Math for the Weary : CTC Math
As our regular academic studies ended, the girls were given the opportunity to use and review CTC Math's 12 Month Family Plan. This program was a nice change of pace, and a simple way to continue math lessons over the summer. CTC Math is an online program that covers a wide range of math skills. All elementary levels are included along with Pre-Algebra, Algebra, and other higher level math skills.
Both of my daughters are using CTC Math for their upcoming grade level. My oldest daughter is working through the fifth grade lessons while my youngest daughter is working through the third grade lessons. Each day they log in to the program from our computer. We've learned that they enjoy online programs best on the PC. Since the log in process is simple I rarely need to be around for them to get started unless someone forgets her password :)
I learned that you have to make sure that your bubble is still filled in when you select enter. I had a few user errors when I started.
This math program could easily be used a primary math curriculum or as a supplement. It could also easily be used with a mastery approach or a spiral approach. The flexibility of the program is one of its greatest assets. We are using it as our primary math for the summer. I am not certain if it will be the only math program we will use during our regular academic school year because one of my daughters loves paper and pencil math. In later years, I could remedy this issue by printing out worksheets from the program. It would be nice if the elementary grades also had the option of printing the worksheets before completion. We are able to print the completed lessons for review.
Back to the flexibility of CTC Math, there is no specific direction a child must take to work through this program. All grade levels are available for anyone who has an account. My youngest wanted to check out the Kindergarten work so she did. I decided I would refresh my Algebra skills so I did. Whoever the student is will access to more math than they probably know what to do with it. I think this is a perk to program.
Let me not forget to mention what makes this program really unique and good. Each lesson has video instruction. An instructor provides all the information needed to complete the upcoming lesson along with the opportunity to work through example problems. The video instruction was both of my daughters' favorite part of the program. I don't believe that they sat through many if any videos that were more than five minutes. This is because each lesson focuses on one particular skill which is the main reason this program could be used for mastery.
The program is set up by grouping the math into streams with each stream having several topics, and within each topic there are a few objectives. Some topics have more objectives than others. When beginning a topic, there is a comprehensive or standard test that could be used as a pretest which can eliminate work that may not be needed. The girls do take the standard test before beginning a topic, and if they do well then they can move on to another topic. If they do not do well on a particular objective within the topic then they complete the lesson for that particular objective.
I can see being able to use this program as a spiral program too, but I would have to be diligent put some time into planning which strands I wanted the girls to focus on before they sat down at the computer. Most lessons they have worked through take them no more than 15 minutes. This is fine for summer learning, but I would want them to spend just a little bit more time on math during our regular school year so I will more than likely have them work on maybe 2-3 topics each day versus one. Again, that's the beauty of the flexibility of this program.
I also liked the speed drills portion of the program. My girls are still working on becoming faster with their math facts. This handy little program within CTC Math allowed them to practice their facts before or after a lesson. The speed drills are timed for one minute and they able to focus on whichever area they choose. There are four levels. The first level is addition and subtraction. The second level is addition, subtraction, and multiplication. The third level includes division. The fourth level includes mixed computations, division with remainders, and order of operations.
We really enjoy using CTC Math whether we will use it alone or with another program, I am not certain, but either way I know that my girls will gain the knowledge they need. This program is great for the parent that isn't sure about teaching math or who may need to refresh her skills. I know that I will continue to use my account.
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