Whether for a full curriculum or supplementation, CTCMath can help you with homeschool math instruction. We received a family Membership as part of the Homeschool Review Crew. As always, all opinions are our own.
I’ve written about this online resource in the past. (All the past reviews are linked at the bottom of this post.) For us, it is usually a supplemental resource. Although, it is very tempting to have my 4th grader use it as his main curriculum after he completes his current math book.
What is CTCMath?
Simply put, CTCMath is an online subscription service that provides math help to students around the globe. An internet connection and device with a web browser is all you need to use it.
For a while, you could only access the service on a computer. But, they have now expanded to work on iOS and Android devices. (See the FAQ page for how to log in.)
The program is the brainchild of Pat Murray, an Australian who tutored through college and then taught in schools. Multisensory and quick presentation of concepts in bite sizes are hallmarks of his approach.
For students in kindergarten through 8th grade, CTCMath can serve as a full curriculum. When they enter high school levels of math, the program becomes one of supplementation.
Diagnostic tests allow you to find deficits in learning. The parent/teacher can then select lessons that will help the student learn and ultimately master the material.
Alternatively, you can find the beginning of the grade being studied and work through in sequence. Under each main area of study, you will find the key topics. So, for Measurement in 3rd grade, there are 5 key topics.
For elementary students, the material is organized by grade and then topic. For high school, it is by subject (e.g. algebra I) and then by topic. Within each topic, you find the lessons.
When you click onto Time (one of the topics from Measurement), you will see 5 distinct lessons.
Video Explanation from CTCMath about their Program
How does CTCMath teach math?
The bulk of the program is found in the lessons. Here they work through 4 key components to attain success in learning the concepts.
Lessons begin with a tutorial video. These average 4 to 9 minutes and present the concepts for that lesson.
For learners who like to read through the material, there is usually a pdf file summarizing what was presented. Whether you open in a new window to read immediately or save it for future reference is up to the user.
Once the video has been watched, the student works through interactive questions (practice problems.) These are graded as they go so instant feedback is received. If they miss too many problems, then they are not ready to move onto the next lesson. This threshold can be customized by the parent ahead of time.
For older students, there are worksheets that can be printed out for additional practice.
For each section, there is a diagnostic test. This will show whether they are retaining what was learning through the lessons.
Additionally, they have added weekly revision tasks to the elementary levels. The questions can be printed out for completion and then entered into the program for immediate grading. These are meant to help reinforce past learning as they work through the new material.
All of their work is tracked and presented in easy to understand reports. This allows to not only see progress in task completion but also the level of mastery for each topic.
Parental Controls Available
There is an entire parent dashboard with CTCMath. The login page is different than the students and uses the parental unit’s login.
So many things happen at the parent dashboard.
- Enroll a student
- Assign specific diagnostic tests or lessons with a due date
- Browse all lessons by grade level or high school course (TOOLS)
- Print out a checklist for each grade/course (TOOLS)
- View and export individual results for lessons or diagnostic tests
- View (and print) a timeline of activity for each student
- See overall progress by grade level/course by the student
- Use the new Question Bank Wizard
- View materials as the student (without being in your student’s account)
- Access the Parent User Guide (serious of videos on how to use CTCMath)
Why Should I consider CTCMath for Our Home?
There are many reasons why CTCMath could be beneficial in your home. Below are some key ones for us.
- Ease of implementation (load and go!)
- Immediate grading and feedback
- Engages the tech-loving student
- Follows a typical scope and sequence used in schools
- It isn’t mom or dad doing all the teaching
- Students work at their own pace through the program
Now some of those might seem odd for a homeschool mom to share. However, I have found that there are times when letting go of full control is sometimes a good thing. That all technology is not bad. And that my boys will sometimes respond better to someone that isn’t me.
Another situation for CTCMath to shine for the younger grades is when you are on the road. Whether doing some RVSchooling or bouncing between a few fixed locations, there are not tons of books and videos to pack up. Since we are still splitting time between 2 different states, this is a huge help for me.
What About Pencil and Paper Learning?
Okay. I’ll admit that while technology can make some aspects of life easier, there are times when ‘old-school’ learning is good. This is where the Question Wizard Bank comes to play. As does printing out a worksheet for each lesson (high school courses.)
With the Question Wizard Bank, you generate a random set of questions with various levels of difficulty. Then, you can assign these question banks to the student as a task to complete online. However, you can also print them out and use it as a pop quiz.
A pencil, eraser, and a piece of paper can be a beautiful thing.
Who Can Benefit from CTCMath?
Potentially any student who has not fully mastered math through calculus.
For a high school student, CTCMath is a great way to review all the key concepts before taking standardized tests. Actually, it is a great source for review for any grade level where standardized testing is involved.
The math curriculum we use for elementary grades does not follow the usual scope and sequence. So, a good review platform is helpful when a standardized test is coming up. CTCMath is one that the boys will use and feel like they are learning.
Our Thoughts on CTCMath
I’ll admit that my boys are not ones for doing anything extra. Rather, they seek the quickest path to completion when it comes to schoolwork.
This is a big reason why they (and I) like CTCMath. Nothing takes a long time. Lessons can be done in 15 minutes or less if the concept is grasped quickly.
And the instant grading for feedback helps them see where they went wrong. Or, in the case of my guys where they just weren’t paying attention.
I also like having this as an option for math in the elementary grades that meets standards. As long as we have a laptop (or now an iPad!) and the internet, the boys can do math. This is helpful when traveling and wanting to stay on track.
Read Past CTCMath Reviews
Here are all the past reviews we’ve shared on this program. In the past year, both the Question Wizard Bank and Weekly Revision Tasks are new. This shows me that the developers are constantly seeking to improve their program.
Online Math Help with CTC Math (Review) (2014)
CTC Math: Your Core Curriculum or Supplementation Solution (2015)
Get Math Help for Your Struggling Student Now (2016)
Get Math Help on Your Schedule with CTCMath (2017)
Has anyone in your family used CTCMath?
Would an online subscription program like this be helpful for your family?
Don’t just take my word for how we found this to be. Visit the CTCMath review post on the Homeschool Review Crew website to see what other homeschooling parents thought about this book.