Are you in desperate need of a math solution for your child, or all of your children? Have you looked everywhere and just about thrown in the towel thinking, "it's because you're a bad homeschool mom, or your children just don't thrive in homeschooling after all?"
That is a miserable miserable miserable feeling. Don't dwell on them; they're no good. I'll show you our solution.
I received this product for free, was compensated for my time, but was not required to give a positive review. I only recommend products that I truly love.
When I was a kid I loved loved math. And then, I didn't.
I hated it and couldn't figure it out. I sat in class panicking. How did all the other students know the answer when I didn't even remember learning the concepts they were discussing??
That's not a happy feeling.
My own math struggle
I remember exactly when that shift began.
We moved from North Carolina back to Texas during 4th grade. In NC we were just starting fractions and percents; in Texas, they'd finished them months ago.
I never learned them formally.
Then, 7th grade. Miss Emille.
It was 7th period; Miss Emille would turn on the overhead projector and show us the filled out transparency. She said, "this is what you do, then this. Here's your class assignment, here's your homework."
The transparency was illegible: the nub of the green marker must've been pulverized because the marks were so fat you couldn't tell if it was a percent sign, an 8, or a monkey.
This transparency was "teaching" us how to do the problems.
Then, she'd go over to her desk, pull out her box of twinkles and eat them.
She'd ignore us. We couldn't get any help from her.
I'm not even exaggerating.
A BOX of Twinkies! She'd eat the entire box and read her magazines. Maybe go visit another teacher.
At that time, I was still good at math and enjoyed it. Kids crowded around my desk asking for help. Yeah, asking another student to teach them math when a teacher sat just feet from them.
That was the last year I was ever good at math.
When I was in college, a great professor helped me remember that I truly did love math and could be good at it.
Searching for a perfect math solution
You can see why gaps in my children's math education, or using sub-par curriculum is something I'm avidly against.
I scoured the inter webs since the moment we decided to homeschool for the best math curriculum ever.
Admitedly, I jumped around.
We used Singapore, then Saxon, then settled on Math U See, and started to dabble with Life of Fred.
My children's math struggles
Let me explain the weird math world that's in our home. Maybe it's not so weird, feel free to reassure me if it's not.
- Oldest child
- Entering 5th grade.
Before the summer of 3rd grade we were using Saxon. He couldn't add and they were starting division. We switched to MUS (the Alpha level) and he took off. By the middle of 4th grade he was in pre-algebra. Wow! The kid loves math and does really well with it.
He doesn't want to stop doing his 2 hours of math.
Also, he's in such a hurry to get to the next level that he skips practice sheets, tries to skip the tests, and then gets mad when he doesn't understand the next 5 lessons. Then I get upset and make him start all over from the beginning.
He's had to start over twice and I'm thinking he may have to for Pre-Algebra as well.
- Second child
- Entering 3rd grade
We started her with Saxon and then switched over to Math U See that same summer and she did fantastic. Then, all of a sudden, last year she decided she wasn't good at math. She started crying and there were lots of power struggles.
Little Miss is smart and capable and it just drives me up a wall that all of a sudden she doesn't think girls are good at math and that's it.
I want to throat punch the fool that put that notion into her head.
She whines and prolongs the whole process for 2 hours.
Meaning, at the end of the day, she has to go back to the table and finish her lesson. She's my most stubborn and strong-willed child, and also the smartest (don't tell my other kids).
- Middle child
- Entering 2nd grade
He's a smart dude. He just does everything in his power to NOT do anything school related. I'd have to sit on his head to keep him on task. Sometimes, I'm tempted to.
The Animal lays on the floor, makes a fort with the table, makes his flashcards into motorcycles, or visits the bathroom for the 10th time.
He takes 2 hours to do half a page of math that I KNOW he could do in 5 minutes if he'd just do it.
- 4th child
- Technically preschool, but not really
She's desparate to do school like her siblings, but Mama is exhausted (hashimotos, adrenal fatigue, candida overgrowth, a 4 month old baby, and a 2-year-old) and doesn't have the mental energy all the time to "do school" with her.
Sweet Cheeks stands by my side begging for more worksheets more worksheets more worksheets!!! Never mind that she totally trashed the last 8 I gave her.
Teddy Bear and Baby
Teddy Bear is in the kitchen, throwing away measuring spoons and cups again. The Baby is spitting up all over me. Again.
I love homeschooling and my sweet crazy children, but good grief, I want to see some progress!
Our math solution
Here's the solution we've found, quite by providence.
Dude. This has a solution for ALL of my children. ALL of them.
They have such varying needs and it covers all of them.
The perfect math solution for my math nut, my math-resistant child, my unfocused child, and my eager-to-learn child. I know it'll have solutions for my 2 littles when they get older as well. No doubt.
How CTC Math helps our homeschool
- He goes through the lessons, and it tracks his progress.
- I assign him tasks that he has to complete first.
- He can't sneak-skip assignments. The way the questions are laid out, he really can't skip a question.
- Multiple attempts are allowed: he can try again and again, without having to re-write the questions or erase the page (and rip it).
