TOS Review: CTC Math

 

CTC Math Review
When my now-sixth-grader was starting first grade in a virtual school, he took a placement test that put him in third grade math. (And this was after absolutely no math instruction whatsoever.) We started him in second grade math, and he did well until he hit fourth grade math, when he started struggling. And that’s where he’s been stuck for a while. I really haven’t pushed him, but when the opportunity came along to review the 12-Month Family Plan from CTC Math, I had him try a demo lesson to see what he thought.

The demo lesson (in case you skipped the video) is for adding fractions with different denominators. Through the whole lesson, my son kept saying, “Oh! I get it now.”  The way that he was taught in his virtual school never made sense to him. I had even tried to find online tutorials to help, but nothing clicked. But Pat worked his magic, and my kid was thrilled. And I’m for anything that makes learning fun and exciting. We don’t do boring around here. 😉 (Which is one reason we also no longer do the virtual school, and have time for fun things like curriculum reviews.) The boy even liked Pat’s accent!

 

CTC Math Review
CTC is a full online math tutorial program for all grade levels. It runs on all web browsers, and the only requirements (aside from an internet connection) are Adobe Flash (a well-known free download) and speakers or headphones to hear the tutorials.

CTC offers a full range of math lessons, and all are included in your subscription, so if your child (or you!) needs more foundation, and needs to go back to a lower grade to work on something, it’s super-easy to move around to match your needs. If your child catches on to math quickly, there is no need to worry about him running through his current year’s math, because he’ll have the next level right at his fingertips. CTC is self-paced, so you can learn in a stress-free way.

My son is working on fourth-grade math, since that’s when his comprehension started dropping. He usually does two lessons a day, as the lessons in one section are obviously closely related, and if he’s already got his mind in math mode, it’s easier for him to just keep going. Each lesson has a video, and in most lessons, he’ll start the video, and if it’s something he does already understand, he’ll just click over to the questions. If he needs the video, he’ll watch the whole thing. The questions are easy to get to, just by clicking a button right beside the video.

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My son doesn’t really care about awards or certificates, but CTC has them if that’s something that encourages your child. The awards come at three different achievement levels, and students can keep working on a lesson to get their best score toward the award.

My most recent award certificate. Don't be jealous.

My most recent award certificate. Don’t be jealous.

I love that the correct answer is provided after a wrong response, so the child doesn’t have to guess at how to fix it.

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You’ll also see a report at the end of the questions, which can be printed out if desired.
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You’ll also find a detailed report of your child’s progress. (These are all screenshots from my “student” account, because I don’t care that you know I scored 92% on Numbers as Words. Hint: reading the question helps.)

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There is also a summary report, if you just want a quick overview of what they’ve mastered. And, if that’s not enough for you, you can get a weekly activity log in your email. In other words, keeping up with your child’s progress with CTC is extremely easy. So if your student is like mine, and doesn’t like to have you hanging around when he’s “mathing”, then you can still be assured that things are going well. And if you lean more toward unschooling, and just want your kids to have an easy way to learn math, then you just don’t look at the progress reports, and you can turn off the weekly reports from your “parent” profile on the CTC site.

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Now for the fun part: learning all the things!

CTC is a comprehensive program, and is suited for all math levels.
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Here’s what I love about CTC, and what sets it apart: The problem-solving is interactive. In all cases in which it will work, the student has these fabulous little boxes to help with things like where to put that pesky number you’re supposed to carry. In higher levels, and maths that use specialized symbols, you’ll find multiple choice questions, because isn’t math complicated enough without trying to figure out how to make symbols so you can answer a question?

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I couldn’t quite figure out how to effectively use the Diagnostic Tests. I had my son take a couple, and I took a couple, and I think you’re just supposed to use the results of the test to mark off the categories you score well in. (There are stars that you can click to rate your level of understanding. ) Our method of almost-unschooling leads me to just let my son work on what he chooses, and I just had him take the diagnostic tests so I could see how everything worked together. I think, for those who are really using the tests, that a little more integration might be helpful. I’m also not sure just one or two questions in a category can really test skill level, but if that’s a concern, you can always have your student do the lesson and questions. The diagnostic tests might best be used as a “before and after” to verify progress and comprehension.

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Over all, CTC fits our needs perfectly, and we love it. I’ve just started the five-year-old on it, too, and I like that it’s fun for him.

The sixth-grader’s input: I like how well the videos are explained. I like doing it.

 

How to get it

(Please note this is a current sale, and prices are correct at the time of publication. Please verify your price before purchase.)

Single Student Plans:

  • Monthly $11.97 (Membership for 1 student. Payment is monthly and recurring. Cancel at anytime.)
  • Six months $50.80 (Membership for 1 student for six months.)
  • Twelve months $70.80 (Membership for 1 student for 12 months.)

Family Plans – 2 or more students

  • Monthly $15.97 (Membership for 2 or more students. Payment is monthly and recurring. Cancel at anytime.)
  • Six months $78.80 (Membership for 2 or more students for six months.)
  • Twelve months $118.80 (Membership for 2 or more students for 12 months.) That’s less than $10/month, and the more children you have, the better your value!

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