activities online. It seems like her brain classifies time on the computer as her playtime, not a time to do programs that Mom suggests and definitely not a time to do anything resembling schoolwork.

Recently I found an online math program that Lauren enjoys using. We have a 12 Month Family Plan subscription to CTCMath.

CTCMath offers math lessons for Kindergarten through Calculus, including Pre-Algebra, Geometry, Algebra I and II, Trigonometry, and Pre-Calculus. I had Lauren start with the third grade lessons so that we could see if she had any knowledge gaps. (Our regular math program doesn't follow a traditional scope and sequence so I expected to see a few topics she hasn't covered yet.)

The third grade materials contain 96 lessons, each with a short video (3-5 minutes or less) and then a set of approximately ten questions to answer.

Lauren has been doing some work with the speed skills to make sure she didn't forget all the multiplication facts she's worked so hard to learn this year. The speed skills activity has four difficulty levels, starting with basic addition and subtraction facts and moving all the way up to a setting that includes an option to practice working problems requiring knowledge of the correct order of operations.

I then let Lauren choose her own topics to work on, and she chose to do the division lessons. She's a big fan of doing something new, and she hasn't done any division yet.

The videos clearly explained the idea of division, even if it wasn't exactly the way I'd approach the topic for her. Six out of the eight division lessons illustrate division by moving object into different groups. The seventh lesson explains the relationship between multiplication and division. Since Lauren has a lot of multiplication experience, I would have emphasized that relationship earlier in the process. CTCMath asked her to divide 18 bananas into either two groups or groups of two, and then it taught the math fact as "18 divided by 2 equals 9." I would have asked if she could answer the questions "how many groups of 2 are in 18?" or "how many would be in each group if we made two groups?" I would also have prompted her to think of the 2 x 9 = 18 multiplication fact that she knows. In the end, though, she still gained a good visual grasp of what division represents.

The good part of CTCMath is that Lauren likes it. She says it's the best math program that she's done on the computer. She specifically mentioned, "I like how it has videos, and you can skip the video if you already know it." She likes seeing the percentage of questions she gets right each time and then redoing the exercise to get a higher score.

I like having Lauren use CTCMath because it's good practice (and more math practice never hurts anyone). More importantly, she learns math online without complaining about having to do CTC Math.

A 12-Month Family Plan subscription for homeschoolers to use CTCMath with your whole family costs \$118.80. If you only have one homeschooled child using the program, it costs \$78.80 for a year.

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2 comments:

1. So is that \$118 per family, whether you have one child or six? Counting or Calculus?

1. For the whole family (up to 10 students, I believe). Including Calculus.