- I can go back and evaluate what he's done so I can see where he needs more help and assign around that.
- Their passing score is set to 90% and can be adjusted to your standards.
- I can see how many times he took to achieve the score he received.
- This girl cheers when it's time for math. "I love CTC math!" is a frequent phrase from her lips. CHEERS!!? Did you hear me? Cheers. *sniff sniff*
- Started on the 2nd grade level and is whizzing through. I knew she could do it, and now she's realizing she can too. To me, that's the biggest win.
- Scores and award medals are just the motivation she needs.
- Takes a diagnostic test and can skip the lessons if she passes (90%) and gets even more excited.
- Ablity to jump around to suit her interests that day and take a break from something that may be giving her trouble.
- Stays engaged the entire time and doesn't wander around making motorcycle sounds.
- Loves the math fact speed test (pictured above). You can hear him cheering and shouting to with joy as he gets more and more right each time he does it.
- Motivated to work on his multiplication so he can play the drill game (shooting cute spaceships and aliens-- nothing violent).
- Minimal help is needed, he works 85% independently.
- When help with understanding a question, he works with his older siblings. It creates a great bond and unity. They love to help him.
- He's made so much progress with his math in the past several months than he did with our previous math curriculum because the videos and questions are engaging enough that he will sit and listen.
- Wearing Dad's headphones and sitting at his computer make him feel special.
- He's motivated by the scores.
- Started the kindergarten work and loves it. The problem I have now is that she's constantly begging to do CTC Math. It's a good problem to have. Some days.
- Can work with just a touch of guidance and monitoring.
- Animal does his best to help her and the older two as well. It has helped with Animal's motivation to read because if he can read well he can be his sister's "teacher."
I cannot believe how much one program has helped my children.
They have: consistency, no gaps, and quality.
I'll have to cover is the American measurement system. I actually love that it goes over the metric system so well. One day I'll hop on and do a refresher.
I am no longer worried about my children missing something important that I didn't even think of, or realize that their curriculum was missing.
That's the biggest fear of us homeschool parents, amiright?
Well... besides, "I'm messing up their lives forever!"
I'm no longer fighting math time.
How we use CTC Math curriculum
In a nutshell everyday we do:
- 2 hours of math
- 2 hours of reading
- 1 hour of writing
We do other things along with that, but those are the bones of our school days.
For our 2 hours of math we do:
- 1 hour with MUS or Life of Fred
- 1 hour of CTC Math.
We'll stick to this method for the next quarter and then re-evaluate to decide if CTC Math is going to be our main math curriculum or a supplement. No matter what, it's staying.
I like having multiple ways of looking at one type of problem. My friend, Karen, from Living Unabridged said something so similar, it's like we're the same person.
It's so important to make sure that your kids can not only understand the concept, but to answer the same questions when presented in a different manner.
Just like those dreaded word problems. Sure you can do it when it's presented to you in an equation, but can you do it when it's presented as a real-life situation?
Using 2 curriculums is fantastic to determine your child's understanding of math concepts.
Oh! One more thing.
Each of my children have their own separate accounts, usernames, and passwords. They love love having their own username and password that I matched to things they love to do.
My kids felt so special when I told them their usernames and passwords. It was adorable.
Their background color can be changed to match their favorite color. Little Miss discovered this one day and promptly turned hers pink.
My recommendation + where to buy CTC Math
I urge you: give CTC Math a whirl.
They've got a trial membership. Hallelujah for trials!
There is a sweet deal for homeschool families.
Seriously sweet: $118 for your entire family!?
I can spend that much on just ONE set of math books for ONE child. Never mind the other 3 (soon 5). In addition, I can't pass it on, unless I have the kids copy the problems onto a separate page.
Each child has their own account and can work on Kindergarten math all the way to Calculus. No copying, cutting, page protecting, or erasing required. The need to penny pinch is gone.
Even better than $118 is FREE.
Win a free CTC Math Membership
CTC Math is giving away memberships to FIVE homeschool families.
Fo' free (that's cool kid talk for wow, that's really free).
Be sure to enter-- you have a high chance of winning!
And after you win, I know you'll come back and love me so much you'll send me a plate of cookies (just make sure they're grain free, sugar free, and dairy free).
I want some cookies. So really, I'm being selfish.
Already have a math curriculum you love and adore and just pull it out to stare at its loveliness? Yes, even you should sign up for a free trial and see if it's something that will bless your family.
Oh, and I don't get any money or anything like that if you do. Just in case you're wondering.
To sum it all up... get it?
CTC Math really blessed my family and has become our serious math solution to our serious math problem.
It covers the needs of each of my children, who are so different from one another, AND it covers MY needs as a mother and a homeschool teacher.
I do frequently say that you need a curriculum and plan that works with YOU more than your children, but this is a sum up, not a novel, so I'll save that lecture for another day.
Give the free trial a whirl and be sure to enter the amazing giveaway.
Do you use CTC Math? Tell me all about it.
Be sure to come back and tell me how the trial went!