Thursday, April 24, 2014

CTCMath Online Math Tutor Review {SchoolHouse Review Crew}

CTC Math Review


I don't know about you but I am not a math person. I would love to be but I'm not. So I did the next best thing and married one. So anything that offers me the chance to make math easier to understand for my kids is manna from heaven to me. We were offered the chance to review CTC Math and I couldn't have been more excited, My children however not so much. We were given a 12 Month Family Plan and so everyone was covered from Kindergarten up. The program itself covers Kindergarten all the way to Calculus.

CTC Math Review

Since my math husband has to go to work he can't always be there to answer the kids questions (OK I can normally handle it but maybe not for long). My plan was to try this program out with Jam and Little J (7th grade and Kindergarten) because Boo has another online Math program she uses. However withing a week or so of the others using it Boo was hooked and started using this program a long side her other math programs (yes that is meant to be plural) in fact she is using 3 different ones now.


Jam works through the program by himself. He is working on the Basic Math and Pre-Algebra course which the website considers the place to start for 7th grade. He is already half way through the course, which I am glad about as we are coming to the end of 7th grade. I am sure he will be done with it before the end of the summer. He is really liking this program and is currently working at a Platinum level. Just to explain this a little bit - When you finish each section you are given a certificate of completion. The levels are Platinum, Gold, and Silver and are awarded depending on accuracy. My kids are majorly competitive with themselves and each other so they love this.

How does it work:

JAM - Basic Math and Pre-Algebra

Every day Jam signs into the website with his own username and password. The program remembers where he was last working and it automatically goes to that screen. Below is a screen shot of Jam's current section. So he will click on #9 Addition with Mixed Numerals to start his next lesson.


When he does this it will take him straight to a video lesson, after watching that he clicks on 'get worksheet'. This process is slightly different than the younger grades as they have an online quiz where they type the answers directly onto the screen. In the older graders (this one being the first) you have a worksheet that you can print off or you can use a notebook. Then you complete the questions and enter your answers using the answer page. You have to find your answers on the screen. My son tells me that if you can't find the answer you worked out as a choice then you've done something wrong. This helps him know to rework the question and helps keep his score up. I like it because it has made him check his work more thoroughly (something he never did before). According to Jam it's the first Math program he has enjoyed - and that's saying something.

Little J - Kindergarten and First Grade

I have been working with Little J everyday. Although he is getting to the point he could do this 'almost' by himself. I have only found 2 problems with the program so far and they are both relevant to this younger age group. The first is appropriate to mention now and I will get to the other in a minute. The reason I can't just be in the same room as Little J and have to actually sit next to him the whole time is that the program doesn't read the questions aloud. Since Little J is very advanced in math this is a little bit of a problem for us. His reading level is just not quite good enough to do this without assistance. Although it is really helping him pick up some regularly used math vocabulary.  We have completed all of the Kindergarten level and are busy working through First grade and we are nearly half way through that! Although I will make him go back through the first grade section again to really cement what we have been doing before I let him move on to the second grade program. Now to my 2nd problem, when we were working through the money section of the material in Kindergarten the pictures of money were really small and a little blurred. I called the company and they thanked me for letting them know. They said they will update them with larger images, so hopefully that won't be a problem for long.
OK so after watching the video lesson Little J completes an online quiz and his score is recorded. Whenever any of the kids receive a certificate I am emailed immediately. (I just need to mention here that the younger grades earn certificates a lot more often than the older grades). He completes several sections a day and would probably do more if I let him.
Little J loves this program and reminds me everyday to do it with him.

Boo- Fifth Grade

I made Boo start at fifth grade too even though we will be finishing 5th grade soon. We school all year round and so there is not big cut off date we just move from one level to another. However I wanted her to take the opportunity to review the subjects covered. This makes 3 math programs but what Mom would say no to more math right! So when she asked I said sure let's sign you up.
She has loved it and spends about 20 minutes a day working on the program. She is about a quarter of the way through and has said that it has really helped her review her multiplication facts etc. She likes that she can enter all her questions straight onto the computer. I love that the work is instantly graded.

Parent's Area

I can log directly into the parent's area of the website. This is in addition to my weekly email update and the emails I get when the kids get an award certificate. It shows me the date each child last logged in, how many lessons they have completed, their overall efficiency rating, and allows me to view all their certificates earned so far. There is also the option to set a pass grade (mine is set at 90%) and the program won't let the child move on until they reach that percent.

OVERALL

I asked all three of my kids what they thought of this program and they all love it. In fact they have not said one negative thing about this program since we started it. It has been a huge hit. We don't use it as a stand alone Home-school math curriculum. Although I heard that they may be adding some more stuff to the older grades so that it could be used that way in the future. However as a revision or help to someone who is struggling or just an 'extra' (like Boo) it is more than adequate. We think it's cute that the person talking is Australian and it reminds me a little of my native England when they spell color 'colour'. A lot of the math uses metric measurements, but again I don't see that as a negative either since our science program uses metric too.

PRICING

Right now CTC Math is having sale (These are the Home-school prices)!

SINGLE STUDENT PLANS
Monthly - Regular $29.97 SALE PRICE $11.97
6 Months - Regular $127 SALE PRICE $50.80
12 Months - Regular $197 SALE PRICE $78.80

FAMILY PLANS (2 or more students)
Monthly - Regular $39.97 SALE PRICE $15.97
6 Months - Regular $197 SALE PRICE $78.80
12 Months - Regular $297 SALE PRICE $118.80


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